Sunday, March 8, 2009

All About Faith Part 1

In March of 2008, almost a year ago, we found out that we were expecting again. I was so excited because I wasn't sure that I was going to get pregnant again. I was 43 years old and this was the longest we had gone between pregnancies. I kind of felt like I was pregnant for the first time, because of how excited I was. So my pregnancy progressed as normal, with the nausea and all the joys that come with pregnancy. I took my girls to Virginia to visit my Mom at the end of June. I was scheduled for an Ultrasound at the beginning of July soon after I returned from Virginia. I was 20 weeks and excited to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. We currently had 7 boys and 3 girls, so we were kind of feeling it was time for some more pink around here.

So the ultrasound day came and we found out were were having that Girl! As the Tech continued on she asked if we were going to see a high risk doctor. I said I did not know. Since I was old for being pregnant and I have so many children, I was at a higher risk for complications. I also know that God is the author of life and this pregnancy was in his hands. All she mentioned was that she could not get a good view of the heart. She tried for a long time and then I went on to talk to my doctor. She mentioned that the Nuchal Fold was measuring thick, and that could be a marker for Down Syndrome. The Following week I went on to the High Risk Doctor for a more in depth ultrasound. At that appointment the Nuchal Fold measured normal. There were no signs of her having Down Syndrome. However, it appeared that our daughter had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. This is where the left side of the Heart did not develop correctly.It is generally smaller and sometimes it is called having half a heart. They have come up with a series of 3 surgeries just in the past 20-25 years to help save these babies lives. Before that there was nothing they could do and sent these babies home to die. ( To learn more about HLHS check out this link )

We were referred on to a Pediatric Cardiologist. She did Echocardiograms about every 4 weeks. Faith's heart continued to grow, but the left side still was not the same size as the right. Faith's condition was not clear cut. She did not fit into a perfect diagnosis of HLHS. So they continued to watch her as she grew. Meanwhile I developed Gestational Diabetes. This was a first for me. Even as I worked hard at trying to eat right, I ended up having to give myself 2 shots of insulin a day. They then said she was pretty small. How unusual! I have had pretty large babies, and I had Gestational Diabetes which puts you at risk for having a large baby.

Our plan was to go to the hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor when I was about 37 weeks pregnant. They have one of the best surgeons in the world for babies with HLHS. She was to be born there and have to have surgery within a week after being born. We decided that since I was probably going to have to be there for a couple of weeks before she was born, that it would be best if my husband stayed home and try to go to work as much as possible. So my sister drove me to Michigan. We left Kentucky on Wednesday October 22nd and arrived in Ann Arbor that evening. I had an appointment the next morning with a Pediatric Cardiologist and had another Echo done. They still could not see exactly what they were dealing with. I then had an appointment to speak with the Surgeon. There still was no clear cut plan on what course of Surgery we were going to take. He mentioned something about Coarctation of the Heart. He said that we would have to wait until she was born to do an Echo to get a better look. He said she would definitely need surgery but wasn't sure if it was going to be for HLHS or to fix the Coarctation. (to learn more please check out this link:

The following day I had an appointment with the OBGYN doctors. I have to admit, that my first appointment that day was not a good experience. We were to schedule when we were going to have the C-Section. They were supposed to assess my condition as well as the babies condition as to when it would be best to do this. The doctor walks in the door and starts asking me to sign forms for the C-section an asks what day I want to have her. I also forgot to mention that I had been on Medication for High Blood Pressure throughout this pregnancy. So I proceed to ask him about my diabetes and blood pressure and how they would come into play in making this decision. He pretty much said that at this point it didn't matter. He didn't check my sugar levels or anything nor did he seem to care. He just wanted to put me on the schedule. A little later I had an Ultrasound with another doctor and she helped me so much! I was also assigned a nurse to help me manage my diabetes. They decided I could bypass the other office and come straight to them. I was so relieved! As I left that appointment everything seemed to being going well. Even Faith's growth had increased at a descent rate, so I was so encouraged. This was a Friday, and I was to return the following week for more appointments.

(I have decided to divide this in to 2 parts because it was getting very long. The second part will be coming very soon.)



1 comment:

Amy said...

it's amy again..i left a comment a few posts down. if you look at my blog youll see my little guy whjo is 8 weeks old today also had a heart condition and has had a successful surgery. i also had gestational diabetes. we didnt find outa bout his condition till a week before he was born when they were doing an ultrasound to see if he was getting to big (my other son was 9lb 8 oz and we suspect i had g.d then too and it was just not caught).