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The Goodness of God

Have you ever felt the most unexplainable joy & heartache all in a matter of seconds? 

Forty-eight hours after having our daughter, we were about to take her home. My husband and I sat on the hospital couch staring at our squishy little babe when a nurse came into the room. She pulled down her mask to reveal a somber and scared face, “they found something wrong with Taytum’s heart…the lifeline team is on their way to take her to another hospital.” My heart sank. I looked at my little girl and tears flooded my eyes. “I have to take her now and get her ready.” In seconds my baby was out of my arms, I fell to my knees and screamed out to God, “Lord, what is happening? What is wrong with my baby? Why my baby? Lord let her live.”

My husband and new baby were put into an ambulance and taken to the children’s hospital a few towns over from us. I rode with my parents in the back of my little civic, watching the rain fall and holding onto the car seat that should have been holding my baby. 

To backtrack a little, we had no idea anything was wrong with our daughter. Due to Gestational Diabetes, I had many ultrasounds & tests, but nothing ever looked wrong. Around two in the morning, on the day of discharge, a nurse came in to do her check on Taytum. I was the only one awake and had been holding her, the nurse started listening to her heart and said, “oh, I hear a murmur.” I thought she was nuts. The doctor, many nurses, and the pediatrician all listened to Taytum’s heart and not one of them mentioned a murmur. The nurse called in an echocardiogram to check out Taytum’s heart and the rest is history. 

We were in the NICU for about five days as we waited for Taytum’s PDA to close, we had to make sure it didn’t pinch off her Aortic Arch. While we were there we learned that Taytum had what is called a Full AV Canal Defect. Basically, she had a large hole between the upper and lower chambers of her heart, one small one in the lower chamber, and because of the large hole her valves grew as one and leaked oxygenated and deoxygenated blood between the chambers. 

My husband and I were told that it wouldn’t be a big deal, she shouldn’t have any issues, and that we’d wait a few months before going in to fix her heart…Two weeks after leaving the NICU we were back in the hospital…and that continued for four months. We called it our “multi-million dollar condo,” because we spent equal time between the hospital and our own home.

It was the hardest four months of our lives. Every day that we got to be home we were terrified that we’d have to go back to the hospital. At every cardiologist appointment, we held our breath waiting for our doctor to tell us to pack our bags. 

I remember talking to God and telling Him how scared I was…but that I trusted Him. That I was so mad…but I knew He was going before us. For months I was in this crazy tornado of emotions. I was so upset with God for letting this happen, yet so thankful for the precious gift He gave us when He gave us our daughter. I remember breaking down, begging Him to just keep her alive. That’s all I wanted. 

On August 3, 2022, my husband and I handed our beautiful baby girl over to a team of surgeons to repair her heart. It was the longest day of our entire lives. We waited, checking our phones every second for an update for almost eight hours. It wasn’t until that evening that Taytum’s open heart surgery was completed. I remember sitting in a tiny room with my husband when the surgeon finally came in. “It went well, we fixed what needed to be fixed,” he said. “I’ll admit…I got nervous towards the end…” our hearts sank, “typically a heart takes about thirty seconds to start back up after going off of the bypass machine…Taytum’s took three minutes.” He told us it was the longest three minutes of his life, but that it finally started again, and that she was totally fine. Thank God.

April 5th to August 3rd was the most exhausting and emotional months of our lives. But, God. Hours after Taytum’s repair she was awake, she was finally taking her bottles, and she had energy. The cardiologist always told us surgery would be like a light switch was finally turned on…and she wasn’t kidding. 

The amount of miracles performed in our little girl’s life is endless, and they just keep coming. As I write this, we are a month out from surgery. We finally have a healthy baby. We have a baby who now has the energy to do something a little as coo…something she couldn’t do a month ago. We have a baby who can now take a full bottle without falling asleep after an ounce. We have a baby who is learning how to finally do tummy time, and grab her toes! 

What I’ve learned in this season is that the goodness of God can come in many ways. We’ve seen it in hundreds of moments, both big and small. I see it daily in my daughter’s gummy smile. Mostly I see it as I look back on the last five months of motherhood, it was never easy, but the goodness of God got me through. The goodness of God will always get me through whatever challenges I face. 

It may be hard to see in a moment of hardship, but when you look back on a challenging season the goodness of God can always be found.

Maggie LaGrange
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