Sunday, January 9, 2011

Broken Hearted

I’ve learned in the past few days what a helpless feeling it is to know that no matter how much you want to, you can’t always protect your children from bad things that may happen.  I’ve worked so hard on my blood sugar leading up to and during my pregnancy, but in the daily flow of testing, taking insulin and counting carbs, I got lulled into thinking that diabetes was the only thing that could negatively affect my child.  But, when I went for my second echo cardiogram late last week, seemingly out of no where and apparently unrelated to my diabetes, they found an abnormality with the baby’s heart—something called Pulmonary Valve Stenosis.  Basically, one of the valves in the baby’s heart is not working properly, keeping the blood from flowing the way it should.

When the cardiologist first explained what was going on, I felt waves of panic, which I tried to fight with reason.  The words that the doctor was using—valve, stenosis, valvuloplasty—confused and crippled me.  I tried to get my thoughts straight, knowing that I needed to ask questions that would help me make sense of the situation. 

It sounded so serious when the doctor was first telling me what was going on, but as I kept asking her to stop using medical terms and to explain what this meant in layman’s terms, I came to understand that luckily, this particular abnormality is fairly easy to fix should a fix be needed. They may need to do a relatively minor procedure called a percutaneous balloon pulmonary dilation, or valvuloplasty, on the baby sometime after delivery to fix the valve and that should be it.  It is also possible that nothing will need to be done, and the baby may just need to be monitored by a cardiologist throughout the early years of its life.  In terms of heart problems, this is one of the more mild things that can go wrong, and I know I should be thankful for that.  But, ever since I found out, I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness and fear.

My shower was this weekend (more to come on that), and while it was so nice to spend time with friends and family and it was a great day, as people kept asking how I was feeling and how the pregnancy was going, it felt like I was getting punched over and over.  I smiled and said that everything was great, not wanting to get into it, but my head was spinning with thoughts of everything that could go wrong from here and I fought several times to hold back tears.  I’m not sure why, but even after talking with all of my doctors and hearing how easy this situation is to handle, I am so upset over this whole thing.  Every time I feel the baby move, I worry that it is straining it’s heart, or every time I get stressed, I worry that I’m putting stress on the baby too.  I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones or what, but I hope in the coming days I can snap out of this fog. 

So here we sit, both my baby and I, with broken hearts.  I just hope that as I work on healing mine, the baby’s will begin to heal as well.


  1. oh no! i am so sorry to hear that. as if what you've gone through so far wasn't enough. i'm praying for the health and healing of both you and the baby!

  2. I am so sorry to hear that. I'm sure everything will be fine, but I can only imagine how scary it must be! I'll be praying for you and your little one. :)

  3. So sorry Annie. I had a scare with my baby's heart (potential hole). All ended up fine with her and there wasn't one. But, if there was, the same kind of prognosis loomed - that we would have to have a small surgery to fix it after she was born. Or, it could resolve on it's own. That was so hard to take, but I just kept thinking that so many others had been through it and had healthy babies/kids. I'm sure it's the same for you and your situation too.

    This little one will be perfect. You have an adorable bundle of love inside of you and nothing will change that. God is good and He's got your baby in His hands. Check out Matthew 6:25-34 if you get a chance.


  4. Annie, I was so sorry to read about your baby's wee heart and how it has affected you. I too am a type 1, keen to have a child, and have been following your story with great interest. On the day I read about your broken hearted news I felt I could relate to your emotional struggle as I was having an early miscarriage merely days after finding out I was pregnant.

    I will continue to follow your journey and hope that the universe blesses you with a beautiful and happy baby.

    all the best.

  5. Slider will heal your broken heart and you will heal Slider's.