From the minute I found out I was pregnant, I became a mom. With this being my first child, the first trimester was a huge learning curve. My mindset completely changed. I second guessed my every move. Was I eating enough protein? Was it safe to work out? Was everything properly developing? Life as I had known it had vastly changed. I lived for the baby growing inside of me.
Approaching the second trimester, I had googled, pinterest and read about everything I needed to know about ANYTHING! My mood lightened and the excitement of motherhood flooded over me. In my opinion then, the hardest part was behind us, we had survived the worst of it and were free sailing now!
Gender reveals, anatomy scans and fun doctors appointments were on the horizon and I was ready for each milestone.
Our 19/20 week appointment was creeping up and we were excited for the detailed ultrasound of our little girl! I don't think my husband or I really knew exactly what to expect during this appointment or knew what metrics they were looking for, but we were certainly excited for a sneak peak at our future.
Cervical check- perfect. Length of limbs- perfect. Palate- perfect. Size of little Harper- measuring correctly. Brain- all clear. Basically all measurements seemed to be right, indicating our baby girl was in great health! The ultrasound tech finished with measurements of the heart and quietly retrieved the doctor. Blown up on the screen was blood flow within Harpers heart, all which appeared to be pumping and flowing in this direction and that. The doctor nonchalantly pointed out a piece of her heart in which the red blood and the blue blood were mixing at the wrong time. Okay... so... WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Ultimately, my sweet baby had a hole in her heart between her right and left ventricle and was diagnosed with VSD- Ventricular Septum Defect. We were given a laundry list of what this could mean and the many outcomes. It was mentioned that this could be linked with down syndrome (although the rest of her anatomy scan turned out perfect and there would typically be other metrics indicating it), the hole could potentially close on its own, or life could be full of cardiac specialist appointments and pending heart surgery as a baby or toddler. We were certainly thankful for one thing, with the technological advances of 2016, rarely would this be considered life threatening.
I had walked into that appointment without a negative thought of anything being out of the ordinary and walked (practically ran) out of it so I could get to my car before the tears flowed down. The weeks following were rough. I wanted to know how I could fix this, what went wrong, what I did to make this happen and of course had multiple cases of the "why me?". I fell apart while my husband kept it together. I cried while he told me everything was going to be okay. Eventually, I became okay. I understood that I could still have a happy, healthy baby, but there would be some bumps in the road. I understood that I had a husband that would stand behind me through it all. I accepted the fact that life might be full of doctors appointments, surgeries and worries, but at the end of the day I'd still have my baby. In my heart, I knew I couldn't spend the rest of my pregnancy worrying about this one thing. So, I let it go. I continued on with the understanding that there was nothing I could have done differently and that these things simply happen. I had multiple conversations with my doctor and her words stuck with me as she described the process of a developing baby, "Every single baby is different from the moment of conception until long after they are adults. Everyone develops at different rates and this is simply a case of her heart taking more time to develop and in the case it hasn't developed by birth, technology allows us to aid in it's development." With that, I put it behind me.
We had 8 extremely long weeks before another detailed look at her heart and while we anxiously awaited the appointment, life truly resumed as normal. We rarely discussed it, thoughts of our unborn child were all positive and we were enjoying preparing for her arrival as the weeks neared.
I think my husband and I were both nervous, yet excited to have a bit more clarity on what the future with Harper looked like. I was quiet as baby's measurements were being taken and was impatiently waiting for it all to be over so I could know the results. The ultrasound tech mentioned a few times that she didn't see a hole but continued to take pictures from about every angle possible as if she didn't believe it herself. Again, she went to grab the doctor and the doctor did a quick check of his own and just like that, Harper's hole was gone. My little baby just needed 8 more weeks of cooking for her little heart to fully develop. We had a happy ending, and I imagine not every case ends this way, but if I learned one thing, it'd be to breathe and let science and nature do it's thing.
I hope if you are reading this because you're child has recently been diagnosed with VSD, it brings you some peace. I found comfort in hearing other peoples real-life stories verses googling every medical website possible. If you've experienced this, leave your story in a comment! Everyone's story ends differently but it's always nice to know you're not alone.