ok, ok and a little color.
The thing about heart moms is....
They are all incredible women! I have personally changed the identity from
"heart momma" to "hot momma" I mean, look at these women! Such beauty! The gal taking pictures had to get a little creative, because there were so many of us. So nice to have so many women to rely on... but so devastating that so many kiddos are diagnosed each year.
All of the heart mom's that came to the IHH dinner crammed in this staircase. This is a lot of women, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of how many mom's have kids with heart defects.
The week I found out about Mia, it was as if someone had placed a grenade in my lap and walked away wishing me well. I was a basket case. Through the lovely world of blogging I quickly made some heart mom friends that were gracious enough to answer even the most ridiculous of questions. Shauntelle, Kim, Crystal, and Hilary were my lifeline to the transplant world. I was scared out of my mind reading what would soon be my reality. I read all of their kiddos stories cover to cover... or whatever the equivalent on a computer is. None of it looked easy! Email after email... question after question... I gathered advice from these wonderful women and attribute a lot to them. I emailed them post transplant as well, just to make sure I was doing everything right. Motherhood is difficult enough without throwing a transplant kiddo in the mix... now we are all members of a happy online community that shares stories, triumphs, frustrations, questions etc. I finally got to meet one of my original heat mommies. I made some great heart mommy friends in WA as well...don't get me wrong, but most of the heart mom's that were with me from the start lived in Utah... and one in Iowa. The girl in the picture is my friend Shauntelle... her baby girl is waiting for a second transplant. She is the heart mom of all heart moms. Please pray for her sweet little K... and her hot momma!
Becca was another blogging buddy/ heart mom. We "met" for the first time on a campout. Our kids had a blast while we got to chat. She is the heart mom that we had our Valentines Day double date with. We went to dinner and then to the Paul Cardall concert. She is great- I wish we lived closer because we were instant friends! I'm looking a little sketch in this photo... like I just rolled out of bed, or out from underneath a cardboard box... you decide.
Old and New heart mom friends. I have yet to meet a heart mom that I didn't appreciate, and I loved finally putting faces with names... or people with faces... or mommies to their heart kiddo- you get the idea. There is just an understanding across the board with these women. Often times no explanation is needed, just being a heart mom is explanation enough. Two girls down from me is a girl I went to college with. How crazy is that? I totally recognized her and now we both have transplant kiddos. It would be interesting to go back in time and give each other a pep-talk. College seems like five lifetimes ago, but she looks exactly the same... so it wasn't that long ago.
I attended a heart mom dinner previous to this grandiose event and fell in love with these two heart moms. They are hysterical! We drove up to the dinner together and the dinner might as well have been in Idaho because they are so fun to be around... I could have driven for hours with these girls. Jill, Mauri- you two make me proud to be a heart mom! I can't wait for our next adventure. The Target parking lot is waiting... if you know what I'm sayin!
I can't forget to mention the fabulous woman who made it all happen. Andee (cute brunette, second row, dead center) reminds me of a little heart momma engine that could. This girl spoiled us with gifts bags loaded with cute things, shirts, a lovely dinner, and many of the mommas won super fancy heart themed gifts. She did a fabulous job and I'm amazed she did it all on such short notice! Great job Andee- and thanks for the pillow pet! Mia LOVES it! :-) :-)