Tuesday, December 11, 2007

She's Practicing Breathing!

Our appointment last week went really well. Brad stayed home with the kids that morning. While I would prefer to have him there with me in case there is something serious found it was rather peaceful being alone without the two kids running around in the small room.

I was able to see Liviana practice breathing. Her chest was moving up and down and it was a wonderful, wonderful sight to see. I could also see her stomach filling and emptying out which indicates her ability to swallow still. I still don't have any excess fluid which as I mentioned before is great. While I know that these little CDH angels are hard to predict, I have to think and have some research to back up the fact that her ability to still swallow can be a good predictor for her outcomes after birth. That said, there are many little ones that look great like Livvy in the womb but struggle once born. While I remain constantly optimistic I also have to balance that with the reality and seriousness of the situation and what we will be facing when he is born.

We were also able to see some lung tissue on ultrasound which is not the easiest to see. You could see the white area indicating the lung tissue on either side of her heart. It is great to be able to see that much lung on both sides since it is common that they often only have one developed partial lung. I hope that it is as positive as it looks on U/S when she is born.

The doctor brought up induction again which I am 110% opposed to in this situation, ESPECIALLY given Liviana's condition. Dr. L's reasoning is not one of medical necessity (which should be the only reason to induce) but rather convenience. I have been assured by the neonatologists and pediatric surgeons that they are available 24/7 no matter when I go into labor but my doctor still says he would rather control the arrival. I will not go into the statistics and risks associated with induction with everyone but given that Livvy already has a comprimised respiratory system it is not an option to me to do something unnecessary that has a high probablility of causing her additional respiratory distress. I did not go into that with Dr. L. at that visit because we have time and I wanted Brad there with me when we had the discussion.

So, I am 33 weeks tomorrow which is exciting and extremely terrifying. I don't know how I am supposed to feel. I have that excitement and anticipatory feeling I had with Aria and Miles but it is paired with fear for what Livvy is going to face, her pain and her survival. I will continue to deal with these emotions and hope that I can gain more peace as time approaches. I had Miles and Aria both in my 39th week and I think she will be around the same time, or a little earlier so we don't have much time at all. Eek!

Friday, the 14th we have our follow up appointment with the fetal cardiologist (another $1300) to check her heart. That appointment will be followed by another appointment with Dr. L. I will update as soon as I can.

Please keep the family of Isabella May Mason in you thoughts and prayers. She was born on November 29th and joined the other CDH angels in heaven on that same day.

Also, please keep Cadenne and her mom Tricia in your thoughts and prayers. She was born on December 6th and was subsequently placed on ECMO. She is fighting and showing signs of being a fiesty little girl. You can follow their story through my links at the right.



Carrie said...

Hi Amy and Brad,
I am glad to hear you are doing pretty well. Thank you for keeping us up to date, I have been thinking of you and how you are doing. I can understand your excitement and anxiety. You and your little one are in my thoughts and prayers.
Carrie Barry

Anonymous said...


I can't believe that this is getting so close for you! I am so glad to hear that all signs point to good things--and I am so happy that you are sticking to your guns about not being induced.

You and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers--I look forward to any and all updates.

Tricia said...

You're so close! I remember the excitement of seeing the practice breathing so clearly. What a relief! It's great that your fluid level is staying low, too! Keep us informed, and thank you for your prayers for Cadenne!

Fer said...

Amy, my prayers are with you and Livvy. I follow your blog to see Livvy's updates and sounds good that the last ultrasound went well.

My prayers are with all the CDH babies and angels too.