I have to admit, out of all of my birth experiences, Brigham and Women’s has been the best hospital I have ever stayed in. There have been exceptional nurses who took time to listen to me and to my concerns, give me suggestions on how to work out a schedule between Children’s and what I needed to do at Brigham. Most importantly, I will never forget the genuine effort Dr. Connelly made to give me the natural birth I wanted. Sure, I was disappointed that it didn’t turn out the way I had wanted it to, but the fact that a doctor listened to me and didn’t try to talk me into something I didn’t want means a lot to me.
There were a few attempts made by various people to make this a normal experience for us. A fellow heart mom staying at Children’s is also a photographer, and took some beautiful shots of Isabelle as a newborn. My parents brought me a small bouquet of flowers in celebration of her arrival, just like they did with my other two. People sent congratulatory messages as they would with a normal birth. These small gestures balanced out the glaring reality of her heart condition.
I’m grateful that in addition to peoples’ concerns about Isabelle’s prognosis, there were some small gestures of celebration- because that is what a birth is supposed to be. A celebration of a new addition to our family. As her surgery date approaches, I wish I spent more time celebrating her impending arrival instead of obsessing about her surgeries. Thank goodness it isn’t too late to try something different. After all, we have plenty of time.