Well shoot, I'm a little behind on this! Baby Merrill is a boy :) We are thrilled about it and couldn't be more excited. I'm getting bigger :) I've even had a few strangers mention something...so I look prego enough for them not to be afraid to say something, which makes me happy :)
So, we had an appointment with the perinatalogist because the doctors thought one of his ventricles in his heart was enlarged. Well, the perinatalogist said his left ventricle was actually too small. So he sent us to Primary Children's Hospital today. It was a great appointment; the doctor was so helpful and made sure we understood what was going on. So what we understand now is that our sweet little baby has both an enlarged right ventricle and a small left ventricle. This is caused by a coarctation of his aorta. His coarctation is a little more severe than others in that it involves a large portion of the aorta.
Before babies are born they have a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), which reroutes the blood since it doesn't have to get oxygenated in the lungs yet (Mommy gives him oxygenated blood)...so our baby is fine right now for as long as he stays inside of me. But when he's born, the PDA closes up and that left ventricle and the entire aorta becomes critical to his circulation and life. So...he has to have surgery a few days after he's born. They usually go through the back side for this surgery, but because more of his aorta is involved, they'll most likely have to go through his chest. Poor little guy!
The doctor said the outcome and results of these surgeries are very good. He'll be fine, but it's something that needs to be taken care of. So, they've given us some referrals for fetal cardiologists in Virginia that we can work with and he'll most likely be born in a Children's Hospital where he can have the proper care.
His mitral and aortic valves are also smaller than they should be. There are some potential complications there that could lead to some more intensive surgeries. But we are praying that these valves and his left ventricle will grow properly and do their job.
We are so grateful for modern technology! It really is a miraculous thing that they can find this out before he is born so it can be taken care of right away. We are so blessed to have a special boy coming to us and we know that the Lord is completely in control. Being in the Children's Hospital today gave me a little glimpse of the love the Lord has for children. In a way it was a sacred experience to be there today. Our little guy will be okay and it will be a special experience for us :)