Sunday, September 5, 2010


I've been trying to ignore it.
I've been trying to push it to the back of my mind.
But I can't.
This picture, taken right before Joshua crashed the day they closed his chest, haunts my dreams.

This picture doesn't even do him justice. He looked 100x's worse in real life.

This was taken, literally, seconds before he crashed.
I didn't know he was crashing, I just knew he looked awful.
Then the alarms started going off.
60's....breathe baby...
50's....come on baby, breathe....
40's....God, please have mercy....PLEASE!!!!
Instantly there were 15 people in the room, the chaplan being called, panic.

I wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.
Almost every night.
I can't get that picture out of my head.


Stephanie Quintero said...

Jill, I am sorry. That is frightful to me, too.
Don't crash on Joshua! Don't focus on this! This child is improving! He is flourishing. Celebrate him and celebrate the Lord of Lords who is making this so!

Amy said...

Oh, sweet Jill. You're right, that picture is frightening. But then you have pictures like these:

Lots of those. And all those twitpics you keep posting of those gorgeous open eyes and the tubes going away and perfect color. I can't pretend to know what this is like for you. And you do need to acknowledge the fear and the "almosts" to work through them. But seriously, I think Baby Joshua is doing amazing with all this! He's gorgeous. Keep taking pics and posting them! They're getting better & better every day <3

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

I've been waking up every night thinking that it's real and happening right then. I'm hoping that maybe getting it down on "paper" and out there will take it away. Everytime I wake up after the nightmare, I pray for God to take it from me, and that Satan won't have that stronghold of fear on me. I know Satan is using it to scare me. I just need to continue to give it over to God.

Kristine said...

Oh Jill. xo I'm so sorry you have those images. I... get it.

Have you been told that PTSD is super common with CHD families? You've been through a trauma. Take care of yourself.

BlessedMommy said...

Oh sweetie, all I can do is cry with you and pray. Night time is the worst and I always dread it.

I pray each day with Joshua who is so perfect will bring you more and more peace and fewer nightmares.

Amy said...

Jill, when you say getting it out on "paper" that is SO true!! I'm actually a journaler and I find that getting my worst fears (or memories) down in writing is really cathartic and helps a lot when dealing with them. It works quite well for me, actually (which is partially why I was saying you need to acknowledge the fear and the "almosts" because those are very real feelings in your life). Interesting what Kristine said about PTSD being common in your situation, and quite frankly, that doesn't surprise me either. Big HUGS!!!

Amy Bennett said...

Oh I SO understand - I've been in the room where we almost lost Bodie 4 different times and they still haunt my memories. I've never had nightmares of them after the fact, but when we came home from the hospital after this recent stay, I was fixated on anything horrible happening and literally couldn't do anything else. Clearly PTSD. All I can say is try your best to give it over to God, recognize it for what it is (Satan's stronghold through PTSD and wait it out - it WILL get better, I promise!!!).

Veronica said...

I think blogging is very helpful at validating and wrapping up your emotions about the experiences we find so frightening. I am praying that you find lots of peace and just get to enjoy Joshua today and every day after that. Hugs~

Heather Malcolm said...

I am so so very sorry to hear about this.
I wanted to contact you because someone linked me to your blog. My husband and I are 26 weeks pregnant with our first child, our Daughter, our Sydney Alexandria. She has been diagnosed with HLHS.
We are devistated, terrified, sad and so fearful for her future as I am sure you understand. I come to you and to your sweet Joshua for inspiration, as a fellow mother and a sister.
My husband and I are not religious people, but we accept that the universe is very mysterous indeed... we are looking for human support and are willing to give it right back.

Our hope is with you and all of the babies who fight through these problems.

Anonymous said...

Jill -

PTSD iS very common in heart families (and honestly my belief in any family that is going thru a medical problem)

Think of how much has been placed on your shoulders. ALOT. As a fellow heart mom, I get it too. I still have nightmares of the "what ifs" Please know this is normal.

Hang in there - you are doing an amazing job. This road is not easy.

Shannon Egan

Callie said...

I am so sorry you have that image haunting your memories. I continue to pray for Joshua's recovery so that your nightmare has a chance to fade.

I have one of my own. Four days after my son's Arterial Switch Operation for transposition of the great arteries, they took him off the ventilator. He seemed to be doing really well initially. It was my husband's birthday and since my husband LOVES his birthday, I wanted to make sure it didn't get lost in the shuffle. So, I left the hospital during the day - for the first time since my son was born 12 days earlier - to get my husband some cupcakes. I came back about 20 minutes later strolling down the hall of the PICU with my cupcakes. Then, there at the end of the hall near Vince's room, I saw a huge crowd of people and the red crash cart. I assumed it was for his podmate, and slowed my walk not wanting to intrude. But then I finally got there, and to my horror, were in my son's room bagging him. Thanks to a quick acting nurse, they were able to quickly stabilize him and reintubated him until he was strong enough to try again. It was the most intense and frightening 10 minutes of my life.

Now, fast forward six months. It's 5:30 in the morning, and I'm watching my gorgeous son on the monitor trying to put himself back to sleep. While I still can't enjoy a cupcake because the memory association is too strong, the horror of that day is slowly fading as it's replaced by the joy of watching my boy grow. I pray for that for you and for Mason.

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Heather Malcolm- Please contact me any time. I'm here for you. I know how devastating an HLHS diagnosis can be. I've been there. Feel free to find me on facebook, or email me at ANYTIME! I'm happy to help support you and your family.

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