Jenny had a lot of fun preparing today for our coming baby. We put the crib together and cleaned out the room that will be the nursery. While we are very excited about our growing family and our new boy, we are also coming to grips with a complication which will require our little one to have major surgery right after he’s born.
Our baby has been diagnosed with dextro-Transposition of the Great Vessels. This means that the large blood vessels exiting the heart are swapped, so that the blood that comes from the lungs is redirected back to the lungs instead of delivering the oxygen to the rest of the body.
There are no known causes for this congenital defect; it’s something that just happens spontaneously in one out of every 2,500 births. While he is in the womb, there are no problems, because he gets all the oxygen he needs from Jenny. He will also be ok for the first few days of his life because there are gaps in the heart and connections between the different blood vessels that allow oxygenated blood to mix into the blood going to the body.
However, those gaps and connections close up in the first few weeks of life without treatment, so our baby will need a lot of care. The major treatment will be open heart surgery in when he is about 3 to 5 days old. The operation they are planning has been in use for almost 40 years, and doctors are very good at it, with excellent histories of full recovery.
The delivery, operation, and recovery will be at one of the best hospitals in the country, just a few miles from our house. The pediatric cardiologists there perform this operation 8-10 times a year, and do over 300 other pediatric open heart operations per year. We’re in good hands. Assuming that there are no other complications, we would be able to bring the baby home about 10-14 days after the operation.
We’ve had some time to deal with the shock of this news, so we’ve come to grips with it and are ready to face it. It’ll be rough, but we are getting ready to enjoy the third trimester and prepare for the birth and bringing our first child home.
For the time being, though, the best possible place for our son is continuing to grow inside of Jenny. He’s absolutely fine now, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure he stays that way.
In addition to my updates here, Jenny will occasionally update her baby page (it requires a password – if you want access to be able to see the ultrasounds and hear her stories, email us).
We’ve heard from several sources that, if a child is going to have a major cardiac issue, this is the one to have. We’re fully confident that everything will be ok.