Not sure how cohesive this post will read as the last 24 hrs have been full of trial, to say the least. The emotional roller coaster we seem to not be able to step off of has once again taken us for an unwelcome ride with quick twists and turns through some spooky, dark tunnel; a ride that feels all too familiar. Thankfully, we saw some light today... I'll try and explain.
Yesterday was my 22w ultrasound. There's no denying it, I was nervous. Immediately, we learned of our baby's gender and the tech began scanning baby, head to toe. All seemed fine. What felt like an hour later, we were still in ultrasound - and Rob and I silently noticed that there seemed to be a great focus on our baby's heart. We thought nothing much of it as the heart, of course, is a rather important organ to scan. Still, I laid patiently with all eyes glued to the screen. Finally, the scan was complete and we were walked to another room for my prenatal appt which immediately followed. We waited for our doctor to enter the room with eager anticipation as we smiled ear to ear with the joy of having another daughter.
Unfortunately though, joy can melt into anger and fear in just a moments time. The deep breath our doctor took as she closed our room's door behind her was that moment; joy left and fear entered. She spared us no more wait... our baby was diagnosed with Situs Inversus. In English, internal organs are positioned on the opposite side of the body. The primary concern was of the heart and stomach location/positioning with a questionable abnormal outflow tract of the heart. I crumbled. Thankfully, I have one helluva' strong husband who was able to hold composure long enough to ask some important questions to which there were no clear answers for. The words surgery, mortality, and abnormal bounced around that room and erased every ounce of my faith. We were referred to UVa for a fetal echo and high risk ultrasound, which was worked out for this morning at 8 am.
Waiting through the night for this mornings appointments made for the second worst night of my life - the wonder, the anger, the why's, and the unknowns are more than enough to drown the strongest of spirits. Shame on us for having the faith that this time things would be different and perhaps easier. Really, what possible lessons are there left for us to learn? The odds of having not one, but TWO children with needs...? Why, why, WHY?
Before we got out of bed this morning, we had our last good cry. Then, we made a plan to put on our big kid pants and focus by going into "what now?" mode. Anger faded away slowly and we just decided to figure this mess out and do for our littlest daughter as we have for our oldest... whatever it takes.
I had 3 more ultrasounds today, one of which was the echo. Sparing you the details, here is the conclusion of our appointments:
~Baby does not have Situs Inversus. Her abdominal organs are in the correct location, including stomach, and all are formed correctly, measure as they should, and appear to be functioning correctly as well.
~Baby does have Mesocardia. Simply put, her heart is positioned more midline than on the left. Also, it is rotated a bit but the beauty in all this is that as best as ultrasound can tell, it is functioning properly. Proper in/outflow, no abnormalities, all chambers, valves, ventricles, and atria are present and working. Good heart, wrong spot.
~Baby's measurements are precise with 22w. This is a good indication of what the heart is doing for the rest of her body; correctly supplying blood.
~All of this info comes from the images of ultrasound. At 22w, some areas are still hard to decipher. As baby grows, we will continue to learn more of this puzzle but for now our doctors tell us not to worry and feel confident that this baby will not need surgical intervention after birth and should live a very normal life.
(Sigh) What do we do now? I will be followed by high risk with my next ultrasound in a month. I will see my regular OB in two weeks. Rob and I have made the decision to deliver this angel at UVa instead of the private hospital that we once were. In the event that complication arises at delivery, we will have the safety net of a NICU through UVa. Until then, we put one foot in front of the other and love on the spunky, little girl we have to hold now. And breathe. Just breathe.