With My Sister By My Side…

by Susan

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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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine January 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Such good news on a day when our hearts are so heavy! Praise God!

{You even managed to take a picture… Go you!!}


2 Christine January 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Oh, I forgot to say that Ray (my hubby) has had an “innocent heart murmur” since birth and he has always been perfectly healthy. :)


3 Amys blah, blah, blogging January 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

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!


4 Julie January 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm

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.


5 Michelle January 7, 2010 at 7:08 pm

How wonderful to hear that all is good.


6 Susie's Homemade January 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I know how you feel! My youngest has strep but if her head and neck ache don’t go away by 7, we have to go to the ER with possible Meningitis!! I hope she is just dehydrated!


7 rc January 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Great News!


8 Elisabeth January 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm


Sister’s are the best. =)


9 Emily January 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm

What a sweet, beautiful story. For some reason those older siblings can work magic when Mom can’t. So glad you left with good news!


10 Susan January 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm

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!


11 Muthering Heights January 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I’m glad you came away with such good news!

I love that your girls are so sweet together!


12 Stacie January 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

So happy for good news!!!


13 Tarasview January 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm

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!!


14 se7en January 8, 2010 at 12:05 am

Oh What brave little soldiers you have… I guess all the hugs make them stronger!!! Keep on hugging!!!


15 Anitra January 8, 2010 at 12:07 am

Praise God for the clean bill of health and for sisters!


16 Andrea Warner January 8, 2010 at 2:50 am

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!


17 Mikki January 8, 2010 at 5:15 am

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..


18 Adrienne January 8, 2010 at 8:22 am

glad to hear it is nothing to worry about. it is surprising how kids can one time be a terror and the next be perfect little angels.


19 Jennifer, Snapshot January 8, 2010 at 8:25 am

I’m so glad everything was fine, and how wonderful to have this story about Julia caring for her little sister.


20 Rachel January 8, 2010 at 9:51 am

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!


21 Lindsey January 8, 2010 at 10:53 am

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!


22 Adventures In Babywearing January 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I hope all continues to be ok!



23 Peggy Gorman January 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm

The girls are beautiful!! I am so glad everything is good.


24 Marj M. January 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I am so happy to hear the news was “livable”. Such wonderful sisterly love shown to Sophia by Julia. What a precious pair.


25 Jessica Jones January 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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!


26 Becca January 8, 2010 at 11:01 pm

That post warmed my heart. As a mother, it’s amazing to see the bond between siblings.



27 Joe January 9, 2010 at 12:41 am

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 :)


28 Cathy January 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm

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!


29 Lisa January 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm

wonderful news! so happy for you!


30 Stephanie January 12, 2010 at 6:02 pm

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!


31 Kattia January 13, 2010 at 12:34 am

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.


32 Top 10 Cigars January 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

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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