We created this blog to help us document the story of Malia starting at 29 weeks in utero. There have been and continue to be struggles for Malia and for us. It is evident to us, as you will see, that the power of prayer is mighty and God does love us and hear our prayers. We welcome and invite you to follow along with us. Though lengthy, start from the bottom to get the entire story so far.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank God for random 3D ultrasounds... (Part II)

As the entire fam drove to the hospital Alison and I were overwhelmed with emotions. I truly believe that it was at this moment, being full of fear, that the prayers started to be felt. My fear quickly transformed into faith. I reached over to Alison to comfort her and assured her that God is in control of this girl's life. Not sure how to explain the difference, though fear did leave me make no mistake I was still concerned for my wife and unborn baby girl and was ready to do whatever necessary to help them. We were honestly not sure what we would meet at the hospital, but knowing clear and well what happens at the "Birth center" we were not ruling out the possibility of an emergency delivery. We arrived and it wasn't long before they had Alison under high tech ultrasound examining the baby's heart. They expected it was Super Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT) but after a few minutes they declared without a doubt that it was Atrial Flutter. The right atrium of the baby's heart was beating at 460 beats per minute (bpm) and the left ventricle was beating at 230 bpm. Normal is about 110-160 bpm, in sync of course. In addition to the atrial flutter, they noticed fluid collected in both the chest cavity and the abdomen (considered "hydrops"). The amount was significant, but not yet considered a critical amount and they would continue to monitor it closely. They then spelled out the various options and gave their recommendations. The recommended first step, which we agreed to, was to start Alison on a heart drug called Digoxin (aka "Dij")which would be then be passed onto the baby. A medicine used to treat heart failure being used on my perfectly healthy wife, yea a little tough to process that. I did receive a calming phone call from my step-mom though telling me how this drug has the chance of sending the mom into heart failure requiring them to bust out the paddles and shock her heart back into motion :) (in all seriousness, I loved having someone like her on the other end who knew all about this stuff I was being forced to learn about). So with all eyes on Alison and her monitors, she received the first dose of Dij. I spent the first night with one eye open watching Alison's monitors and listening closely to the heart monitor as they checked on the baby every hour. With the baby's heart in flutter still, the monitor they used did not pick up anything reliable - just a bunch of noise.

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