November 8, 2010

Visit with Pediatric Cardiologist

(This entry is a month old. I wrote it last month and then didn't edit and publish it until today. Whoops.)

In the first week of October we met with a pediatric cardiologist who along with the sonographer, took another long look at Baby's heart. Baby, of course, was not in a great position to see his heart. He was laying diagonally with his feet down toward my left hip and his head up on my right side. And facing backwards. Occasionally, he'd even curl up into a ball, putting his feet up over his head. He was very active (perhaps I shouldn't have had that Dr. Pepper with lunch...) and would often move right as they were about to get the image they needed. It took some perserverence on everyone's part. It was a little worrisome to hear the cardiologist occasionally say “Whoa!” or “Oh, wow!” Luckily he was just saying this when they were able to finally get a clear image, and not because of any abnormalities or anything. Also, Dave fell asleep at one point. Just wanted to mention that.

After looking all around, the cardiologist said that he didn't see any severe structural issues. He said that he thought the pulmonary valve looked “a little generous” and that there were a couple of bright spots (echogenic spots) where the pulmonary valves are located. He said that he sometimes sees this on “normal” hearts, and it could also be an issue related to the single artery umbilical cord. He also noted that the wall between the right ventricle and left ventricle looked a little thicker than usual. Overall, he didn't see any severe life-threatening issues that would need immediate attention. Both he and the sonographer didn't really see the thickening of the musculature on the right side of Baby's heart that the regular maternal-fetal doctor had noted earlier. From what he saw, he could rule out 80-90% of severe conditions. But he did add that some things cannot be picked up on a prenatal ultrasound like small holes, etc. Once Baby is born, they'll be able to get a much clearer look.

He left to confer with the maternal-fetal doctor who came in later to talk to us. We were all glad that the cardiologist did not see anything that concerned him, and she reiterated that we are probably dealing with some mild stenosis. Also, she said that Baby weighs 1 pound 12 ounces, which is right on track. That's up from 1 pound 2 ounces last month. She said if his development stays on track like this, then we could anticipate carrying him full term. Her final piece of good news was that amniotic fluid levels also looked normal.

We'll continue to have monthly check-ups to track Baby's development. And I'll probably still get butterflies in my stomach every time the sonographer leaves the room to get the doctor. But hearing this good news is almost like finding out for the first time that you are expecting. Back in September, the feelings of fear and anxiety had really buried the excitement and anticipation that I should've been experiencing. So now everything's kind of new again. It's starting to feel okay to get excited. That little twinge of unease that I get when talking to Charlie about Baby is almost gone. The world has started spinning again—and it's really nice!

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