An Unexpected Blessing

My 13-year old son decided to try out for track this year and needed medical clearance to participate.  When he was an infant, I was told he had an “innocent” heart murmur that was of no concern.  For a while now he has had several symptoms that could be associated with heart problems, so I mentioned this and the murmur to his new pediatrician during his physical last week.  She explained that an innocent murmur causes no problems, that a lot of kids have them and most outgrow them.  However, since he had other symptoms and she sensed my anxiety, she felt it would be best to know for certain, so she referred us to a pediatric cardiologist. 

My son’s cardiology appointment was yesterday.  The doctor did a complete medical exam, and an EKG and an Echocardiogram were performed.  My fears were soon alleviated when the doctor announced my son’s heart was “strong and healthy.” The reassurance alone was a huge blessing and I could not have asked for more.  However, more is exactly what I got.

We went  into a room to have the Echocardiogram or ultrasound of his heart.  The ultrasound began and I walked over by the table and stood by his side where I could see the screen.  I was fascinated as I watched his heart appear on the screen from several different angles.  It was really quite incredible.  While I was trying to figure out what was what on the screen, I suddenly heard a sound that I had only heard firsthand once before. I stood there fixated on the screen, watching the sound waves and listening to the most beautiful sound in the world.  It was my son’s heartbeat.

Words cannot adequately express what that moment, that sound meant to me.  I did not give birth to my son.  I was blessed to become his mother when he was six months old through adoption.  Since I did not give birth to him, there were never any OB visits, ultrasounds or fetal heart monitors.  Never had I seen his heart on ultrasound, never had I heard his heart beat the way an expectant mother hears her baby’s heart beat in the womb.  Yet, almost 13 years later, there I stood in the middle of a dimly lit exam room, not me on the table with jelly on my belly, but my little boy on the table with jelly on his belly and chest, and I heard his heart beat for the first time.  Hearing the sound of my son’s heartbeat is a moment and a blessing I will cherish not just for today, but for the rest of my life.  It was a gift that the girl performing the test was unaware of and one my pediatrician probably did not know she had given me when she made the referral.  Then again, maybe she did know, for she is an adoptive mother too.

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