This blog will become 7 years old in September. I never, in my wildest and most awesomest dreams, would have thought that it'd still be around 7 years after my 1st photo post. If you click on that post's link, you'll see Salem. Who by the way, is still around and kicking! I would take a million puffs of my inhaler every day just to have her be with us again. But she's top cat at Gammy's and she's a happy cat. Salem doesn't need a 5 and 6 year old chasing after her on a daily basis anyway.
I've been thinking for a really long time now, about what my goals have been for this blog. Also, what are my goals for the future? I think I've far surpassed my goals by keeping this blog full of our adventures (and misadventures) for 7 years. Initially, I wanted this blog to be strictly photo only. Then I started to type some words. Then more sentences..then more long paragraphs (probably filled with even more run-on sentences). And then I found out that I have a point of view. You can see that well as I became more comfortable with my role as a mom. I had things that I started to get off my chest. I had things that I noted that were stuck to my chest (snot, spit up, etc and more etc). Just like standing in front of an audience and giving a speech, you feel more at ease as the crowd nods and laughs. The lump in your throat disappears as do the awkward sweats coupled with nausea. Although this blog has had it's fair share of barf stories.
But for a solid year now I've contemplated moving on- trying something new. Something that would go right along with how our little 4 person family has evolved so much. I've made the difficult decision to stop writing on Bent, Not Broken and start diving into my goal (head under water and all) with my focus being Congenital Heart Defects. Because without having Natalie, I wouldn't have this passion. I'm very grateful for that. Plus, this blog has evolved into a CHD awareness blog / mom blog (I kind of hate the term "mom blog" but anyway) / this / that. And the focus will, like always and forever, be about Natalie. She is 5 now. She is getting older each day and with that comes more ability for me to share her story and prove that a child with half of a heart can live a pretty normal life. It may be a different "normal" and in Natalie's case, it certainly is a different normal but appears totally normal to the outside world.
Our family is very aware that our child is an exception because her battle has been fought without any extra bumps and bruises but sometimes, I feel like we accidentally put this misconception out there that ALL of those battling CHDs can be just like Natalie. For those who really don't fully understand CHD and may only know Natalie's story, it appears as though that CHD can be cured and it's not so big of a deal. Why keep writing and telling her story when "all" your child has are some scars and has had the surgeries to "cure" it? We wish it were that easy. And in 2012 with super modern medicine, shouldn't it be that easy? You'd think (we'd think).
But it's not.
Appearances are very deceiving when it comes to survivors of CHD. What isn't deceiving is the positivity that we can bring to the world with sharing Natalie's story. All of my own life I've been teased for being so positive about everything. I actually don't mind that sort of teasing. But then I never expected to find out that I had a newborn with half of a heart so it does jolt your ability to be positive all of the time. Thankfully, positivity trumps.
But I'm also.. WE are also.. just following our daughter's lead. None of us have any control over CHD. There is zero control and when you give that up, you can then focus on what it is that you're supposed to learn from your child. Through many tears, anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and too many days worrying and being terrified, we have learned to stop and take the time to learn from her everyday. Natalie is only 5 and has already taught us heaps of stuff. We still have mountains to learn and that will continue for every day we're alive. We are also still a little afraid, but I don't think it's possible to give that up. I believe that a little fear of the unknown is pretty damn normal.
So with all of that said.. I kept in mind a poem written by my sister, Natalie's aunt Jen. It was written a few years ago and if I'm remembering correctly, it was written right after her Fontan surgery. So yes, she's an early 3 year old at this time. It's a poem at the right of the screen called "Queen of Hearts". Please read it. It's SO Natalie.
I have decided to kick start a new blog, dedicated to Natalie and her journey, properly titled... "Queen of Hearts". How cool is that? I've also been really unhappy with Blogger for a few years now. There are many posts where it won't let me add the amount photos I want because of new rules and restrictions that do not benefit me in any way. Too many posts where it said I exceeded my storage amount and thus, the post that should have had photos didn't.
Sorry to sound so snippy there.
It's just, when you've been dedicated to something for so long and then they change it so you have to eventually pay for it, it gets frustrating. I don't feel like paying for space through Blogger/Picasa/Google when there are so many other choices. So we have moved over to Wordpress. Which has been pretty cool so far! It's a little harder to use, but the more you use it, the easier it gets.
I'll post an official goodbye to this blog over the course of the next few weeks. I'm not signing off permanently just yet. I won't make it that easy for you. This blog will be up for about another 3-4 weeks. I also decided to turn it into a book. : )
So go on over and bookmark The Queen's page. It's in the very early stages of being developed so bare with me. It's looking a little extra plain. But the new blog will also be simple and easy. I want to focus more on the content of my posts and the tabs at the top of the page. I know that we won't have a super huge following. In fact, we don't here. But there is a following and I would love for every reader of this blog to go on over and say "hi" once in a while. And by saying "hi" you can just comment or simply stop by. That'd be pretty awesome.