Second I realize I'm not a cute pregnant person, which is why I typically avoid pregnancy pics, but I feel like these might be very precious to me one day, and so a picture here and there it is.
Here goes nothin....
20 Week Ultrasound
This pregnancy has gone much like my other two. A couple variations here and there but for the most part very similar. That is up until my 20 week ultrasound. I went by myself. We had already taken both the kids to an early ultrasound to see what the sex of the baby was, so this just felt like it would be the standard ultrasound that would go the same way it had the previous two times. It actually did go the same for the most part. She went through all the body parts saying they all looked good, talked about my other kids and how I was excited to have another boy, and how excited Gianni was to be getting another sibling. Then she just kept saying she couldn't get a good look at his heart because of his position. She had me move to my side then back and kept saying "I can't really get a good look." I literally thought nothing of it. Then she very casually said, "So one side of his heart looks like it might be smaller then the other, but I can't really see because of his position. Let me show a picture to the doctor and see if he maybe wants you to go see the perinatologist." (ps at this point I had no idea what a perinatologist was) She came back with a sheet of paper with my appointment already made at the Utah Valley Hospital. That's when I started to feel uneasy. She said she wasn't sure at all everything was probably fine, and that they just wanted to be safe, so I would wait 3 WEEKS and go to this appointment that was really no big deal. On the drive home is when it really set in. I just couldn't get out of my head that if this wasn't a big deal why wouldn't she just have me come back there and do an ultrasound just to be sure. When I told Stefano I started crying, and felt like I was being pretty dramatic because of how nonchalant the sonographer had been. He was very reassuring that they probably did this to cover themselves and they have to be extra careful because everyone is sue happy and they would be in a lot of trouble if they missed something and they were just being super cautious. Which totally make sense because if you've ever had a c-section and then try for a vaginal delivery they pretty much have you sign your life away just to cover all their bases. Totally get it. I felt better, but still a little sick inside. That night Stefano said don't go on the internet it will just freak you out. I knew he was right but I couldn't help it, my mind wouldn't stop and I wanted to be informed about what was going on with my child. If you just look up heart defects there are tons and really a lot of them are pretty minor. Its when you put in one side of the heart smaller then the other that stuff starts getting scary. You start reading things like:
- Open heart surgery
- Heart Transplant
I don't know that I can go through the blow by blow of this appointment. It was all so overwhelming and extremely emotional. It basically consisted of a full hour receiving an echocardiogram (sonogram of the heart), then an hour and thirty mins with the cardiologist giving us the rundown of what our child's diagnosis is, and what possible outcomes may be. In short it was worse then what the perionatoligist had thought. It was explained to us that in the best case scenario he would need at least 3 open heart surgeries one of which would need to be within the first week after birth, and all of which would happen before the age of 4.
We've had several appointments since with various doctors, and with each appointment we seem to get another piece of disheartening news. The hard thing I think to really explain to people is that although someone may know a person that has a child with what may seem like a similar heart defect, even a child that had the same type of procedure our baby will need, our child's condition is extremely rare. As in I asked if maybe I could speak to a parent with an older child that has our same heart condition, and they couldn't find one, not one that she felt could give us an accurate representation of what our little boys life could be like when he is a teenager. With that comes a lot of unknowns and potential complications, and when I say potential I mean the complications will come its just a matter of what exactly, when, and how bad they will be. Some of those unknowns will be clearer once he is born, but really the truth of it is there is no way of foreseeing how he will do. At this point we are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Constantly praying for understanding and for strength. Strength to face what is ahead of us, and to be thankful for the time we will get with our sweet little boy however long or short it may be.