Saturday, January 1, 2011

Starting 2011 with a BANG!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that today finds you relaxing and enjoying the start of a new year! We had a pretty quiet evening at home--which is exactly what I wanted. We were big bums all day long, staying in jammies and watching more TV than is good for us! The perfect way to end a crazy year.

As I was laying in bed last night (yes, before midnight) I thought about how much has changed in our lives over the past 365 days. One year ago we were expecting a little baby...we didn't know that it was a SHE and we didn't know anything about her heart, other than it was beating strongly! We were naive to the health issues that so many families face with their children. We never thought about newborns needing open heart surgery, or even heart transplants. Yes, its been a rough year, full of ups and downs, but it has also been one of the most rewarding years of our lives. We have the honor of being mommy and daddy to this amazing little girl and have been so blessed on our journey thus far. In the past year we have grown stronger as a family and have been repeatedly reminded of how fortunate we are to have the support of our incredible friends and families. I have high hopes and ultimate faith that 2011 holds big things for the Ritchie family.

While Charlotte was napping this morning, I did something that I haven't done since we were released from the hospital in June. I pulled out the journal that I kept while I was pregnant and through Charlotte's hospital stay. The last entry was May 27 at 10:15. Dr. Hammel had just finished up Charlotte's 2nd open heart surgery in as many weeks. I re-read that entry and could again feel the relief that I felt that day. Surgery was over...she could finally start to recover and come home. It was a good day. Life has been busy since that day and I haven't made the time to write in my journal. I wish that I had...but at least I have this blog to detail what has happened between then and now.

My journal is about to see some more action this coming week. Tomorrow morning we are packing up our car and heading to Omaha to kick of 2011 with another surgery. We knew this day was coming, but I'm still struggling. Charlotte is such a happy little girl and is so full of life. One would NEVER guess that there was anything wrong with her. Inside though, we know that her heart is very sick. Surgery was hard the first time around, but I can't even begin to imagine how hard things will be this time. In the words of my mother-in-law Mary-- "Kristen, its going to suck." Haha---I actually made a point to THANK HER for saying this. I think that its the natural thing for people to constantly reassure you that everything will be ok, but I really needed to have someone acknowledge that though it WILL be ok, its not going to be easy...its going to suck.

I know that we have been in many of your thoughts and prayers for much of the past year, but please pray ESPECIALLY hard this coming Monday. Pray for a successful surgery and for a smooth recovery. Pray for Matt and I as we do our best to be strong for Charlotte. Pray for the doctors, especially Dr. Hammel, that God may guide his mind and hands with ultimate precision. Pray that we are getting surgery out of our system early this year, and that whatever intervention is made on Monday is it for the rest of the year!


  1. We'll be there with you every step of the way. God is Good!

  2. We will be praying for all of you as you make another journey no parent should have to make.

  3. We will be praying for all of you guys and the doctors and a fast return for you back to South Dakota.