heart week.

This print was available in my shop but is currently sold out. I'll be restocking soon!

I've been sitting in front of my home computer the last couple of weeks trying to write part 3 of my breastfeeding story, but I've had such a mental block. Breastfeeding is an amazing privilege I am experiencing right now (and I will be sharing that story very soon!) but it's not the only thing that's been driving me this week. This week, the last couple, actually, I have nothing on my mind but CHD Awareness. If you've been following me on Instagram you've had it shoved in your face one too many times: It's CHD Awareness Week (February 7-14)! Now that I am not in the thick of surgeries, a pregnancy, and transitioning as a working mom of two, I feel like I can focus my drive a little bit. Awareness has been a passion of mine these last few months, and seeing my sweet son faring so well lately has only made my heart mama persistence that much stronger. And so to that I say, Happy Heart Week! I have many exciting things that I am working on for heart week, and I hope to share them soon. (Follow me on Facebook for updates!)

I am sure many of you remember that first post from October 2012, when I was floored by having type those words, "Elliott has a heart defect." Back then, it was hard to see why it was happening to our sweet boy and even harder to share, because sharing made it real.

Today, I share it proudly. As much as this battle has hurt and will continue to hurt, it is my duty to share. Awareness is important for one simple reason: it could save a life. With CHD being the #1 cause of infant deaths worldwide, it is important that we test EVERY new baby with a pulse ox screening. That we question "failure to thrive," or other newborn health issues, instead of sending parents home with questions unanswered. That is what happened to Elliott. That is what happened to us. Still it is unfathomable to me why, after several doctor visits and an intuitive feeling that something wasn't right, no one ever thought to test Elliott for a heart defect. We had to wait 8 weeks, naive to the term CHD, for a moment when we thought our son might be slipping away to find out.

That is unacceptable. No child should go undiagnosed to the point of slipping away, but so many of them do. We are so blessed to be here to share our story, so please, dear readers, help us share it! We have many resources available on the Strong Hearts Resources page if you are interested in learning more about CHDs, how to help spread awareness, or how to help fund research.

I'll be posting on the Strong Hearts blog about awareness next week, I hope you join us! Happy Heart Week!

PS! If you'd like to read my previous posts on breastfeeding to tide you over, they've been featured on an amazing blog written by a fellow heart mama! Check it out, along with other breastfeeding stories here.