Sunday, February 8, 2015

CHD Awareness {Tink&Key Giveaway!}

Ellie was born with a congenital heart defect called an AVSD, meaning that the walls dividing the chambers of her heart, as well as the valves, were messed up.  Without surgery, she would have been unlikely to live past age two.

She had open heart surgery at 5.5 months old, the scariest day of my life.  Even with the repair, her heart isn't quite like yours or mine, but it's patched together quite nicely and she can run and play.  She can participate fully in gymnastics and jump up and down in the living room.

Ellie and Grammie on her third heart day.

Ellie is proud of her surgical scar.  We call it her zipper, and she applies sunblock in the summer and scrubs her zipper each day in the bath.

Every year in August, we celebrate "Happy Heart Day" with a cake.

Before and after of Lucy.  Lucy's mom and dad are my
friends from college.  Lucy doesn't have Down syndrome
so it took longer for doctors to diagnose her heart defect.

Even excluding the online Down syndrome community, we have a few friends from various parts of our lives with heart babies.  Before Ellie's surgery when I posted a Facebook update, one college friend sent great encouragement - her little girl had also been through open heart surgery, and emerged as "a whole new baby."

I didn't realize how true that would be for us until after Ellie's surgery when I stopped sleeping past five o'clock in the morning, thanks to her newfound energy!  We've since had another friend (who I knew in pre-child days) welcome a little girl with Down syndrome and an AVSD.

Ellie's little zipper buddy celebrating her first birthday.

When I purchased a "Zipper Club" shirt for our friend "Baby Audrey's" birthday, I discovered Tink&Key, makers of adorable heart baby wear.

Photo via Tink & Key.

In honor of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, Tink & Key is offering not one, but two adorable shirts for your favorite heart warrior or other miracle baby.

Photo via Tink & Key.

And aren't all babies miracles?  Enter using Rafflecopter below.  If it won't work on your phone, try a tablet or laptop - the plug-in seems to work better on those devices.  And shipping is to US only, sorry international friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And a few more kids who have gone through heart surgery.

Owen's mama has been a big encouragement for me, too!

All of these four/almost-four year olds had surgery the same time as Ellie.  Cora, Kennedy, and Hailey.  Their mamas and I spent a lot of time emailing each other and offering reassurance and tips!
Upper left photo of Joey from Heather Rodriguez Photography. Black and white photo of Leah by Sons and Daughters Photography.

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  1. I wasn't that zipper club t shirt for my daughter. It is so cute and she could wear it with pride!

  2. What a fabulous way to show just how strong these lils are! Wearing a tee that shows membership to a very special club...I love it!


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