Sunday, September 9, 2007

Irregular Heartbeat and continued frustrations

My ribs hurt and Cambria is kicking very hard, so I'm going to keep this short. Here we go...

Friday we went into our normal weekly appointment at Women's Health Center in Akron. Like always, our nurse took a heart rate with the Doppler. As we listened we started to hear a skip in the heartbeat. Thump-thump, skip, thump- thump, skip. We listened quietly for a few more moments and she decided that the heartbeat was definitely irregular. She examined me and told me that I was not dilated any, but she could feel that Cambria was in position (she could feel her head!) and my cervix was softening. She left the room and told us she would be back in a moment.

She came back and told us that she was trying to reach OB Triage and she wanted a No Stress Test (NST), which we'd had before. During an NST, they hook you up to a fetal monitor and they look at the heart rate and they watch to see if you're having any contractions. She explained that if the NST showed that there was a consistent skip the doctor's may want to do an ultrasound to look at the heart. After a few more phone calls on her part, she sent us up to triage for our NST. Sure enough, as we watched the monitor, we saw that her heart was skipping. The monitor would register her heart rate around 140 then it would drop off completely and go back up to the 140s/150s. The heart rate being so high and varying so much is normal, so that wasn't alarming. However, seeing the red line that was showing her heartbeats was very frightening for Cody and I. Multiple doctors and nurses came in to watch the monitor and they eventually decided that we needed an ultrasound.

They wheeled me over to the neonatal ward and hooked us up for an ultrasound. Cambria has grown so big now that you can't get a shot of her whole body, but we could only see an arm or a leg or her face all at one time. The ultrasound technician took the measurements she needed of the head, the bones, the kidneys, and other organs. She looked at a graph of the heartbeats and showed us the little dips that meant her heart was skipping. The ultrasound was long and thorough. Finally, she began to look at Cambria's heart. On the monitor we could see clearly that the four chambers were pumping. She checked the blood flow and saw that it was flowing properly and that was a good sign. Also, she confirmed the gender for us by showing us the labia :-) She said she didn't doubt, at all, that it was a girl.

After getting all the measurements, she tried to get a better image of the heart. She had me roll onto my right side. I began to get cramps because the ultrasound was so long and she had been pushing on my stomach for quite awhile. She still couldn't get a good picture of the heart so I had to roll onto my left side and then back onto my right. Over and over she tried to get Cambria to roll into a position that would let us see her heart better. She tried "buzzing" her with a tool that creates a loud buzzing sound, but Cambria wouldn't move.

She paged the doctor and not long after, he returned the call. She said, "I'm trying to get a good image of the heart, but I can't. When I can see it, it kind of looks like the right ventricle is larger than the left ventricle." When I heard her say this into the phone, I felt very sick and worried. The doctor came over and tried to see the heart. He asked me multiple questions- any smoking, any drinking, any caffeine, any sugar, medical history... etc. Finally, he gave up on trying to get a good image and he began to explain things. He said that more than likely it was just a murmur that would fix itself after birth. But he also thought that maybe the right side of the heart looked bigger than the left side, but it was difficult to tell because of her position. He said that we would need to have an echo cardiogram (sp?) done by a pediatric cardiologist who could see better if anything was seriously wrong. The doctor explained that if something was wrong with the heart there would be nothing they would do before she was born, but they would be prepared for delivery. If there were a heart problem, we would be delivering at Children's Hospital in Akron because she would be considered high- risk.

Long story short, we went back for more NST's and the heart didn't stop skipping. Finally, we were sent home and told to come back the next two days for more NST's and they made an appointment with the pediatrician on Monday.

Saturday we went for an NST and the heart rate was normal and there was no skipping at all. Today we went again and there was no skipping again. I firmly believe that God reached his hand into my womb and fixed her heart. We had many, many people praying for us and I know that their prayers made a difference. She has been very active since Friday and things seem to be going back to normal.

Needless to say, I am exhausted and emotional. I am having cramps very frequently and the heat is getting to me. I want to cry right now because I don't want to be pregnant anymore. She is full-term and I want to meet her now. I want to wear jeans with a zipper and a button. I want to sleep on my stomach. I want to hold Cambria and kiss her little chest and make her heart all better. My life is on hold until she gets here and I'm tired of waiting. Everyone is getting so excited and I feel like I can't even get excited because I'm so miserable. Everyone keeps saying, "Don't worry, you'll make it! Just a little bit longer!" But hearing that only frustrates me because they just can't understand how exhausted and drained I am.

Of course, though, I need to do more laundry to get my bag completely packed for the hospital and (if it's not one thing it's another) the washer is broken now. Also, they were supposed to come pick up my car for repairs a week ago and it's still sitting in front of my house untouched. I don't have the energy to tote all my laundry over to Ryan and Lydia's house to clean it right now. I need to be cleaning a lot of things, but I'm beyond tired.

Luckily I don't work tomorrow, but I do go back to work on Tuesday. I don't particularly want to work anymore, but sitting at home isn't going to make her come any more quickly than she would if I were at work being productive and making some money. Two weeks from my due date and I'm still working. I will probably either go on leave next Monday or the 23rd will be my last day. The way I see it I might as well distract myself as much as possible. Waiting is just driving me insane.

Cambria, you have scared us once before when we were told you may have downs syndrome. Even if you do have DS, we will still love you just as much as any parent could ever love a child. Now you've scared us into thinking there may be something wrong with your heart. We will love you no matter how your heart beats. No matter what you may scare us with, we will always love you intensely and unconditionally. Never forget that there is nothing you could do that could make us not love you. But even so, could you please stop scaring us?! Oh yeah, and whenever you want to make your debut, we'll be waiting. We love you!


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