Today I had what will probably be my final visit with the pediatric cardiologist until after the baby is born. He reiterated today what he told us before: he is not overly concerned about the baby’s heart condition. In fact, the baby won’t even necessarily need the surgery right away because there isn’t too much leakage going on from the holes. So there will be time for the baby to grow outside the womb until the surgery can be done. If the holes were in other places besides the AV Canal, it would be more serious, but thankfully, the heart condition is very fixable.
He saw a tiny amount of fluid outside the heart, but he said he was not concerned about it, and it is something he sees a lot. He said he hesitated to even tell me because he didn’t want me to worry about it. He did confirm what the ultrasound tech said on Wed. – the heart is taking up most of the chest cavity because there isn’t as much lung tissue as there normally would be. Unfortunately, there really is no way of being able to tell whether a baby will be able to breathe by looking at how much lung tissue there is – each baby is different.
Finally, he told me the heart condition should not cause me to need a c-section. It sounds like as long as things continue to look good (meaning no signs of fetal distress) they will let me deliver through labor instead of having to do a c-section. The baby is in the right position for it, and as long as the baby doesn’t start showing any distress, they said there is no real reason to do a c-section. I think the baby has surprised them – most of the time babies with so little fluid do have distress, which is why a c-section is usually needed.
Next week I’ll have a fluid check and the 26th will be my next growth scan. If the baby grows, I will stay pregnant, if not, they will probably go ahead and plan to deliver. As long as the baby doesn’t go into distress until then, we will have made it to 34 weeks, which was our original goal, and one they told me not to get to hopeful about. So I feel like our baby has already beat the odds. If we make it past 34 weeks, that will be an added bonus, but even getting to 34 weeks is huge. In fact, getting as far as I am now (32 weeks) without any problems is quite the accomplishment. God has looked after our baby this long, and I know He will continue to do so.
For those who are praying for our baby, I would ask that you pray for the lungs, as the baby’s ability to breathe is crucial to survival. Regardless of what else could be wrong, if the baby can’t breathe, nothing else matters. Of course, if the baby is able to manage on the small amount of lung tissue he/she has, other things will definitely matter, and we are praying about those things too. But the first hurdle once the baby comes into the world is being able to breathe.