March 28, 2013

I love the internet.

So, ever since last week's super-informative trips to the doctor, I've been trying to figure out exactly which heart defects our sweet baby nugget has. I realize that I could have just called the doctor's office and had the answer in a minute, but I don't usually get off work until 9, and I never remember by the next morning.  And I don't like talking to people.  And I love to Google things.  Anyway, thanks to the wonderful, all-knowing internet I've finally figured it out!! (Sort of, I guess I could still be wrong.)

Our sweet little drama-queen baby nugget has a double-outlet right ventricle and a ventricular septal defect.

Double-outlet right ventricle (DORV) is a congenital heart defect in which both the pulmonary artery and aorta come from the same pumping chamber. This causes problems in the body because the right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood, which means that's what the aorta is carrying to the rest of the body (instead of the oxygen-rich blood it would get from the left ventricle).

from childrenshospital.org

DORV always includes a VSD [we already talked about that one here], and that helps out, because it allows the oxygen-rich blood to mix into the right ventricle and then be carried to the body. Unfortunately, there's not quite enough oxygen-rich blood getting to the body, so the heart ends up working even harder than it would normally have to.  There is also usually increased blood-pressure in the lungs because the pulmonary artery receives more blood than it should.

Even after reading all about this defect and the risks and problems associated with it, I'm still not totally freaked out.  I mean, I'm sure I will be a absolute mess once everything's actually happening, but right now all I can think is how lucky we are to know about our little nugget's problems this early so we, and the doctors, can prepare for everything.

I also spent some time looking at pictures of babies after having heart surgery, just to prepare myself, and while it is so sad to see such tiny little bodies hooked up to so many different things, I wasn't shocked by the visual.  I know it will be different when it's my own baby, and all I can do is look at her lying there and pat her sweet little hand.  But I'm still so grateful to live somewhere that can provide the care that she'll need.

If you want to learn more, or if you just don't understand what DORV is from the way I explained it here, you can find more information and pictures on the Scripps website.  Or you can Google it for yourself.  But, please, don't freak out when you read about all the complications and problems that can arise from this kind of heart defect.  A lot of the more serious things that can happen are things that our baby will never have to deal with because her heart will be fixed before it can start causing those problems. 

We are still very optimistic about the nugget's condition.  She's a drama queen, for sure, but we'll wait to deal with that once she starts talking  :)


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