Violet and I headed down to Boston last night to hang out with Kerry and Brady at Children's Hospital. I couldn't believe how good Brady looked just a few days post-open heart surgery. He was very out-of-it, but looked like a sleeping angel. He was just wearing a diaper, so I had a good look at his incision (and Kerry - who looked great, too, although I know from experience how exhausted she was - did not mind my gawking - I let her gawk over my baby instead). I wonder if Kerry feels how I felt when I first saw Clare's incision. That disbelief that someone cut into your baby and that visible scar is now there forever. As parents, our scars are not physical, but I think they show just as visibly sometimes.
Kerry was taking everything in stride, like she typically does. One of the things I appreciate most about Kerry as a friend is her down-to-earth attitude. She truly understands how to be a good friend. We can share what we're going through and bounce things off each other without feeling like we're adding drama to the other one's life (I've had friends like that and it is not helpful when you have enough of your own drama in your life!).
Although it was weird going back to Children's (we have not been there since Clare's last cath in September 2007) and my visitor ID badge still said Parent/Guardian, it was good to visit with Kerry and see how well Brady is recovering.
On the way out, I visited briefly with Brian, Tarynn's dad. (On top of the stress of having your newborn undergo open heart surgery, Tarynn's mom, Heidi, is recovering from childbirth and a bout with mastitis, so she was sleeping.) Tarynn is still in the cardiac ICU, but making strides toward getting out on the cardiac floor in the future. I am in awe of Brian and Heidi's strength and courage right now. Tarynn is their second child to undergo open heart surgery as an infant, and in the late spring, their 3-year old is most likely having a second open heart surgery. These last three weeks following Violet's birth have been rough for our family - dealing with the recovery of a C-section, adjustment of bringing the fourth child into our family, extremely sleep-deprived parents, and Jamie, Clare, and Simon are now all battling a bad cold and cough and are usually on the grumpier side (Clare's cold has turned into sinusitis, so she is now on antibiotics, but has not turned the corner yet - which is why Shawn and I are even more sleep-deprived because Jamie is the only child sleeping 12 hours through the night right now!). But everything always gets put into perspective when I see what other parents are going through. I feel as if Brian and Heidi are living my personal nightmare - doing the "heart thing" all over again with another child. I know from experience that you do what you have to do and you get through it, but I don't want to ever have to do it again. I can only imagine how Brian and Heidi feel facing this road for the second time. I hope that we truly are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with Clare, since she has been doing so well for over a year now. She has her next echo in late March/early April, so we continue to look for good news.
In the meantime, we continue to keep Brady and Tarynn and their families in our prayers and that they all get to come home soon!