With my first child, I never made a pregnancy announcement on social media. I never shared ultrasound pictures or did a maternity photo shoot with tiny shoes. Even though my pregnancy was a surprise, my partner and I were excited, until we were scared.
At our 20 week ultrasound, we found out our baby had congenital heart disease (CHD) and would need open heart surgery to have a chance at life.
Six and a half years after that scan, my son is in year one. He has a wicked sense of humour, is an adventurous biker, and loves to understand how things work. He’s learning to read, he’s taking a hip hop class, and looking forward to Lego camp. Meeting him, you’d never know he had been a sick baby, kept alive by a feeding tube and an intense cocktail of medication.
Watch: Jimmy Kimmel on his newborn son's heart disease. Post continues after video.
I wish I could go back to myself in those early days of pregnancy and pre-surgery and give myself a hug. Many days felt hopeless as we went to appointment after appointment, waiting for our baby to be strong enough for lifesaving surgery. With no guarantees, it was hard to imagine our family’s future.