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Hello Lovelies,

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,
Unpregnant Chicken

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18 thoughts on “Micro Post: The Resilience Of The Heart

  • February 16, 2015 at 10:02 am
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    So true. This infertility journey is a tough and painful one but like you, I will survive it. I’m grateful for all that I learnt in recovering from an eating disorder as a teenager. Those lessons have served me well now that I face a very different battle. Like you, I choose to enjoy my life. I seek all the joy that I can find, but without denying the pain.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2015 at 1:22 pm
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      Rachel,
      Me too! It can be challenging to find that balance, between pain and joy. Best of luck to you!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 11:35 am
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    The daughter of a good friend just underwent Open heart surgery to correct VSD. I’m forwarding this post to her because all you talked about here reminds me of her little girl.

    There’s something to be said about being a fighter when confronting trauma. That refusal to give up on life when it’s beating you down. To me, it means that you will do more than survive this. You will thrive.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm
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      Cristy,
      Yes please send this on to your friend! That is what I had, VSD. Wishing her luck and happiness as her baby recovers. We grow up to be great people! Keep faith.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 11:57 am
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    Resilience is a wonderful thing. It gets us through so much in life. One day at a time, right?

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    • February 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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      Gil,
      That’s right. One day, one step, one second at a time!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    That’s so beautiful. Xo

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    • February 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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      Emma,
      Thank you!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 1:29 pm
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    Beautiful post — I love the comparison between the resiliency of your physical heart and your metaphysical heart. I love that eventually the hole(s) in your heart did heal, if with some help from medical technology. I hope the same for your metaphysical heart…you seem resilient to me, and resilience goes a long, long, long way on this infertility road. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • February 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm
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      Jess,
      Thank you! Turns out I need medical science for both my physical and metaphysical holes. Here’s hoping IVF takes as well as the heart surgery did!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 8:20 pm
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    What an amazing metaphor and literal overcoming; the armouring of the heart. Do you know how powerful this thought is: “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.”

    Reply
    • February 17, 2015 at 9:02 am
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      Mel,
      Thanks. I’m glad it resonated with you so deeply. I’m reminding myself of this often lately, I figure if I need to hear it probably others do as well. I think it helps for me that I have another really big crazy thing that I know I’ve already survived. But it still rings true for those that haven’t.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 8:44 pm
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    I love your metaphor, and I love your optimism here even better. This journey is hard and it often feels hopeless, but you captured so well the thing that keeps me going too: “I have every faith that I’ll emerge out the other side of this thing. One way or another. And I will live.”

    Reply
    • February 17, 2015 at 9:04 am
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      Molly,
      Sometimes we just need a shot of optimism and truth to keep going. Glad you found it inspiring.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 10:43 pm
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    You are a true bodhisattva – encouraging, inspiring, courageous!

    Reply
    • February 17, 2015 at 9:06 am
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      Deathstar,
      Oh stop it you! I strive to reach a greater truth and to help those I meet along the way. Truly though–I appreciate your kind words. They fill me with joy and I remind myself of what you have said when I need it. To remind myself to let my inner light shine and warm others.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm
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    Hi Kaeleigh,
    I wanted to reach out to you and let you know that I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months–it’s amazing! Currently, I’m getting closer to my own 1 year mark of TTC, and have started going through a few of the early tests with my own Dr(s). I just wanted to reach out and let you know that your blog has been inspirational to me, has given me a sense of deeper perspective, has given me hope during days when my resolve has been shaky and has made me laugh. It’s also so great to read the blog of another Canadian, what with our MediCare system and all. I’ve had a feeling from basically the get-go that my TTC journey was going to take a while, and I don’t know how much farther or what’s going to happen further on, but it’s been such a relief to have you blog there on days when I start to feel like maybe I won’t have the strength needed for all those unknowns. Thank you so much for this!

    Reply
    • February 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm
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      Meg,
      Wow. Thank you so much! I’m all misty over here. I want to tell you that it can be a long and daunting road but that their are many many others walking in solidarity with you. It is a huge challenge sometimes to keep going, and keep writing, and keep being honest, but I try to soldier on. It can be very hard one day to the next. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself the fear and anger and grief. It’s a hard road and to walk it you are a brave fricken chicken.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply

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