Okay, a month has passed since our last ultrasound and fetal echo. To recap, go here.
Since that time, I have literally counted down the days until our next appointment, which was today. I woke feeling excited, relieved that perhaps our time in limbo land was over as answers may surface with today's echo and ultrasound, but soon the excitement just turned to nerves and stress. I was not naive to the fact that any news at all, good or bad, could be delivered to us during either appointment.
I'll keep this brief and explain as best as I can, though I am still trying to educate and understand myself. My heart and mind are still trying to grab ahold of all the unknowns and new medical lingo that have all too quickly become a part of our youngest daughter.
Things we knew going into today, found at 22w:
~Baby has congenital heart defects, namely Mesocardia (heart positioned midline as opposed to left side) and Dextrocardia (heart rotated backwards).
~Despite the location and position of baby's heart, we (meaning docs, Rob and I) understood that baby's heart functioned properly with all appropriate valves, chambers, atriums, etc. and with proper blood flow tracts.
Things we learned today, 26w 6d:
~Mesocardia and Dextrocardia are still the case; they don't miraculously correct themselves, and Transposition of Great Vessels (which I am still trying to understand).
~Located in one of the atria is a "flap", or piece of tissue, that should not be present. It does not create a full block as there is blood flow past it. However, it remains to be seen until after delivery is this flap should be obstructive to blood flow once baby begins life outside of the womb. If it is obstructive, our baby's breathing will likely be challenged shortly after delivery and in that case, surgery will be necessary to remove the flap.
~There is a question of abnormal blood flow through one of the right atria. Does the flap mentioned above create this reverse flow of blood? That's to be determined... doctor isn't sure.
~Baby is very active and measuring beautifully. In fact, baby is measuring just about 4 days ahead of gestational age. She currently weighs 2lbs 6oz and all other organs are developed and performing as they should be. This is a good sign.
With all of this said, there are still many unknowns. Our doctor today said that of all the scans she has experienced, ours ranks within her top 5% of the hardest to read. The echo scan lasted well over an hour again today and at which point they just stop for the ease of the patient. We will be seen again in 4 more weeks to continue following the growth and heart functions. With each passing month, more of the picture will come into focus which will allow for the doctors to develop a safe delivery plan with the appropriate staff on call to accommodate our baby's immediate needs. In other words, we continue to live in limbo land until this baby makes her way into the world. Until doctors can do a complete physical assessment and echo after delivery, we will not know all the details, nor are doctors willing to speculate or guess at this time. A lot can present itself in this last trimester as baby gets bigger, holds still for longer (which makes for easier scanning) and as the heart grows.
So, here we remain - as residents in limbo land. We are just trying to find the optimism hidden among the sea of unknowns. The only things we know for sure is that life here in limbo land stinks, July seems so far away, and our love for this baby runs deep already, regardless. This is all out of our control - we have no choice but to patiently wait right here.