February is CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) Awareness Month. To kick off this month of learning & spreading of awareness, we want to introduce you to four mamas + babes from our very own community who know what the fight is like, first hand, by a tiny heart warrior.
Week #1: A Quick Turn of Events
Nayeli Rangel & Baby Sebastian
It was a very difficult time for our entire family especially being away from each other. I am so happy we are all together again as a family and that our son is now a much happier baby and is still on his road to recovery.” @_nayelirangel
Week #2: A Continuous Fight by a Tiny Warrior
Ashley Paulsen & Baby Ryker
“Hello my name is Ashley and my sons name is Ryker and he was diagnosed with CHD when he was 10 days old.
My son was born on April 19th, 2020 and was perfectly healthy, at 8 days old he started to not eat, turned pale, went limp, we rushed him to the local hospital and they intubated him because he was struggling to breathe, we didn’t think he would make it because he was in that bad of shape.
After that we were then transferred to a different hospital where they did some other tests and they all came back negative so the final test they decided to do was an echo on his heart and they found out he
Week #3: Undetected & on the Road to Recovery
Shawna Olson & Baby Gavin
We went about our weekend thinking nothing of it and fully expecting a clean bill of health at his echo. I remember the day so well, we went in for his echo and they came in saying well we know the reason for the murmur and he will likely need surgery to correct it, they went on to explain he had a Coarctation of his aorta. I didn't ask any questions that day honestly, I was in shock, they sent us home with flyers and said they would consult and decide if we should do surgery now or wait. We got in the car and I couldn't hold back the tears, it was like the flood gates had opened, I spent the next several weeks randomly crying uncontrollably. I also later found out his pediatrician was certain it was more than an innocent murmur but bless her heart she didn't feel like telling us would help us since without an echo we wouldn't know if or what was causing it, and she was so right I'd have been a mess waiting for our appointment. A few days later we got the call that there is no benefit to wait and surgery was set up the following week on July 3rd, he was just under a month old. We did all our pre-op appointments and Gavin had surgery as scheduled, the surgery was through his back, so he has a small scar on the left side of his back under his shoulder blade.
His surgery went perfectly and we were discharged home 4 days later. I remember walking out feeling so guilty that we were able to leave just 4 days after surgery, seeing all those other babies there for longer periods of time truly broke my heart. Being a heart warrior mama and spending those 4 days in the CICU changed my perspective on life, life can be so fragile; don't ever take a single moment for granted, and hug your babies tight. While I was in the hospital I remember messaging Audrey & Bear asking if they had any CHD designs, at that time they didn't, so when those designs came out I knew we needed to order one!! Today we have a happy and healthy 19 month old! We go in for a yearly echo to make sure everything looks good, but he's a thriving 30 pound 1.5 year old who adores Baby Shark!!!” @Solson.10
Week #4: A Heart Warrior Going Home
Ashley Broderick & Baby Charli
“My daughter, Charli Blayke, has TAPVC, ASD, and PDA.
We have just ordered our first CHD blanket from Audrey & Bear and we are soooo excited to receive it when it comes!!
My sweet girl was born early on 11/02/2020 at 34
weeks gestation. Due to being early she was sent to the NICU right away. At 5 days old she had an episode of SVT which prompted testing and on day 7 we found out about her CHD. She had her open heart surgery on 12/03/2020 at one month old. She spent a total of 39 days in the NICU/PICU and we got to bring her home to our family on 12/11/2020.Coming home was such a blessing and our little heart warrior grows stronger everyday!! We are so thankful for our outcome and remain positive that she will continue to thrive and have the best life possible!!”