“An overabundance of caution.”
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
I didn’t really share much on Instagram about Noah’s repeat anatomy scan and heart study yesterday because I needed some time to process first. It turns out, the one little thing they couldn’t get a good image of two weeks ago was the one thing that was abnormal. To be honest, I don’t have much information right now and I hesitated to share this news at this point because I didn’t want to bring everyone into my “circle of panic”. But we’ve gotten so used to sharing this whole process with you and not mentioning it feels strange.
Here’s what we know: Noah’s entire body is perfect and normal aside from one vessel in his heart. It should take a straight path from point A to point B, but it is more zig zag shaped instead. It is where it should be, and connected to the things it should be connected to. The heart is pumping fine and appears to be working properly. So this could just be Noah being unique and mean absolutely nothing. Many of us are born with harmless anomalies in development - like how my uterus tilts backwards instead of forward for example. Our MFM has assured us that this is very likely to be the case. The odds he used were 90/10. But his anomaly is in his heart, a very vital organ, and to be honest that scares me greatly.
If this finding is not nothing, it could be a defect that requires what they have called a “simple” surgery to ensure it doesn’t cause major problems down the road. I admit that I’m hazy on how any type of surgery on an infant’s heart can be called simple, but I digress. I asked the doctor if Noah is still considered healthy now, grasping at any straws to reassure my terrified heart. He said, “Yes, he is healthy, and even if he does have this defect he will still be healthy. Very much so.” Again, while this scenario is a possibility, it is very much the unlikely one. We still have a healthy baby at this point.
He also used the words “overabundance of caution” when he said we needed to see a pediatric cardiologist for another study of Noah’s heart. We go in on Monday, and will hopefully leave with good news that all is well. If not, I hope we leave with more reassurance that he is fine despite all of this. As always, we will keep you all updated.
I know many of you are likely wondering how we’re coping with all of this. I want to say that we are doing surprisingly well in some aspects, and not well in others. I think that for me, the thing I’m struggling most with is guilt. To have both of my babies affected by random defects makes me wonder what my body is doing to my kids. Everyone keeps reassuring me that I’m not at fault here and never have been, research has proved that many times. But isn’t it on me to be a safe place for them to grow? Isn’t this my one job right now? How safe can I be if they’re not growing in a way that is developmentally typical? I guess this is why my first instinct when telling all of you this news is to apologize for letting you all down in some way. This was supposed to be the easy part for all of us.
As for Brian, I could literally see him locking his emotions down and hardening yesterday. He’s such a rock at times like this, which always gives me a solid place to rest, but I wish he didn’t have to be. He’s geared up and ready to go to battle if need be, whatever it takes to make sure Noah comes home with us. I hope he can put all that armor down on Monday after we meet with cardiology.
Because again, there is an overwhelming likelihood that this is nothing.
I’ll end with this - before my egg retrieval surgery in May, I was absolutely terrified. I spent so much time down on my knees begging God to give us a good outcome. I was so sure that things would not pan out. As I laid there waiting for the anesthesia to kick in, I kept repeating Psalm 23. It gave me rest. This Psalm is fitting once again.
“The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”