Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Latest

Today hubs and I had an appointment with our Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Horne. This was our last visit with him before we head to Charleston for Chase's birth and surgery. It was a very informative 2-hour appointment!

We started with an ultrasound and Dr. Horne gathered all kinds of measurements of Chase's heart. We were again very grateful that our sweet boy is developing normally and that there were no new issues discovered. His estimated weight was 5 lbs. 15 oz. (+/- .75 lb.)!!! I was hoping he would be at least 5 lbs. and he exceeded my expectations! Praise the Lord! I'm still praying for him to be at least 8 lbs. at birth -- the bigger, the better! We were so pleased that all of his measurements looked good -- he was above the 50th percentile across the board.

After the ultrasound we met with Dr. Horne for a consultation. He is such a wonderful doctor and took lots of time to explain things to us and answer our questions. He shared some interesting findings with us as well. He broke out a chart that listed the measurements he took of Chase's heart and started tossing terms like "standard deviation" around (I looked at hubs for a translation since I don't speak numbers) and basically was told that the range for the standard deviation is 2.5. ALL of Chase's measurements were within the standard deviation, with the exception of his ascending aorta, which was at -3.08. In my feeble understanding, that means that all of his measurements, except the ascending aorta, is within the average range of a healthy heart!!! Furthermore, Dr. Horne informed us that IF Chase's ascending aorta were to grow substantially in the next 3-1/2 weeks before his birth, there is a slight possibility that he would NOT need to have the first of the three surgeries, the Norwood procedure, his first week of life. He would still need the 2nd and 3rd surgeries and would still only have one functioning ventricle, but -- can you imagine?? The first surgery is by far the most complex and results in the longest recovery. It is an open-heart procedure, requiring heart/lung bypass, etc. Dr. Horne did say there was only about a 5% chance this could happen, but NOW I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO BE PRAYING FOR! Overall it seemed to me that all of the measurements and findings of this ultrasound were very encouraging and that most of Chase's heart is relatively "normal" in a sense. His pulmonary artery is actually larger than what is expected at 35 weeks in a baby with a healthy heart, which was very encouraging as well!

I am fully aware that we WILL face challenges and it WILL be a roller-coaster, but ultimately I am so grateful that God has been with us this far, and know without a doubt He will see us through our journey -- whatever it entails. I have been praying for God to provide a miracle for my sweet baby boy, whether through complete healing or through the surgeon's hands, and He is giving me a surreal peace in my heart and mind that He continues to be in control of everything. God hears our prayers and I will continue all the more fervently to ask Him for His goodness and grace for my baby boy. Please pray with me for this! Hubs and I know without a doubt that if it weren't for the prayers of our families and friends (and even some kind folks we don't know personally), we would not be handling this situation as "well" as we feel we are. We are prepared physically for what lies ahead (temporary housing, childcare, finances, etc.) but we know there is NO WAY for us to prepare emotionally for this journey. That's where faith and prayer come in! We are confident God will give us the strength we need to get through each and every day -- no more, no less!

I know I haven't said it enough, but THANK YOU SO MUCH for your continued thoughts, prayers and support for hubs and I. I can only imagine how helpless friends and family feel right now -- there's really nothing anyone can do (ourselves included!) and I'm sure that has to be frustrating. And I know it's probably hard to talk to us about the situation -- not knowing what to say and not wanting to say the "wrong" thing. Please just know that your prayer support is so very precious to us and we need you to continue to pray over the next few weeks as we put everything in place and prepare for Chase's arrival. God bless each and every one of you!