The updates below have been copied from the CarePages website.
September 13, 2007 at 02:29 PM EDT
We’re happy to say that we don’t have much to say! (Actually, Richard and I have had to flu since last Friday hence the delay in the update.)
Elysha is now up to 3 pounds 11 ounces...still in the 30th percentile however she is growing proportionately so the doctor is not concerned at this point.
Her bones have calcified enough to the point they can no longer get an accurate picture of her heart on regular ultrasound due to the shadows they cast and the fact she is in the proper "head down" position. This means her ribs and spine are at the top blocking the probe. We are assuming this won’t be an issue with the echocardiogram booked for the 24th at Sick Kids.
She remains very active and we were so pleased to see her movements on the screen, including several waves and burying her head in the placenta when the nurse tried to get head measurements. We do hope that she maintains this "fighting" spirit when it comes time for surgery!
Thank you for your continued interest in our baby!
August 27, 2007 at 10:04 PM EDT
Today we met with the Neonatologist who will be overseeing Elysha’s care at Mount Sinai immediately following her birth.
Because there are so many unknowns with her heart function after birth, we will be delivering in a surgical delivery room that is connected to a resuscitation room. She will be taken immediately next door for evaluation but Richard will be able to go with her. While we have been told we may be able to hold her before she is transported, it will be a case of us having to go next door to see her once she is stable.
Once at Sick Kids she will undergo an echocardiogram to get a clearer picture of her heart as well as a thorough body scan to confirm that she in fact does not have situs inversus (organs are reversed) and to confirm the presence of a spleen (needed to fight infections and often missing in cases such as this). This procedure takes several hours. Because of the possibility of immediate surgery she will not be allowed to eat until this procedure is completed.
Answers to prayer:
Elysha now weighs 2 pounds 11 ounces, which is still in the 30th percentile, but she is still growing proportionately to what she was last visit. Her activity level is increasing (especially at 4 in the morning) and we again got confirmation that her skeletal structure is “perfect”.
Our obstetrician had returned from holidays (we did not see him at our last visit; we had one of his colleagues) and does not feel that a scheduled induction is necessary. It will remain an option though should problems with her growth occur in the last month. But as of right now, we will not have a scheduled induction date.
Our next visit is scheduled for September 10th. It is hard to believe that we are already at 30 weeks! It really hit us today when we handed in our pre-registration forms. We have a few decisions to make about accommodation during the first few weeks. As we really don’t know what the surgical schedule will be, we need to have more than one plan ready in order to accommodate the various scenarios. We would appreciate prayer in this area.
I am uploading a drawing Richard did of Elysha’s heart structure after studying the diagrams of each defect. The nurse we saw today was asking specific questions about the Elysha’s heart so Richard pulled out the diagram to show her. She was so impressed she took a photocopy to use as a teaching tool and put a copy in our file. When the doctor saw it, he asked Richard if he would like to work at the hospital doing illustrations for other patients! I am really praying our baby has her Dad’s visual/spatial capabilities!
Thank you for your prayers. "But He knows the way I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10
August 13, 2007 at 07:27 PM EDT
Our one and a half hour echocardiogram at Sick Kids showed that the pulmonary artery has NOT narrowed further! Praise the Lord for this answer to prayer. Elysha was putting on quite a show for the technician!
After meeting with our cardiologist, we met with a social worker who walked us through the cardiac floor as well as the critical care unit where we will initially be for observation and stabilization until her surgery which we were told today would probably be within the first week or two as opposed to within the first 6 weeks.
Our appointment at Mount Sinai was also encouraging. She is now in the 30 percentile and weighs just over 2 pounds so she is growing. They will continue to monitor this, however, as the critical time is in the last month. Again, the nurse got quite a show from our little girl! The two pictures put up today were from today’s appointment.
Our next appointment at Mount Sinai is for August 27th at which time we’ll meet with our Neonatologist to discuss what will happen for the birth at Mount Sinai. We learned today that we will most likely have to have an induction not necessarily for medical reasons but because of the professional teams needed for the medical complications, the timing needs to be controlled to have everyone ready and available as well as a bed ready at Sick Kids.
Our next appointment at Sick Kids is October 3rd for a final echogram before birth and surgery and a review of the surgical procedures we face.
Thanks for your prayers. If you have any questions, feel free to email us!
July 31, 2007 at 09:04 PM EDT
Yesterday (July 30th) we had our appointment at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Elysha was very active during the ultrasound! Apart from her heart, she still appears to be developing normally, although she is still small for her gestational age (in the 20th percentile for length and weight). The nurses were able to observe her taking practice breaths. This means that her brain has matured enough to start the breathing reflex once she is born. This is a big relief should she be born prematurely. It also shows that her brain is developing normally.
Katherine is undergoing a two week loop test to monitor her heart as there has been an increase in the arrhythmia she has had since childhood. It is normal for arrhythmias to occur in pregnancy due to increased blood volume etc. but because this was a preexisting condition, the doctor felt it should be investigated further prior to the stress of labour and delivery.
Our next appointment is on Monday, August 13th at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto for another echocardiogram on Elysha then we cross the street to Mount Sinai immediately after for our 28 week check up. During the appointment at Sick Kids, we hope to find out more about what to expect once Elysha is a patient there.