Sunday, November 16, 2008

Case Studies

Two weeks ago I got a phone call from my obstetrician, Dr. Wells (best in the world, I'm convinced). He asked about little Miles, and how Jeremy and I were enjoying parenthood. He was very happy to hear that all was well, and he wanted to let me know that they were in the process of writing a case study on us, from an obstetrician's standpoint. We visited for about ten minutes, and I was able to learn a few things that happened during those last weeks of my pregnancy that I just wasn't able to process at the time after learning about Miles' condition. Looking back, it's funny how the words, "We're concerned about the condition of your baby's heart," made everything said afterwards sound like it was coming from the voice of Charlie Brown's teacher. While I do remember Dr. Wells mentioning that there were some "red flags" that signaled a problem, at the time I was too shell-shocked to really ask many questions. So we talked about some of that.

July 29th was the day we had the sonogram that told us there was a problem with Miles' heart. And on that day Dr. Wells had talked about how much my belly had grown. He asked, "Have lots of people made comments about how big your belly has gotten recently?" Well yes they had, but I had been getting those remarks for months. I had even told him about those comments in previous doctor's visits, but he said that I was measuring right on target and that my belly was just more pronounced because I wasn't gaining much anywhere else. But, what he was referring to on the 29th was that my belly had grown a lot within the previous week. In fact, I was to the point of having weekly visits, and at my appt. on the 22nd he never said anything about measuring too big. So I finally asked him what he meant when he said I got "so big, so fast."

He said that on the 15th I measured right on target - 36 cm at 36 weeks (so cool how the number of centimeters is supposed to correlate with the number of weeks you are). The following week, the 22nd, he said that I measured 38 cm - one centimeter too big for being 37 weeks, but he wasn't too concerned about it and would just take a close look to see how big baby was at the sonogram the following week. But on the 29th, just one week later, I measured 41 centimeters!! He says that sometimes if there is a problem with baby, it will make a lot of extra water. So besides the fact that you could see on the sono that there was definitely something not right with Miles' heart, the fact that I had all this excess fluid was another red flag that something was wrong with the baby. Anyway, I found that interesting.

He said they are writing a case study on us because when he researched my symptoms along with what they saw with Miles' heart in all the medical literature from an obstetrician's standpoint, he could find no other cases of it. So he said this will be good in case someone else one day has these same symptoms, their OB will easily be able to research it, find our case study, and know what they need to do - get that baby out!! I also believe they will be writing a separate case study on us from a neonatal standpoint that will indicate how Miles was treated after birth. Again, there were only two case studies found on cardiology side of it so hopefully our situation will be able to help someone else down the road.

Dr. Wells also told me that I will probably be treated as high risk if I were to get pregnant again. Meaning, he will have me do a couple of sonograms with a pediatric cardiologist during the pregnancy just to make sure that I'm not someone who is just going to have babies whose PDA's close prematurely. He thinks the likelihood of that happening is so slim, since Miles' condition was so rare, but better to be safe.

I pass by Parkland Hospital every day as I'm driving to work and again on my way home, and each time it reminds me of how familiar we are with that place, and I breathe a prayer of thanks to God for healing Miles. Just last week, I was on my way to work after dropping Miles off at school, faithfully listening to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning as I always do. Kidd has a charity for terminally ill kids, and there was a mother on the show talking about her six year old daughter, Abby, who has congestive heart failure. I don't know all the specifics, but I do know that she said her daughter's left ventricle was much smaller than her right, and that is exactly what Miles' heart looked like when he was born. Now obviously what's causing that in Abby is different than what caused it in Miles, but hearing her mother talk about how Abby has been through three or four heart surgeries already, each time the doctor saying it will likely be her last (and not in a good way), brought me to tears where I almost needed to pull over. I don't pretend to understand why the Lord healed Miles, because that easily could have/should have been our life too. But instead, we have a perfectly healthy little boy who is down for the count in the next room, and until I no longer work downtown and pass the hospital each day, I don't know if I'll ever go a day without selfishly thanking God that Miles is alive and healthy.

Well! If anyone is still reading this after that novel you're probably good and ready for a nap. Or you may officially stop reading this blog altogether. :) Either way, I know I'd be in big trouble if I didn't leave you with a new pic of Miles boy, so enjoy!


courtney said...

I didn't know that, either--that the centimeter number should be the same as the number of weeks pregnant you are.

I think it's great that they will have these case studies--hopefully it will be able to help someone else down the road!

Miles is just too precious! What a blessing!

lhall said...

he is just adorable. i cannot wait to meet him in person.

...and i'm so grateful for the Lord's healing as well. and that my sister and i both commented on this post.

courtney said...

i'm recommenting :)

i gave you a "fabulous blog award"--see my blog for details. :)

shellyeve said...

I'm so glad to hear the story - and to see these precious pictures. hope you are well - Happy Thanksgiving.

mile said...

can i get an update??? I mean for real how is that baby boy doing, and I need MORE PICS!!

mile's dad jeremy said...

can i get an update??? I mean for real how is that baby boy doing, and I need MORE PICS!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. We need more updated pictures of that precious boy.

Love, Nino