We had our three year cardiology follow up this week. I dreaded this appointment and quite honestly lost sleep over it. It wasn’t that I was overly worried about Grant and Maria’s hearts. I was worried about how they, particularly Maria, would behave. At our 12-month follow up, Maria screamed so much, they never did perform the echo. The doctor deemed her healthy based upon her pink color and the ferocity of the sounds coming from her. Because they couldn’t do her echo and Grant’s showed he still had a tiny PFO, they would both need to come back when they turned three. Awesome. (note sarcasm)

The time had come and if I know one thing it’s that you don’t spring new things on Maria. She needs time to process, so we started this weekend. I explained that the doctor needed to take a picture of her heart to make sure it was healthy. She said no. I said it would be okay that it wouldn’t hurt. She said she didn’t want to take off her shirt. I said she would need to so they could get a good picture of her heart. She eyed me suspiciously. On Monday, I spent nearly an hour with her discussing the appointment. She said she didn’t have a boo-boo on her heart. I said she had one on it when she was born and that we needed to see if it was all better. This continued back and forth for a while. Eventually, it came to this: she would let the doctor look at her heart if she got suckers, a new baby doll and could take her beloved binkie, blankie, and baby with her. Deal!

Cardiology day came and we had quite the adventure. We had to do the echo at the hospital because the doctor’s office was remodeling their echo rooms. This meant roaming the halls, registering and lots and lots of waiting. We waited an hour and 15 minutes beyond our scheduled appointment. Thank God Dora was on because otherwise the kids might have removed the wall paper. While registering, Maria started to protest getting her arm band. I reminded her that she needed to be good and allow this so she could get her new baby doll. She quickly and compliantly held out her arm for her bracelet. When it was finally our turn, Grant went with the tech into one room and I held Maria for hers. We kept them plied with suckers and it worked. Grant’s tech said he was the best patient all day and Maria declared “that’s enough” to her technician who chuckled as she finished up.

It was now past nap time and both kids were loopy. When we arrived at the doctor’s office they were running around squealing. I allowed it. I hoped and prayed that it would mean they would see us sooner. Thankfully, we didn’t wait too terribly long when the nurse called us back for EKGs and other vitals. Finally, we got the news we’d been hoping for. The doctor declared them both perfectly healthy. PFOs were gone. Heart structures were normal. Maria has a tiny murmur, but the doctor described it as being able to hear water running through the pipes and said she didn’t have any structural issues causing it. We were not going to have to come back. Woo-hoo!

By the time we got home, it was almost 5:00. We all needed a short rest and then would go get their rewards for being so good. We allowed them to spend $10 each. Maria definitively picked out a baby doll (“I want THAT one!), and Grant opted for a set of construction vehicles. Both were very excited. I couldn’t have asked them to be any better, especially since we spent 3 ½ hours either waiting or being examined.

I consider this closing the door on all things preemie related. We are thankful and relieved that this visit is behind us and that we got the news for which we were praying.



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