I was born with a congenital heart defect commonly known as VSD. It means there was a hole in it. My ticker fixed itself spontaneously before I turned 10 (although I don't quite know when, something I probably should), and I went on to live a pretty normal life. Physically speaking.
In my early years, I endured endless echocardiograms over what seemed like centuries. An evil crushing wand held by a tech wearing too much Charlie, skating across my tiny breastbone (with no padding at that point I might add), taking pictures of my broken heart. You do know that 20 minutes is a lifetime to a 4 year-old. It was intolerable.
Being pregnant, I'm once again under a cardiologist's care. Who knew your blood volume increases 40-50% during pregnancy and your heart works twice as hard? I always thought the potential issue would be delivery and the stress it may put on my heart -- not my first trimester. You can imagine my disappointment in being told they prefer natural delivery for people with my condition. I had always assumed I would have a C-section. No painfully waiting, panting or pushing. Scheduled and surprise -- baby! Not so much. I was misinformed.
Since it had been awhile, I was sent for another echo to rule out any stenosis and aortic stretching (if you look it up, I'm told it's not likely, so don't freak out). This appointment was the closest thing I've experienced to time travel. As soon, and I mean immediately, as she put that wand on my chest the intense need to get up and get it OFF of me was present. I lay twitching like a patient with a severe case of Tourette's. Mind you, this isn't a painful procedure, most people probably nap. But impressions formed as a child are ever-present, especially in those 20 minutes. It was, again, intolerable.
Ever seen your heart? It's the ugliest, scariest looking little machine...and yet beautiful and amazing at the same time. I can't for the life of me understand how it just keeps pumping. We are truly miracles, every one of us. And tomorrow I'll find out how fit my miracle is for pregnancy.