This confession Tuesday is for Ella Rose.
I haven't spoken about this in a while, but about two weeks after she was born, Ella was diagnosed with a coarctation of the aorta. In layman's terms, she wasn't getting enough blood flowing to her lower extremities. When she stopped feeding suddenly and started breathing shallow breaths, I would have dismissed it if it wasn't for my mom who told me just get her checked out just to be safe. Fortunately, there was a doctor on call from Boston Children's Hospital on duty at our local hospital who knew something was wrong. The doctor had Ella sent to Boston for tests. A few hours later she was in surgery. And a few days later, with no more than Tylenol to ease the pain, she was home with us.
About a week ago, Ella visited the cardiologist who gave her a clean bill of health. Not even a murmur. She's never had any difficulty, but we get check ups with a specialists every two years. It's as if the coarctation never happened. Of course, she has no memory of it, just two barely noticeable scars under her left shoulder blade.
So I am grateful that Ella is here, and 10 feels like a real victory over all the dark fears that mothers (and fathers) entertain when no one is looking. I've always known that if she could survive surgery, she could survive anything.
Happy Birthday, baby girl!