We arrived at the hospital, check in, and endured an hour of agonizing waiting. It felt like forever. But then again, they gave us a book load of paperwork to fill out, to enroll us into the hospital. All I wanted was answers, reassurance from a specialists point of view. Just to know if our baby had a chance. Knowing something was wrong, but not knowing all the details, or if anything could be done to help our baby was terrifying. It took every ounce of strength in me not to just lose it and sob hysterically.
Finally, we were taken to an exam room in the Fetal Echo cardiogram and Cardiology center. The Level II ultrasound is a imaging scan that uses sound waves (just as the standard ultrasound does) to look at a baby's organs: the four chambers of the heart, kidneys, bladder, stomach, brain, spine and sex organs. Clearly it was the four chambers of the heart that were of interest that day. These tests can provide a diagnosis of the specific congenital heart defect a baby has.
Lying on the table and enduring those tests, staring at the screen trying to make out the issues was rather
exhausting. Thankfully the tests weren't at all physically painful, and with so much on my mind, I slowly fell asleep. Which in the end, made the tests go faster, as what only felt like a few minutes later was actually an hour and a half later. The doctor than came in the room to do a couple of images herself, and then she ushered us into her office across the way to consult with us. The first thing she said was, "The baby has a heart defect, and it consists of four issues in one." She then drew us a diagram on a print out showing us a what a normal human heart looks like vs. what his symptoms were. My husband asked what our babies chances were and she informed us that from her findings she believed that our son would have to have surgery as soon as he was born; but that the operation had a low mortality rate. This information was a little bit of a relief.
But we would soon find out that that wasn't the only issue.
She then informed us that we had an appointment downstairs to get a regular ultrasound done, so that they can see how his growth was and take the needed measurements to keep on record. Why they couldn't do this in the same room, kind of confused me, but we followed through and went downstairs for the needed test. There my son gave a little more of fight, as he kept hiding from the ultrasound camera wand,
either by using his arms to cover his face or by turning his back. It was kind of funny to assume he was shy or just tired of all the commotion. So the doctors put me on a bed that reminded me of a ride at an amusement park. As I lie there flat, the technician would use a toggle switch to move the table so my head went upside down or leaned me to the right or left, to try and get my son to move inside of me; at times it would work for a few minutes, but then my son would arch his back the other way to hide the views the technicians needed. Nevertheless, they finally got the photos they needed, as once they even did a vaginal screening. But after all that commotion, we were ushered back upstairs into the office, where a couple people came in to discuss the results.
A few moments of silence went by, and then the OBGYN doctor informed us that a inscriber would be joining us virtually to take notes of everything. That was the first red flag for me. The second was when she started to draw a diagram of the uterus with a baby inside. She then explained that the ultrasound photos revealed two more issues that could affect the pregnancy.
So not only are we dealing with a heart issue, we are also dealing with issues that can affect the pregnancy in all.