Early November 2021, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. After a few months of trying, we were so excited to have a little one on the way.
Everything was going well, aside from some minor nausea and exhaustion. All our early trimester screens were coming back clear, with nothing to be concerned about.
After our 20 week anatomy scan, we received a call from our midwife telling us that the radiologist found some heart abnormalities requiring further investigation.
Our stomachs were in knots, and we were trying our hardest not to fear the worst.
After multiple fetal echocardiograms, our little one was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Total Anomalous Pulmonary Veins.
I can still hear the words our maternal fetal medicine specialist said on the phone, while I sat at the dining room table: “incompatible with life.” Those were the hardest words to hear.
We were given a few grim options, and eventually opted to terminate our pregnancy at 22 weeks to provide our son the most peaceful passing we could. We knew we had a chance to keep him comfortable for his entire – albeit short – life, and he could die free from pain, inside of me, his mommy.
This was the hardest decision my husband and I have ever had to make, and our first real parenting decision. This has been an incredibly difficult experience, and we are learning to find ways to move forward while grieving and honouring our son. I decided to transform my hobbies and art therapy into this business to help cope. Stanley’s memory will live on forever in the things we do.
Now, 19 months and two miscarriages later, we are expecting again. I’ve recently entered my third trimester and I’m holding out hope for this precious baby. This little one, like their big brother, has also been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. This diagnosis (Transposition of the Great Arteries, Pulmonary Stenosis, and a Ventricular Septal Defect) is far less severe than Stanley’s, and doctors feel confident they can fix this baby’s heart.
This baby is being closely monitored between London Health Sciences Centre, Mount Sinai Hospital, and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We are desperately hoping that our little heart warrior will make it home with us, and go on to lead a full and happy life.
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