Happy Heart Month!
Hello, my name is Courtney. I’d like to tell you that our story isn’t full of sadness depression and only hope, positive thinking, and strength but that’s not how this story goes. Instead, this story is full of all of those things woven together. Though, like in most great stories, there is a “happy ending”. I am many things: a daughter, a spouse, a registered nurse, a lover of literature, good food, and “binge-worthy” series. Out of all the things I am my favorite is that I am a mother to a very special little boy! My son, Connor, was born at Texas Children’s Hospital on 01/17/2017 with a chromosomal abnormality called 22q 11.2 deletion syndrome. A fairly common condition that can cause 180 different health manifestations one of them being heart defects. Connor was born with Truncus Arteriosus type 2. He was prenatally diagnosed with an uncertain heart defect at our twenty-week anatomy scan. We were both terrified and heartbroken at the same time. After the 22q diagnosis from an amniocentesis, we decided to transfer our care from the small town hospital we were currently receiving care to Texas Children’s Hospital. My spouse, Matthew, and I both felt that TCH was going to give our son the best possible chance at life!
Connor did really well until he was ten days old his condition deteriorated and he had to be intubation. I will never forget getting that call at 2:00 a.m. It was one of the many times I thought that I would have to tell this sweet little baby, whom I hadn’t gotten a chance to really know, goodbye. He had his first open heart surgery at two weeks old. It lasted eleven hours The thought of losing him combined with the idea of not being able to the normal “baby” things with him brought me into a depression. My emotional state could only be described as zombie-like on an emotional roller coaster. I went through every day thinking that this was my last day with this little baby. I did my best to try to hold it together but I was failing horribly. Matthew and I both had twelve weeks off from work so we were able to stay close to Connor. We slept in hotels, bedside chairs, bedside couches, both in the hospital Ronald McDonald House and down the road Ronald McDonald House. It was at times chaotic not always knowing where we were going to sleep but we were committed to not being far away from Connor.