Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I never was one to like labels.
When I first found online support groups for parents of children with (and adults who have) Congenital Heart Defects, one of the first things I noticed was that most parents have created a signature that includes their child's particular list of defects, complications, surgeries etc.
Nova - PA w/Collaterals & VSD
Alexis - Angel Baby 8/17/01 - 8/29/01 died following OHS for ToF
and Tommy, Kory, Kassi, Brendon, and Terra - all HH
I never really used a signature like this, but if I had it would now have "Angel Baby" beside Nova's name, and his birth and death dates as well. They are like badges for the parents whose children survive, and sort of like those name tags you wear to your High School reunion, so you can identify the people who will "get" your concerns and issues the most readily. The ones with similar tags to your own will comprehend the names of the procedures your child will (or did already) experience. You know that they'll understand the alphabet that identifies your baby's problems, and all the medical jargon that comes along with it.
My alphabet doesn't seem to fit in there anymore - all those HLHS/HRHS's and ToF's and TGA's once seemed like a foreign language. I'd have to look up the abbreviation and study up on how similar or different it was from Nova's heart. Now I understand so much more of it than I ever wanted to. But RIP is a whole other language, one I speak fluently, but still can't really communicate.
What I can say, with absolute certainty, is that I don't want
to wear around a tag that says "~Erin, Mom to 2 angel babies." It's a particularly heavy badge to carry around.
posted by Erin @ 8:44 PM