February is a month devoted to the heart;
Love in the air from the day it starts.
Love is what drives this collection of words;
C.H.D. awareness, the message to be heard.
Congenital defects are owned from birth;
Making part of your identity, but not your worth.
My wife belonging to the T.G.A. part;
A mix-up of arteries defining her heart.
On our dates, the coolest girl by far;
Mesmerised by her sternum scar.
The more she explained, the less I understood;
With details of surgery and mixing blood.
The Senning procedure, how she was corrected;
An unknown future of how she’d be affected.
Waiting rooms became an annual destination;
Me sharing her worry, sharing frustration.
Year after year, test after test;
An ECG, then Echo gel on her chest.
Following each pump, scanning each beat;
The blue and red formations dance as they meet.
In the consultant’s office, awaiting news;
Staring out the window at hospital views.
Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not;
Creating a tough emotional spot.
Being told her heart now needs aid;
And a life with a pacemaker has to be made.
After the surgery, sat by her bed;
Her trying to talk through a drowsy head.
The fact she’s awake, a massive relief;
I feared the worst, no matter how brief.
Coping well, we continued our life;
And planned the next steps as husband and wife.
Having a family was always our dream;
But new complications were not foreseen.
Bound with pressures to start things quicker;
Sooner rather than later is safer on the ticker.
When we were met with conception fails;
The wind soon swept from our excited sails.
In Assisted Conception we pinned our hopes;
But once again, our hands tied with ropes.
The Ethics board questioned her C.H.D.;
Threatening our future family.
Deciding whether we could proceed;
A team of strangers must be agreed.
The anger and pain that our hopes could cease;
Left us without solace and without peace.
Karma allowed us to carry on;
And from sixteen eggs, we were left with one.
That egg developed to our awaited child;
But birth made my wife’s heart go wild.
An overload of fluid drowned our first days;
Early parenting moments lost in a haze.
My wife left helpless, unable to stand;
Relieved I was there to offer a hand.
The days and nights were a lot to bear;
But for my family, I will always be there.
Now four years on and things are fine;
Medication the difference in this time.
Looking to the future and the life we share;
The three of us together, with love to spare.
So in C.H.D. Awareness Week;
A great number of defects, too many to speak.
Behind these names are people like you;
With families, friends and jobs to do.
Spread the love, this month of St. Valentine;
Learn intently, give generously and take the time.
By Paul Webster