by Melissa Geissinger
My son Apollo will be 8 weeks old on Valentine's Day. He has a congenital heart defect - severe pulmonary stenosis with double outlet right ventricle. This week is CHD awareness week, which is fitting for it being February 14th. He's 1 out of 100 kids born with a heart issue.
I was never sure I wanted to have a kid. I've never been very maternal. Before 8 weeks ago, I had ever even changed a diaper. I had never once felt through the entire pregnancy that I was ready for this. I hear that's common, but I never had that feeling that I 100% wanted it.
When we received his diagnosis at 20 weeks pregnant, I felt as if I had fallen into a hole I couldn't get out of. It was a dark place, full of questions and uncertainty. When we found out there was a chromosomal microdeletion that was likely to blame, and that we would likely be facing a lifetime of uncertainty when it came to physical as well as developmental symptoms, I made a choice.
I decided that I would not let this end my life, but enhance it. I made a pact with my son before he was born, that we would not let anything bring us down, that we would get through everything together, us and daddy. It was the universe's twisted way of making sure I loved this baby more than anything.
So after a series of surgeries and complications, I sit here in his hospital room watching the nurses dote over his medications and continuous tube feeds and think to myself, I wouldn't trade this for anything. What the fuck is wrong with me?