Articles

Cupid’s arrow

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Grace O. Few things irritate me more than people griping about how much they hate Valentine’s Day. “It’s just a Hallmark holiday,” they whine, “Why can’t people say I love you every day instead of waiting for Valentine’s Day? I hate chocolates. I never have a date. Roses are a waste of money. It’s stupid.” These petty complaints crop up every year. And I have to stuff my response, resist the temptation to stun the complainers out of their self-absorbed grousing about how tough it is for them to tolerate another Valentine’s Day. So I let them sulk about romance, or polish their tiresome hipster cred […]

Diagnosis Information

What is Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome?

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Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) means left-side ventricle and ascending aorta of the heart are underdeveloped. This severe congenital heart defect prevents the heart from pumping a sufficient amount of oxygenated blood to the body, and is fatal without heart surgery very shortly after birth. While in the womb, a baby with HLHS receives the mother’s oxygenated blood through via patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The PDA typically closes within hours after birth. Where HLHS is present, the right side of the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body once the PDA closes. There are surgical treatments for HLHS including heart transplant, the […]

Congenital Heart Defects

Even Better Than Before

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By Grace O. It was a full six weeks after making ending my wanted pregnancy before I had even a glimpse of feeling normal. My loss was in February, 2000 after learning that my baby had irreparable heart defects and Down syndrome. I had found the support website, but it took me until April to screw up my courage and share my story with strangers via the old Yahoo listserv, where our grief support group was at that time. That was when my healing actually began. The time before that was like being at the bottom of an ocean of grief. I carried a dishtowel with me to mop up the […]

Articles

Catholic Doctrine & Merciful Choice

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Cathedral - Catholic Doctrine & Merciful Choice

Our Catholic priest gave us his loving support for our decision. He told us that in the face of hopeless suffering it is sometimes right to pray for death. By A Catholic Mother Our Catholic priest supported our choice to end our pregnancy. We’ve known this priest for years and have been through most of the sacraments with him. When we had pretty much made our decision, we asked him to come to our home so we could talk it over. My husband and I trust him and value his point of view. We weren’t asking for his blessing but wanted to know where we […]

Congenital Heart Defects

A Voice for Shelby

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By Erin Greenough Shelby Madison Greenough came into this world without a sound. She never opened her eyes, or took a breath, but she had a voice. My voice. It is a cruel injustice that any parent should be asked to choose between the life and death of their dying child. My husband and I learned all to well the agony involved with such a barbaric request when our second daughter, Shelby Madison, was diagnosed via ultrasound with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a severe congenital heart defect. Sitting in that ultrasound room, I felt the despair set in. My daughter was extremely sick, and there […]