Friday, January 8, 2010

Let the Doctor Appointments Begin!

So, we had our first Nonstress Test yesterday, along with another Ultrasound and Clinic appointment. The Nonstress Test kinda scared the hell out of me -- it took Lois a while to pick up her heartbeat and once she did, our girl's baseline heartrate was at 115, a good drop from her last Echocardiogram where she was at 130. Luckily, 115 is within the normal limits, and babys' heartrates tend to lower the more they grow. Otherwise, the point of the test was to measure spikes or accelerations in her heartrate, her movements, and any contractions I might be having. Per Dr. Byrne: She looks fantastic! And, I learned the tightness I've been feeling in my lower abdomen hasn't been her shifting around at all ...they've actually been contractions (the normal kind)! What a relief to hear all looks good this week.

Her ultrasound also looked great -- she's up to 4lbs 11oz, and her growth is right on track. I asked again about the fluid on the brain, and got the same answer as before -- all within normal limits, nothing to worry about, and if there was a problem with it, she'd have a noticeable malformation on her brain that absolutely would have been picked up on ultrasound by now. I'm still mad our old OB even mentioned that stupid fluid measurement.

Our regular clinic appointment also went well -- we're measuring where we should be, gained a few more pounds over the past 3 1/2wks (thank you, holidays!), and all symptoms are normal. She asked how I'm coping mentally, and I had to admit that the emotions are much closer to the surface lately. She told me there just no way for a parent to prepare for this -- and you can't turn off the worry and anxiety. I was a little surprised, but also quite relieved, that she's going to prescribe a low-dose Zoloft when we reach 36wks. She said it won't "dull the pain" by any means, but it will help even out the tremendous lows that a lot of moms go through with a critically ill baby. She also wants to keep a close eye on postpartum depression, as high stress is a big trigger. I'm so relieved she "gets" all this -- at times I feel like I'm going out of my mind with worry, and I know it only gets worse from here. It's nice to know I won't have to just "deal" with it all on my own.

Guess it's high time we get used to all these appts ...cause we're on the weekly schedule from here on out. Next week, we'll have our last Fetal Echocardiogram on Tuesday, then we have our weekly Nonstress and clinic appts on Thursdays. It's starting to feel like we're nearing the finish line now!


  1. Wow, this blog is a beautiful thing you're creating, Joey.
    It's great that you are able to get out your feelings and address your concerns with the baby's heart. I must say, what a joy that the baby doesn't have fluid on the brain, as once thought by the previous OB.

    My heart goes out to you and your amazing little family, with hopes that you remain strong!! I realize you're in the process of finding a daycare for Cate, but I'd like to remind you that she is welcome here with open arms, at any time -- day or night.

    Best of luck to you on this journey with your Heart Baby. You're right: She is going to kick ass all over this heart problem!! :) Positive thoughts and love are coming your way.


  2. Hi!!!! Okay, tried to upload a picture, but you know me:) anyway I'm the shadowed person! I'm so glad to read all of this, what a gift for yourself and children. This will be so meaningful to everyone. Joey, you absolutely amaze me. Please, please don't forget to call on friends. We are here for you all, we would love, love to help out with Cate as well. We can have special playdates which I know both Keegan and Riley would love! I may not cook wonderfully but have kept my family at least gaining weight the last few years and I can follow recipes, not trying to scare you away from this, but plan on me bringing some meals! Can I pass this blog along to my mom, I know she would love to hear how you all are doing. Sending hugs, love, prayers and good energy your way. Shannon