Friday, March 16, we drove to Primary Children's hospital for the Fetal Echocardiogram. I was way paranoid about getting there on time, so we arrived unexpectedly super early and had to wait an hour.
A Fetal Echocardiogram is an intense ultrasound--about 50 minutes long focused only on the baby's heart. The tech took still shots, videos, thermal blood flow maps, heart rates, measurements, etc. It was all very scientific and still just as blurry as any other ultrasound we've been too.
After the tech got all the shots, we moved to a consult room where the cardiologist met us to review the results. It was a really nice room--comfy couch, fluffy cushions, nice furniture--like a living room. It made me way too nervous and I was sure that nothing good could come of a conversation with a cardiologist in a room this "comforting". I was right.
Our baby has a very rare and life-threatening heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Without surgery it is fatal. Even with ideal treatment conditions, it is not a long life.
This does not appear to be a genetic defect. Something just went wrong in the early stages of pregnancy and would, in most cases, have ended in early miscarriage. There is no way we could have caused or prevented it. Since blood flow in a fetus is different than blood flow in a newborn, this baby will live easily to full-term. We will experience a "normal" pregnancy, labor, and delivery. At this point there is little anyone can do. Life for us will be pretty normal for the next 3 months, except for a few more doctor's appointments, a few more tests, and a lot of soul searching.
We have detailed some answers to more common questions in the side bar at the right. Please direct any of your questions there and we will post answers as we learn them. There are also some video explanations of the surgeries. We will continue to post more details and different aspects of this journey as we experience them.
Obviously this has been, and still is, a very raw and emotional time for us. We appreciate the struggle it is going to be for our families and friends as well. We have found great comfort in our faith. No matter what happens, it will be okay. Families are forever. We truly believe that. We pray for guidance, for strength and for comfort. Thank you for your prayers, love and understanding.