Second Opinion

It’s easy to forget that something as serious as a heart defect can be pretty subjective. Especially when observation of the problem can only be done via ultrasound. But depending on their experiences and what they see, the experts seem to come away with different assessments and expectations. Happily the surgeon, Dr. Nigro, and Beth, our fantastic Cardiac Nurse Practitioner, immediately told us this morning that they are pleased with where Pedro is at.

Even before saying hello almost, they reassured us that Pedro’s heart has only increased in size by about 10% over the last few months that they’ve been watching. While it is definitely enlarged, they estimate that it is only taking up about 52% of his chest cavity, which means his lungs have not been inhibited in their development. They anticipate that he won’t have the major breathing problems that some heart babies do at birth. AND they don’t think he will need surgery immediately. Their preference, in any case, will be to try everything else first to stabilize Pedro at birth and let him grow a little older before surgery.  Even if he is struggling, hopefully he can “eek by” until he is bigger and stronger. (Yes, the surgeon said “eek”).

In any event, we have a better idea of what to expect. Delivery should be normal, with a little extra monitoring, and just like other babies Pedro will be cleaned up and checked right there in the labor & delivery room (under a warmer). Then they’ll bundle him up for us to hold him! If he is doing okay, we should get a little bit of time with him before Braden goes with him to the NICU (which is on the same floor as L&D). He will be in the regular NICU for about 24 hours or so and then he’ll be transferred to the PCICU (Pediatric Cardiothoracic ICU). He’ll be in the PCICU about a week or week and a half. IF he does end up needing surgery right away it will be within the first week. In that case he’ll be in the PCICU for a few more weeks than he would otherwise.

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4 thoughts on “Second Opinion

  1. This is my inaugural post on your blog! Although I definitely check it constantly for updates!

    I’m glad you heard good things from Beth & Nigro. I may not have mentioned that one of the hardest things for me was the holding my breath & waiting at each appointment to hear what they were going to say- only to get different opinions when we did hear something. The doctors meet in a big conference once a week to discuss cases that they feel are at a point of needing attention or more opinions on. So the ultrasound expert, the surgeron, the electrophsyiology expert, etc etc all have their different viewpoints and experiences that they base their recommendations on. You just hope that they come up with a general consensus! Beth has told me that in the past that in those meetings there had been very “dynamic” conversation about Taylor as they were deciding when to do surgery. In one way I was glad to know that there were those who felt like she was doing great and that we could wait out surgery, but on the other hand it was unnerving to know that there was others that felt like surgery should happen sooner than later.

    Ultimately, I just had to pray that the Lord would bless them and us to know what the right thing was for our little baby and give me peace to know that it was all in HIS hands. In “the end” (of course we’re never really at the end) but I think the decision was made at the right time and she’s doing amazing well! But I just wanted you to know that I’ve been there and it’s a roller coaster, but know that you’re in GREAT hands!!!

  2. As long as they are making their minds up to good news, I want them to make their minds up! Otherwise, they can change their minds any time.

    How do you say PCICU? My vote is picachu.

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