Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mom - Something I Never Thought I Would Be

Growing up, I never honestly thought much about what it would be like to be a mom one day. In my preteen years, because of the heart condition I was born with, my cardiologists told me my heart would never be able to handle a pregnancy. I determined that when I grew up, instead of having kids, I would have lots of pets. I loved cats, dogs and horses and envisioned a future with at least one or two of each.   
Growing up, being a mom is something I never thought I would be
I was fine with the fact I would never be able to have a baby. I really was. Until the day in my early 20s, I visited a friend in the hospital who just had a baby girl. I walked in to see a tiny little bundle wrapped in a pink blanket snuggling in her mother’s arms with daddy beaming with pride alongside the bed. I was not prepared for the emotion that would stir my heart. I put on a smiling face for my friend but left the room in tears. I would never have that opportunity, I thought. I would never know what it was like to hold my own baby in my arms.

I got married in 2002 and my heart was doing well. My husband and I decided to step out on faith. If it was God’s desire for us to have a baby, we knew it would be so. I also knew that thanks to medical advances and further knowledge of adults born with congenital heart defects, it was more of a possibility for a woman with a single-functioning ventricle to sustain a pregnancy.

Even so, my doctor sort of freaked out when she realized I was pregnant. She hinted that I should terminate the pregnancy. When I told her that was not even a possibility, she referred us to a specialist in Billings, Montana who had experience in high risk pregnancies. I had also called my cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic and we came up with a plan that closer to my due date, I would stay in Rochester where I would have the baby.  That was the plan, but that is not what happened.

Most of you know the events that transpired: the air ambulance ride to Rochester, Minnesota when I was just 26 weeks along, the premature birth of our baby, the two month stay in the NICU.

It was nothing like the birth of my friend’s baby where I had witnessed such a happy scene in the hospital room that day. I didn’t even get to hold Faith until she was one week old. But that didn’t change the fact that I was a mom – something I never thought I would be.

As a mother of a child who was born too early and having special needs as a result, I have had my share of heartache, disappointments, discouragement and struggles. But I have also had my share of peace, joy, happiness and encouragement. The blessings have far exceeded the challenges.

Having Faith is one of the most amazing things that’s ever happened to me. I thank God every day that He chose me to be the mom of this precious daughter of mine. But most importantly through it all, I have learned that with God, all things truly are possible.


  1. Cari, and what a beautiful mother you are to Faith meeting her needs, imparting in her God's love and she is not at all afraid to share that, she is a beautiful example of other's going through hard times that God will pull you through and do it with a smile on your face. An image came to my head today of the first picture of Faith when she was in the NICU and you guys were at Ronald McDonald House. It was so glorious to watch your family blossom while you were there, when you would come visit, and at the healing rooms. God knew what he was doing with a family of Rob, you and Faith. I hope you had a fabulous Mother's Day!!

  2. Love those pictures of you and FAith! Ironically, I never thought much of becoming a mom either. Now I can't imagine anything else!