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Joshua's Broken Heart

I am a mother. I'll admit though, sometimes not a very good one.

I get lazy (can we just say- one time I used a dryer sheet on my kids head rather than give him a bath?!), I raise my voice, and my house is hardly ever clean. But one thing is for sure: I love my children.

Joshua is the 2nd youngest of my 4 children. He was born August 16, 2010. He has been the child, who in his short life, has stretched me in ways I never could imagine. (read through my blog from April 20, 2010 for more on this) We have spent his entire life, from pregnancy to birth and beyond, expecting the worst, but hoping for the best.

At 11 weeks gestation, I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage. Basically, I was gushing blood (for almost 21 days straight), and doctors found out that there was a hemorrhage between the sac and uterus. It started off small, but within days grew and grew and grew. We were told that it was just a matter of time before Joshua would pass and I would miscarry. I was told that it would be miracle if he made it to 18 weeks.

Well, 18 weeks came and went, the bleeding continued, and I was sent to a specialist. The specialist noticed that Joshua's heart glowed on one of his ultrasounds, but told us not to worry. I did just as he told me. I was stressed enough with the hemorrhage, and didn't want to even think about a heart issue on top of it all. So we went home and continued to trust that God would take care of Joshua.

At our 18 week gender scan (which we had already found out Joshua was a boy at 14 weeks!), the tech couldn't get a good view of the left side of Joshua's heart. She told us that he was laying in a funny position and that it was nothing to worry about. Once again, I chose not to worry. My OB looked over the ultrasound and decided to send us to a fetal/pediatric cardiologist.

At 22 weeks we made our way down to Indianapolis for our fetal ECHO. It was then that our lives were turned upside down. Joshua was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome or HLHS is a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). Basically, Joshua only has 1/2 of his heart. The left side is hypoplastic, which means that it has not developed or is underdeveloped.

The treatement for HLHS is a set of 3 open heart surgeries to "reroute" his heart. The Norwood surgery is the first surgery and took place at 3 days old on August 19, 2010. The Glenn should take place around 6 months old, and the Fontan is typically be performed between 2 and 3 years of age. He also had a shunt revision due to the shunt being too large which resulted in poor oxygen profusion to his body. That took place September 27, 2010.

Joshua was a fighter, and survived all sorts of odds in his short little life. We are amazed at his beauty and how perfectly God has created him- Broken heart and all!

On Oct. 6, 2010, Joshua's purpose here on Earth had been fullfill and God called him Home. Joshua left this world in my arms and went directly into the arms of Jesus for complete healing.

Our journey through life without Joshua is now just beginning. Thank you for joining us as we learn to live, love, and laugh again.
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