Monday, October 08, 2012

Unexpected News

On Friday we had our regularly scheduled cardiology appt/fetal echo in Salt Lake City. Rowan is doing well—her heart continues to beat at a normal rate and all of the fluid in her abdomen is gone. Unfortunately, she continues to have some premature beats. And because her arrhythmia persists, the doctor thinks that she will almost certainly go back into SVT (high heart rate) at birth. Here's what that means for us:

1. I will have to deliver in Salt Lake City—unless I'm ok with giving birth here and having Rowan life flighted to SLC immediately (of course I'm not)

2. I will continue to have weekly OB/Midwife appointments in Idaho Falls until I'm 37 weeks (Thanksgiving). At that point, I have to go to Salt Lake City until I deliver... while having weekly checkups there.

3. Once Rowan is born, she'll probably have to be in the NICU until they can get her SVT under control with medication. It's going to be a bit of trial and error until the doctors come up with the right combination/dosage of medication that stabilizes her heart rate. It could take a few days. It could take a few weeks. She will be treated at Primary Children's, which is adjacent to the University of Utah hospital, where I will be delivering. In the long term, Rowan will most likely have to be on medication for at least the first year of her life... most likely longer. Once she is a bit older, she may have to have surgery to remove the cells causing the abnormal electrical signals in her heart. This is done via catheter ablation, and is NOT open heart surgery. If you'd like to learn more about SVT/treatments, here's a link...

4. We have to figure out, once again, what to do with Ella. And with Brady. We'll all be driving down to SLC for Thanksgiving, as we've been invited to spend it with friends—the same friends who have been so generously hosting us during our frequent visits. They have also offered to let me stay there while I "wait out" the rest of my pregnancy. But Ella will continue to have school. And depending on how far I've progressed toward labor (if at all) at 37/38 weeks, Brady may want to stay here for work. I will take my computer with me and will continue to work as much as I can.

This situation is so much more overwhelming that I could have ever anticipated. The prospect of having a child with a heart condition is beyond terrifying. I know that it is manageable and that many families deal with this and so much more. I am going through my scared shitless/self-pity phase right now. So if I'm not good at responding to anyone and everyone, it's because I'm still trying to take this all in. And I'm trying to remain sane for the remainder of my pregnancy. There's just so much to be done in the next 6.5 weeks between work and preparing for a baby.

1 comment:

H. said...

it's hard to think of something to say .. I'd be self-pitying and scared shitless too!! How overwhelming. Thank goodness she's still growing inside the oven, and that people in SLC are helping out. LOVE those pics of miss ella!