Norah Gabrielle Williams was born on September 12, 2016. What was a surprise pregnancy to us turned out to be the scariest of the three. At my first ultrasound, around 17 weeks gestation, we found out there was an abnormality seen with our little one's heart and we were referred to MFM. A week later they confirmed that we should see a Pediatric Cardiologist for a more specific examination and diagnosis. A week following that we found out our little one has a CHD. Norah was diagnosed at only 19 weeks gestation with Transposition of the Great Vessels/Arteries, Pulmonary Stenosis, and a Ventricular Septal Defect. Dr Hixon, our amazing cardiologist, began to help us plan the best care for Norah once she made her debut as well as making sure I stay as healthy as possible to keep her in the womb as long as possible. He said something to me that to this day makes me smile every time I look at her and her amazing progress; "She is going to be ok. There are many heart kids and adults out there who have CHD and you would never know until you see their scar." And I have found this to be so true, sometimes I tend to forget until I am bathing her or changing her clothes. :D
There was less than 6 months now to plan for her arrival and her treatment. During this time is when we decided Dr. Peeler, new to Ochsner New Orleans, but not new to the CHD world would be the surgeon for our Norah. New Orleans was the best option for our family as well, Norah has 2 older sisters that I knew we couldn't be away from for weeks at a time.
At birth, Dr. Hixon took Norah to the NICU in Baton Rouge, LA. Immediately spoke with the Ochsner team and decided it would be best to transport her to NOLA. During her first few days of life she underwent several catheter procedures. I was finally discharged at 3 days post delivery and then is where Dr. Peeler decided a stint would be what we needed to allow Norah a year to grow before her major surgery. Well just short of her 3 month birthday, we rushed to the ER and discovered her stint was bent in half and Norah was to have her first OHS to have a shunt placed in hopes this would bring us to that one year mark! And that it did. We had no complications, Norah was eating, growing, and playing well. A little over a week after her first birthday, Norah underwent her Nikaidoh procedure to repair her heart.
Now at 3 years and almost 5 months old, Norah is a happy, sassy, and healthy girl! She is the perfect caboose for our family. She keeps up with her sisters so well, and they have taken amazing care of her. Just as Dr. Hixon told us, you would never know Norah has a CHD by just looking at her. She is a true blessing and I am so thankful to be her mom. She has taught us all so much, and I look forward to the many things she will accomplish and people whose lives she will change because of her story!