April 15, 2013

twenty-six.

Our sweet little nugget is twenty-six weeks and two days big.  She is also still a drama queen.


We went in today for another ultrasound to see if we could learn a little bit more about her heart.  Silly girl thought it was a good idea to block their view with her arm for thirty minutes, and then roll over as soon as they found a good angle to check out her aorta.  She was crazy the whole time.  She kept moving around and jumping so they couldn't get a consistent picture.  I felt bad for the sonographer.  And the doctor, since he had to keep waiting to see what he needed to see.

Eventually they got some pretty decent views of everything they wanted to check out.  She still has the same heart defects.  She still needs surgery before we'll be allowed to take her home.  And she's still a little camera-shy.

We learned a little bit more about the surgeries she'll need.  Which helped ease our concerns a little.   

They'll do a couple different things to repair the silly little mistakes she made.  First, they'll put a patch over the VSD and create openings from each side into the right artery.  Then, since her aorta is a little too-small-for-comfort, they'll use her pulmonary artery to reconstruct the aorta and make sure it has branches going to all the right places.  Then they'll replace her pulmonary artery with a cadaver-transplant.  It sounds a little backwards at first, but since the cadaver artery won't grow with her heart, it's much safer to use it instead of the pulmonary artery.  And using her own pulmonary artery tissue to repair the aorta means it will be able to grow with her.

After she's born they'll make sure she's stable and check her heart to make sure what we think is wrong is what's actually wrong.  Then they'll put her on some medication to keep blood flowing through her aorta while she gets used to life on the outside.  It will probably be a few days before they actually do any surgery, which is nice, because I won't be so drugged-up while it's happening.  After surgery she'll spend some time in the NICU to recover, they'll also want to make sure she's eating/breathing/growing - all that good stuff - before they send her home.  That generally lasts around 2-4 weeks.  After that, as long as everything goes according to plan, she'll be a pretty normal baby.  With seven different doctors.  :)

She will need another couple surgeries as she grows, to replace the pulmonary artery with larger ones, to accommodate increased blood-flow.  But that won't be for at least a year.

She's a pretty normal-sized baby.  Her growth is in the 40th percentile.  Which makes me feel better about her no being a giant sasquatch like my brothers.  There's still some extra fluid in her kidney, but it's not enough to really concern the doctors.  They're just going to keep an eye on it.

We'll have another ultrasound in May, and I think all the doctors are hoping she learns some manners by then.  Really, I kind of like that she's so uncooperative, since it means I get to spend more time watching her on the big screen!  :)

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