Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Heart Felt

Cerrissa MacNichols
“The fetus’ heart has stopped beating” the young internist told us at my 18-week prenatal ultrasound. Three days later I delivered Peter, our four-inch, six-ounce baby. My husband held me thru the dark eternity of night, as my sobs echoed out from our bedroom into the empty nursery.

Had my unborn child’s umbilical cord been perfect, I might never have experienced the love of my third son, Mattias. We might have stopped having children after two boys. The pain of losing my first was devastating but the thought of never knowing my youngest son is almost unbearable.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 2009
Christina Julian
We entered the room. I walked, Cari-Anne wiggled. As a therapy pooch it was her most treasured asset, it’s how she landed the job. Our pint-sized patient was swaddled in a Hello Kitty blanket. Our “cuddle therapy” would have to be gentler today as the little one just had surgery on her virgin heart. Cari-Anne was impervious to the smells, IV tubes and monitors. Her mom and I were not. In a few minutes my dog did what medicine and surgery could not – mend a broken heart.