Friday, November 5, 2010

A Heart Check

Just a couple of fun pictures of Eliana.  She is such a happy child.  Yes, she does get angry or frustrated.  Yes, she does cry.  BUT, she gets over it quickly and forgives as rapidly as anyone I've ever known.

She keeps me laughing and on my toes.  One day she found my keys, waved bye-bye to me and headed for the door.  LOL  I'll have to keep my eye on her.

Eliana is a very polite child and I don't think it is because we have done such a good job teaching her manners.  She is so quick to say thank you when someone helps her - often needing no prompting by me at all!  (And if you don't hear her, she will keep repeating thank you until you do.  LOL)  I've pondered this trait and have my own theory on why she is so quick to say thank you.  I think it is because she has a grateful heart.  She is thankful.  I've read that those who express gratitude each day are happier and healthier people.  I know I try to focus on my blessings and sometimes/some days do a better job of it than others.  For me, it can be work.  It seems to come a little more naturally to Eliana.  I have much to learn from her.

She had her routine cardiology appointment this week.  (For those who are new, Eliana was born with 2 large holes in her heart.  She had open-heart surgery at 4 months to repair the holes.  She will always be monitored.)  It has been a year since we have been there.  Eliana was happy to be in the waiting area and enjoyed one of the computer games that was set up there.  Things changed quickly though when we were taken back.

She did not want her blood pressure taken - and fussed and cried about it.  I kept telling her that it wouldn't hurt.  I'm not sure she believed me.  After checking her vitals, (she is still a tiny little girl at 27  pounds), we went downstairs for an echo.  We were met by a sweet technician we haven't seen in quite awhile and it was fun catching up with her.  Eliana remained afraid and did not want to take her shirt off.  Did not want the electrodes put onto her chest.  Really, she just didn't want to be there.  We tried a movie, bribing her with candy, singing songs.  She looked at me at one point and just said/signed "all done".  I told her that she wasn't done and this did not please her.

To clarify, these were not tears of defiance or stubborness I don't think.  She truly seemed fearful.  It made me wonder how much she remembered.  She was so little.  She went through so much though her first year of life!

Back upstairs where we met with a student doctor who asked a lot of questions and tried to do a brief listening to her heart.  She is still uncooperative.  Down the hall for an EKG.  Yep, you guessed it.  She cried and cried until the procedure was over.  Then she was fine.  I kept trying to reassure her that none of this would hurt, but she wasn't buying it.

It made me wonder how many times God is holding me in His strong arms and telling me that this won't hurt.  That I will be alright.  And yet, I still cry and fight - not wanting to believe.  Learning to trust and relax is a hard lesson sometimes and I'm thankful for the reminder.

While we were waiting for Eliana's cardiologist, we read books.  As many as we could.  She loved this and was happy.  This was the one time I was able to take pictures.

We met briefly with her cardio and he said she was doing well.  She still has leakage around one of her aortic valves.  This is one that was close to one of her repairs.  He said it wasn't much worse.  I didn't press it.  She is doing well and I'm thankful.  I'm not going to borrow trouble by worrying about the future.  If we have to deal with more heart issues, it really isn't immenent anyway.

I'm thankful we live when we do - and where we do.  I know that in another time or place that I would have held my little girl and watched her die while she was in heart failure.  I did experience the beginnings of this and it terrified me.  I'm thankful we live in a place with such amazing medical care.  We are so very blessed.  I'm thankful for a little girl that has brought joy to my days and laughter to my soul.

As a mom, I can say that about each of my children.  My life is so much richer for being a mom.  Each child has blessed me beyond what I could have ever hoped or imagined.  Each one teaches me, challenges me, encourages me and loves me.  My heart and my life are full.  I am a very blessed woman!



  1. "It made me wonder how many times God is holding me in His strong arms and telling me that this won’t hurt. That I will be alright. And yet, I still cry and fight – not wanting to believe. Learning to trust and relax is a hard lesson sometimes and I’m thankful for the reminder."

    What a powerful point, my sweet friend! Thank you for sharing!
    Big Hugs to you!

  2. oh Leslie: your post made me laugh with those sweet pictures of Eliana. and it hit a cord as you traveled thru your cardio visit, as you know i do the same. and what a sweet thought about God holding you and telling you it wont hurt while you fuss and fight- i sure know i have been there, especially this past year. your blog continues to give me laughs, and hope! hope to see you during the holiday season! Terri

  3. Thank you sweet friends!

    Love you both

  4. Eliana is such a doll, Leslie...what a blessing to have her in your family. She is SO SO SO SO CUTE, too :-).

    If you don't mind me asking, did you know before she was born that she had heart problems?

  5. What a great post--there was much in there! Thanks for the thought-provoking introspection, and I agree--much blessed mamas we are!

  6. Laraba - We did not know she had heart problems. An u/s repeatedly showed a potential problem with one of her kidneys but that ended up being nothing after she was born. We knew of no other problems until she was born. It was a rough start for both of us then. If I knew then what I know now, it would have been so much easier - but I don't think I would have gotten where I am today without walking through that valley.

    Thank you both for your sweet comments!


  7. Leslie,

    Thank you for being so open about your journey with Eliana. As our new baby's birth is only 2 weeks away, I find such comfort knowing that if she is born with some medical problem, God WILL carry us through. So far there are no signs of any challenges at all -- ultrasounds have looked fine, she is active, etc. I've battled a lot of anxiety this pregnancy and have to keep "taking every thought captive to Christ." Not easy, but of course worrying about a potential problem is silly and unhelpful! And sinful, actually.



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