Monday, August 15, 2011

in {her} shoes...aunna

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today is momma monday.  the day that i like to celebrate the strength, love, and beautiful-ness of my fellow momma bloggas.  today's featured blogger is aunna, whose blog, Rips in My Jeans i loved the second i clicked onto it.  here's her story: 

First of all, I cannot tell how excited I am to be here! I nearly squealed with delight when Andie contacted me to do a guest post. My blog is so brand new, so I was a bit shocked that anyone would want to read what I had to say. So, thank you Andie, for that sweet boost to my self esteem!

Anyways, I'm Aunna. I'm at stay at home mama to two very cute, very crazy boys and also an awesome wife to my Officer Hotstuff. My boys are my life...all three of them. Maverick is 4 going on 16 and Hudson is 4 months old. I love to sew, craft, cook, blog stalk, and wear my pj's all day.

When Andie said she would like me to talk about being a mom to a child with serious health problems, I was a little taken aback at first. You see, I'm a mom to a "heart baby". My oldest son was the 1 in 115 babies born with a congenital heart defect

A little history: I got married the October after I graduated high school and became pregnant the following February. I was very much still a kid myself when I gave birth to Maverick. Everything looked fine on every ultrasound and even at birth, but at his first follow-up a heart murmur was discovered. We were on our way to St. Louis Children's Hospital the very next day. We were warned that it could be nothing or it could be very bad. Maverick had a ventricular septal defect...a hole in his heart. At first, we were told to take a "wait and see" approach, but as the weeks went on and it was obvious that Maverick was just getting sicker, it was made known to us that our baby was in congestive heart failure. His body was working so hard just to breathe and pump blood that he was "failing to thrive". He was 2 months old and only 8.5 lbs.

I knew in my heart that God could heal my child if He chose to. I also knew that He could take Maverick home to be with Him. We knew surgery was a possibility, and in early May we had set a date. My baby was now in God and the doctor's hands.

At 6 months old and weighing only 11 lbs., I had to let my son be taken from my arms and into an operating room. I'm sitting here crying remembering that feeling. I just kept praying "God, I trust matter what."

Six hours later, we were told the surgery was a success. The "small hole" was actually the size of a pencil eraser. Now, if you imagine a baby's heart is the size of his fist, you will realize that it was in no way small. We were ushered to a waiting area and were told by a smiling nurse that Maverick was already off the ventilator and was sucking on his pacifier. I broke down. It was not until then that the gravity of our situation really sunk in.

We were in the ICU for 2 1/2 days. That's it. 56 hours after surgery, Maverick was sitting up, smiling, and eating baby food. We haven't looked back since.

I think the most challenging part of being a "heart mommy" was giving the control that I so desperately wanted over to God. Becoming pregnant with my newest little guy, I knew that he could also have the same defect as Maverick or something worse. But I had to let God take care of that. Thankfully, Hudson is perfect. Realizing that these children are on loan to me, that they are God's, was also a hard pill to swallow. Sure, the twice a months trips to St. Louis, the medications, the worry....that was hard, too. But not near as hard as letting God take care of my baby when I couldn't.

 You know what? The most challenging part of being a "heart mommy" IS the most rewarding part. Not knowing what the future holds for my babies and being ok with that has made me the kind of mom that I've always wanted to be. I am not the helicopter parent that always worries that I feared I would become. Also, watching my sons as living, breathing testaments to God's mercy and love is more than enough reward for the heartache we went through to get us here.

It is obvious by my writings above that I am a believer. And I pray every night that my children will grow to have the same belief in a loving God as I have. I want my kids to realize that life is way more than we could ever make it by ourselves. I look at my two sons, one who has cheated death and the other who I honestly didn't think I could have, and KNOW that they have a purpose. I want them to know that Jesus was born, died, and rose again not just so we could have life, but an ABUNDANT life.

But seriously, I would hope that the other two words my boys would use to describe me would be faithful and patient. Let me put emphasis on the word "hope". I know I may not be there yet, but one day I hope my sons look at me and see not just some nutty woman who yells at them and their dad from behind a sewing machine, but a mom who had an unwavering faith in God and the love in her heart to be patient enough to let them make (and learn from) their mistakes.
Ok, now that I've written a stinkin' book, I'd like to thank you guys for reading. And another great big thank you to Andie for letting me invade her blog.
Ok, now that I've poured my heart out, here's the hard part of this post. Andie asked me what three words my children would use to describe me. I know one. Crazy. Maverick has made it very clear that he thinks I'm a nut. He tells me all the time. Probably because I make up weird songs and dance down the aisles in Wal-Mart.

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