Pip's Dad proud of her K.O...

My mind is still spinning, my heart has never felt so much joy & I have never been so grateful in my entire life...Friends, I honestly cant even find the words to tell yall about the last few days...

In the days/weeks to come I will share with you pieces of Pip's heart surgery,  but for once, I actually feel like keeping some of her story to myself...I had already decided this when my husband shocked me the morning after Pip's surgery...I knew I was going to share moments of these last few days, and I tried to update yall on Happy Soul Projects Facebook Page, much to my husbands dismay, but I wasnt going to lay it all out there like I normally do...That being said when Craig told me he wanted or felt the need to write about his little girl & what had happened, I was beyond moved - And after reading it I was speechless...For once...

I honestly dont know that many men who would be brave enough to write this, let alone share this with the world...I got a good one friends, probably the best...

So, thank you Craig for sharing something so personal with everyone- For being the man I needed you to be- And for loving me & your little family so damn much...Home Team Choo ~ Home Team...

Here's my husband's beautiful thoughts...
To whoever reads my wife's blog.
I actually can't believe I am doing this but as my little girl was in recovery I made a promise to myself and later told Tara that I would write a post for her blog. I know what it will mean to her and quite frankly I just feel compelled to do so.

I guess I just feel like I need to say thanks to all who have thought about my little girl and sent us well wishes over the last few weeks. Moving away from family and friends right before our daughter was born has semi-isolated me from the day to day contact with all my hometown folks. Through the power of social media (none of which was my doing) I am able to check in when I feel up to it and see just how many people Tara's writing and my little girl's story has touched.

My family and friends that are still up north can't go anywhere without be stopped.....pretty special and I have only Tara to thank. She is the only person I know that could make this happen.....I have dealt with everything that has come at us inwardly and at times have struggled with how public our journey has been. Tara on the other hand has leapt blindly outward and your response, to put it simply, has gotten her through. It has created an outlet for her to communicate her thoughts. I know you can read her posts and empathize but when you actually live through the day to day grind of appointments, set backs, and the feeding schedule that Reid was on you would know that my wife is a Superhero....in a lot of ways she has become my hero.

I couldn't do what she does and she would probably say the same about me...guess that's what makes us a good team.

I would especially like to thank all of the parents from around the world who have a child living with Down Syndrome who have shared their stories with us....pretty incredible I can't thank you enough.

I never thought I would have trouble describing anything but I just can't put into words what we have just went through. I have put on hundreds of miles pacing pediatric floors and ICU wings of hospitals across Eastern Ontario the last 4 months. Our story is very public, but I will also keep with me privately, the stories of all of the kids and families I have spoken with or simply saw as I nervously tried to walk my anxiety into the ground...as I tried to take my mind to another place.

Tara and I are funny like that....we are very different in these situations. She sits in one spot with her mind running a mile a minute unaware of her surroundings....and I just walk and walk...and walk always aware of the smallest details that occur.

One thing that Tara's readers would not readily think about is the fact that on Thursday May 2, 2013 there were 44 children operated on a CHEO hospital in Ottawa. I know this because I counted them as they were being wheeled out by porters. I know this because I counted 44 sets of scared parents, moms, dads, grandparents, and friends. My Pip was the 43rd to go, her surgery had been pushed back 3 hours as the previous cardiac surgery had to go long.

I think it is normal for a husband and a dad to try fix things when they go wrong...when you can't fix them or take away the thing that is causing the problem it makes you feel helpless. Handing over Reid to the surgical team that was easily the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. To hand over what you cherish most in life to a team of white coats and simply hope for the best. It was me that signed all the waivers.....it was me who knew the procedure inside and out....it was me who was mentally present as they paraded us through all the risks the day before.

Tara can't be mentally present for those days....I think it is a form of self preservation....she would literally go crazy. So she is in the room ...but not there....I am the sponge, the student, and the person asking the hard questions. The second hardest thing I have ever had to do, is pick my wife up after the surgeons walked away from us with Reid when she finally collapsed weeping. As I look back at it today I can't believe that I was so stable during that time. I held and reassured her that everything was going to be fine...in three hours we would have our baby back fixed and ready to roll. Inside I didn't know any of that to be truth but that is what Tara needed from me.....that is who I had to be. For the next three hours I walked making sure I wasn't too far away from Tara in case she needed me, but there was no way I could be still.

When they came and told us everything went as planned our roles reversed and I became the wreck and Tara was the rock....she immediately went into "mother mode", all of her emotions locked away as now was the time her little girl needed her. As for me....handshakes, hugs, and oh ya walking as I tried to gather myself...it took a while....about 5 hours.

