Almost a month ago (May 5), although it hardly seems that long ago, our son Oliver came into the world, and we almost got to celebrate. He had a tough time breathing at first, which, although harmless and unrelated to what we were about to find out, sparked an immediate trip to the newborn ICU, a thorough examination, and the discovery of a heart murmur that warranted a closer look. The next day we were informed that Oliver has Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that will require one or more surgeries to correct. Over the next several days, our emotions and nerves were put to the test, as doctors and nurses performed a battery of tests to determine the extent and severity of Oliver’s condition.
Also during that dark time, I had several conversations with concerned friends and family members, and it was then that I began to realize that talking with others and releasing my thoughts had a therapeutic effect on my own psyche. More than that, however, I realized that keeping everyone in the loop was an exhausting job in and of itself. So I thought I’d start a blog to keep everyone updated on Oliver’s condition.
In the weeks since, I have decided that this blog needs to be more than a means for providing status updates (although that is important). First, I’m hilarious (don’t believe me?… just ask my mom or grandma), and to waste this opportunity to share my insights with you would be like figuring out the cure for cancer but not taking the time to tell the rest of the world about it. Second, ever since my sister, the English teacher who got perfect English and Reading scores on her ACT, started Boomtown Diaries: A Local Girl’s Life in the Wild (Mid) West, I’ve been itching for a chance to show that I’m actually a much better writer than she. Look out, everyone… blog war!! It’s gonna be a blood bath.
In truth, I wanted to expand the purpose of this blog because I am extremely hopeful that by this time next year, Oliver’s treatments, surgeries, and recovery periods will be a thing of the past and that providing updates on his heart condition will be completely unnecessary. And when that happens, I want to keep writing. Plus, with Oliver’s mischievous and suddenly naughty sister Clara already very concerned about her parents’ obviously misplaced attention, I couldn’t possibly limit this blog to news about Oliver.
Thus in no particular order of importance, the purpose of this blog is to accomplish the following goals:
- to keep people posted on Oliver’s heart condition (hopefully only for a while),
- to document some of the challenges we face as a family,
- to share things that I find humorous along the way,
- to have an outlet for my thoughts (to help me separate the bad ones from the good ones),
- to demonstrate that I’m a better writer than Rachel,
- to perhaps provide a voice of comfort/hope to others faced with the heartache of not knowing what their child’s (or loved one’s) future holds (in the same way that several of you who have faced similar challenges have been a voice of comfort to me), and
- to sprinkle in random stories about my family that are worth sharing.
As I said, I look forward to being on the other side of this uncertain period, and I can only hope that the road between here and there is not too difficult (for all of us, but especially Ollie). And when we get there, we can hopefully all celebrate not only Oliver’s triumph over tetralogy of fallot but also that the expanded mission of this blog allows me to continue imparting my wisdom and humor on the rest of you. 🙂