Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Half Birthday

Six Months:

Wow!  Where has it gone?  On Monday, April 4th, my little girl will be six months old.  Obviously, words cannot even begin to express how much these six precious months have meant to me.  Emma is such a sweet blessing from above and fills each and every day with a little bit of sunshine.  My “sister girl, punkin head, sweet pea, and princess” has taught me more about unconditional love than I could’ve ever imagined.  On May 19th of last year, I found out that the sweet little girl that I was carrying had a major heart defect.  My life changed at that exact moment.  The unknowns and what ifs were terrifying.  Little did I really know.

 The doctors told me that Emma would have about a 20% chance of survival.  20%, is not a big number.  I was scared, scared that this precious being that I was trying so hard to take care of would not make it.  I did not want the normal things like baby showers, big shopping events to buy fun things, etc.  I could not bear the thought of having a room full of things that I might possibly come home to without the baby that would enjoy it all.  My wonderful family, friends, and husband were always encouraging me to try to enjoy the pregnancy, but to be honest, that was hard! 

There were times when I became bitter.  Bitter toward the brutally honest doctors, fellow peers who were having perfectly healthy babies, and bitter at people around who just didn’t get it.  I despised myself for feeling this way, but I was broken, disheartened, and at times feeling VERY alone.  However, in my darkest moments I had(have) a God who helped me out and got me through.  He also put an AMAZING man in my life who I am honored to call my best friend and husband.  Scott was there to be my comforter when I needed it the most, to let me cry, scream, and question.  He was also a big help when it came to late night snow cone, ice cream, and ICEE cravings! J  I also have the BEST MOM EVER!  My mom came to all of Emma’s appointments and learned about EVERYTHING right along with Scott and I.  She stayed with us for three weeks after Emma was born and has been my go-to-person and I am honored to call her my best friend.  She is the person that I try to emulate as a mom!  I pray that I can be half the mom to Emma that she has been to me!  There are so many other people in my life who have been so supportive!  I hope you know who you are and how much you have helped me along the way.

Emma has come a LONG way in the six months that she has been here with us.  Below is a short synopsis of some of those happenings.  Our little girl only has HALF A HEART but is TWICE the FIGHTER!  She has THE BEST COACH in HER CORNER!  We give GOD the glory for bringing our little girl through SO MANY low points!  

In six months Emma has:

1.     Had 3 Cath Lab Procedures
2.     Had 2 Open Heart Surgeries
3.     Had ECMO brought up twice
4.     Had the Crash Cart in the room 4 or 5 times
5.     Been Intubated for 5 months, but NOT NOW!!!!
6.     Had almost daily X-Rays
7.     Been in the Cardiac ICU for 6 months!
8.     Been poked and assessed ALOT
9.     Seen a doctor or two or three or four…..a day!
10. Had more than a dozen chest tubes
11. Had numerous renal ultrasounds and heart echos

Emma Also…….

12. Has had her first smile, laugh, kisses, hugs, etc. 
13. Has proven over and over again that she is a FIGHTER!!!!
14. Has been listed for a NEW HEART!
15. Has been extubated for 4 weeks!
16. Has brought together many people in prayer!
17. Has gained a lot of physical strength
18. Has flat lined and come back twice
19. Has won over the hearts of many doctors, nurses, and therapists
20. Has gained a lot weight and grown when at a point she was “failing to thrive”
21. Despite all the poking and prodding, is AN EXTREMELY Happy and Easy-Going baby.
22. Has changed our lives in unimaginable ways

We are so blessed to have such caring, loving, supportive, and encouraging people in  our lives.  We have been HONORED to share the last six months with you and we pray that we get to share MANY, MANY more with you!  Happy HALF Birthday to our Beautiful Little Princess!  Keep on fighting!  God is Good!  All the Time!  God is Good!

Enjoy a little walk down memory lane……

October 4th: The Day Emma arrived!

