All About Eve…

All About Eve…

On this day last year, I finally was able to talk about Eve.  I sent my first message to friends and co-workers since Eve’s delivery on December 12, 2008.

“Sorry to have missed you all over the holidays….and that it has taken me a while to write this email.

Eve Isley Saarinen was born the evening of Friday, the 12th  – 6 lbs, 9 oz, 20 inches….and lots of beautiful dark hair.

At 2 days old, Eve was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. It’s a broad category.  Her biggest problem is a severely leaking mitral valve, which puts strain on the whole heart function, enlarging the heart and putting pressure and excess fluid on the respiratory system.  She was transported by Lifelink to the University of Minnesota NICU on the 14th.  Paul drove through the blizzard that night to be at her side, but since I had a c-section I could not be discharged until the next day.  Took a cab over there on the 15th and we hunkered down for the next 5 days.  The medications seemed to be working at first, but within a couple days her heart was continuing to get larger, her breathing more labored.  After an episode of SVT – which is basically super-fast heart arrhythmia, she was immediately transported to the U of M Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit – closer to the full time cardiology staff and cardiac surgeon.

She was immediately started on a new, stronger drug to alleviate some of the pressure and workload on her heart.  We were warned that her situation was precarious.  The surgeon and team spoke to us of a possible transplant (her heart had already been greatly damaged by her defect and the tachycardia).  Yet with all this, she has started to turn a corner and improve.

With only a couple setbacks, Eve has been getting stronger every day.  It is slow progress – and it’s hard to be patient.   We don’t know how long we’ll be here as the medicines do their work…though they seem to be stabilizing her.

The tentative plan is to get her bigger and stronger for a heart surgery at about 3 months old.

There are very sick children all around us here.  It’s the holiday season and there shouldn’t be any sick children.  Anywhere.  So we pray for all these babies and continue to be grateful for how well Eve has been doing.

Blessings to all of you in the new year – cherish your new arrivals.  They are the greatest gifts.  We’ll do our best to keep you posted (Paul’s Eve blog updates can be found at:  www.tweetandmeet.com)

Annamarie, Paul, Jack, Elle and baby Eve”

I can tell you writing about this today – as I try to finally get the 1in100.org website up and running – nearly brought me to my knees.  Those days were a fog.  A never-ending series of rounds, drugs, dozens of nurses, sleeping on floors, praying and praying some more.  We wouldn’t see our other children for days on end, for fear of what might happen if we left Eve’s side.

None of this is news to heart families.  They’ve seen it.  Lived it.  And then some.

The blessing of Eve is her journey.  I can honestly say that I would not be doing any of this if we’d lost her.  The pain would be too intense.

But today – one year after Santa actually cried at her bedside – we are mobilizing.  We give thanks for our gifts and will never, never forget that each day thousands of families are living it.  It is with the greatest honor to those comrades in arms that I make my first official 1in100 post.  Know more.  Do more.  #1in100.

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2 Responses to “All About Eve…”

  1. You have done a great thing in starting this website and community. Thank you for encouraging everyone to do more. I look forward to the day when things calm down a little and our son’s story can inspire more to be done in CHD research and methods. Our little boy, Josiah, is almost 8 months old, with HLHS and an intact atrial septum and is still fighting for his life.

    Thank you for all you are doing for CHD babies

  2. Erin,
    Thank you so much. This is such new territory for me. I know I’ll get better at it with time…and thank God my husband helps me when I run into technical glitches. There is so much to do – and people are so wonderfully motivated. Just hope we can all keep up with the good changes for kids with CHD!