Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Level 2 ultrasound

Today was my level 2 ultrasound at the prenatal diagnosis center, and it went diasterous! Well first of all to start with the good stuff, Laura is growing normally and measuring 24w 5d and I'm, according to my due date, 24w 3d. Laura is definitely a little chubby one weighing in at 1lb and 9oz! Still a stubborn little one, Laura definitely hates ultrasounds! She kicked a bunch and moved all over the place. At one point, she kicked the ultrasound wand so hard that the picture on the screen shook. Then the ultrasound tech showed me, Laura sucking on her thumb, it was cute because I got tosee her little mouth moving and opening and closing. Laura was even caught on the ultrasound peeing. Then the doctorr came in which completely ruined my day and gives me the reason to hate that place. This doctor was in the room looking at the ultrasound for only about 10 minutes and he had no bedside manners whatsoever. All of the other doctors I have had were in the room for a while, trying to figure out what is wrong and checking up on her other body systems. However; this guy actually and finally got a diagnosis of what is wrong with her heart. He said she has a ventricular septal wall defect, which I had to look up on my own, but it is a very common heart problem and can easily be fixed. He also started saying something about the vessels that leave the top of the heart are more to the right side than the left side, which I'm not exactly sure of how to look that up because he didn't give me a medical term and didn't explain the details. So once I go back to the cardiologist, I'm sure I can find out more. If the heart problem wasn't enough, the doctor continued to mention the possiblities of chromosome problems and how common heart defects are with these sort of disorders. And then once the doctor was done, he asked if we had any questions and rushed out of the room not telling us to follow up or anything. So, basically, I left the place in a very bad mood.

After the bad news, I face the decision to have the amnicentesis or not. Before, I was completely againt the amniocentesis because a lot of babies are born with heart defects and no other problems, so I figured let's just wait and see. However; after todays appointment, I am highly considering getting the amnio done because of the problems that presented in the ultrasound today. That and after researching the risks and threats of the procedure, wich nowadays are very minimal, I much rather be prepared for the possibility of more birth defects due to the possiblity of having a chromosomal/genetic disorder.

I feel that the hardest part of this whole process is admitting to myself that she does has a problem. It is tough to believe she has a problem or defects or is not completely healthy when I feel her kick all the time and kick at any thing that puts pressure on my uterus. How can she be so lively and healthy feeling from the outside but in reality she has a problem? Another tough question I face is why me and why my daugther? It is tough seeing all the people my age who are having kids or had kids, talk about having normal children or normal delivers, all of which I probably won't have or won't be able to experience. People should be very fortunate of what they have, because I would do anything to have a normal delivery, with normal contractions, and a normal, healthy baby with no visits to specialists or high risk ob/gyns. Anything....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pediatric cardiologist appointment

Today was my appointment with the pediatric cardiologist, and let me just say, the wait for this day to come took forever! Not only did I have to stress about this day and what news I may get from the doctor, but I also had to stress about trying to find someone to cover my shift at work, which is apparently a very tough thing because no one wants to work on good Friday, especially drive all the way to Bristol to work. So I'll probably hear about it from the higher ups from my work about how I called out, but who cares, my daughter is much more important than work anyways. So now I got my venting spree out of the way, I can tell you about how my day at the doctors went.

First of all, I would reccommend the pediatric heart center of hasbro to anybody who needs their services. The team there is really nice and has awesome bedside manners and a good set up. The cardiologist, Dr. Ford, is really nice, she seems to know her stuff and was very determined to come up with a diagnosis. Plus, Dr. Ford recognized me from work from doing a NICU run a couple of months ago with her. I did not recognize her right away but once she said something, it made me remember her.

As for the ultrasound, it lasted just over an hour, which Laura made it very amusing this time. The first half went by so slow and Laura was a good girl and cooperated by letting Dr. Ford take some of the pictures that she needed. Then, about half way through I felt Laura wake up and start to move and could only think of how much she hates ultrasounds. Right I was because seconds later, the screen that was filled with a picture of Laura's beating heart, suddenly because empty as, I quote, "uh oh she ran away on me." Yes thats right, Laura decided to up and leave. So basically for the last half hour of the ultrasound, Laura decided to play hide and seek and "kick the ultrasound wand." She is definitely a quick little sucker, and a fighter...that is for sure.

So after having a good chuckle, Dr. Ford stated that Laura is an "interesting" case because after an hour of looking at her heart, the only thing the doctor could come up with is the same as the other doctor; an aortic arch problem. However; better stated by Dr. Ford than the other doctor I saw last week, she thinks Laura has coarctation of the aorta, which is basically a narrowing of part of the aorta. The good news is, her heart rate is right in normal range and she has no heart murmurs. The bad news is Dr. Ford said she can not exactly pinpoint the problem yet because Laura is too small, so for now it is backing to the waiting game. So, in four more weeks, I go back to Dr. Ford so she can do another ultrasound/echocardiogram where hopefully she can get a better view of the heart and its structures.

Lately, I have been feeling a lot more optimistic than I did the past couple of weeks. With all of the praying and support from family and friends, and the excellence in the hasbro pediatric cardiac team, I feel as though Laura is in good hands both spirituallly and physically. Laura has also put me in awe by the way she has proven to me that she is a fighter. Everyday, throughout the day, she'll have her random work out sessions where she kicks, non stop, for a good half hour to an hour straight. This is when I become puzzled because from the outside, she kicks and moves and responds to my touch by kicking back, but in reality she has a problem and she is not 100% healthy. But, I have faith in my little girl. I like to look at her kicking and such as her way of telling me "hang in there mommy, be strong, I'm fighting this so don't give up on me and I won't give up on you." So for now, I'll keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time and enjoy the kicks and movements that Laura shares with me.