I was born with some serious congenital heart problems. When I was at the age where babies are supposed to have doubled their weight, I had gained a total of 3 pounds. That was the biggest clue that something wasn't quite right. I ended up having heart surgery around 8 months and then open heart surgery at 5-years-old. Luckily that surgery, lots of prayers, and blessings was very successful. I have not had any restrictions or been on any medication since (except for pre-medicating when I go to the dentist).
Whenever I see a new doctor, which is a lot thanks to all of our moves, my history always raises lots of red flags, especially when I am pregnant. When I was pregnant with Lucas they asked me to get an echo (like an ultrasound on the heart). I did and the doctor kept asking who did my surgery as he was amazed at how great everything looked. And that was the end of it.
So when I went to my new doctor here, I was not a bit surprised when she said she wanted me to get an echo. But then she also said she wanted me to go see a Perinatal doctor for an echo for the babies heart. So being the good patient I am, I complied.
At the perinatal doctor I first had to meet with a genetic counselor who tried to scare me into all of the different possibilities and deformities there could be, so do I want test A, B, C and D? I told her, if I did find something out from any of these tests I would not terminate the pregnancy and would love my baby all the same so there was no point. This went on for about a hour when I finally convinced her that I was not worried and was not going to have any extra tests.
I then went for the ultrasound. I was 15 1/2 weeks when I had this ultrasound. They weren't able to see everything on the heart they wanted to yet, as the baby is still so small, but from what they could see everything looks great. I thought, well good this will be the end of it... but then I gave the letter that explains what exactly my condition is to the doctor and he got all excited.
Not excited in the worried about me or the baby kind of way, but excited wondering what are the chances for this being passed on (spefically my bi-cuspid heart valve--most people have tri-cuspid), has this been studied? He even called up another doctor during my appointment to ask if they could get together and talk about forming a database and study where they could keep track of this kind of information. Let me just say I began to feel a bit like a guinea pig.
He continued to talk with me for another couple of hours, yes you read that right... during which he would pause talk with another patient for a few minutes then come back and talk with me. I was just really grateful the Dr.'s office had free wi-fi. He was nice and I am glad he is interested but the fact that he wants me to come back once a month for the rest of my pregnancy... well thank goodness I have good friends and family like Lourie from CA girl who's willing to watch my kids and who's house my kids love going to.
So for your enjoyment here are a few of the ultrasound pictures.