February is Heart Health Awareness Month. And as Elise is nothing if not thorough, this is the month she had open heart surgery.
It was 7 years ago day before yesterday that God placed the most amazing words into Ethan's mouth.
He looked at me and said, "Regardless of how this turns out, you know that if God had called down to you and said, 'I've got a baby I need you to watch for me for a little bit, could you?' You'd say yes."
It was 7 years ago yesterday that I was driving the icy mountains of Jellico, TN, wondering if my fears of Elise's open heart surgery were groundless...that we would die in the car due to losing control on the ice.
It was 7 years ago today that Elise and I spent all day at Cincinnati Children's Hospital doing paperwork and all pre-op appointments and searching the Bible for verses that would keep me at peace and promise hope.
Those that I held tight to were: Matthew 8:13, 18:19-20; Psalm 34:4, 42:8; Mark 5:19, 9:24, 10:16, 10:27; Luke 5:26, 8:39, 8:50
It was 7 years ago tomorrow that Elise's skin went from waxey white to angelic roses and cream. She underwent just under 6 hours worth of surgery by Dr. Peter Manning to put her heart back together again. It was only supposed to take 3 or 4. But went they got in they found so much bigger holes than they expected (and more of them), and a "refluxing mitral valve"...that they said that for all intents and purposes she was probably operating with only 1/2 of a heart.
It was 7 years ago that we discovered that Elise processes drugs different than everyone else. That she was still in pain with morphine, but felt all but healed with Tylenol.
It was 7 years ago that I was given my baby back to me the first time. And I discovered that the Downs just wasn't that important. That my baby was a bigger gift than I had even realized...that God was good, no matter what.