March 13th ultrasound
Just when I thought we were going to have a normal, long, healthy pregnancy...
We received some difficult news today at my ultrasound. A cardiologist was called in to take a look at a possible abnormality in one of the hearts. He confirmed that there are two areas of concern for our baby girl B. I hope I get all my medical terms correct....
Baby B has settled way up under my rib cage which makes it very difficult to get a good view, but there are two areas of her heart that appear abnormal on the ultrasounds. Her ductus arteriosus (blood vessel) appears to be prematurely narrow. This, by itself, is not overly concerning, as this blood vessel normally closes shortly after birth anyway. The bigger concern is that her aortic valve appears to be too narrow as well (called aortic stenosis). During my ultrasound, the cardiologist was able to measure the speed at which blood is traveling through this section, and it measured in the above average range, which supports the theory that the passageway is too narrow.
So, what does this all mean? Once the girls are born, the ductus arteriosus will begin to close (which it is supposed to do--you may remember that Devyn and Kinley both had open ductus arteriosus, or PDAs, which had to be closed with help from medication). Once it closes, then all the blood will have to travel through this aortic valve, and if the passageway is too narrow it makes the heart work harder to pump blood.
My doctors have decided to change our delivery to a different hospital that is better prepared to deal with this potential problem. Although this isn't the end of the world, it is disappointing that we won't be at St. Rose, which became our second home for 12 weeks while Devyn and Kinley were in the NICU.
Once born, the cardiologist said there are likely three possible outcomes/treatments. 1). The aortic valve is not as narrow as it appears on the ultrasound, and it will be able to manage the blood flow without any medical intervention (obviously this would be wonderful, but at this point appears unlikely). 2). If the valve needs to be widened, one option is to insert a balloon via a catheter up to the heart to stretch the valve and improve blood flow. 3). If the condition is severe enough, open heart surgery will be required to replace the valve completely.
I am scheduled for another ultrasound with the cardiologist next Thursday to check on baby B's heart. If her condition has worsened in any way, they may decide on an immediate delivery. Otherwise, we are scheduled for a c-section on March 31st.
Aside from all this, both girls look very healthy in every other way. At my growth ultrasound last Friday, both girls were about 5 and a half pounds. They are very active during my monitoring sessions each week, and all other measurements look great!
Although I'm scared of what challenges we may face in the coming weeks, we are anxious to meet our baby girls. Your thoughts and extra prayers are very much appreciated!