More details from today’s echo

by Kathy on February 27, 2008 · 3 comments

in Bob, CHD, Digoxin, Echocardiograms, FET #1, Molly, Sean, Terbutaline

Thank you for your cards, emails, phone calls, comments (here on my blog), messages (on Molly’s CarePage), thoughts and prayers. As always, your support and encouragement means so much to Bob, Sean, Molly and me.

Here are more details from Molly’s fetal echocardiogram this morning (there is definately some overlapping information from my previous post today):

I will start off with the best news we received at Molly’s fetal echocardiogram today, Molly’s umbilical vein actually looked a little better! This was what Dr. Cuneo, our perinatal cardiologist, was most concerned about last week and had it not remained the same or improved some, as it appears to have, there would have been nothing else for us to try in effort to help Molly. Knowing this was a strong possibility had made the week long wait from last Wednesday until today especially difficult for Bob and me, as we felt we really needed to prepare for this to be the beginning of the end for Molly. We definitely are encouraged by this news and find hope in what we learned today. However, we are still very cautious and trying not to get too excited and continue to take Molly’s journey with her one week at a time.

Molly’s atrial heart rate was still irregular today. Her higher atrial heart rate measured 153 bpm and her lower atrial heart rate measured 95 bpm. Her ventricle heart rate measured 58 bpm. Last week her higher atrial heart rate measured 151bpm and her lower atrial heart rate 89 bpm. Her ventricle heart rate measurements averaged 56 bpm. So her heart rate was not indicative of heart failure and was up a bit from last week (likely due to the Terbutaline). There were also no signs of fetal hydrops (abnormal accumulation of fluid within tissues of her body).

I have shared in the past that a healthy fetus’s heart should not be more than 1/3 the size of its abdomen (33%) and Molly’s was just over 1/3 (about 37%) last week. Today her heart was about 29%, so actually under 1/3! Bob and I didn’t realize that it was possible for Molly’s heart to get smaller again, but apparently it is (and the Digoxin and/or Terbutaline may have helped for this to happen).

In addition to the size of Molly’s heart and her umbilical vein, as I shared last week, Dr. Cuneo also had some concerns about Molly’s ductus venosus (which shunts a significant majority of the blood flow of the umbilical vein directly to the inferior vena cava). After reviewing Molly’s echocardiogram from today, Dr. Cuneo told us that her ductus venosus is still abnormal, however its condition was the same as it was last week and she considers no change in this area to be positive. Dr. Cuneo also mentioned that today they got a better view of Molly’s anatomy and she seemed pleased about that.

Dr. Cuneo also had an EKG done on me today, to be sure that my heart was not experiencing any adverse effects from my taking the medications to try to help Molly’s heart. After reviewing the results Dr. Cuneo said that they were “boring” and that she did not see any toxicity. Dr. Cuneo seemed to be happy with the results and we found them to be reassuring.

So I will stay on the Terbutaline and Digoxin oral medications at the current dosages and intervals that I am taking them and we will return for another fetal echocardiogram next Wednesday, March 5 (the day before my 33rd birthday). Our next short term goal for our daughter is for her umbilical vein, ductus venosus and the size of her heart to remain the same or even get a little better by her next echocardiogram. In addition to that we also hope that her heart rates will stay where they are or get higher and that she will continue to show no signs of fetal hydrops. It certainly would be a great birthday gift for me to know this time next week that our baby girl is holding steady or getting better and that she still has a chance at life.

Take care and May God bless you and your loved ones.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Natalie February 27, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Oh, I’m so happy for you!! This is definitely great and reassuring news. I truly believe that Molly is a fighter and it totally helps that you are being so positive in all of this!! Still praying tons!!


2 Fertilize Me February 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm

I tell ya, Technology and Medicine these days are just so facsinating – and lets not forget that prayer goes a long way


3 Anonymous February 27, 2008 at 11:45 pm

I find you so inspirational…seriously…I know there are times you break down…but thats totally normal…but your positive/hopeful outlook…its really great. You’ve got a very lucky little daughter.

I tried to look at the carepages and it didn’t allow me…oh well…all the best to your family…you don’t know me, but I’m rooting for your miracle 🙂


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