Post Norwood (October)

Growing in her "Grow Box" (November)

First Christmas Photo (December)

A New Year brings "Hope for a New Heart" (January)

Our Little Girl is getting CHUNKY (February)
Look who is EXTUBATED!! (March)

Happy Baby! (April)

Much Love,
Emma's Mommy (Sarah) 


  1. I have been so touched by your words, Sarah! My own heart aches for the trials you and Scott have been through, but your words put a smile on my face about all the wonderful achievements that have been made in Emma's life! God IS good ALL the time! His loving hand has had all three of you embraced all these months. He has been right there during all your lowest points and also during the highest! So many people lift your family members' names on a daily basis! Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts and hardest moments with all of us! May God continue to bless Emma during her journey for a new heart and envelope you and Scott with strength while you care for your precious little one! In Christian Love, Leslie Sutherland

  2. Well, Sara and Scott, I know it has been a long journey and we continue to pray each day for the perfect heart to be given to Emma. It is very easy to see where she got her desire to fight. You two, along with my mom, are, without a doubt, two of the strongest people I have ever known. We love you!!!
    Sheri and family

  3. Praise the Lord!! I have been so priviledged to watch as your family has walked, with grace, this journey God has chosen for you. There have been times I was a little fearful to check in here, afraid I might get bad news. But there have been so many times I was blessed with a current update that thrilled my heart. Although I don't know you personally, I have come to love your family and so appreciate the strength you exhibit. God is using you and Miss Emma to impact lives for His kingdom.

    Prayers continue for you all as you await the next challenge on this journey.

    Joy/Chandler, OK

  4. "Little Princess and her Half-Birthday"
    (A Poem of Love from Nana Jana, 4-4-11)

    Happy half-year birthday, Little One;
    Sure hope your birthday's lots of fun!

    Your Nana sends a great big smile,
    So big that it will last awhile!

    PaPa sends you lots of love,
    And prays God's blessings from above.

    Aunt Stacey sends you a basket of kisses,
    And says that it's Emma she really misses!

    Kosmo sends you a bark and a grin,
    And knows you'll laugh at his whiskered chin!

    And Buster Gene sends a purr that is sweet,
    As he sits and sleeps on his fuzzy feet!

    Next there's a joke, and it's just for fun,
    Plus a dream that one day you'll laugh and run:

    The joke is a nickname for your Daddy Scott-
    "Froglegs"! Did you know his "name," or not?

    If you think "Froglegs" is funny, as I do,
    Then "Tadpole" is the nickname I pick for you!

    Emma, everyone here is happy today,
    And clapping for your half-birthday;

    So take some time to laugh and play;

  5. NOTE:



  6. Happy 6 months Miss Emma! We are praying for you everyday and for your mom and dad. We know God has you in His hands!

  7. 2011 will bring a brand new heart for Emma. The countdown continues until that day comes. We all know that she is becoming quite the fun baby. She looks so very happy in the pics. We also know that every day brings a new chapter to this precious story.

  8. Wow! What a blessing! Although I don't know you, I have grown to love your family through this blog. I continue to pray for you all. This has been one incredible journey, one you would not have chosen for yourself, but one you have faithfully embraced as God's plan for your lives. Emma is such a precious gift. Happy 1/2 Birthday, Miss Emma.

    Joy/Chandler, OK

  9. We continue to remember Emma and her wonderful family in our prayers. Kendall and Darla

  10. Scott and Sarah, did you know it was last year on April 4 that you announced to your families that a new little Stewart was going to "hatch" in October? That news was an Easter blessing then, and what a blessing she is to all of us today - April 4 again! - on her 6-month birthday!

  11. I truly appreciate your words. Reading what you were going through has helped me with how im feeling. Me and my husband are expecting our first in the beggining of july. Scarlet Marie, also has HLHS she was diagnosed at our 18 week ultrasound, im nearly 28 weeks now and man has it been the most emotional 10 weeks of my life. With 3 months to go I can only keep prayer and hope in my heart that my little angel will make it. What you said about feeling alone, and being envious of those having normal pregnancies, well man do i know, I have 5 other friends with healthy pregnancies all due around the same time, all having huge baby showers and I had planned one but then canceled in fear I would be left with a room full of things that reminded me of her... I amm now feeling more hopeful and I hope that emma continues to do amazing. Thank you for the update and wonderful news.

  12. such a brave little girl!!! :) Happy 6 months!!

  13. What a precious little sweetheart. I can see Easter pictures in the very near future that we can all enjoy!! (hint hint)

  14. All the way from Australia I have been watching this precious little mircale and her journey in life so far, she truly is an inspiration! No matter what is thrown at this baby, no matter what life holds for you family- every day you do it together with grace, dignity and most of all with the love in your hearts for each other and God. Thank you for sharing this journey with us all, she is such an amazing gift that we all feel like we are priviledged to be a part of! Huge love, kisses and snuggles to Emma from Tahlia, Garry and our sons Brayden (3) and Connor (18 months). Continue to grow strong little munchkin and keep those smiles coming!!

    Tahlia (Western Australia)