Bekah’s journey from a NICU baby and open heart surgery patient to a healthy 2 year old

2013-11-25 09:59:07 by Sarah Plant, Patient Family, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

Bekah turns 2! Bekah turns 2!

I’ve been surprised each year on Bekah’s birthday by the range of emotions I feel. At almost 39 weeks pregnant, and with a wild and crazy now 2-year-old for a trusty helper, Bekah and I prepared for her birthday party.

I must admit that Chris helped too, as did my mom (who has been hanging out here a lot—for which we are very grateful—even though I’ve been off of bedrest for a few weeks now). But even with all of the distractions of a birthday party to prepare for, there were times I found myself reliving Bekah’s first few days of life.

Bekah sleeps soundly in NICU at Akron Children's Hospital Bekah sleeps soundly in NICU at Akron Children's Hospital

They weren’t pretty. And yet, in many ways, they were perfect.

It’s been two years since a nurse swiftly took Bekah down the hospital hall and began the process of saving her life.

For most parents, things are a little more peaceful, a little less dramatic in the delivery room. For some parents, things are a LOT scarier, and a great deal MORE dramatic.

For us, knowing now that Bekah is a safe, healthy 2 year old – who was so excited it snowed on her birthday that she could barely wait to put on her boots and mittens and start making snowmen – makes looking back a lot less scary.


Bekah-holds-snowballKnowing that things are ok now makes it easier to appreciate all that went into getting to this point—the struggle to get and stay pregnant, the sheer terror of seeing this tiny, new, fragile person who we were supposed to be responsible for laying connected to more machines than we thought possible. Now, looking back, we can see the gift that God has given us.


Bekah-and-Birthday-cupSeventy days seemed like a long time to wait to bring Rebekah home from the NICU at first, but now it just seems like a tiny speck of time that merely helped to prepare us for the rest of the awesome time that is ours to spend with her.


Like many other 2-year-olds, Bekah is slated for a trip (to Akron Children’s Beeghley Campus unless this new baby decides to make an appearance and make Bekah’s day) to have routine blood work done.

And while it may seem a little traumatic and involve a few minutes of crying, it won’t be anything like her bruised heels and legs from having blood drawn so many times the first few days, until she was given a belly button line so that her blood could be monitored at any given moment.

It won’t be like waiting anxiously for the results to show on the machine to see what her levels were like. Really, tomorrow’s trip is just one more regular day in the life of Bekah, and I’d like her to grow up realizing that while some days can be great, and some more than a little crummy, each day is a day to love, and learn from, and appreciate in some way or another.

Days like her birthday, or the anniversary of the day she left the hospital, or the day of open heart surgery, help to put a lot of things into perspective for us.

While we realize that Bekah is essentially a normal, healthy kid now, we do realize that bad things can, and sometimes do happen. It helps us try a little harder to be thankful for a child who is exactly who she was meant to be—a tiny tornado of excitement.

Read the rest of the Plant family’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.

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