seattle update #2

 Wednesday: May 26, 2010

Our day in Seattle began with a fetal echocardiogram (basically, a fetal heart ultrasound). Dr. Krabill is a fetal heart expert. She confirmed that Daisy’s heart appears to be functioning normally – chambers, valves, flow, output, contraction, etc., which is encouraging. On several views, she thought the heart looked slightly enlarged, but on other views it looked normal. Overall, she didn’t see any major concerns or red flags, though she will spend the next few weeks reviewing the echo pictures in more detail and consulting with colleagues both near and far. 

Of note: during the echo, they WERE able to detect the umbilical vein (well, at least the path of the blood flow). Normally, the vein takes a pretty straight shot from the placenta to the liver. In Daisy’s case, the vein travels south and in a winding pattern where it connects directly to the IVC (inferior vena cava). The ramifications of this are unknown. The vein may or may not shut down after birth. If it doesn’t shut down on it’s own, Daisy may need medication or surgery. It’s not likely, however, that she’ll need surgery immediately. 

Next was our consult with perinatologist, Dr. Eastwood. She had already spoken with Dr. Krabill and reviewed the echo images and my chart (including my delivery history). My physical exam is essentially unchanged from my last appointment in Seattle – my body is NOT in active labor and I’m still only dilated to 1 cm. Based on the exam and the fetal echo, Dr. Eastwood set up our plan. This is where I looked at Dave and we both kinda held our breath. Would I have to stay in Seattle starting now?!

The “game plan” is for me to return to Seattle in 4 weeks (when I’m 36 weeks) for a growth ultrasound, another fetal echocardiogram and a follow-up consult. I’ve been directed to bring a bag (meaning it’s likely they’ll admit me to the hospital). There was talk of inducing me somewhere around 36 or 37 weeks. 

In the meantime, I am to continue with twice weekly NSTs in Bellingham and remain on bed rest. If I go into labor before June 23 (the date of my next trip to Seattle), Dr. Eastwood is confident that I can safely deliver this baby in Bellingham (unless Daisy shows signs of heart failure or distress, which would require me to be moved to Swedish). 

On the way to Seattle and again on the way home, Dave and I had the opportunity to talk about this “process.” For each of us, we felt overwhelmed and unsure and worried when we were initially advised of the “issues.” But once we started to share our story and asked people to start praying, we felt an overwhelming sense of peace. Comfort. Calmness. Courage. God has truly given us a “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) as we live this experience. We know that Daisy is in God’s hands. We know that He created her JUST EXACTLY how He wants her (Psalm 139). We know that she is already a miracle. And we only grow more encouraged with each test and doctor’s appointment. 

We are praising God that I was able to COME HOME today. That was a HUGE relief to both of us. And I have "special permission" from Dr. Eastwood to attend a consignment/garage sale at a local church the first weekend in June if I promise to have someone push me in a wheelchair and if I promise to "get out" if it turns into some crazy-insane sale (picture the episode of FRIENDS where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe are fighting some other shopper for Monica’s wedding gown….)!

We continue to covet your prayers. We are so thankful for those of you who are praying for Daisy, for us and for all of our physicians. We are also so grateful to those of you who continue to love us and encourage us with meals, child care, special treats, hugs and other support. We are blessed beyond words. And we ask you to please continue to pray, because even though we are at ease, this is still a serious medical situation. 

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