With My Sister By My Side…

Sophia with Big Sister Julia By Her Side

Today Sophia had to go to the Children’s Hospital Heart Center to have her recently detected heart murmur investigated.

Since I learned the value of having Big Sister Julia by her side at her last pediatrician appointment, I brought her with me again.

(Oh, didn’t I tell you about that?

Well, at our last appointment, as soon as we walked into the doctor’s exam room, Sophia started screaming and kicking as only a 2 year old can. But the wise doctor handed Julia a stethoscope and together Julia and the doctor listened to Sophia’s heart. She sat on my lap and I could feel all the tension in her little body release as she stopped crying and sat perfectly still letting her big sister Julia doctor her.)

Today Sophia was thrilled to set off on our car ride with Julia in the car seat next to her. She bounced with excitement in the waiting room as they both watched cartoons on the big TV.

Then they called us in for…

Step 1 — Height and Weight Measurements

Big Sister Julia led the way and demonstrated standing tall against the wall with feet placed carefully within the painted red footprints on the floor. As Julia stepped aside, without a sound, Sophia placed her feet on the footprints and stood up straight. With a bit of coaxing from Julia and me she even looked straight ahead and let the nurse read the height.

For the weight, Julia went first and stepped on the scale. Sophia followed silently and within moments we were headed back to the waiting room.

The girls enjoyed the TV for the next 15 minutes until we were called into…

Step 2 — The Echo

As we pushed the stroller into the darkly lit room full of equipment, I oooh’d and ahhhh’d with pretend excitement and to my shock it was Julia who hesitated slightly and let out a tiny, barely audible, whimper.

The nurse quickly showed them both the TV screen and asked if they wanted to watch a movie. Thankfully, her first option was Strawberry Shortcake. Score.

Julia sat quietly in Sophia’s stroller as Sophia and I lay on the exam table. Sophia, soother in mouth, sister nearby and Mommy in hand, lay perfectly still, watched the TV and never made even the slightest noise for the 20 minute exam.

I could NOT believe it.

Back to the waiting room with bliss, until…

Step 3 — The ECG

There was no TV this time and she had the stickers placed across her chest and on her legs. Again, not a muscle quivered, not a sound uttered. Even when I had to tear off each of the ECG stickers which stick harder than any bandaid. Not one sound. It seemed impossible. She was in perfect peace.

Back to the waiting room, until…

Step 4 — Doctor Follow Up

Both girls quietly looked at books while I gave medical background to the intern. Then I lifted Sophia up on the exam table (normally cause for ear-piercing screams) and the intern listened to her heart and took her pulse. A few minutes later she displayed the same perfect behavior for the senior doctor who came in and listened to her heart.

The doctor declared her heart murmur to be no cause for concern. Apparently it is what they call an “innocent heart murmur” and is different from what Julia has which is a small VSD. But he listened to Julia’s again (she’s been there twice in the past) and repeated his previous words that Julia’s VSD is very small and that we are not to worry about it.

I felt guilty leaving with such good news.

I thought about all the little patients and their parents who don’t get good news. It’s such an unfair world and I can’t seem to thank God enough for my blessings.

With a deep gratitude, we left the hospital. Me and my two little girls — infinitely blessed to have each other.

Written by Susan, co-founder of the 5 Minutes for Mom Mommy Blog.
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  1. says

    So happy for you to have good news. I feel the same way when I leave with good news, just heart breaking for those who don’t. When I left the NICU after 1 week with my newborn baby I felt overjoyed to be going but could feel the sad looks from other parents who wanted their babies home too. So sad.

    It sure is nice to have siblings though. Glad they could be there for each other and here’s to hoping they live a lifetime with that same care and concern!

  2. says

    I’ve been dealing with this with for a couple of years with 1 child. I’m not worried but I know that I’m in good hands with my doctor.

    My daughter has had to go back every year for a check up, and its getting smaller every year. I’m glad that its not too serious for my family.

  3. says

    Thank you Ladies!

    @Christine, LOL — No I did NOT take that picture. Jan took it during the Christmas holidays.

    @Amy, I’m so glad you got to leave the NICU after a week… but yes, so hard to leave the others behind.

    @Julie, I’m relieved to hear your child’s also isn’t causing troubles.

    @Susie, Oh Girl, I hope and pray she is okay!

  4. says

    wonderful news! My son has the same thing and they told us it is nothing to worry about. He had to be sedated for his tests though!

    What a fabulous big sister you are Julia- well done!!

  5. Andrea Warner says

    Susan, thanks for the sweet post. It brought back memories of my little preemie twins being in the NICU for 10 weeks. I am so thankful for them and I appreciate the reminder to be grateful for their health every single day.

    You’re awesome!

  6. says

    What a sweet post. We actually had this diagnosis with my oldest when she was younger. Our results were positive too, but it does allow you the opportunity to count your blessings..

  7. says

    That is so awesome that Julia was able to help her feel so comfortable…and even more awesome that nothing is wrong! I know you have a huge sense of relief.

    What a great story!

  8. says

    This post is so sweet! It has me wanting to have another baby so that my little one won’t be alone. :-) I forgot how much siblings love each other – I was the same with my little sister. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. says

    SO glad she is ok! My youngest two are like that! if one is in trouble the other one comforts them it is too cute!

    and NEVER feel guilty for having a healthy child feel thankful!

  10. says

    CONGRATULATIONS! Nothing better than hearing what you WANT to hear at a doctors appointment!
    I’d take the girls out for a ‘big sis thank you for helping me cope’ date, something fun for the 2 of them. Adorable story, and thank God it has a happy ending :)

  11. says

    I have felt the same way when leaving the hospital with my comparatively healthy children – perfectly normal, I think. I probably pray more in the hospital than anywhere else! I am so glad you got such great news – yay!

  12. says

    What a wonderful thing it is to have a sister! I’m so happy that my girls will have each other as they grow up.

    P.S. I’m glad to hear that both of your girls’ hearts are healthy!

  13. says

    oh the joy to see an older sister become an encourager and support to her youngest. I know how much influence an older sister can have. How the youngest looks with anticipation to the response of the oldest and who somethimes amazingly becomes an encourager herself, repeating the words she has heard often “its going to be ok”. I too thank God every day that I am blessed with healthy children, have been blessed with healthy pregnancies, God is so awesome and I admire the strength of parents with children who have various illnesses and the brave children who undergo similar exams on an almost daily basis.

  14. says

    What a great idea. My daughter doesn’t have any siblings, but I think I will bring her cousin that she loves and will be a good influence at the doctor for her.. The last visit was a nightmare, we had to have 2 nurses just to hold her down to hear her heartbeat.. and she got so upset she started gagging… Good to have some advice on what to do for scared kiddos at the doctors office!

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