I guess to sum up my thoughts the best way I can.....About 36 hours after my daughter was born we were told she was born with a little something extra and that this would most likely have an impact on her life and those around her. I took this news really hard because I felt like life had ripped off my little girl and my family. The ironic thing is that only 4 short months later I already know how shortsighted I had been. If you ever have the chance to meet my little girl, my son, or my wife I think you will feel the same.

I probably won't post again as this is T's thing....but I really felt the need to thank you to all for your thoughts. People are pretty cool sometimes.
The "Hubs"

And to those that haven't followed Pip's progress on Happy Soul Project's Facebook Page- She is a miraculous ROCKSTAR- Her surgery went as good as it could & her recovery has been better than anyone expected- She was HOME after a day...She not only kicked heart surgery's arse- She knocked it out...You wanna talk Superheros- Hello...
Way to go Pip!!!


  1. Anonymous4.5.13

    Wow...just wow! How amazing is it to hear this other, very candid and vulnerable point of view - thanks Craig :) You guys are a truly blessed family. Way to go guys - you are both pillars!


  2. Anonymous4.5.13

    WOW!!!!! just WOW is all i can say! Much love to ur family of SUPERHEROES!!!!!

  3. Anonymous4.5.13

    Craig, I must admit that I don't read it all. But I do keep Reid and your family in my thoughts and prayers. However I did read what you wrote above. It brought me back to many years ago when we were "waiting" in Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto as our young son was having surgery. Like you, I noticed everything, every child, every parent, every tear. Those moments were so painful, so private, there is no way of truly sharing...but I for one understand every word you wrote. Today our son, who you have met, was in Ottawa writing yet another huge medical exam...being as he is a medical resident...surgeon..urologist...about to soon enter year three. I thank God for the men and women ...including my hubby and son...who choose those tough professions. Who take people's lives into their hands and wherever and whenever possible ...fix the things that can be fixed. An incredible responsibility and an incredible privilege. Just before Reid was operated on I was walking down the street with one of Tara's friends and her little one and she told me the surgery had been moved to 3...so I like so so many others prayed for the skill and care of the surgeons who held her little life in their hands. And I am convinced that she came through with flying colours and is doing so well because of the love and care and strength you have both given her. She is a very lucky little girl and you two are truly Blessed. Your comments were so heartfelt and I connected with what you said so decided to write on this thing (I'm not a blogger) ....I am just so happy for you all!! Count your Blessings! Our prayers for her health continue. Hugs, Judy

  4. Thank you Craig...I hear your story more than you will ever know...cherish every moment and take good care...love Lorna <3

  5. Patti Olsen4.5.13

    Beautifully said. Your wife,son and superhero baby daughter are very blessed to have you.

  6. Anonymous4.5.13

    Craig and Tara and family; I could never express how much you both have touched so many people. You are incredible parents and "things happen for a reason". God knew what is best for his precious angel and you both are his reason. He has trusted you with this sweet baby and you are doing a fine job! Our love and prayers continue for your precious family. Jill (friend of Bev & Terry)

  7. What a beautiful family! You all are very blessed and Tara and Craig, you both are true partners in every sense of the word. Reid, Noal and the two of you will have an amazing, happy life together, just know it! :)

  8. Muls5.5.13

    Well Dougie, you never cease to amaze me...be warned, I may do my rambling thing here, but I feel I need to... That couldn't have been easy to re hash probably one of the most personal, heart wrenching moments of your life...not to mention how vulnerable you may have felt posting it for all to see.. an amazing gesture and just shows your undeniable devotion to your family... I'm sure T is extremely grateful...You are one of a kind and your family is so lucky to have you..seriously. There are not many men I know, if any, that can handle what you have with such grace and humility. Seeing you guys "in Action" when i came down was something else, and I loved being able to chat and just listen to the reality you guys experience that has changed so so many lives...thanks for that....you guys inspire me...corny I know, but so true...you are so much stronger than even you know I believe, and day by day that will only come easier to you i hope. Reid is in the best hands...the absolute best...Truly somethin else xo

  9. Anonymous26.4.14

    Tara, you picked a good husband and a good dad for your kids. Your kids are so beautiful.... hate to see Pip gone through so many surgeries and not sure how many are coming. Hang in there! Good luck to the most lovable Pip!!!!

  10. Anonymous2.5.15

    I am teary eyed after reading this.. My son has gone through a lot before he turned 1 and I was the only one in the waiting room pacing the floors when he went to surgery for lens extraction. It is envious that you have a very supportive husband to share the burden and all the joys with...