I am glad that I have now come to terms with grieving for what my birth could have been, with the healthy baby I could have had. The fact of the matter is I didn't have those things. I still gave birth, my child did come home, I am still a mother but to a heart warrior who I wouldn't change for the world.
When it comes to keeping your heart as healthy as possible, there are some factors such as genetics that you can't change. If you have a family history of heart disease, then you are at increased risk yourself. However, there is plenty you can do to decrease your risk whether you have a family tendency or not.
Indeed, love probably means as many different things as there are people - from the unselfish care of a Mother Teresa to the heart-pounding passion of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Yet with Valentine's Day upon us it's the romantic variety tugging at our heartstrings, especially if we lack that special someone to share it with.
It came as a huge shock to find out 18 months ago, when I could no longer catch my breath while running on a treadmill, that I had a hole in my heart - about an inch across in fact - that apparently, I've had since birth. I was very lucky in that my dad is a GP and when I told him, he dismissed my doctor's diagnosis of 'oh, it's just a virus' and frogmarched me to A&E.