I’ll go back in for another echocardiogram on Monday to make sure nothing has changed. It was a bit of a controversy whether to do the surgery this week or next. The longer we wait, the worse off the heart could get. The way they explained it to us is that it’s like when you’re lifting weights and your muscles start to get tired, you start having that burning feeling (those of you who lift weights know what I’m talking about, even though I’m certainly not one of you). When you get tired, you stop and give your muscles a break.
Now imagine that you can’t stop. You keep working the tired muscles, lifting the same weights over and over and over. After a while the muscle starts to stress. Then tear. Then die. That’s what’s going on inside Danger’s heart. The blood is flowing into the left ventricle but has no release valve. The pressure just keeps building and building and the heart muscle tries to work harder to get it out. Eventually it will get so tired that, as much as it keeps trying and trying, there won’t be any muscle left.
For obvious reasons the sooner we can fix, the less damage to the left ventricle.
On the other hand, we caught this early and the baby is small (354 grams). They want to wait to let him grow a little bit.
Caught early = good for heart.
Baby so small = bad for surgery.
This week I’m 19 weeks. The youngest successful surgery they’ve done is at 20 weeks. They decided to wait a week to let him grow. The size of the surgical target – the opening in the aortic valve – is 1.5 mm. Imagine an inch on a ruler. There are 2.54 cm per inch and there are 10 mm per cm (yay 4th grade math).
The target they are trying to reach is 1/10 of a cm or 1/25 of an inch. And they are trying to do this while the baby is floating in wahwah. Tough stuff.
Now we sit and wait and hope. Stay strong, little heart. Grow fat, little kid.