February 25, 2011

Echocardiogram


Ultrasound Thoughts

There's one thing I liked about my first ultrasound with Baby Girl. Mainly, it was the communication with the sonographer. She told us she couldn't get clear images of Baby's heart. Baby didn't care. She had her back to her. Sonographer #1 talked to the OB there and got Sonographer #2, who had more experience with hearts. Sonographer #2 got Sonographer #3, who also had more heart experience. Numbers 2 and 3 collaborated. In front of me. I knew what they were thinking and wondering. Yes, it was terrible to have my one hour appointment last 3.5. But not as terrible as not knowing anything.

Today I had a fetal echocardiogram at Children's Hospital in Seattle. They were a little more cryptic. As if I didn't already realize there was a problem. Um, that's why Tymon and I drove an hour in morning traffic to get there. Because we knew. Because we wanted more information. The debriefing was nice though. And the Fellow sitting in on the echo and debrief was helpful. Even if his diagram of a heart on the white board kind of looked like a lion's face. Yeah, I liked his demeanor best...though they were all nice.

The results: It looks as though Baby Girl has small branch pulmonary arteries. As in too small. As in, if they don't enlarge before she is born, she will need to have surgery after she's born. Like soon after she's born. And that's a little bit scary to me. But not near as scary as delivering in a hospital. So while the pediatric cardiologist was talking to me about potential outcomes I found myself asking quite a few questions. How much time after Baby is born does X medication need to be given? And then how long before Y would happen? Are we talking minutes? Hours? Days?

She assured me that I'd have some time to "bond" with Baby before they took her. Little does she know my main concern is that I'd rather NOT deliver in a hospital rather than how much time I get to bond with Baby. My midwife's birth center is literally 3 blocks from the hospital. I've quickly thrown together a plan where I would deliver there. We'd tell the neo-natal team to assemble when I was pushing. I'd labor and deliver there. Hold Baby. Midwife's assistant would clean her up and Tymon would take her to the hospital. It'd take 5 or 10 minutes...that would be plenty of time. I would deliver the afterbirth and get cleaned up. My mom would take me to the hospital. I'd be reunited with Baby in her room and she would be under the neo-natal team's watch. Yes. This can work. And be perfectly orchestrated.

I go back in May and we'll see what change there has been in the branches. And I'll re-evaluate my plan. I think we only need to see a millimeter or two (maybe 3) of growth. That's not a lot. Just a small miracle. Maybe I won't need my contingency plan after all and can deliver at home. Eh, who am I kidding? This won't be a home birth. Even though we now have the perfect tub to birth in and the bathroom is a great size for a birthing team. This is one of life's ironies. When you finally have the perfect setup, you no longer need it.

Emotionally, I'm okay. I've been through worse. A lot worse. And while we're looking at spending some quality time in a neo-natal intensive care unit, I'm pretty sure when all is said and done we're going to end up taking our Baby Girl home. We've got both faith and hope.

6 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Oh Bridget, I'm so so so sorry. You and Baby Girl will be in our prayers. I hope and pray that there is enough growth so she doesn't have to have surgery!!

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  2. you're made of the tough stuff, bridget. i'll send good energy/prayers that she gets growing that heart.

    i love that you were scheming ways to deliver at the birthing center. too funny.

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  3. Congratulations on your baby girl, Bridget! I don't know how I missed this until now. I hope your baby grows what she needs to, and you're able to have a say in how your delivery is done. You can do this!!

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  4. Wow, how scary! I know you've been through worse, but still... scary! I will also include you and your baby in my prayers. Wishing you the best :-)

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  5. I am so sorry to hear about this! I hope this is a miracle that happens so baby girl, you and Tymon don't have to go through any of that stuff. I think it is a little scary when they take your little ones into surgery. You are in my prayers.

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  6. We'll join the list of people praying for you and your baby. Keep us posted! Love Katie

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