Thursday, March 26, 2009

A little story about HLHS babies...

I came across this story a few days ago, and just had to share it with you all. It's just so precious...

It’s a beautiful day up in heaven. Jesus is gathering his baby angels to send to earth and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus, “I don’t want to leave. I love it here and I will miss you.” He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be fine and that this is just a visit.
The tiny angel is still not swayed on this idea so Jesus kneels down and says, “How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you. Will that be okay?” The angel smiles and says, “I guess that will work.” But the little angel is still a little scared. She asks,”Will I be okay with only half of my heart?” Jesus replies, “Of course you will. I have other angels there that will help, and will love you so much.”
Then Jesus gives the tiny angel more details about His plan. He says, “When you are born, your mommy will be scared so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. Enjoy your time with your family, play and laugh everyday. When its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Visit with doctor on March 25th

We had our weekly check-up this afternoon. This time with Dr. Read in Fort Worth...much better commute and Grady loves Dr. Read as much as we do!! We have to have what's called a Bio-physical Profile every week to check for activity, growth and fluid level. The nurse described a BPP to be something like an in-utero apgar score. And, of course, our sweet Ella looked great! She was very active (surprise, surprise!), practicing breathing, and she has even put on more weight. She is now estimated to weigh 6 lbs. 4 oz. (up from 5 lbs. 8 oz. just 6 days ago!) Dr. Read said that baby's typically gain 1/3 to 1/2 a pound a week in the last month, so we're pretty confident that she'll weigh at least 7 lbs...which is great!
Some of you might not know our plans for delivery, so I thought I'd fill you in. We're looking at induction on April 21st or 22nd at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. We're having her there in order to be closer in proximity to Children's Medical Center. Ella will be stabilized in the NICU at Baylor immediately following delivery, and transported to Children's by ambulance within the first few hours. Abe, Nana & Grandpa John will follow Ella over to Children's and remain with her until I can join them--which I'm hoping will be the following day. The nurses at Baylor have orchestrated a way to set up a web cam for me to be able to see Ella at Children's while I am recovering at Baylor. I'm so incredibly grateful for this!
Please pray that Ella will continue to grow bigger and stronger in the next 4 weeks. It's crazy to think that she could be her in only 27 days!!!
Love to all,
The Morrison's

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Follow-up echo and visit with Perinatalogist

We had our follow-up fetal echocardigram at Children's in Dallas last Thursday, March 19th. The cardiologist said that although the aortic and mitral valves have grown since our last visit (these 2 valves pump blood into and out of the left ventricle), they are still not large enough to support the left side of the heart. As I mentioned in my earlier post, she has a been diagnosed with having a "variance" of HLHS, and her heart is just slightly underdeveloped. Which means nothing other than the fact that she will need one of two things: 1) God to perform a miracle that will allow the valves to grow and to support the left chambers OR 2) the three open heart surgeries that will allow the right ventricle to sustain her life until she eventually needs a transplant. It is just heart wrenching to hear the cardiologist say that her heart is just "slightly underdeveloped, and if the valves had grown just a little bit more, then she would be fine!" I asked, again, HOW this happens and she said there is no known cause, it's just a fluke...UNbelieveable! She also mentioned that she would prefer that I deliver naturally vs. having an elective c-section. Evidently, the natural way is more beneficial to the baby because it squeezes the fluid out of the lungs during the process of coming down the birth canal. I asked about the trauma or stress that babies endure during delivery and if it would be risky with her heart, but she assured me that she will be just fine and the benefits outweigh the risks. So, I'm thinking the natural way is the way to go. Of course another perk is that the recovery is so much quicker, which means that I will get released from Baylor and can be with Ella at Children's much, much sooner.
We then went to the perinatalogist to have our routine visit and asked her what she thought about the cardiologist's recommendation. She said that it is totally up to us, and that we have time to make our decision. She then measured Ella and her estimated weight was 5lbs 8oz (which put her in the 51 percentile) and everything else looked great, as always. We were so happy to hear that!
So now, the countdown is on. It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that this precious baby girl will be here is just a little more than 4 weeks from now....if she doesn't decide to come sooner, that is!
Please pray that she continues to grow and get bigger and stronger during the next 4 weeks....and it wouldn't hurt praying for a miracle, either. How wonderful would it be if they looked at her heart after she was born and found that the left side was the perfect size and functioning the way it should?!? Miracles happen every day, right? If this is not her fate, we know that she'll be okay and that she will be a fighter!!!
The Morrison's

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just wanted to give you a brief update on our appointments at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.We met with the pediatric cardiologist first and she performed a fetal echocardiogram. She confirmed the diagnosis of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. After reading the fetal echo, and studying the three hypoplastic (underdeveloped) areas of her heart, she felt that the baby's chances of surviving the three staged open heart surgeries were very good! HLHS is a "syndrome", so there are varying degrees of hypoplasia and we are very fortunate that her heart is not as severely underdeveloped or defected as it could be.We then met with the cardio thoracic surgeon, Dr. Forbess. I honestly cannot put into words how absolutely impressed we were with him. He sat down with us for well over an hour to discuss the three operations and answer our questions. After reading the results of the fetal echo, he also felt that she had a very good chance of surviving the surgeries. We were SO thankful to hear it from him, too!Dr. Forbess has amazing credentials and we both left there with this incredibly comfortable feeling that we totally and completely trust him with our daughter's life. We feel so blessed to have found him!!Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers. Please continue to pray that her condition does not change from now until delivery.
Love to all,
The Morrison's