Thank you for your question, Anna. It's one that is really different to think about before you go through it and after, so I'll do my best to explain what my thinking was at the time and contrast it with how I feel now.
When we found out about the heart defect, I was 20 weeks pregnant, but when medical news is dispersed to you, it doesn't come in all at once. We were told by a doctor initially that "there is a problem with your baby's heart." And that's all they could tell us initially. They said we were still in the time frame of when we could still have an abortion, and told us that based on what we know now he could have a very simple repair, or basically be a vegetable his entire life.
Talk about a wide range of outcomes. We needed more information. We were scared, but still wanted the baby. We decided to gamble.
Shortly after that we were given the news that he had a chromosomal microdeletion, and that is likely what caused the heart to malform. This meant that it was genetic, and there was a 50/50 chance that any future children we would have together would have it.
We decided to stay the course, and do it together. Then over the next several weeks we learned more about the EXACT issues he had. I'll never forget how it felt to sit down with the doctor and them point at a diagram and tell us "this is exactly what's wrong". Seeing it in a picture somehow makes it more manageable. You know it's something they've seen before, and you know there's a way to fix it. A plan. Plans are good. Having specific information to research is good.
No one could have foreseen the complications he'd have from surgery, or how long his hospital stay would be. That was just bad luck.
But I can tell you now, since Apollo is a healthy and thriving 15 month old, that I have no regrets. Being on the other side of the repeated trauma, I am stronger for it. My husband and I are stronger as a couple. I'm a better writer. My son inspires me and challenges me in more ways than I ever expected, but oh my God is he smart. And hilarious. He has a wicked sense of humor and dance moves. He's just a happy kid. And seeing him happy every day makes it all worth it. I swear, it sounds cliche, but just look at this face.