Monday, January 31, 2011

Isabelle's Cardiology appointment

This afternoon we meet with Isabelle's Pediatric Cardiologist in Pensacola.  We began a little rocky by getting a late start but we finally made it!  We were supposed to be about 15 minutes early but ended up walking in right at 2pm which meant we didn't get to eat any lunch before the long appointment.  Ryan and I split some tic tacs on the way but had to stop once we got a sugar high.
Once we got into the room, I got to lay on an actual bed for the ultrasound.  Wow!! That was much more comfortable than the normal tables.  Plus, the doctor had a large TV and stood there to explain everything as we were looking at Isabelle.  It is unanimous, Isabelle is extremely active.  I have now had all 3 doctors confirm that this little girl is a mover.  She looked like she was taking a gymnastics class today with all of the somersaults we saw. All of these flips made it very difficult to get all of the measurements of her heart but they saw what they needed.  The doctor confirmed that Isabelle has an AV canal defect and would need surgery when she is around 3-4 months old.  She recommended 2 different hospitals- one in Atlanta and one in Orlando.  She said that both were great but spoke a little more about Orlando throughout the appointment.  So we weren't sure if that was an unspoken recommendation.  We will do our research and ask again a little later in the pregnancy.
Below is a picture of a normal heart...
This is a picture of Isabelle's heart...

  What we learned is that an AV canal defect is a large hole in the center of the heart.  It's located where the wall between the upper chambers (atria) joins the wall between the lower chambers (ventricles).  This septal defect involves both upper and lower chambers.  Also, the valves that normally separate the heart's upper and lower chambers aren't formed as individual valves.  Instead, a single large valve forms that crosses the defect in the wall between the two sides of the heart.  At this point, the valves on either sides are balanced which is great.   While she is in my belly, she doesn't realize anything is wrong.  She is sitting pretty because she is getting her oxygen from me but once she is on the outside, she will have to figure everything out on her own.  We will learn the best way to take care of her and her heart until she has gained enough weight and strength for the surgery. 
At this point, the doctor said that delivering in Destin can still be an option.  We will need to speak with my OB and then also have the doctor speak with the nurses at the hospital.  If they feel comfortable with delivering her there knowing about her heart, then we should be fine (also, given that Isabelle delivers full term- fingers crossed).  She said that she can speak with the Pediatrician and nurses at the hospital to explain what they can expect from Isabelle so everything runs smoothly.  She will give us a more definite answer as to which hospital is the best fit once we go to our next visit with her in 6 weeks.  She wants to see the continued development of Isabelle's heart.  My only concern is if Isabelle would have to be transported to Pensacola after delivery for any reason.  If there is the slightest possibility of that happening then I will want to deliver in Pensacola.  I don't want any chance of having to be separated from her.
The doctors will continue to keep a close eye on Isabelle's development.  I have an appointment with my regular OB next Monday to check my cervix to make sure I haven't started dilating (prayers for that!)  and then in two weeks I will visit with the high risk doctor.   I feel like we have seen a doctor every week for the last month.  However, the plus to that is we get to see our Isabelle quite often!

3 comments:

Krista~CF Mama said...

That is a benefit of these frequent appt's....seeing her is always nice!! Prayer for your OB appt!

Mer said...

We've had a great experience with the Sibley Heart Center here in Atlanta at CHOA. Although Chase didn't end up needing surgery (his little hole fixed itself), I can put you in touch with some other moms who did go through heart surgery if that would help you decide Atlanta vs. Orlando. I'm sure your little one will do great in either place!

JaybirdNWA said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and posting a comment. You have some good looking boys and I know that your family will be blessed with their new sister.