Shock. I feel like everything is spinning. I cling to the side of her cot and sob, and the next minute I am overcome by a wave of peace. Then the rollercoaster continues. Feeling physically sick, thinking I'm going to collapse. I KNOW God is here with us. He holds us tight. He will not let us go. We sit in tears and cry for our baby girl. It just hurts so much.
When I read these words, the memories come flooding back... The recollection that as the Doctor gave us the prognosis, my legs buckled beneath me and I crashed to the floor, clinging for dear life to her cot bars as nurses flooded round to curtain us off from the sympathetic eyes of the rest of the ward. In my almost thirty years, that is the only time I have ever truly lost control. The panic, the horror, the shock... Our baby girl... We had spent three weeks in and out of hospital, we had finally got a diagnosis, and here, in the Brompton, we were seeing the damage that had been done.
Our baby girl's heart, perfect on her arrival in the world, had been attacked, and her coronary arteries were now distorted, ballooned and her little life... Her precious twelve week old, chubby cheeks and first giggles life, was on the line.
And worse, we realised, this was not curable... It was quite possibly something she would have to live with for the rest of her life. There was nothing the Doctors could do except watch and wait.
How do you cope when your care-free, picture-perfect life comes crashing down around you? When the future, instead of looking full of little girl antics, tree climbing and storybook reading, suddenly fills with hospital visits, daily medication, and a question over life expectancy?
You don't. Not on your own. You crash. You burn. You sob. You rage. You question. You die a little inside.
Except that we weren't on our own. We knew that. Through the whole gut-wrenching, heart-breaking experience, never once were we ever alone. We were held, we were carried, we were given all that we needed to survive. When we felt we couldn't go any lower, the Saviour was beneath us, when we needed someone to lean on, he was beside us, and when we needed hope to look to, he went before us.
And now, two years on, I look back on this hideous day with thankfulness and with peace. Our little girl is not better. She is still on daily medication, she still has twice-yearly check-ups and any illness throws me into overdrive as we seek to protect her from the side-effects of her meds. But she is here. She is thriving. She is living in a world of little girl antics and tree-climbing and storybook reading... Just what I'd always hoped for...
All thanks to the one who went below, walked beside and led us forward.
Thank you Jesus for our Heidi. We are eternally grateful... For this day two years ago when the consequences of that awful Kawasaki Disease began to be treated... And for every day since.
And thank you that her heart; physical, and spiritual, is totally in your hands...