Thursday, October 26, 2006


Sophia is TWO!!!

Sophia is two years old at 4:32pm Friday, October 27th.

We are so thankful our little girl is doing so well. When Sophia was born, we new our lives would never be the same. We could never have guessed that within a few hours of her making her way into the world, she would be diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. I remember her diagnosis with such vivid detail. Within a couple of hours of her delivery, after receiving high scores on all her assessments, Sophia started to have trouble breathing. When she started to get a little dusky around her lips, the nurses figured she had a little airway obstruction. This is not that uncommon after delivery. Just to be safe, the nurses sent her from the nursery to the NICU to be suctioned. After a short time, the NICU doctor at the hospital where she was born said that he suspected she could have a heart defect. He later said he suspected, transposition of the great arteries, a condition where the pulmonary artery and the aorta are transposed. He called in Dr. O'Laughlin, who is still Sophia's cardiologist, to do a consult.

At some point late in the night (3am?), Dr. O'Laughlin came in and very carefully explained how he had done an echocardiogram and confirmed that Sophia indeed had a heart defect. He said, she did not have TGA but instead had a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. He drew diagrams and carefully explained all the details to us in an unflinchingly frank, yet sincerely compassionate way. We were shocked. We had no idea. We couldn't imagine what this meant for all of our plans. I think I understand now, you can never know what to expect from parenthood until your a parent. But, we never prepared for the possibility of Sophia having serious health problems.

When we were led down the hall and saw Sophia in an oxygen tent struggling to draw her every breath, I was terrified not only of the present danger, but the way this might affect her life longer term.

But, now, when I reflect on the past two years, I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned from Sophia. She is an extraordinary child. And I cannot imagine wanting her to be any different than she is. I was so concerned the night after she was born that she would be so delicate and frail that I wouldn't no how to be her father. But she taught me, and guided me, and before long, following her lead, I was no longer worried about her fragility. I am instead completely enraptured by her strength and positive attitude. Even at her most vulnerable, I am struck by her awesome power. I can only aspire to be that indomitable. And I really hope that someday I may inspire her as deeply as she has inspired me.

Happy Birthday, Baby.
Daddy loves you.
WOW!!! Big tissues required for your birthday salute to Sophia. Although I do not get to see her that often, my work day always begins with reading wisdonheart. Sophia has definately touched my life in many ways. You and Patti are an inspiration to all!
Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!

Lots of love from,
The Aldertons
Wow, Michael, your post moved me to tears. Beautiful entry. So happy for you and your family that Sophia is doing so well and is celebrating her second birthday. Please know that while you've said how people who personally know her are moved by her strength and positive attitude, etc ...there are even others(like me) out here in internet land who are very much inspired by her. She truly is a special little girl. Happy Birthday, Sophia!!!
Happy Birthday Sophia! What a special sweet girl she is! We know how each birthday is truly a great celebration and cause for much gratefulness. :)
Happy birthday indeed Sophia!
Happy Birthday Sophia!!!
I am so delighted that this precious little girl is celebrating her 2nd birthday. It is hard to believe what the last 2 years have taught us all.
Sophia is an inspiration to all of us to accept the small things as great blessings.
We love you "precious dolly" and will see you today.
Hapy birthday to a very special young girl all the way from Australia.Your story is amazing.
Happy Birthday Sophia! Sophia was born 1 day after Evan's repair!
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