The New “Normal”

Recently I had been starting to think that I missed my true calling in life. I probably should have been some sort of detective or something where I could have been putting my previously hidden sleuthing skills to better use.

For the last four months I have taken temperatures, caught and examined spit, put my face much closer to poo than I thought possible without getting it on myself, and basically inspected so many things about what shows up in, on, or near Rebekah that I really question my ability to learn to relax and just be a normal parent.

Be a normal parent. That’s a funny saying around our house. We have become conditioned to listening to Bekah’s heartbeat before giving medicines, to taking her temperature and checking the placement of monitor wires.

We’re used to looking for any puffiness that may indicate a build-up of fluid. We’ve spent months tracking exactly how much she eats, how long it takes, and exactly how well she does with each feed.

“Normal” for us, we’ve begun to realize, is not exactly what others think of as common parenting.

We recently went to Bekah’s post-op check-up with Dr. Smith. While there I asked Greg about what we should be looking for as an indication that something is wrong. The face he made was absolutely priceless.

Rebekah is fixed. In the Heart Center it’s a simple as that. She’s better. She doesn’t need to be treated any different than most other babies.

It suddenly struck me that for the first time since having Bekah I can start to relax. I don’t need to pretend to be a doctor anymore. My freshly honed nursing skills can start to fade into the background.

If I were a bystander watching my life I would think, “wow, finally, how nice.” In truth though, I am terrified.

Being the overbearing parent who knows as many details as possible has become a huge part of who I am, so while it’s easy to say that everything is different and easier and “normal” I’m still having more than a little trouble getting the whole idea of a healed baby squared away in my head.

Read the rest of Sarah and Rebekah’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.

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About Sarah Plant, Patient Family

Sarah Plant and her husband, Christopher, live in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, with their daughter, Bekah, and a rabbit named Gussie. She enjoys bike riding and spending time with friends, family and her fellow church members. Sarah is a stay-at-home mom and former high school English teacher. In her "Following Your Heart" blog, Sarah shares her experiences as a first-time mom whose baby was born with a congenital heart defect as well as a mom of a healthy boy.


  1. She is fixed and ready to be the best little girl she can be! She is as beautiful as her family and some day soon I will stop over for a visit. Just think, someone at this point can get a good 8 maybe even 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. The power of prayer is amazing! Your blogs have been heart warming, funny and serious and I really enjoyed reading them. The pictures are wonderful!

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