News from Molly’s echo today

by Kathy on March 5, 2008 · 8 comments

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

As I have done in past weeks, I am cutting and pasting the email that I have just sent to family and friends and will also share the same information on Molly’s CarePage. Unfortunately, the news we learned today, was not what we were hoping for.

Thank you for your cards, emails, phone calls, comments, thoughts and prayers since my email last week. As always, your support and encouragement means so much to Bob, Sean, Molly and me.

Today Molly is 23 weeks and 4 days gestation. Her atrial heart rate was still irregular today at her echocardiogram. Her higher atrial heart rate measured 153 bpm and her lower atrial heart rate measured 89 bpm. Her ventricle heart rate measured 58 bpm. Last week her higher atrial heart rate measured 153bpm and her lower atrial heart rate 95 bpm. Her ventricle heart rate measured 58 bpm. So her heart rate was not indicative of heart failure and was similar to where it was last week.

For the first time this week there were signs of fetal hydrops (abnormal accumulation of fluid within tissues of her body). The fluid they saw today is in Molly’s abdomen. Dr. Cuneo explained that it likely won’t get better. So it will either stay the same or get worse in time. If it stays the same, Molly may still have a chance. If it gets worse, it is a significant sign of impending heart failure.

As I have shared in previous weeks, a healthy fetus’s heart should not be more than 1/3 the size of its abdomen (33%) and last week we thought we thought we understood that Molly’s was just under 1/3 (about 29%). However, in talking with Dr. Cuneo this afternoon, she said that she thinks last week it was probably closer to 35%, which she described as being at the high end of normal. Today Molly’s heart was about 47%, which she described to be solidly abnormal. This was definitely a concern and another factor that shows that her heart may be starting to fail.

We also got updates on the condition of Molly’s umbilical vein and her ductus venosus (which shunts a significant majority of the blood flow of the umbilical vein directly to the inferior vena cava). Dr. Cuneo told us that both her umbilical vein and her ductus venosus are still abnormal, however their condition was the same as they were last week and she considers no change in these areas to be positive.

Dr. Cuneo also had 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 things looked fine overall, however she would not recommend that I increase the dosages of either the Terbutaline or Digoxin and that she is actually going to have me slightly decrease the dosages of both medications. She explained that if she thought my heart could handle it, she might have recommended that I up the doses in effort to try to help Molly’s heart. That said, we are pleased that she ordered my EKG and we respect and appreciate her looking out for my heart and well being and agreed that increasing the doses is not worth the risk to me.

So I will stay on the Terbutaline and Digoxin oral medications at the new lower dosages and the same intervals that I am taking them and we will return for another fetal echocardiogram next Wednesday, March 12. Our hope for Molly at that time is that her fetal hydrops, umbilical vein, ductus venosus and the size of her heart will remain the same or even get a little better. We also hope that her heart rates will stay where they are or get higher. If any of these factors are significantly worse next week, Dr. Cuneo explained that at that point there will likely be nothing more we can do for Molly.

According to Dr. Cuneo, Molly’s prognosis is definitely worse than it seemed last week in that we are doing everything we can for her and yet some of the key factors that are indicative of heart failure are apparent. However, she also said that it was too early to tell if this was the beginning of the end for Molly and that she would not be keeping me on the medications if she didn’t think they could still help Molly and the condition of her heart. As you can imagine this wasn’t the news we were hoping to hear today.

We feel very emotionally drained and are doing our best to continue to take this journey with Molly one week and really one day at a time. We still have not given up hope that our daughter may survive, however it seems to us that it is becoming a highly unlikely outcome. Please continue to pray for Molly and our family, especially that we will have the strength and courage to get through this next week and that we will be able to accept and find peace in whatever comes of our daughter’s life with us here on earth.

Thank you again for your continued support, encouragement, positive thoughts and prayers.

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

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous March 5, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Kathy, as always you and molly are in our prayers.

I continue to pray for the best outcome for Molly.



2 Anonymous March 6, 2008 at 1:37 am

Thinking of you and Molly. While I am not sure how I would cope in your situation(you never know until you are there)I do know that I admire your strength. Molly is a lucky girl.



3 Melinda March 6, 2008 at 2:21 am

Thinking of you during the next week and praying for some good news. {{Hugs}}


4 Fertilized March 6, 2008 at 4:17 am

Kathy – sending you hugs and prayers


5 Anonymous March 6, 2008 at 6:57 am

Kathy, you and your family are in my constant prayers. I am sorry that you are having to go through this! Many prayers for baby Molly!!

Angela (carolinagirl)


6 Ellen March 6, 2008 at 9:27 am

Kathy – your grace and strength continue to amaze me. I’m praying for you and miss Molly. Ellen


7 T-girl March 6, 2008 at 10:35 am

Kathy, I have no words just wanted to tell you that your family and Molly are in my thoughts and prayers.

A big hug for all of you!


8 Carole March 8, 2008 at 5:31 pm

I am praying and praying hard. May Molly have a complete physical healing…and may the days until the next appointment pass with as much peace as possible.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge


Previous post:

Next post: