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As we learned about my baby’s heart rate, I was given an IV and was told to change into a gown and we were rushed upstairs to ultrasound.  A high-risk OB was assigned to us.  At this time Chris and I hadn’t even had a moment to process what was going on.  Everything was happening so fast!  We were so scared and freaked out.  Neither of us had ever heard about anything like this happening to anyone, or that it was even possible!

There was a huge monitor mounted up on the wall facing us, so we could see the entire ultrasound as it was being performed.  It was the most beautiful yet terrifying sight.  Imagine it… Your supposed to be excited to see your baby’s images on ultrasound and, being 28 weeks pregnant, You should get to see your baby’s features more defined than at your 20 week ultrasound.  The image of my baby’s heart looked like a hummingbird’s wings.  Chris and I were horrified.  There was a small amount of fluid accumulated in her chest called hydrops.  Also, my baby was in SVT, or supraventricular tachycardia and had arrhythmia.  Basically, SVT means “fast heartbeat”.  Arrhythmia basically means “an irregular heartbeat”.  Put the two together, and it’s super bad news, especially for a fetal baby!  As far as he could tell, though, the structure of the heart was intact.  Now, because I had no symptoms of this, there was no telling how long her heart had been beating this way.  It could have been like this as long as a month because at my 6 month check up her heart rate was normal and I was 7 months pregnant now.  Normal fetal heart rates are between 120-160 beats per minute.  The doctor was using terms like “atrophy” and “possible heart failure” and “heart attack”.  Rightfully so!  The heart is a big thick muscle.  What happens to any muscle when it’s over worked and stressed.  It causes disease and could possibly give out.

Chris and I both completely broke down.  You never think of losing your baby.  Your baby, that hasn’t even had a chance to be a baby yet!  The doctor said it was a good thing that I was still pregnant and hadn’t had any labor symptoms.  The longer I was pregnant, the better chance the baby had to survive.  So, the goal was to keep me pregnant and somehow treat me to treat the baby.  There’s no other way to get drugs to the baby unless I took them.  That sparked a whole new world of issues because I was healthy.  I had no personal history of heart problems at all.  I wasn’t over weight or diabetic.  I didn’t smoke, drink alcohol or use illegal drugs.  There was a possibility that when I started taking these drugs, I could damage my heart while trying to heal my baby’s heart.  It was a risk I had to take and it was worth it!

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