A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.

For a brief moment it's glory and beauty belong to our world.

But then it flies on again, and though we wish it could have stayed, we feel so lucky just to have seen it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nalah at Birth

Nalah was born September 17, 2008 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her medical team was not very optimistic, and although I was hopeful, we were terrified she would not be born alive. Nalah surprised by being born alive with Apgars of 6 and 8 (if memory serves correct) and breathing well on her own. Nalah was admitted to NICU as we choose medical intervention to give her a fighting chance at life. This photograph was taken in the Saskatoon NICU days after she was born. Nalah weighted about four pounds at birth, but lost significantly in her early weeks due to her complicated heart and early heart failure. Nalah fell into heart failure at about one week of age. We were crushed. We will always be grateful that her heart was surgically corrected in October 2008 at six weeks of age. Nalah was born with Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV), a large VSD, ASD and coarctation of the aorta. A PDA Ligation was performed earlier, but did not improve her cardiac function sufficiently. A complete surgical repair was done at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. We flew there by air-ambulance Thanksgiving Day, October 13th. I will never forget the sense of relief when Nalah was in good hands, and had an excellent medical team willing to tackle her complex heart. I will always, always be grateful for her good fortune in that way. There were 'Angels' along the way who helped us arrive safely in Edmonton. We faced many challenges in terms of her care, but thank goodness there were people willing to give her the 'fighting chance' we wanted for our child. Nalah grew to a little toddler, who could share clothes with her older sister, and who almost caught up in size. The two are about 20 months apart in age. This early image is typical Nalah. Regardless of her circumstances, she always found a way to kick her feet up and relax. She had the most beautiful temperament. A lovely child.

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