Our most recent visit to Mayo was this last Friday (Feb 15). Our first appointment was with Dr. Allison, our cardiologist, and we had another fetal echocardiogram done. This one went a lot faster than the first one since they already knew what they were looking for. Anyways, we had positive news from her. The left ventricle is still small but seems to be growing in proportion to the right. They couldn't see the arotic arch but they are thinking that it too will be a little more narrow than it should be. But the good news is that the heart seems to be a very strong muscle...it is pumping and working great...the heartbeat is still at 160 which is good....there is no fluid around the heart...yea! And there isn't an irregular rhythm. So all seems to be good except for the fact that the left ventricle is still small so surgery is still the plan of action after the baby is born. We found out that our surgeon will be Dr. Burkhart. Here is a link to his bio:
The surgery that will be performed after the baby is born is called the Norwood Procedure. Here is a link to the description of that surgery:
The good news now is that the baby has turned...it was sitting breech for so long they thought he or she might not turn. But now that the baby is head down they will plan to do a induction around 39 weeks...so we are looking at the 2nd week of April for the baby to be born. This will be good because then I will have a shorter healing time and be able to get over to the other hosptial to be with the baby (at Mayo you have to deliver at Methodist hospital but the baby goes over to St. Mary's to the NICU...they are only 10 blocks apart but that seems so far!). Right now they are talking about doing the surgery on the baby's 4th day of life. They need to make sure the baby is stabilized and they need to do all the tests on just the baby to see what exactly they are dealing with. So now we don't see the cardiologist again until after the baby is born. Oh...one more thing....we were alittle confused as to what our baby actually has...they said it was an AV Canal Defect but from what we read it sounded like hypoplastic left heart syndrome...so I wrote Dr. Allison an here is her reply:
Good morning! Sorry for the confusion; although it gets harder to "see" the farther you get in your pregnancy, the baby still has what we would primarily call an Unbalanced AV Canal Defect (right ventricle is dominant, or larger than the tiny left ventricle)-so all babies with this will be treated surgically the same as one with hypoplastic left heart syndrome(HLHS)--functionally the two are very similar and we sort out the very fine details of the anatomy once this little one is born. Nevertheless, the surgery for the various stages is the same for both; initially the Norwood operation. Hope that helps!
Anyway...so that's that. At our next appointment with our other doctor they did another ultrasound and the baby is growing just like it should be which is such an answer to prayer! The baby is measuring about 3lb 6oz! And the baby is practicing it's breathing and they said we have a very good baby on our hands...he or she is doing exactly what it should be doing. They don't see anything else to be concerned about so we will just continue to 39 weeks!
Thank you all for your prayers....we definitely feel like we are being covered in them. We still believe that God can give us a miracle and that our baby will be born without any defects to the heart. But we also know that God has a plan for us and our baby and it might not include that miracle....however, He is faithful and He promises not to give us anything that we cannot handle so we have this amazing peace about our whole situation...which we feel can only be a God thing! And we figure this little one of ours must be so special if God already thinks that he or she can handle something like this at such an early age...there must be big plans already in place fot this little one! Thank you all again for your prayers and positive words for us...we appreciate them all and and thank you in advance for the continued prayers and support! Well I think that is all for now. Until next time...