I have more thoughts on this than what I covered on my daily facebook post. It is a topic that has been nudging the back of my mind since February began.
You see, I really thought this heart journey would be different.
I received Kiran’s heart diagnosis in utero, at 22 weeks, so I had time to prepare myself for what lie ahead. And, since we moved to Iowa just two weeks later, I was no longer working, so I had even more time. And then, during the last trimester, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, so as I carefully manufactured perfectly carbed meals and took walks around the park several times a day, I had even more time.
Too much time, maybe, to think about what this heart journey might be.
The only preparation I really knew to do was to prepare myself to lose him. Loss is something I have experience with, so I had at least some understanding as to how I should prepare for that. As I walked countless laps those last few months of my pregnancy, listening to uplifting music, I convinced myself that – somehow – I would survive losing my son.
I can only imagine how this sounds to those of you who have never been in this position. Pessimistic. Perhaps even a bit cruel. Heartbreaking for sure. But I had to do something with all of this time, had to create some illusion of control for what might be coming my way.
It’s all I really knew to do.
I had no way to truly prepare for what LIVING with a heart warrior would be like. I had nothing to compare it to. And, although I found a wonderful support group with amazing heart families, everyone’s story was SO different. There was no way of knowing what path we would land on. So I just prepared for the path I knew, the one I understood at least a bit.
Imagine the joy – and fear – and shock – and burst of love – that I have felt since then.
There really is no preparing for this heart life. And it changes all the time. But it’s not really any different than anything else in life. Nothing prepares you for it. You just have to keep diving in.
I wish I could go back to that pregnant, expectant, terrified, heartbroken mama, as she walks around the park. I would say to her: Stop preparing for what you know. Stop preparing for the worst case. Prepare for LIFE. Prepare for a LOVE you can’t even fully fathom right now.
Prepare for life. And live it every day.