Friday, September 11, 2009

Womb Worry: Bella's Heart

I would like to go into so many details about life, and tell you that I have to come up with a new way to journal so Miles can see it as well (as has been his request) but right now I’m just summoning all of my friends for prayers.

We went to Bella’s third ultrasound appointment. This was held because we weren’t scheduled by the front desk for a 3D ultrasound for some reason and that’s done by a technician, not my doctor. So Miles and I waited a month and saw Bella again, and in 3D form. (I’ll post pictures soon!)

Apparently during the ultrasound, which was also used to get more precise measurements of her head, her limbs, and a better look at her heart, there was a noticed problem by our doctor. He called me that day to say that he saw something in the ultrasound that worried him.

Now, there are some factors that could just be genetics. Neither Miles nor I are tall people with lanky limbs. Miles’ baby photos, as well as mine, show us with little pug-like noses. (Don’t be confused by the honker I have now. I mistakenly hurt my nose in 1st grade and just never got it fixed, lol). In any case... the doctor had told us that he noticed her arms and legs were not growing at a rate that was normal. Her nose, he couldn’t find the bridge in (but when I post the pictures, Miles and I both disagree on this because she very obviously has a bridge -- according to research we’ve done on other babies and ultrasounds). Her head, however, has small swellings around it. She doesn’t show the obvious signs for Downs Syndrome or any other chromosomal disorder, but he ordered an amniocentesis for me the next morning. The doctor also said that her heart was not fully developed, and by this point should be. After what he’d said to me, it sounds (if it isn’t indeed chromosomal) like Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). Basically, in laymans terms, she has a hole in her heart. However, out of all the fetal congenital heart defects, this one is manageable and something I’d be blessed to hear him say she has.

That Friday, the next morning, Miles went in with me and I had my amniocentesis. >.< I don't prefer to ever have that done again, and I still disagree. I think local anaesthesia would have helped me but the doctor told me that it would just be more painful than the actual amnio. Pfft. So that was done and now it's a week later and we're waiting for the results to come back.

The doctor is attempting, and will eventually (soon), get me into some obstetrical specialists that deal with high risk pregnancies. After the results of the amnio (which Miles and I are confident aren't going to come back with a chromosomal defect), and possibly after testing with the specialists (they only come in the office once a month), I may have to visit a pediatric cardiologist so that further testing and consulting can be done. :-/

In short, the baby is not fine. Of course I was and still am quite upset. I flew out to Jacksonville the next day to visit my mom and dad for about a week. Yesterday afternoon was when I came back home. This had been a planned trip for about two months, and initially I did NOT want to go. I had weird cramping and uncomfortable, dull pain in my abdomen the night after the amniocentesis but it went completely away the next morning (which, according to the doctor and internet research, it should have or else there'd be a problem) and I went on my kinda-merry-way to Jacksonville.

Mom and I spent a ton of money, there's no doubt about that. Of course, she spent a significantly higher amount than I did, lol. I came back with two new suitcases (for the England move) both filled to the brim with clothing, toys, and necessities for baby Bella.

I was lucky to run into a proper maternity store as well, and splurged some $90 on winter maternity clothes. Miles made me feel okay with that since he said this won't be our last child... and that made me happy :)

In any case, i must admit it was emotionally hard to actually buy things for Bella. If the condition she has (still unknown) is severe, she may not survive in utero let alone past 1 year after birth. That is worst case scenario, of course. It's just very confusing for me because she moves constantly. I'm not worried about lack of movement. My belly has grown within the week I was gone -- noticeable even to Miles. I'm finding myself in the third trimester regimen of "side affects" (which is basically first trimester ALL over again). Everything seems so... okay. And then I think, there's that very real and even small possibility that I could actually never hold her. She could possibly only live 1 year.

We've both decided that, in the case that the doctor might ask us whether we'd like to abort the baby or not in a severe case of her defect/diseases, we would rather her be born and be with her while she has time. I'm very glad to have a husband who agrees as whole heartedly as I do on this, otherwise I can't imagine even that mental spin.

So please do pray. As often as you possibly can. Not even for me, as I’ve been holding up fine (which is scary and makes me feel like a bad mom). Pray for baby Bella’s heart, and that God be with her.

On that note, I’m going to prep Miles’ lunch and run off to do my gestational diabetes testing.

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