Heart of Gold
Why a Heart of Gold print and why the British Heart Foundation? Well it all started 4 years ago when little miss N joined our family, this is a little something I wrote at the time…
Little miss N is my niece, she is a little bundle of smiles and chat – her big blue eyes stare at you and you cannot help but melt, mind you she’s a little diva, she has this wonderful ‘you think I’m doing that?’ down the nose face and she has well and truly mastered the ‘all the way up your back’ nappy! She is my twin sisters first daughter and which by default makes her my second daughter-ish, it’s a difficult relationship to explain and a relationship that was proved in her very first few days. As I mentioned, she is my twins daughter, now my twin is a diva and a bit of a drama queen so it is only natural that little miss N would follow suit!
The first time I met her she was only a few hours old and to be fair I was just happy that Katie was ok and that she looked like crap (I know that’s really mean, but you have to look like that – you’ve just given birth) she had joined this very special club they call motherhood and I couldn’t have been more proud. Now, the second time I saw little miss N she was relaxing under a sunbed with some fetching goggles demanding the attention of all around (yep definitely my sisters daughter!). This thing called parenthood starts with a bang and you can never be prepared for what it throws at you, if your lucky like me and dan you stumble through with poo on your hands and sick over everything and three hours of crying is the worst it will be.
Now little N’s parents really did have a shock, for the little madame had to be admitted back into hospital at 2 days old after a series of ‘episodes,’ Katie and her husband James had to make a call – they didn’t know what newborn babies were supposed to do or not, they didn’t know what was ‘normal’ because nothing is normal after the event. They made a call, the right call and her episodes were investigated over a week – they stayed by her bedside, they watched her, they held her and they fed her. They became a family, the way in which every family becomes a team – yet they did it in hospital surrounded by wires, nurses and a little sunbathing wired up little miss N. Now I said I was proud of my sister after the birth – I was, but that was nothing compared to the pride and admiration I felt for her when I visited them in hospital and she was there, had been there for days, was feeding her baby herself, was not only in control of the situation but was in control of her family (she had sent James for coffee!) – she was a Mum. That night I went home and held onto my babies thankful that I was a mum and that I have been lucky enough never to be in that situation.
So a little bit about that coffee boy… ok so he didn’t just get the coffee. When Katie was feeding he was on hand to fetch drinks, hold leads and wind his little girl, when both his girls were sleeping he was watching over them and when they told him to go home, he said no. This little girl needed her dad as much as her mum and I know for a fact that her mum needed him more than ever before and he was there for every step.
And it turns out that, yes little miss N is special – not just because she has my nose (seriously, random!) but because she has been diagnosed with a condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW) now I could get all technical on you and go into long explanations about the orthodromic atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia, but in a nutshell it means that little miss N’s heart sometimes goes a little nuts, the beats per minute can raise and this is not a good thing. To counteract this she is on medicine daily to ensure that her heart remains steady, Katie and James have to take her heart rate daily and she will see specialists periodically for the foreseeable future. This syndrome is a sly little bugger and can go undetected for years – many just think they are having a panic attack as the symptoms could be confused, light-headedness, dizziness, shortness of breath and palpitations to name a few. The fact that little miss N has been diagnosed so young is a testament to her parents, they knew what was not normal for their two day old baby girl – it proves the whole ‘trust your gut’ theory.
So little miss N has a heart condition, it will not define who she is, her Mum and Dad will make sure of that and in her adventure filled four years she has never allowed her condition to slow her down. Matters of the heart can affect anybody – just in our family along with Little Miss Nis condition our grandad has undergone a triple heart bypass. You never know what is around the corner, and we want to raise a little bit of money to help fund research and education into all matters of the heart so that more children like little miss N an more grandads like ours get to go on many more adventures.