October 3, 2010

Follow-up ultrasound

On September 20, we had our follow-up ultrasound and echocardiogram of Baby's heart. My biggest hope was that the doctor would be able to tell us something specific about Baby's heart. In some ways, I'd almost take a poor diagnosis over not knowing what was wrong. And of course, Baby was in a terrible position to see his heart. He was feet down and facing my spine. So for the whole procedure, I lay on my left side while the sonographer worked the transducer deep into my right hip. It wasn't the most comfortable thing, but I would've agreed to stand on my head if it would make getting the images easier!

It took about 30 or 40 minutes, then the sonographer said she'd go talk to the doctor and they'd be right back. At least this time, we couldn't wait to hear from the doctor! Dave and I made small talk and then waited in silence for them to come back. We knew that we could be facing some hard decisions or challenging situations depending on what happened next.

The doctor and sonographer finally came back. The doctor said that Baby's heart is created differently than other people's. The heart is on the right side of his body, but there is no hernia or anything pushing it to that side. It is oriented up and down (like normal), and all of the arteries and veins appear to be hooked up correctly and going to the right places. When she said that all four chambers are there and working correctly, I breathed a sigh of relief because that meant no hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She also said that there is no transposition of the great vessels which would've also involved major surgery.

The doctor continued and said that Baby's heart is working and the flow of blood looks good. However, the musculature on the outside of the heart is enlarged on the right side. She said that the most common cause of this is pulmonary stenosis. This is a narrowing of the pulmonary valve that connects one of the heart chambers to the pulmonary artery. She said that this will most likely not require immediate surgery.

I've never been happier to have a little heart problem!

She also said that Baby's face looked fine and that amniotic fluid levels looked fine. As an afterthought, I asked about Baby's hand because the genetic counselor had called it ectrodactyly, which is a deeper split into the hand than syndactyly. Sometimes fingers can also be missing when there is ectrodactyly. She said that it does appear to be more like ectrodactyly. But she confirmed that all limbs are working and moving when I asked about that. The doctor theorized that early on in the pregnancy, something happened with Baby's development that affected his right side, since the affected hand is on the right side, and the heart is located on the right side.

Also, Baby's development is right on track. He weighed 1 lb. 2 oz. which was up from the 9 oz. that he weighed three weeks previously. We'll continue to receive regular ultrasounds to make sure that his development is on track. Sometimes babies with a two-vessel umbilical cord don't receive the nutrients that they need and can be smaller in size.

So with all of this good news, you'd think that I wouldn't be worrying anymore, right? Now my fear is that something new will be discovered on one of our ultrasounds. “Oh by the way, your Baby is also missing this one little thing that is required for a good quality of life.” Maybe it's just the hormones or all of the anxiety working its way out of my system. Our next ultrasound is next week, and we'll get to meet with a pediatric cardiologist. He/She will be there to look at the images and hopefully give us an idea of what to expect at delivery.

January cannot get here fast enough.


Wendy said...

We will be sure to keep you and baby in our prayers. Please keep us updated - I have been sharing all of your posts with Nolan and we have been thinking and praying for you guys.

Anonymous said...


I ran into your mom at Academy the other day and she was telling me about the baby. I just want you to know that I have been praying for that precious baby and I will continue to pray! Hope you guys had a Merry Christmas! Take care of yourself!

Jennifer Sparks