a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Littlest Teaster Update: Part III

To recap, here's Part I and Part II.

Before I begin, let me say that last week my high risk doctor arranged for us to meet with a doctor from the NICU. Our meeting with this doctor was intense as all possible scenarios with baby and her health were mapped out before us. All the this and that's that could happen were thrown out on the table. I couldn't believe my ears, the medical language was terrifying. We were talked through all possibilities, right down to the very worse case scenario, which was open heart surgery on our newborn. I literally understood about 5% of the conversation but was still scared out of my mind. Our meeting ended with a tour through the NICU which was an experience that I could have never prepared for. This could be us soon, I thought. All the more reason to be anxious for today's appointment in the hopes of having a more clear picture.

So today was our third fetal echo. I am currently 31w. The concerns for today's appointment (concerns noted from last echo one month ago) were as follows:
1. "flap" in right atria that should not be present
2. abnormal (meaning some reverse) blood flow, questionable as a result of said "flap"
3. questionable transposition of great vessels
4. mesocardia (heart located midline) and dextrocardia (heart malrotated, rotated backwards)

Here are the basics, as best and as simply as I can explain them, from today's scan:
1. The "flap" wasn't seen today. It appears to be absent and doctor said that doesn't mean it's necessarily gone but that it's entirely possible this piece of tissue has been absorbed into the body. To think that this potentially obstructive flap is gone, something that was once believed to warrant surgery for it's removal... well, I'm calling it a miracle.
2. Today's scan does not reveal any abnormalities of blood flow, meaning all blood enters and exits the heart just as it should and is supplying the body appropriately. Perhaps this is a good indicator that the flap really is in fact no longer present.
3. We do not have a case of Transposition of Great Vessels.
4. Mesocardia is still a definite diagnosis. This is not, however, a true diagnosis of Dextrocardia. Yes, the heart is rotated, enough so that it almost appears to be positioned backwards, but not completely.

Knowing what we know today, this is good news. Really good news. But, Rob and I refrain from celebrating as the rug as been pulled from underneath us too many times before. We still have 9 weeks left and as her heart continues to grow, it can also continue to change. With the information we have today, our doctor feels confident that no surgical intervention will be necessary. Baby will still be given an echo after delivery and we will still have a team of specialists waiting and ready to care for her once she makes her grand entrance.

I will not be seen for a fourth fetal echo. At this point, doctors have seen all they can possibly see. I am okay with this. We finally feel a bit of peace in this situation. It's not a typical scenario but one that seems manageable on many levels. Rob and I are aware that there are still some unknowns but we're confident that whatever is waiting for us around the corner is no more than we can handle.


  1. Oh thank goodness Mo. I am cautiously celebrating for you!

  2. That great news Mo!! The fact that there is a team of specialists waiting to help her is a great thing too and I hope that brings you some peace. Thinking of you...

  3. I'm so glad that things are looking towards the best case scenario today.

    We too had a visit with Caleigh's NICU before her birth. It was a naive visit for me. I completely understand your soaking in 5%.

    From someone who spent 6.5 months in the NICU, I am praying that you and #2 do not have to experience it for even one day.

    Praying for peace for the next 9 weeks.

  4. WOW. Sounds like things are much better at this scan than the last...but I understand that of course things could change and they won't really know anything until the baby is here.

    Like Tiffany said...I'm cautiously celebrating!!!

  5. Well, that sounds like a seriously good update. I understand the caution, but this post made me breathe a sigh of relief.

  6. As I was reading this I was praying for a miracle and then I get to the bottom and feel like you got one! I'm so glad to read the latest test showed improvements. You and your family has really been in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs!