Tuesday, June 16, 2009

David's Journey

This summer, as most of you know, David will be going through his third open-heart surgery. His surgery is scheduled for July 10 at Ochsner. We will be using this blog to keep family and friends updated on David's status and recovery. But since we have made so many new friends since David's journey began, I wanted to give a little background on how we got to where we are today. And believe me, I know this path has been made a lot easier by so many prayers from people who love us.

When I was 5 months pregnant, Cecil and I went to see the Dr. hoping to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl. We both said it really didn't matter what our baby was, and said, like a lot of parents, "as long as he/she is healthy". As we sat anxiously in the ultrasound room with the tech, we watched her check all the anatomy and she told us that we would be having a little boy. We were both, of course, very happy. However, I felt like something else was going on. She kept going back to the heart and looking closely, as if she wasn't quite sure about something. She stopped and calmly said,"Ok, I am going to go get Dr. S and let him come take a look.

Ok...now I knew something was up and I told Cecil that something was wrong with the baby's heart. I had seen enough baby hearts on ultrasound to know that you see the little "cross" separating the four chambers. That wasn't there. Plus, Dr. S. doesn't come in to look at the ultrasound, normally.

So, he came in and scanned me and told us that he suspected that, in fact, there was something wrong with the heart. He immediately called Ochsner and got us an appointment with Dr. W., a pediatric cardiologist, that day.

We arrived at Ochsner and Dr. W. did a fetal echocardiogram. He was so patient and so nice. He was with us for well over an hour. He was able to tell us what was wrong with our baby and what would have to be done about it. It is just amazing the things they can see, even while the baby is in utero.

He told us that what our baby had was very serious and would require surgery. David was diagnosed with a single-ventricular heart, transposition of the great arteries and pulmonary atresia. This essentially means that he only had one pump, whereas everyone else has 2, the aorta and pulmonary artery are switched, and his pulmonary valve did not develop. We were also told that this(these) conditions would require three surgeries; that his heart could not be repaired, but that it can be fixed so that he could survive; and that I would not lose this baby while in utero, since I was essentially doing all the work for his little body, it would be after he was born that we would have to be concerned.

With that, we left and went home and tried our best to explain all this to our family, when we didn't fully understand it ourselves. We saw another Dr. in Baton Rouge who also diagnosed David with Situs Inversus (all of his organs are flip-flopped or a mirror image of where they should be). The next four months were a whirlwind, and yet it seemed like a very long four months. I spent many hours in the Dr.'s office being monitored and having non-stress tests. We saw specialists in New Orleans often throughout the pregnancy. David would be delivered at Ochsner by one of the high-risk specialists there. We made plans to deliver David on October 4, 2006, by C-section since he was breech. So we anxiously and very nervously awaited his arrival....

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