Yesterday afternoon, Arlo had his first cardiologist appointment since his surgery on March 1st. We had grown accustomed to going every 6 weeks since he was born, so I knew the drill well. I strapped Arlo into the Ergo carrier, positioned his little sunglasses on his nose (he has photophobia so we are very cautious to protect his eyes from the sun) and we made our way inside.
They weighed and measured him and I was thrilled to hear that he had gained over 2 pounds since his surgery. Then we were taken to a room so that they could do an echocardiogram on his heart. Afterwards we waited for Arlo’s cardiologist to review all of the new info and come speak with us.
I already knew what this surgery had done for my son. How it had an immediate impact on his overall health. He was more active, gained weight quickly and generally just seemed to feel better since the placed a small device in his heart to plug his Patent Ductus Arteriosis, but I wasn’t prepared for how it would effect me to hear his doctor tell me the same.
"Melissa" he said. "Arlo’s heart is perfect now. Everything looks beautiful." He told me that Arlo would require no additional monitoring except for a protocol visit once a year for the next few years. He said that as Arlo grew and took interest in sports or other physical activities, we could rest assured that his heart held no additional risks or concerns from his heart defect. My eyes filled with tears as we stood to leave. "Thank you for taking such good care of my son," I said, "You have impacted his life in a huge way. I know he’ll never remember you or this experience, but I will never forget it." We shook hands and said, "See you next year!"
I made it all the way to the car before I broke down. Before I could even get Arlo out of the Ergo carrier, I was sobbing. I called Brent. “Baby, what’s wrong?” he asked, his voice full of concern. “Nothing in the world.” I said through my tears “He said his heart was perfect, Brent. Perfect. We don’t have to worry about it anymore.” We both had known in our hearts that the surgery and his recovery had been picture perfect but to hear his doctor confirm it- To hear him say that the procedure had completely healed him, felt incredible.
Arlo will never remember this part of his story but he will have these blog posts to come back to and read about. So should you find this entry one day, my sweet boy - my precious Arlo, know that it was momentous day for us. Yesterday we gratefully closed a chapter on a challenge in your young life and now we turn the page to a new one:
Chapter 2: The Brave Little Boy With A Perfect Heart.
Here’s to wide open boyhood, my darling!