Tuesday, October 13, 2009

my cheekbones and fetal arrhythmias

We had another OB appointment today and, since I ate a few grapes prior to the ultrasound, our baby girl wiggled her way through the ultrasound and totally cooperated with the tech. We DEFINITELY have a girl...she gave us several opportunities to see if she had dangly parts...and she doesn't. Her spine was beautiful and fully closed and her brain and head measurements were perfect. We got some great shots of her profile (Brett insists he sees my cheekbones!), some beautiful images of her little eyelids and facial features and even some cute shots of her little feet. We didn't get as many pics this time, but I will post a few.
Here is a cute profile pic (it is so much clearer on the machine!). But you can see her head to the left and her little ribs/belly region to the right. See her cute little button nose and mouth?

This is a picture of both of her feet. Somehow the ultrasound tech got them both in the shot...cute.

For now, she is breach. However, it is still so early and she's got tons of room in there to move around and flip right-side up and all that. I've been wondering how she is sitting since she really moves and I feel lots of kicks and flips and punches lately.

I met another doctor at the practice who seemed very nice. However, she did use the doppler and we discovered that our baby girl has a small heart arrhythmia, meaning that every once in a while, her heart skips a beat. I was initially worried because I don't ever remember hearing this on my home doppler and I was actually born with a heart defect, so it has been a concern of mine from the beginning. However, her heart has looked perfect from the beginning and the doctor told me that she sees this all the time and it means nothing. Also, if it turned out to be the same type of defect I had, it isn't all that scary. My heart defect was an atrial septal defect that my pediatric cardiologist thought I'd outgrow. I didn't. At the age of 12, I had open heart surgery. The thing is that atrial septal defects are not uncommon and since I was 12 (in 1986) lots has changed and the current repair does not require any real surgery at all...just a small incision to insert an umbrella like structure through the blood and to the heart. Not a huge deal. The doctor went on to say that they do not usually refer patients whose babies have heart arrhythmias to the fetal cardiologists because they don't want to see them. In fact, she gave me a handout from the local pediatric cardiology group that is a letter asking the OB practice to not send anymore of these patients over and says "Irregularities of the heart rhythm without sustained tachycardia or bradycardia are usually due to premature atrial or ventricular contractions, benign arrhythmias that require no evaluation or treatment before or after birth." It also says, " the incidence of birth defects of the heart in the fetus with an irregular heart beat was not significantly higher compared to the average fetus." So, needless to say, we are not worried. However, due to the fact that I had a defect upon birth, the OB did refer me to this pediatric cardiac group in order to have a fetal echocardiogram. The OB office tried to make me an appointment and the cardiac group seemed reluctant, again because they don't want to waste their time on these cases. However, they are still working on it so we can have some piece of mind. Not scared...just being cautious I guess.

Overall, it was a great appointment and I was sent home with the glucose drink to have before my next appointment when I get the gestational diabetes test...something else I worry about due to family history. However, I'm not overly worried since our baby girl weighed in perfectly (1 lb!) and seemed actually on the smaller side for now (the total opposite of what she'd be if I had GD). On my side, they said I only gained 1/2 lb between last month and this...but their scale is wacky. At my last appt I thought I was up 5 lbs (according to the home scale) and they had me up 7lbs!!! This time, I thought I gained another 5 lbs (put on the weight this month, for sure) and they say it is only 1/2 lb. But, I am at a good 11 lbs for the pregnancy so far, so within healthy normal limits.


DAVs said...

Glad you got some beautiful shots of that baby girl! Sorry about the arrythmia but it sounds like they've got it covered.
You're getting closer!!

kayjay said...

Awww - such cute shots of your girl! I thought that the head was on the right and the stomach was on the left but it's a good thing your include directions on what to look at or I'd be lost! It definitely sounds like they have got you covered for the arrythmia and if they don't consider it a risk or issue, you can take comfort in that. Besides, as you said, the technology has come a long way so the fix isn't too big a deal anymore.

Sky said...

I have had premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) up the wazoo! Been to a couple of cardiologists, had a heart echo and a stress echo - all came back normal. My heart was in PVC overdrive after my last surgery and the monitor was constantly blinking PVC just before surgery and not the surgeon or anesthesiologist blinked - totally benign - and just put me under and went forward with the surgery.

I hate them, they're awful and scary and - apparently - totally benign.

All that to say, baby is totally fine! :) And cute!

JJ said...

What cute pictures! Sounds like you had a great appointment. I'm sorry about the arrythmia - always something to keep us on our toes, right? Good that they're not too concerned about it. How about a belly shot???

Jill M. said...

Love the baby girl photos! Esp the feet one.

So wow, you had open heart surgery? Yikes! It appears you have no issues now and I believe neither will your little girl.

Will text you later with the "news"!

Linda said...

When I saw the ultrasound pics of your precious baby girl, I immediately got tears in my eyes. She's so beautiful!! And I am so extremely happy for you and your husband!!