A mum has posted her baby’s against-all-odds story, alongside images of the 5-month-old delightedly witnessing snow for the first time, and the internet is approvingly feeling all the happy feels.
The post, submitted to the Love What Matters Facebook page by mum Johanna Morton, has been shared widely as Facebook users celebrate this life-affirming triumph over an extremely devastating initial prognosis.
Johanna writes: “December 23rd 2015. I went in for an ultrasound and what we thought was going to be a day filled with happy tears and laughter, that day did not turn out as planned. I was 12 weeks gestation when we were told something was wrong with my baby’s heart. I was told she will not survive. ‘You will miscarry.’ I left the office in tears and heart broken.”
Weeks later, she was still pregnant, but doctors were insistent that things would not progress and encouraged her not to continue with the pregnancy.
“Save yourself the pain”
“My baby fought her way to 18 weeks as her heart beat slower and slower. With each new appointment seemed to come another diagnosis, another heartbreak and a waterfall of tears. I was told ‘She’s going to be still born, save yourself the pain. I wouldn’t be surprised if you come back next week, and have her still born.’ There was little to no hope for my baby.”
The baby had such a serious, complex heart condition, doctors felt there was no way she could survive. Faced with the dilemma of ending the pregnancy or clinging to the hope that the baby would survive, Johanna chose the latter.
The family celebrated each pregnancy milestone and planned life with a new baby girl, as the unborn infant faced challenge after challenge.
“We continued to celebrate our baby’s life, no matter what odds were against her. We had a reveal party, a baby shower and even made a beautiful nursery. In and out of heart failure, a heart rate of 40-50. Our baby girl, fought her way to 37 weeks!”
“On June 14th, I had her via C Section and she was taken straight to Boston Children’s Hospital,” the proud mum wrote.
The family were delighted to finally meet their little battler, but the birth signalled the beginning of a number of procedures to ensure she had the best chance at life.
“Six days old, she had her first open heart surgery. July 21st we got to bring her home! 5 hospital stays since then, and a couple more diagnosis… but she is a fighter! Her name is, Clara Ray. She is a Miracle.”
Johanna posted her story to give hope to others and share now five-month-old Clara Ray’s very first snow day.
“This is her seeing her first snow fall. She absolutely loved it. I can’t explain the emotions we felt, as we watched that smile come across her face. Pure. Joy.”
In the comments under this triumph-over-adversity story, other parents shared similar stories of being “heart mums” to kids with heart conditions.
“I’m a heart mom too. I was told the same thing. My baby had 3 heart surgeries and now a pacemaker but he is still alive and very happy. He is now 9 months. I love my heart warrior,” Marcie wrote.
“I’m a heart mom, never underestimate the power of a heart warrior. My son was also suppose to die or be severely handicapped. None of these happened,” Leslie posted.
“I too am a heart mum, doctors tried to talk us into giving our boy a needle to put him to sleep when he was 1yr because they didn’t think he would make it past 3yrs, he is now 13, and doing great…” Joni shared.
Obviously doctors give advice based on the information at hand and do an amazing job. That said, sometimes individual responses can divert from the anticipated “norm”.
While not every story has a happy ending like those detailed here, it’s pretty heartening when they do. (No pun intended!)