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  • Writer's pictureHolly Tomlin

A Heart Mom

This week is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness month. I’ve read post after post of everyone’s story. The diagnosis, the anticipation of delivery, the surgery... on and on. Dreams shattered.  

For 15 years I have been on the other side. I have been the one caring for these babies. I have been the one breaking the news to parents that their sweet baby has a broken heart. 

Now I sit on the other side. Now it’s my baby that has congenital heart disease. There are so many reasons I am thankful for Reid. But even more so I see the Lord has intricately brought together this unique set of circumstances to allow our story to make a difference in someone else’s story... when it’s all part of His bigger story. 

I want people to see Reid and see that this journey, while it may not be easy, it is so worth it. I want those parents who are devastated in their brokenness that comes with the diagnosis to see that their child can have a life worth living. Reid certainly missed the memo that he has half a heart. He radiates joy with everything he has. His smile will melt your heart. I know every single possibility that can happen with Reid’s heart disease and we still chose him. Why? For what? We are not saints. We are normal people that want to live out a life that honors the Lord. We want to be able to show our children how to be obedient to what God calls us to do. That doesn’t always mean taking the easy road. In fact, it rarely will. But the joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.... that only comes in these moments of obedience. Because true joy only comes from God. 

I think of every single mom I’ve cared for. How my heart ached for them... but never being able to fully relate to them. Before Reid my heart was full of fear for these moms.... fear of what could happen.. the thought of losing their babies. But now I am in their shoes, I just want to hug them and tell them it will be ok. No matter what. Because their baby is special and will teach them more about life than anything else ever could. And it’s in those moments at work ... When a mom has to watch the team roll their child away for a procedure. I’ve been there. 

When you see your baby laying in an ICU bed covered in tubes and wires. I’ve been there. When the weight of it all feels like you are suffocating. I’ve been there. 

But even better... The day you go home from the hospital. I’ve been there. When your whole family is home sleeping under one roof for the first time.  I’ve been there. When you get to lay your baby down to sleep and watch his every breath. I’ve been there. 

The pain that you experience is unbearable at times, but the joy that comes in the journey washes that all away. The healing that comes in days and weeks to come are soothing to the soul. When the Lord gives you glimpses of heaven through the life of your baby, it’s worth it.  

What began as my career has now become my life. The highest calling I’ve been given.... to be a mother. I get to raise my three children to know Jesus and see his goodness. I get to raise my children to see the value of every life and that some of life’s greatest blessings are wrapped up in small packages. They may be wrapped in ugly paper, but when you open them you see the beauty that only comes from Him. I am a heart mom. I will never be the same now that I’m on the other side. And for that I am very thankful. We are all one team. This world is very similar to the cancer world. One you never know exists until you suddenly become a member. It’s not a popular club.... but it’s it’s an honor to be apart of this community. My heart will never be the same... my prayer is yours won’t either.  Jesus, it’s all for you.  

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