I have a resilient heart. I know this to be true as I’ve been living this truth since I was born. I was born with two holes in my heart. I’ve been a fighter since the beginning. The two holes were in between the ventricles of my heart, allowing the oxygenated blood to mix with the un-oxygenated blood, leading to increased fatigue and low oxygen saturation in the blood itself. I’m not sure if you’ve ever given much thought to the way your body delivers oxygen to your brain and muscles. I have. It’s a system that your entire being relies on. Operating quietly behind the scenes. Thrumming away in your chest your heart beats oxygen to the rest of your body. When that system breaks down things don’t work as they should. I wasn’t at risk of dying but I was living a less than full life.
My parents had no knowledge of my defect before my birth. My mother’s doctor was old school and only performed one ultrasound during her pregnancy, even though I was measuring small, even though I was difficult to arouse. It was detected within hours of my birth because I was labeled failure to thrive and they could hear the murmuring of the blood washing through the walls of my heart with their stethoscopes. I was put on medication to slow the beats of my heart in the hopes that the holes would knit over time. I’m told this medication made me groggy and lethargic. I could only play for brief intervals before I became winded and exhausted myself. I was on this medication for my full first year, but the holes didn’t close.
When I was 13 months old I had open heart surgery to repair the largest hole. They used a silicone patch that would grow with my heart and would allow me to avoid further surgeries. The surgery went well and I healed nicely. I have no conscious memory of these events. Just a zipper scar running the length of my chest. But this experience has helped strengthen me into the woman I am today and built up the resilience of my heart.
My heart is resilient.
That statement is literal as much as it is figurative. It was made to withstand the trials that not all others hearts could handle. I’m grateful that I came to this infertility fight with an armoured heart. That I’m used to being a fighter. That I’m capable of standing up to a lot of adversity and coming out the other side stronger for it. Because this has been my truth for as long as I can remember. I really had no other choice in how I would cope with my diagnosis.
I survive. I thrive. No matter the obstacle. No matter the results. I overcome.
I’m deep in my own IF battle right now but I have every faith that I’ll emerge out the other side of this thing.
One way or another. With a child or not.
And I will live.
I will enjoy every drop of my life. No matter the twists and turns. Because the resiliency of my heart will not be compromised by this. My heart refuses to quit. My heart will go on. *Insert cheesy Celine Dion joke here*
Sending strength to you on your journey,