Friday, January 29, 2010

We Found a Keeper!

Mom went with me to my last appointment on Wednesday. It was a quick ultrasound (which means not much time to look at baby & no 3D's) and an OB appointment. The ultrasound tech (who was the same one who did our very first ultrasound - Krista) was looking at the fluid around her heart that they found last time, and making sure that there wasn't any more fluid building up in other parts of her body (head, lungs/ chest, etc.). They also want to monitor her heart rate closely. Baby checked out pretty well at this appointment. There was the same amount of fluid around her heart, so she didn't gain any more, and there wasn't any fluids in other parts of her body. If there were, then they would be concerned about hydrops. (I wouldn't suggest looking at Google images for hydrops.) Her heart rate was also higher this time (80-90 bpm) than last time (60 bpm), but still not where they would like her to be (120-180 bpm).

Then came in Dr. Ledella! She looked around at the baby also, and found that her umbilical cord has two "cords" inside. Typically, babies are supposed to have one vein and two arteries, but she only has two (one of each). She was very relaxed in the manner in which she told us. She said that typically they would be concerned about a genetic defect or heart defect, but they already know that baby has a heart defect, so they aren't really concerned. Then she chatted with us, and we mentioned how there are lots of people praying for our little one. She said she really believes in the power of prayer, medical technology can do a lot, but miracles happen all the time. She was very personable, and we both liked her a lot. We found a keeper!

They want to see me again in two weeks (next week I see Dr. Gremmels, the cardiologist), and I set up another appointment with Dr. Ledella at a time that Adam will be able to make. I hope he likes her just as much as mom and I did!

No crying after this appointment, in fact, I am much happier! (Which is good for baby!) :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Appointment with "Scary Doctor"

Adam and I had another appointment today, and even though I requested not to be seen by Dr. Danilenko, we still saw her today. The ultrasound technician (Karen) wasn't nearly as skilled at getting good pictures (baby also wasn't cooperating very well... she seemed to have her face cuddled into the placenta and was moving her arms & legs all over the place). But the tech was very good in explaining what she was looking at and measuring. It's amazing that she can look at her grey abdomen and say here are her kidneys and this little spot here is urine. We got one good profile picture of her, but this tech wasn't as comfortable doing 3D u/s, so we didn't get any of those. But we did see her open her mouth and stick out her tongue twice.
Opening mouth to stick out her tongue
(we could actually see the tongue,
but didn't get a good picture of it!)

Another profile (she's getting so big!
No wonder I feel her kicking all the time!)

After she was finished, Dr. Danilenko came in and took another look at her heart. Her heart rate was 60 bpm (where usually it's at 120-180 bpm) and there was some swelling around her heart. She was concerned and started talking about giving me steroids to develop her lungs in case they needed to deliver her early, and went on about a couple other things. She said she would put a call into Dr. Gremmels (the cardiologist that we saw last time) to ask him. But said that she wanted to do another u/s next week, and another OB appointment the following week. Then sent us on our way.

I asked the lady, Wendy, at the front desk though, because I was pretty sure we were supposed to have an OB appointment today. I was right, so we sat in the waiting room for about another half hour waiting for that. The good news is that I gained weight (last time I hadn't), but the bad news is not enough (not even half of what I should have). The nurse (whose name I can't remember, but she was very nice and wore braces - Kris -) seemed to think we could put off seeing a dietitian for now though, since I've had a history of having problems gaining weight, and since the baby seems to be growing alright.

Then Dr. Danilenko came in and she she talked to Dr. Gremmels, who said that delivering early would be bad, because trying to do heart surgery on a preemie is very difficult. He also said that a low heart rate was common, so he wasn't worried about that, but did want to see me in two weeks (instead of three, which is when my next appointment with him was scheduled). She also mentioned (which Dr. Gremmels had already mentioned at our last appointment), that she will probably also need a pacemaker.

We finished the OB appointment by talking about pre-term labor and talking about my due date. The nurse said that Dr. Danilenko is still going by May 22nd. I am still counting as June 1st though. She also asked me a few other questions. Adam was sitting where he could see her computer screen, and saw that she clicked the "could not ask: spouse/ family was present" box for the question, "Do you get abused?" Good thing they weren't looking at my legs where I have two huge bruises from dropping a piece of 3/4 inch plywood (when we were working on the closet), with another permanent bruise from playing paintball in college with Charlie & Tommy!

I seem to have my ups and downs with this pregnancy, but it seems after appointments with Dr. Danilenko I always cry at least once, and I did pretty much as soon as we got in the car. I asked Adam through my tears that if Dr. Gremmels says that a low heart rate is normal with this kind of thing, then we shouldn't be worried. He agreed, which made me feel a little bit better, but I'm still afraid for our little girl. Please keep praying for her! We need her as strong as she can be so that she can make it through all of these surgeries.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All Over the Place!

I have been feeling our little girl moving quite a bit. I have put my hand on my tummy and even felt the movement of her kicking (or elbowing or headbutting or...) me. Both Adam and my brother have been telling her "Kick her in the bladder!" (I'm not sure if they want me to pee my pants or if they think they're being funny...) I have had Adam put his hand on my tummy when I'm feeling her move around, but he never felt her move. Last night (and pretty much all of today) she was all over the place, bouncing off the walls. When she was squirming around last night I had Adam put his hand on my tummy, and almost immediately he felt her kick, and then kick again. I was so glad he could finally feel her move too!

Adam's cousin, Bobby, and his wife Christina, just had a beautiful baby girl, and when we went to visit them this week, they gave us a fetal heart monitor that they had used. Though they said that they never actually heard her heart, but they heard her when she was moving around and when she had the hiccups. So we tried it out last night, since she was moving all over the place, but no luck. Hopefully the farther along we get, the more we'll be able to hear. I would be really excited to hear her heartbeat, since they seem to think she has an irregular heartbeat. But at the last ultrasound she was moving around all over the place and playing with her umbilical (after all it is her only toy in there!), so they couldn't seem to get more than a beat and a half.

Last week, I also got a phone call from Joan, the genetic counselor, and she told me about a website about heterotaxy. Apparently, the odds of a baby having it are 4 in 1 million (even more uncommon that the HLHS that we originally thought it was).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

4 New, Old Posts

I had written four different posts that I hadn't posted, because Adam and I hadn't shared the news with everyone yet.

At Thanksgiving, we told everyone we were pregnant, and at Christmas, we told everyone what is going on with our baby. Read these posts to find out more... then please keep our baby in your prayers!

The "Other" Part of the First Ultrasound 12-4-09
Trying to Figure it All Out 12-6-09
The "Other Part" of the Second Ultrasound 12-23-09
The Power of Prayer 12-26-09