Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Little Ms. Poppet Update

Things have been going fairly well (not counting sickness, preterm labor, etc!) with the little baby girl. A couple of weeks ago I had a worrisome scan which showed a possible issue with the aortic root (an issue Charlie has - though they don't think it's anything alarming for him). I had a real echocardiogram and everything looked super. At my weekly scan on Monday I heard more alarming news; this time the concern was about the pulmonary valve which showed some signs of stenosis (narrowing, which means that blood pumping to the pulmonary artery is comprised). Yesterday I saw a fetal/pediatric cardiologist for another echo and sadly the diagnosis was confirmed.

The good news is that the cardiologist (who was super) was able to rule out that this was likely critical or severe. Blood IS flowing, and it's not flowing too quickly (apparently good signs). What is impossible to determine at this stage is whether it's moderate or mild. If it's the latter then things should be straightforward and it may not even need treating. If it's moderate then I think it's a wait and see situation.

When Charlie was 10 days old he was hospitalized for a rapid heart rate, which is how we discovered his enlarged aortic root. They did think this was a random finding, something that he may grow out of. But now we have two different valve issues on two siblings and there is a good chance that there is something genetic underlying it all. We're having Raf screened in a couple of weeks to see if he has  any structural issues going on, and then Rich and I need to be screened.

I'm very close to being 36 weeks pregnant and we learned that I'd also have to change providers and deliver at the big tertiary hospital which has a level 3 NICU. Obviously the most important thing is the safe arrival of the baby, but I am extremely disappointed to have to leave the midwifery group and the lovely birthing center where we'd planned another water birth, to have a more managed birth at the other (thought fabulous) hospital. It's a very different set-up, with residents and medical students, and is simply set up to cope with higher risk babies (which this baby now is). We're in fact super lucky to have such a great hospital close by, which is home to a pretty amazing NICU.

The other good news is that Deb, our family Dr., who also delivered Raf, has kindly agreed to take over my OB care. She spoke to the perinatologist and he didn't feel as though a high risk OB needed to oversee the actual delivery.

Anyway, very stressful and very disappointing. We're hoping that Raf's screening is clear and that there is nothing more sinister underlying these heart problems.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, I'm sorry that you've had this worry to contend with at the end of your pregnancy, Alex. I only blogged about worrying ultrasounds a week ago and here you are with one of your own. :(

    I hope you feel relatively reassured that the problem isn't severe and I will be carrying you all in my thoughts. Hopefully Rafi's screening will show he doesn't have a similar issue and your little girl will be born well and healthy and cause no extra concern. I expect you just can't wait for the next few weeks to pass and have her in your arms.
    Take good care. x