My baby’s heart

I’m having a cup of tea. I’m having a rusk. I’m trying very very hard not to cry. We have a doctors appointment tomorrow with the paediatric cardiologist. Another appointment. The first, was 12 weeks ago following a rather unexpected and extremely emotional turn of events at her 6 week checkup. A simple Friday afternoon appointment landed up in a trip to Blouberg hospital and a fairly large bill (after a lot of tears. A LOT of uncontrollable tears).

They detected a murmur. And on scanning, they also detected a hole in my baby’s heart. This is in addition to the aberrant subclavian artery they detected at our 13 week scan. You know – when we were given a 50/50 chance of a healthy baby.

Something hasn’t been sitting right, and although Dr P, the paediatric cardiologist we saw that dreadful Friday afternoon, said it was mild and we should come back at 6 months for another check up (side note: if you ever into going to a hospital thats super inconveniently located to Souther Suburbs dwellers but you don’t mind the drive – choose Blouberg Hotel, I mean Hospital. Stunning!) – this week I’ve been keeping an eye on Elle’s shortness of breath, her sweat across her brow while feeding and the fact that she likes to sleep, more than other babies on my antenatal whatsapp group, and I rang my paed who suggested going back to Dr P for an immediate checkup. I don’t react well when a doctor does an automatic referral like that. I panicked. And then panicked some more when I rang the cardiologist and explained and got an immediate appointment.

Panic overdrive means google works even harder on my iPhone at 3am.

Because being a mom has brought out all the worst versions of me. I have become the world’s worst worrier. I’ve moved from realist to pessimist and I cry about things that haven’t even been confirmed. I google far too much. I read reams of forums (even ones from 2009) and I self-diagnose. But mostly I cry. A LOT.

The idea that my baby’s heart isn’t perfect, and that it could be causing her discomfort, that it could possibly be stopping blood from reaching her organs, gives me shivers. Falling pregnant was hard enough. Staying pregnant was scary. And now this. Wanting more than anything for my baby girl to be strong and healthy to grow up and lead a full and healthy life. I just want the best for her. I love watching her develop every day. From smile to giggle (she keeps those to a minimum still. Mostly reserved for when her foot goes into her mouth. Good girl. Laugh at yourself when you put your foot in it!). From swiping at toys to grabbing hold of them now (those too go into her mouth). She actually pushes away her bottle when she’s done (Clever girl. Lets just hope she keeps that up and becomes a lady who knows her champagne limit – unlike her muma from time to time).

All I want is for her to be healthy. I don’t want her to become a pro tennis star (likely with Mark’s history. Unlikely with mine) or a scientist (although, that could be kinda cool. Cue Bill Nye the science guy music. You’re too young if you need to google that). I just want her to be ok. Ok? Lets just pray (hope, send good vibes into the airwaves – whatever your vibe is) that she is ok.

Incase you wondered: The aberrant subclavian artery is an anomaly. Not an abnormality (according to Dr P). This means that while it is very rare (less than 2% of the population), and in cases where there are other chromosomal abnormalities it can lead to issues with eating etc, Elle’s heart, while built a little differently, works just fine.




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