Friday, September 6, 2013

8 months down, 8 weeks to go

I am officially 32 weeks pregnant!  That's 8 months down with 8 weeks to go:)  These last 8 months have been some of the happiest and hardest months of our lives.

32 weeks is a very big deal for us.  Our doctors told us that if Caroline was born before 32 weeks her chances of survival were zero.  I haven't had any medical problems with this pregnancy so far but I was still nervously waiting for the 32 week mark to come around.  At least now if something goes wrong and I deliver early she has a good fighting chance.  Yay!

These last three weeks following the fetal intervention have trickled by.  Ryan returned to Italy.  Of course I cried like a baby.  I miss him and I miss our life there.  We left so abruptly that I didn't get a chance to say proper goodbyes to our friends and co-workers there.  Michigan has been great but it feels strange not to be part of the hustle and bustle of a new semester, and not to be surrounded by exuberant 19 year olds.  That isn't to say that I don't have plenty of things to do here.  This baby will make her debut before we know it and there are still lots of boxes to check on the old To Do list.

Yesterday I had a slew of doctor's appointments that included another fetal echocardiogram.  Things are looking good.  I am not experiencing any problems and Caroline's growth is spot on.  The techs have remarked more than once on how long her arms and legs are.  Not surprising:)  The echo showed that the aortic valve has not regressed since surgery which is very positive.  The flip side is that it could regress at any time, we just have to keep monitoring it.  There is some function in the left ventricle which the doctors hope will improve over the next few weeks.  The blood flow through the aortic arch is looking alright and it appears that the bilateral blood flow between the atriums may have decreased slightly.  The mitral valve regurgitation is definitely decreased.  Over all very good things to hear.

The real test of the left ventricle will be after Caroline is born.  We really won't know until then if it will be able to function on its own so things are still up in the air as to what we can expect.  If it is not able to function on its own then we are back to the HLHS situation and a series of open heart surgeries.  If the left ventricle is able to function on its own then it all depends how good of a job it does.  Maybe she will still need surgery, maybe we will need to re-balloon the aortic valve, or maybe she can be given medicines to improve its function.  We really just have to wait and see.

I got back for another fetal echocardiogram in 4 weeks, at which time I will be 36 weeks pregnant.  The doctors will assess Caroline's heart and then we will talk delivery plans.  If her heart is not looking good I may be induced so they can intervene quickly and try and fix what's wrong, but if all looks ok then I should be allowed to carry on and have a natural delivery.  I am getting excited, and nervous of course, and I know the time is going to fly by.  Please keep up the prayers!