I’m a Heart Mom

When we were first married, my husband Matt and I both worked. Yet with 2 pay checks we still barely made just enough to pay our bills. We had a weekly grocery budget of $15, I tried to be creative and make what little we had stretch. Yes we ate a lot of potatoes, rice, and Mac and Cheese. I worked up till the day before I had my son. Still not knowing if I should quit my job, and loose that 2nd income. When our son was born, we found out he was missing half of his heart (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). Our whole world changed with in a single moment. My decision was easy, I would quit my job and care for my fragile son, and nothing else mattered. For three years, he was in and out of hospitals all over the Western States. We were then blessed, because Matt got a better paying job. When we did stay in the hospital for months at a time, total strangers would bring care baskets full of food and supplies. It was the kindness of others that helped us make ends meet. It is a humbling thing to have others give you help. Since then I have always looked for a way to give back, a way to pay it forward to others.
A few years ago I decided to try and learn a new way to shop. Never knowing what an impact it would have, coupons have blessed my family to be able to have all we need and more. This last week I have been able to get over $60 of items for free ( see photo above). My family already has plenty of these items, so why did I buy them? I will be dropping these off at a local Ronald McDonald House, a place that helped us and gave us a place to sleep when Matthew was in the hospital. I can’t tell you how good it feels to give back. This past week I was also able to get several items for free at Albertsons, I did not need them for for myself, but I went ahead and picked them up and gave them to a family who is struggling. Being A Thrifty Mom is truly a blessing!

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Happy Valenintine’s Day
In November of 2001 I gave birth to my oldest son Matthew, who is now 7 years old. He was a beautiful baby boy with a full head of dark brown hair. All was well, and in an instant I was ?this sweet little boys Mom. Soon we realized our son was struggling, trying not to worry we hoped for the best.
About 12 hours after my sweet little Matthew was born we found out he had one of the worst heart defects you can be born with. He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), or in other words he was missing the whole left side of his heart. In an instant my world was turned upside down. We had three choices,
  • 1. Let him peacefully pass away in our arms, and spare him a long road of surgery’s, and hospital stays.
  • 2. A heart transplant, which he would most likely never get in time.
  • 3. Open heart surgery’s (at least 3 and a hand full of other corrective surgery’s). The first one he would need with in days and he only had a 25% chance of surviving.
We decided to give our son a chance at life, no matter what the odds were. We knew we had to try to repair his tiny heart and give him a chance at life. So off to Seattle Children’s Hospital we went. In three years my son had 3 major open heart surgery’s, and 11 other corrective surgery’s. Those three years were filled with moments of total despair. At times the challenges seems more than I could handle. But they were also filled with gratitude, joy, and on over whelming love for my tiny son. Matthew was in the hospital for weeks even months at a time. I had to rely on the knowledge of Doctors and Nurses to give my son the critical care he needed to live. I also had to rely on the kindness of other “heart moms”, who gave me support and love in those difficult times. I was humbled by the kindness of others I made a promise to myself that I would try to give back as a way to say thank you.
Some have asked me why I take the time out of my busy day to write this blog? I know that some of you out there are struggling, I know what if feels like to be over whelmed with the burdens of everyday life. So this is my way of helping you, Let me teach you another way to provide the basics for your family. When I get an email telling me I have helped someone, what a joy! This is my way of saying thank you …..SO Happy Heart Day!
With a heart full of gratitude!
Sarah



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