We took River in to her cardiologist’s office this morning for an echo (an ultrasound of her heart) and a general check-up to see how her heart is doing. Now, our little sweetie is obviously a healthy little thing. No one looking at her would doubt that she is thriving. She is hitting her developmental milestones, she is charmingly chubby, and she smiles a lot and is in general a happy, bright little baby. Also, last time we went to the cardiologist, two months ago, he said that from the sound of the murmur, he thought the hole was getting smaller. None of this stopped me from being convinced, during the interval between having the echo done and hearing the results, that we were going to get bad news.
Maybe it’s just that we’ve known so many babies with serious medical issues over the last several months. Two of my friends in my online due date club lost their babies due to stillbirth, our neighbors lost a baby to SIDS, and another good friend from my due date club had to leave her baby in the neonatal intensive care unit for three months to prepare for and recover from open heart surgery. I don’t want to compare our experiences to any of these heartbreaking and incredibly difficult situations that were experienced by people we care about, but for a while, it seemed like bad things were happening to so many babies. And for a while, it seemed like River had really bad luck. She turned breech four weeks before my due date, and as it turned out, she had the cord wrapped around her neck twice and had to be born by cesarean. Because she was breech for the last part of the pregnancy and couldn’t move her legs properly, we had to get her hip dysplasia fixed. And when she was three days old, we found out about her heart defect. After a while, I just decided that whenever anyone told us there was only a 2-3% chance that she had a certain condition, I would just assume that she did in fact have it, because that was what kept happening.
So it was really wonderful today to hear that the main defect with her heart is continuing to fix itself. A second minor hole (an atrial septal defect) has closed. And we don’t have to give her diuretics every day any more! She’s now up to 15 lbs 2.5 oz. We are so incredibly blessed.
And after we got home, River and I had another one of our practice sessions that we’ve been having for a few days now. She’s working on learning to laugh. 🙂