AveryI found out I was pregnant in April 2002. We were so excited. My husband and I had been married for two years and were ready to start a family. Four months later our world came crashing down on us. A heart defect the doctors said. I remember sobbing for hours with my big 78lb dogs in my lap. I'd never been so afraid in all my life.
The next day I went for a level two ultrasound which confirmed the diagnosis - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and an Atrial Septal Defect. Having this combination put my baby at a high risk of survival. After many echocardiograms at Boston Children's Hospital, we agreed to an experimental in utero procedure to correct her ASD. Surgery was a success! We had renewed hope!
After only five hours of labor, my little baby girl, Avery, was born to the world on December 16, 2002. I'd never seen such a beautiful baby in all my life. Those eyes! Her skin was so white it was all you could see. She was 9lbs. 5oz.
Avery had the Norwood a week later but she never fully recovered as she had a hard time with her blood pressure coming up from the OR. We ran into many unforeseen complications through our six week stay in the CICU. On January 31, 2003, Avery passed away. She was such a brave little fighter, my "infant warrior".
It's been almost two and half years since I lost my little Avery "Button". I miss her everyday and not a day goes by that I don't think of her. But time does heal and you find a new "normal". I think of her on heaven's beaches in a smart little sundress with the ocean lapping her chubby baby toes. And, she's busy collecting seashells. Most importantly, she knows I love her and did everything I could to try to save her.
Till we meet again my little one. Mommy loves you. You'll always be my inspiration and I'll never forget our stay at the hospital and what this experience did to my thinking of living life!
Story by Avery's mom, Kathryn - Massachusetts