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.
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.
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.
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:
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.