The day after Kaia was born (yep, that’s her name!) we were told she has a heart murmur that was probably nothing but still needed to be checked out, so last week we had a visit with a Pediatric Cardiologist. Being a natural worrier, my mind leaped to all of the worst-case scenarios I could think of but in the end I decided it really was probably nothing. I mean, it HAD to be.
Fast forward a few days and we’re sitting in the Cardiologist’s office. He listened to her heart and said that it was definitely a clear murmur. At first he said it could just be a harmless sound, but then gave us a rundown of what else it could be (which scared the bejeesus out of me!) and had the nurses do a number of tests on her. They measured her oxygen levels, did four different blood pressure readings on each arm and leg, and gave her and EKG. It was pretty hard to see her hooked up to all those wires and hear her crying without being able to pick her up, but I know it had to be done.
After that the doctor came back in and said she was going to need an Echocardiogram (Ultrasound of the heart) to confirm what he suspected. I really should have known something was up right then, but it was all so much to take in that I just thought maybe it was standard to rule out anything crazy. After all, there can’t possibly be anything wrong with my daughter right? Right?? So we go back to the ultrasound room and the tech straps my baby to the bed with her arms tied down and starts the exam. Luckily the lights were dim and she fell asleep because the entire thing lasted 30 minutes! She took a few pictures of her heart and showed us the different valves and what was what, that was pretty cool, then she got down to business.
And that’s when it all went downhill. “This dark area here is the hole.” WHAT? A hole? In her heart?? Oh god please be joking. This can’t be right. You’re not serious, right? RIGHT??
Yep, my baby girl has a hole in her heart. After that was over we went back to talk to the Cardiologist again and he told us her official diagnosis was called a Ventricular Septal Defect with a murmur. Luckily hers is small and at the very bottom of the heart, away from all of the valves and important things, but it is still a heart defect and must be watched closely. It could close up on its own or she could need surgery to close it. Her Cardiologist (who is amazing and made me feel tons better about it) told us to continue as normal until September when he rechecks it and we will go from there. He also said that if he had to choose a heart defect to have, this would be it, and many people who have it can lead normal lives with little or no lifestyle changes. We were given tons of info, scheduled for a follow up and sent on our way.
I’m so glad that her diagnosis isn’t worse than it is (it could be MUCH worse), but I can’t help feeling scared and sad for my little girl. More than anything, the what-ifs are killing me. Tons of people live long normal lives with a VSD, but what if she’s in the other group? What if she needs surgery? What if she has surgery and something goes wrong? What if she can’t play rough with her brother because when my body was making her it screwed up? I don’t want my baby to have to go through any of this!
I’ve been doing lots of research, and the next two months I’m probably going to be on edge about it the whole time, but even though this is going on I can’t help but be thankful for the fact that she’s here and she’s mine. I love her with all my heart and hope that everything turns out just fine for her. It has to.