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Top : Parents Corner : Moms Escape : A Broken Heart

A Broken Heart

~ Faith Johnson

Ever have one of those days, or weeks, or even months? You know, the ones where it looks like everything bad that can happen has? I thought this month was one of those, that is until my eyes were opened.

We have a uniquely blended family in that, I brought to mine and my husband's marriage two children, he brought to the marriage two children, and we now have two children together for a total of six beautiful blessings. You can imagine that having that many children in the same house no matter how large, can bring about some interesting events.

At the end of February the older three children, were pushing all the wrong buttons and being successful in getting me and my husband bothered. On top of that, our new one (#6) was due any day. Trying to stay stressfree and get the house cleaned like I wanted it was not working, of course, I don't think things ever really go as planned. I had kept telling myself, “Once the baby is born everything will calm down, things won't be so bad.” Did I say things never go as planned?

March 2, 2005 I was induced to bring little Benji into this world. I wonder now if he wishes he stayed in mommy's tummy. He was born at 3:44pm and weighed in at 8 lb 13 ozs. For me, he was my little one since his sisters were both over 9 lbs and his brother was 11 lbs 3 ozs. When he was born he didn't look like the other three babies I gave birth to, he had a blue tinge to his skin. I voiced my concern but the nurses and the doctor told me he was fine. They were more concerned with me, and I still am not sure why. Aside from little Benji's color, he was fine. He has all 10 fingers and all 10 toes, he was crying a little bit, wasn't interested in nursing but he was somewhat sleepy. The nurses said it was probably from the medications that were used on me.

I didn't start getting concerned until the next morning when the on call pediatrician saw him. He had told me that Benji looks good, he was going to have a pediatric cardiologist look at him though because he thinks he heard a heart murmor. He went on to tell me that he was sure it was nothing and he would probably go home the next day. So, I then became concerned. While we were waiting for the cardiologist to see Benji, everybody we talked to, we asked to pray. I was hoping that, okay, there's a murmur, God will heal it and he'll go home tomorrow. God doesn't always work like that we soon realized.

That afternoon, we found out what was going to shake our world, Benji has 2 congenital heart defects. To make things even harder, he was more than likely going to have surgery within days. We found ourselves facing things we didn't want to, Benji was to be transfered to the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt immediately. At first it looked like I wouldn't be able to go with him, but thanks to God, my nurse called my doctor at home and got me released so I could go.

The days that followed were very stressful, we had a couple doctors saying that he wouldn't need the surgery and then a couple saying he might, but the pediatric cardiologist that first looked at him stayed steadfast on that he would need surgery. We were also having to get the other 5 children taken care of, it ended up that my two daughters were going to their dad's for a week and a couple friends offered to keep the other three. It was also hard telling them everything was okay and Benji would be alright, when we didn't believe it the whole time. Things like this really test your faith in God.

Benji had to have heart surgery on March 9, 2005. The surgeon repaired the coarctation of the aorta, it was pretty bad. We were told afterwards that if he had gone home, he probably wouldn't have made it. Benji still has a defective aortic valve that is bicuspid and has a slight narrowing. With regular doctor visits and keeping an eye on him, he will be just fine.

The one thing that was most memorable was when we brought Benji home March 13, 2005. Our oldest son, Josh is 3 years old. He was very concerned about his baby brother and didn't understand what all was going on. He wanted to love on him but, we have to be very careful because Benji has his incision and he is sore from everything. While we were trying to explain it to him, he just wasn't understanding until I told him, “Benji was born with a broken heart, but God gave him very good doctors and told them how to fix it. So Dr. Christian and her friends fixed Benji's heart the way God told them to. He will be okay, once he heals.”

Josh suddenly understood and we showed him the incision so he would see how they did it. Then he gently held Benji's hand and kissed him. Seeing Josh's reaction reminded me that God is in control. And there is always an answer regardless if it's the one we want or not. The answer I wanted was that Benji was perfectly fine and nothing was wrong. The answer I received was that Benji had a problem and God provided the means to fix it.

This entire experience also made me realize that, yes things get stressful and the kids can get out of control. What we as parents have to realize is that children are a blessing. No matter how bad things seem to be, God is there. He's just waiting for us to ask for help. When we ask for help we have to be able to accept the help that He gives.

Submitted on : 1-Apr-2005

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Top : Parents Corner : Moms Escape : A Broken Heart

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