Yesterday, as most of you know, we went up to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake. A nice lady named Lynn did an echo-cardiogram on Brenna, and we met with several Pediatric Cardiologists, a social worker, and the head nurse coordinator. All of them were very sweet, and inviting. I was a train wreck, i didn't know what to expect, and was terrified at what we could possibly be told.
Tyler and I, along with my mom, Marianne and my mother-in-law Christine, sat in the room as Lynn did the echo-cardiogram in complete and total silence. Brenna of course, was being naughty and WOULD NOT sit still. Lynn tried to get pictures and videos of her heart for an hour and forty-five minutes! (quite possibly the LONGEST minutues of my life!!) She kept moving and turning and kicking the ultrasound probe everytime Lynn would move it. Brenna calmed down (for a minute) and Lynn was able to get about 5 good minutes of pictures and video.
After the Echo-cardiogram, they took us into a large conference room, and sat us down, (TERRIFYING!!) and they proceeded to tell us what they had found. The name of the defect is Pulmonary Atresia (clarification for those of you who may be interested to find out more, there are 2 TYPES of this heart disease- our baby has two ventricles, and the septum is intact. The other is more serious.) It is considered congenital heart disease, so it is not hereditary. It just so happened that she is the 1% of babies whose heart has this certain defect.
Basically what this means, is that the main artery, that delivers blood to her lungs is sealed shut. Right now, while she is inside me, she is completely safe. The blood is flowing as it should, and is getting to where it needs to go. After she is born, there is a little valve (all babies have it) that closes within 24-48 hours after birth. Soon after she is born, they will start her on a special medicine, to keep that little valve open and her blood circulating to the right places. As soon as she is stable enough, they will take her and try to snake a catheter up through her right ventricle to the opening of the valve that is sealed. They will burn a small hole through the tissue to open the it, and then they will take a balloon and try to stretch it and make the opening wider. The right ventricle is what pumps the blood to and up through the artery, to the lungs. Since the opening to the artery is sealed, the right ventricle is working very hard to try and pump the blood, but it cant. It has a build up of tissue which could cause further issues. It is underdeveloped, but there is a chance that it can continue to grow and develop over the next few weeks. (for those of you praying, please remember to pray that the tiny little part of her heart (right ventricle) will develop more.)
All in all, they say that this is a step by step process, and cannot exactly determine what will have to be done just yet. It just depends on Brenna, and what her body tells them she needs, and what her body chooses to accept. Further surgeries could be necessary, but we wont know exactly what until she has her first procedure. They say that this will be a lifelong journey for all of us, and she will be seeing a cardiologist for the rest of her life. There is also a chance that she will live a healthy life, and be able to be active- her heart will never be 100%, but it can come very close to being normal. We already know she has a very beautiful, kind, and special heart full of love!
The doctors we met with were very sweet and very thorough. They are very blunt, and tell it like it is. Which i am so thankful for--They are so confident in what they can do to help us, and baby Brenna. They are so hopeful, and gave me so much confidence that her heart can be fixed! They are expecting her to be just fine, and told us that we could very well be taking our sweet baby girl home with us within 2-4 weeks after she is born.
What a sigh of relief, for me and Tyler to hear that there is hope for our precious baby. I am beyond grateful for the comfort, peace, and relief that i got in answer to many, MANY, prayers. I know my Heavenly Father is watching out for us, and that he will be a constant in my life if i choose to let him be. He loves me, and knows of my deepest desires and needs. He knows what is best, and has a plan for our little family. One of the things that has helped me most, is to look at my life, and realize all of the blessings that he has given me already, and to find one positive thing every day that has put a smile on my face, and helps me recognize his hand in my life. The gospel is such a blessing, and has offered me much joy and happiness, even through hard times. It makes me want to reach out to others, and share that same happiness that i know and feel.
I know we have a long road ahead of us, but through faith and prayer, and constantly doing what we know we need to, anything is possible. I also know there is strength in numbers. All of your prayers, love and concern were an answer to my prayers--you have truly given us strength and courage, and i know the burden will be lighter with each one of you by our side, helping us, and praying for us. Thank you all, for all that you have done, and continue to do for us. We love each and every one of you.
"God is a God of miracles, and thus he blesses his children for showing FAITH."
-Elder Tanner Smith