Noah was born on December 3, 2005. He was a perfectly healthy baby. At his 2 month check up as his doctor listened to his heart I knew something wasn't right. She was listening for to long. She had a concerned look on her face. She called another doctor in to the room to listen as well. I knew these were not normal things. Noah had a ventricular septal defect (VSD) or a small hole in the wall of muscle that separates the heart’s two pumping chambers. She told me not to worry and that we should see a pediatric cardiologist for further testing. No mother wants their baby to have further testing. I didn't really know how to absorb this new information. That my sweet tiny baby that appeared completely normal had a broken heart. To make it even worse Joey was deployed to Iraq. I was doing all of this by myself. I made an appointment for the following week.
The cardiologist was amazing. He was so kind and comforting. First they hooked Noah up to an EKG machine. Watching them stick all of the tiny baby sized sticky pads on his chest, watching them connect the wires, watching as they checked and rechecked the results was just more than I could take. Then we moved to the ultrasound room. The cardiologist showed me the hole. A tiny little defect in my precious baby boy. Noah did not cry once the whole visit...that was a blessing. If he was crying I would have been more of a mess than I already was. The doctor said the hole was very small. The hole should close on it's own in a few months. This was wonderful news but still I worried. We went back for 3 more followup visits. In that time, about 6 months later, the hole was gone. I am so thankful that it wasn't a bigger problem than it was. He didn't need surgery. His heart was no longer broken.
Because of this I am probably more protective than I should be. I rush Noah to the doctor at the slightest cough or sign of fever. I'm always telling him to be careful. I worry. I worry because I fear that something bad could happen. I know his heart is fine now but I always think about all the other things that could happen. Lately I have been forcing my self not to hover so much. I have to let him run around and well be a boy. I can't protect him forever.
I can't apologize enough to my mother for my teenage years
I wasn't the worst teenager. I could have done far worse. But I did lie, tell my mom I hated her, dated boys she disapproved of. If I could go back now I'd tell that Ashley to stop...you're breaking your mom's heart. I don't think we realize how much our parents love us until we become parents ourselves. I never really hated my mom. I didn't want to lie but she just wouldn't let me do what I wanted. She loved me. She worried about me. And now as an adult and a parent I know that there is nothing that a 16 year old needs to be doing outside the house at 12:30 in the morning. You can bet your booty that when Noah gets older he'll have a curfew just like I did. He'll probably say he hates me for it. He'll probably lie to me. But then one day he'll grow up. He'll have a child who will do the same thing to him. He'll call me on the phone saying, "What do I do?" and I will smile and think, "Ah...the circle of life."
Noah, was about 7 months old. He had an awful cold and I put a humidifier in his room...the hot steam kind. It wasn't an issue. He was in his crib every night before I turned it on...until that one night. It had been a long day. I was tired. He was tired. I started getting him ready for bed and the phone rang. I plugged the humidifier in thinking as soon as I'm off the phone I'll put him in bed. We were in the living room and his bedroom was down the hallway so I thought, "I'm watching him. If he goes into the hall I'll stop him." My phone call ended and I went to hang the phone up. I turned around and I don't know how he made it down the hall that fast but he was right in front of the humidifier hand posed to reach out and grab that hot steam. I couldn't get there fast enough. He burned his hand. Thankfully it wasn't a bad burn but it definitely scared both of us. The next day I went out and bought a cold mist one.
I try not to beat myself up when I make a mistake. Like in this situation. Yes it was a BIG mistake. Yes he hurt his hand. Yes it was scary, but he wasn't hurt badly. So learn from it and don't do it again Ashley!
I was a stay at home mom, then a full time working mom, and now I'm at home again. Whether I was working or not working I finally had to accept that I can't do everything. It was much harder to get things done while I was working. I had to try to squeeze doctor appointments in on my lunch breaks. It was harder to keep the house clean. I had to miss some of Noah's school functions. But even now that I'm home again it's not easy. There are still days when the dishes are piled in the sink and I just don't have time to get to them. I think learning to say no has helped a lot. If I say yes to everything that just piles on more and more things I need to get done. I just have to be able to say, even though it's hard...yes the house is a mess and that's ok.