Thursday, December 15, 2016

Medical Updates

I'm doing better at this right now!

Medical/family updates:

Last week, the first full week of December, Austin was gone from Tuesday night until late Saturday evening. The kids and I survived (obviously) but Eden had a really hard time letting Austin leave again for work on Monday morning. She collapsed on the floor and cried for a full half hour. He was doing BEST robotics stuff, as many of you saw from his pictures. It seems like his trip was fairly uneventful, aside from misplacing his keys on Saturday and having to call a locksmith to break him into his car where they were sitting in the cup holder under his hotel coffee cup (this is why I throw my trash away).

We at home hibernated through the cold snap that hit on Thursday, ate food, and prepared cookie dough that I then baked on Sunday for teacher gifts to be distributed on Monday. It was a quiet, relatively calm week.

This week has been nuts. Tuesday, I drove to Dallas for the fetal echocardiogram scheduled for Wednesday morning. I only missed one left exit in downtown Dallas, due partly to construction, due partly to I hate left exits. A nice long hot shower without a little girl peeking inside, a yummy room service dinner, and I went to bed.

Wednesday morning, I realized about halfway through breakfast that I wasn't really sure where I was going. That's problematic because Children's is massive. BUT I have a pretty good memory for directions and locations, so I went to the same parking garage and used the same entrance we'd used for Eden's echo last summer and it turned out I was right. I got a little turned around trying to find the elevators but after that everything went pretty smoothly.

The fetal echocardiogram had to be done in Dallas because they don't have the equipment to do it in Abilene. It's stronger than a regular ultrasound machine because it has to go through two bodies. It was basically an ultrasound focused on the baby's heart, and that's what the tech looked at for the full 45 minutes I was there. We chatted about baby names and some of the more ridiculous ones he's encountered in his 20 years of working with children. I gotta say, Yomajesty is now a contender for this baby's name. ;-)

Dr. S came in to do her own scans and when she heard we don't know this baby's gender and haven't had any other ultrasounds, she attempted to find genitals and make a guess. It wasn't conclusive, so we're still not sure and are still picking out names for both genders. We talked Tuesday night and decided we're ok with having a surprise. It's our (hopefully) last baby, so it's now or never.

The baby's heart looks good for the most part, but it does have a small mid-muscular Ventricular Septal Defect, a hole in the wall between the ventricles. It won't close up on it's own before the baby is born because the baby isn't using their lungs so the pressure is equal. I asked if it would get bigger once the baby was born and breathing and she said no. It'll close up naturally after birth, but we're still going to have an echo done on the baby within a month of birth to check on it. I'm assuming that if it hasn't closed up or showed signs of closing at that point, we'll schedule another one and keep an eye on it until it does close. She was positive this would not require surgery.

She also said there wasn't a reason that this would prevent us from having a home birth, which was a relief. I'll still discuss it with the midwife and make sure she feels comfortable delivering a baby with a heart defect. If she doesn't, we'll reassess. Mom is on board. And of course we'll make sure that the pediatrician knows in advance so she's not caught by surprise when we go in for the baby's newborn shots.

So yay for that! I'm honestly not upset about this. I think if I weren't Eden's mom, I might be. I'm not saying that a VSD isn't scary for a parent, but for us, it's kind of old hat at this point. We've already got that echo scheduled for late April, so we'll get everything checked out and that baby is taken care of.

Eden had her cardiology appointment today here in Abilene. When Dr. S realized how we'd scheduled everything, she apologized and said I could have brought Eden with me yesterday to Dallas. Oh well. She would have had to miss her class party and I would have been worried about her getting into EVERYTHING while I was being scanned. It wasn't the most ideal way to spend my week, running all over the place, but it's not the worst.

Eden is still doing great. The cardiothorasic surgeon at Stamford strongly advises we leave her alone and not do surgery until/unless necessary, and I'm fully on board with that. She hasn't changed, heart wise, since her last appointment in June. She is at risk for heart block (abnormal heart beats) but Dr. S said that it's possible, if not likely, that that won't show up until late adolescence. Signs would be more tiredness or passing out during exercise. (She may be able to get out of PE when she's older because of this...lucky girl.) She's wearing a halter EKG machine to do a 24 hour EKG right now, and we'll take it off and return it tomorrow afternoon. She wasn't super thrilled with the echo she had today, but she was still fairly sweet and pleasant to everyone she encountered. She even tried to steal one of the pillows off the table and one of the techs was willing to send it home with her.

Dr. S does want us to make sure Eden sees the dentist on a regular basis. One of her valves is a bi-cuspid instead of a tri-cuspid, which apparently is great for bacteria growth, so we need to make sure she keeps her teeth clean and healthy. I'm not totally 100% sure I get how that all relates, but ok. Our appointment was at 1, we didn't get to the clinic until 1:30 because of some issues in the check-in, and we didn't leave ARMC until after 3, so I was a little distracted with trying to get my kids all gathered together from their various locations.

Tonight is Milsoft's Christmas party and tomorrow is Asher's last day of school and Saturday we've got a special Christmas gift for the kids to do so the dashing around hasn't stopped yet. Then Sunday morning we've got church where Austin's leading Grace Falls worship and Sunday School and our family is lighting the advent candles in the traditional service.

I may sleep all day on Monday. I'm worn out from the first half of this week and there's still some big stuff coming. It's all good, though. We'll have several days of relaxation before Christmas festivities, then a few more before New Year's and Asher's birthday (which he's looking forward to almost as much as Christmas). Austin will have a couple days off, so I'll probably hibernate and try to rest and let him solo parent a bit on those days.

So that's all for now! Everyone is doing great and there are lots of plans in action, with back up plans for most of them. We're truckin' along here, waiting for March and a new baby to shake things up again....but hopefully not TOO much.

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