I'm a 42yo online communications & IT consultant, and ex recording artist, from Melbourne, Australia.

After much searching, I finally met the right man. Then I got pregnant at 41 - baby boy was due 20 April 2010.

It was to be quite a journey. We discovered via ultrasound that our baby had some health problems, namely a hole in the heart, hypospadias and IUG growth issues.

Then I became very ill with pre-eclampsia, and was admitted to hospital at 34 weeks gestation.

Our baby Charles was delivered prematurely on 16th March 2010 weighing a tiny 1460g (3.5 pounds). He spent a month in hospital before coming home.

Cardiologist's Report

Here are some extracts from the cardiologist's report. Am reproducing here as I know many people who have been in similar situations, and who know more about this than I do, have expressed interest.

Foetal echocardiography gave quite good views of the heart. There does appear to be a moderate perimbraneous ventricular septal defect with some outlet septal malalignment producing mild aortic override. This defect appears single. The atrioventricular valves are normally off-set both measuring about 6 to 7mm with normal flow patterns although trivial tricuspid incompetence is present. The aorta arising from predominantly left ventricle measures about 6mm with normal appearing aortic valve. The aortic arch is good size without obvious obstruction. The pulmonary artery can be seen arising from the right ventricle with mild pulmonary valve stenosis, and a pulmonary artery measuring from about 5mm. The branch pulmonary arteries appear normal. I could not be confident about the presence or absence of the duct. Venous return to the atria appears normal.

Thus there appears to be a perimembraneous malaligned ventricular septal defect with some pulmonary stenosis present. This is relatively mild at this moment with good size pulmonary arteries. The foetal cardiac abnormality is unlikely to cause any sign of foetal cardiac compromise. Ventricular septal defects may decrease in size but also pulmonary stenosis may increase during the pregnancy and in the postnatal period.

At birth the cardiac abnormalities may cause symptoms or signs dependent upon the size of the ventricular septal defect and the severity of pulmonary stenosis. If there is little pulmonary stenosis then a moderate ventricular septal defect may produce signs of a significant left to right ventricular shunt. However if there is moderate or more extensive pulmonary stenosis, then the infant is likely to be well but will develop some signs of right to left shunting with time.


april said...

hey hon - I have pulmonary stenosis - it was picked up at birth (as i was born in the 70's- 3mnths premmie) and there was constant fear as I was growing up that I would need surgery - in fact it was almost certain I would.
I had to watch in case my lips went blue or my nails pale as that meant i had to go to hospital, was on antibiotics for everything as i couldn't risk a blood infection, saw cardiologist monthly.
But didn't have surgery, and am here, healthy (ish) (and the ish isn't because of my heart) 31 year old.
My cardiologist says the stenosis is a-symtomatic now and I don't need to do anything differently - just be careful during pregnancy.
I'm okay.
And i know it is terrifying and i would be scared too and I hope you are okay tonight.
*hugs* many

Carol said...

You know you did nothing wrong, don't you. Someone asked me after #2 son was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries (google it) ... "What did you do that might have caused it?". It is easy to beat yourself up about it, but sometimes things JUST HAPPEN!

Your little boy is going to be just fine. The surgeons will fix the bits that need fixing, and life will go on!


And once you and he are together and repaired and fine ... I shall happily tell you the whole story. If you wish.

Or you can meet #2 son one day and HE CAN TELL YOU HIMSELF! He is very proud of his scars .... it's a boy thing!


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