Jacques and I spent all day yesterday at the Children's National Medical Center having the baby checked out. Jacques was very excited to be allowed to try his hand at the ultrasound machine, and he was even able to get some images that the technician was not able to capture! We are 28 weeks 3 days (today), and the baby is measuring at 26 weeks. The small size is very typical of baby's with Downs Syndrome, but the doctor was pleased that the baby is still within a "normal" growth curve. We also learned that there is a lot of extra fluid around the baby. Once again this is very typical of pregnancies involving a baby with DS since they do not swallow the fluid as well as other infants. The doctor said that this would explain my extreme discomfort, and constant tightness in my stomach. It is also the cause of pre-term delivery, so they will be keeping a close eye on the fluid levels over the next few weeks.
Next, we had a very encouraging meeting with the Director of the Down's Syndrome Clinic. We were told that this man was amazing, and with his 42 years of experience we feel confident that we are in very good and capable hands. Our family will be working very closely with this Clinic in order to maximize our child's potential.
Lastly, the baby had a fetal echocardiogram. The Cardiologist said that they got a lot more information and beautiful images since the baby was 4 weeks bigger. Our little one has an atrioventricular septal defect, which means that there's a hole between the chambers of the heart and problems with the valves that regulate blood flow to the heart. The baby only has one valve, and is actually completely missing the other one. The Cardiologist will be keeping a close eye on the one valve that the baby does have, since there is a chance that it could begin leaking. As long as this valve does not begin leaking, the baby will be allowed to go home from the hospital with us after s/he is born. We will use a lot of different medications to keep the baby alive for its first few months of life since it will be in heart failure. The baby will dictate the timing of the open heart surgery, but the cardiologist is hopeful that the baby can wait until s/he is at least 2-3 months old. Lily's surgeon, Dr. Jonas, will perform the open heart surgery.
Jacques and I enjoyed our almost childless day together, and laughed so hard we cried on several different occasions. Jacques and I make an amazing team, and there is NOTHING in this world that we cannot tackle together with the help of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Just ask us!