Hole in my baby’s heart

We were caught by surprise when the doctor announced that I was pregnant. My husband was stunned upon hearing the news and, as for me, I was still trying to digest the fact. No wonder I had not been feeling well for so long. All this time I thought that my gastric problem had come back to haunt me.

Nevertheless, we were happy and excited and also worried because we were totally unprepared for the pregnancy. A lot of things ran through my mind. Who would take care of the baby when I was at work? How were we going to support all of baby’s expenses? What if I didn't have enough breast milk to feed my baby? Despite all these worries, a part of me was very happy and thankful to be blessed with such a precious gift. The gift of life.

On the fourth month of my checkup, my gynaecologist informed us that there was a hole in our baby’s heart. I felt that my heart just stopped upon hearing the news. We asked if she was sure and she explained further about the ultrasound that she had done on me. She suggested a cardiologist for a second opinion and an amniocentesis to determine whether the foetus had Down Syndrome since it was one of the common signs for Down Syndrome babies.

We felt absolutely lost at that moment. We weren’t prepared for this. I could see the sadness in my husband’s face. He was so looking forward to becoming a father, to have a child of his own. I wanted to say something to console him but I just couldn’t bring myself to say any words. After much discussion, we decided to visit the cardiologist before going for the amniocentesis. In fact, we did it on the very same day.

Our hearts were shattered when we received the same result from the cardiologist. We went for the amniocentesis the next day and were told that the result would only be out on the third or fourth week. On the way back from the hospital, I mentioned to my hubby about my intention of having an abortion if the amniocentesis result detected any abnormality. He said nothing but started to cry. Again, I was stunned. I said that this was the best option because we didn’t have extra hands to help us care for the baby. With a weak heart, the baby needed special and careful care. Quitting my job was out of the question as we needed the money to survive.

Trust me, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. The foetus was inside me, growing day by day. All I could think of was that I didn’t want him/her to suffer when he/she was growing up and having restrictions in almost everything that he/she wants to do. Can you imagine one day when he/she asks me why he/she cannot play or run around just like other kids? How am I supposed to answer that? Do I tell him/her that he/she has a weak heart and have to bear with it for the rest of his/her life? I don’t think that I have the courage to look at him/her in the eye to answer that.

Day in, day out I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t eat or sleep, couldn’t concentrate on my work because I was constantly worried about my baby. A part of me didn’t want to abort the baby because we had a special bond, but then a part of me didn't want the baby to suffer when he/she arrived in this world.

Then, a colleague of mine informed me of a pastor with a special gift to heal through prayers. She had managed to heal him when he was lying in the hospital bed for several months. He suggested that we should give it a try and I told my hubby about it the very same day. He agreed.

The next day, my colleague called the pastor to inform her about my condition and scheduled a time for us to meet.

We met on a Sunday and she placed her hand on my tummy and prayed. When she did so, I could feel a warm sensation around my tummy. The sensation disappeared when the prayer finished. I told my hubby about it and we both knew that we had just experienced something magical. I personally thought that it was a miracle.

I was then in my fifth month of pregnancy and we were actually looking forward to our next cardiologist appointment. The cardiologist did the ultrasound as usual and informed us that the gap was gone. We asked him if he was sure about it and he confirmed it by showing us the echocardiogram he took earlier.

We were so happy and thankful that we were lost for words. That was the first time I saw my hubby laugh since we learnt about the hole in our baby's heart.

On the very same week we received the amniocentesis result and there was no abnormality detected. We were so happy that we hugged each other and cried. Tears of joy ran down our faces.

We continued to visit the gynae every month until my due date. Each time we never failed to enquire about the condition of our baby’s heart just to make sure that everything was okay. And, as usual, our gynae would reply that baby’s heart was fine, no gap. We also continued to visit the pastor and thanked her for her help and prayers.

At the end of my pregnancy, I successfully gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 3.9kg via natural childbirth. Now, my boy is two years old. He never stops running around and never stops being mischievous.

SF Cheah

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