Four years of being a heart family

Four years ago, we walked into a scan room full of excitement at the prospect of getting to see our baby and left with our world turned completely upside-down. Four years since we started our journey as a heart family. Four years ago, we were devastated and scared, not knowing where or how we would find the strength for the steps that lay ahead and clinging to our faith and belief that somehow God would help us endure what had to be endured.

Four years of being a heart family - Little Hearts, Big Love

That first year in particular was a rollercoaster ride. There were many moments of doubt and despair; times when the prognosis seemed so bleak and that glimmer of hope seemed so small. We have seen miracles happen, have seen the NHS at its very best, have discovered just what a blessing the love, prayers and support of family and friends really is. We have experienced some of the most fearful moments we have known, and the most overwhelmingly joyful ones.

To us on the day we became heart parents - Little Hearts, Big Love

There were so many times in the first few months of our journey when we were warned not to get our hopes up. We made the most of the time we had with Jessica during my pregnancy, not knowing if it was all we would have and we have been blessed with more than we ever dared to dream of.

For the last three years, life has been pretty normal – we have had routine cardiac check-ups and hospital appointments, but on the whole Jessica has been well, has been enjoying life as much as any little girl her age does. We have had the joy of seeing her grow and develop and become the beautiful little girl she is today, full of wonder, with a zest for life that is wonderful to see.

The Friday Focus 01/05/15 - Little Hearts, Big Love

These are moments to be treasured, moments to be thankful for. In the last four years, we have learned to live in the moment and enjoy it, for we just don’t know what the future will hold. After three years of normality, we are all too aware that the clock is ticking and at some point in the not-too-distant future, we will step on that rollercoaster again as Jessica will need to have another major open-heart surgery. We try not to think too much about it but it is there in the back of our minds.


One of my heart mummy friends shared this quote with me early on in our journey. It is one that has resonated with me ever since:

Four years of being a heart family - an inspirational quote - Little Hearts, Big Love

We have been changed in so many ways since that day but we are here today, together as a family, enjoying those precious moments and feeling thankful for getting this far.

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26 thoughts on “Four years of being a heart family

  1. What a touching and wonderful post full of love, gratitude and strength. Thank you so much for sharing this at #sharethejoy xx

  2. It really is inspiring to read about the journey Jessica and your family are sharing. And I always feel privileged to read what you share.
    The glimmer of hope shines so bright in all of your posts and the awareness you have raised and continue to raise is doing great things.
    I hope that when the operation needs to go forward in the future that everything goes perfectly. I know that I will be hoping and wishing it with all my heart and I will be following your brave little Jessica’s journey through your posts.

    1. Thank you Jenni, knowing that there will be so many people thinking of us when we go back for the next stage will be so helpful – it makes such a difference to have that support x

  3. Oh Louise it brings tears to my eyes every time I read about your heart journey. I know how awful it is knowing that there something wrong with my eldest, but nothing she has is life threatening and can’t even be compared. You’re doing so well in the way that you cope, and as you’ve said before not dwelling on the things you can’t control. You show tremendous courage dealing with it all every day. Hugest hugs, you have a beautiful little family xx

    1. Thank you so much Renee – I try to stay positive as much as I can and my faith helps hugely with this. Seeing how well Jessica is doing now though is such a huge blessing and while I do have the occasional moment when the thought of the road ahead fills me with utter dread, I try to focus on the here and now and be thankful for what we have. Thank you for the virtual hugs and your lovely comment x

  4. It must have been the hardest 9 months waiting for your little miracle but she came and is doing so well. I think these sort of things really push you, your strength, your relationship but you have proved what you can do. Lovely to read and as always the pics are lovely!! xx #thetruthabout

    1. Thanks Sarah – things like that definitely test us, that’s for sure! So wonderful to see Jessica doing well though and thank you for your lovely comment x

  5. You guys have been so strong and had to go through so much but isn’t it worth it for your little family! Like Reneé I always get tears in my eyes when I read your heart posts too – you learn to live every day to the full and treasure every moment I expect which is the way we should all live really. Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout Xx

    1. Thank you Sam – always a pleasure to link up. Learning to enjoy the moment has definitely been a good thing and it is so wonderful to see how well Jessica is doing now – I would go through it all again tomorrow if I had to – being here with my beautiful girl is worth every minute x

  6. I remember going for our first scan (and the second too) feeling absolutely sick to my stomach. Actually, the day before the 20 week scan I burst into tears in the office because I just couldn’t bear the thought that we could find out something was “wrong” with our baby.

    As a fellow mother I think I can understand a tiny bit how things have been for you but obviously I can never empathise completely. But you seem to have found the joy in the toughest of times in a way that I don’t think I could have. I don’t think I’m that strong.



    1. Going for a scan and having that fear is awful. If you’d asked me before I became a heart mummy whether I could have coped with it in the way I have I would have definitely said no, that there was no way I had that kind of strength. It is amazing how much inner strength you can find when you have to x

  7. A lovely post, Louise. I am always struck by how happy a child Jessica is in spite of the difficulties you have all experienced.

    1. Thank you Emma – I love that photo – really does capture all the emotion of that day x

  8. What a lovely post, I can’t begin to imagine how you felt in that scan room. You really have come so far and what an amazing journey guide you have in Jessica. We too have had to learn to live in the here and now, its the thing I find the hardest. I’m sure you will have a fantastic future together.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    1. Thank you Jane – yes, I can imagine that you also live in the here and now – it is hard but there are positives to it too. Lovely to link up again x

  9. What a beautiful post, I really beleive faith helps us stay strong together thanks for linking up with#thankfulthursday

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