Ellie had her appointment with the pediatric cardiologist this morning.
She had an EKG first with about a dozen sticky monitors. She wasn’t fond of them being pulled off. Then she was weighed and came in at 8 lbs 6 ozs. That’s my growing girl!
When the doctor came in, he listened with his stethoscope and said everything sounded normal. Then we put her up on a table for the sonogram. He looked all over her heart, examining each of the 4 chambers and watching each valve. She has an atrial septal defect. It’s an opening in between the two sides of the upper chambers. All children are born with it, but it usually goes away within a few weeks after birth. (This explains why NICU didn’t note it.) Her’s is still abnormally large.
Over time, the right side of the heart would have to work harder, and the blood vessels in the lungs could be damaged. However, it would take many years for something like that to happen. In our case, we will go back when she’s six months old for him to reexamine. If it still hasn’t healed, when she’s about school age, she would have surgery. They wouldn’t have to do open heart surgery. They could go in through a cathetar and place a meshy wire thing. He described it as a top hat with two brims: one at the top and one at the bottom. For the sewers out there, I thought of it as a bobbin. It would plug the opening, and the skin of the heart would eventually grow around it.
So, hopefully she’ll continue to grow and it will heal itself. Otherwise, she’ll have a minor surgery. Either way, the doctor did not really seem concerned. Heart murmurs are fairly common (some literature they gave us said as many as 1 in 5 adults had a murmur, or has one and may not even know it), so I know she’ll be fine. I feel great to be in Birmingham where we are surrounded by great specialty doctors.
In other news, Ellie started smiling last week! Brian still hasn’t seen a smile since she still sleeps a good bit, but I know he’ll see one soon! It’s very sweet!