Emily Gladden – Strong, healthy and beautiful
I recently wrote a blog where I briefly explained my three congenital heart defects, life with these as an adult, and most importantly- becoming pregnant while living with these heart defects. I explained there are higher risks for myself and the baby due to my heart problems. I had been given medical clearance with a good conscience my body could safely endure a pregnancy. Because of the higher risks, I recently visited a specialty center for the routine anatomy scan of our baby. The sonographer and doctor there would look at the baby’s heart more in depth -looking specifically for the same heart defects as myself or any heart defect at all. By the way- we are expecting a little girl named Ellie!
Ellie had her first fetal echocardiogram on March 2. My husband and I were quite mentally prepared for anything and as emotionally prepared as possible. We had prayed for God’s will and were encouraged knowing that though heart defects are not desirable or favored- we have seen how much good and purpose has come from the three I have. We knew regardless of the outcome, Ellie would live the life God intended for her with great purpose. Still, our nerves were a bit anxious that day.
Sensing our nerves and understanding the main purpose for our visit, the sonographer so graciously examined Ellie’s heart first. I am by no means skilled, educated, or capable of reading an ultrasound; however, I have seen roughly 50 of my own heart in my life so I have a basic idea of what the heart (especially an abnormal heart) looks like through ultrasound. My husband has learned quite well too, for all the times he has witnessed my echocardiograms. Looking at the screen, seeing Ellie’s heart, I felt sudden perfect peace. This peace was confirmed immediately as the sonographer told us what I knew God could make possible - but the world had told me was a far stretch…Ellie’s heart was free of any defects whatsoever! My baby, who I have been warned since my own childhood could possess my heart defects, had a perfect heart!! Beating strong, healthfully, and beautifully! Tears welled in mine and my husband’s eyes as we felt the rush of relief and immense gratitude to God for this major blessing. I am still marveling at the fact that my baby’s heart is actually really and truly healthy! How encouraging and wonderful!
On a final happy note- my heart which stands a high risk during pregnancy has been performing beautifully and strongly. I am still running, breathing well, exercising, and have no swelling at this point. What a blessing to witness first-hand what a “defective” heart can conquer!