Last week, Mary had her post-natal echo-cardiogram. It was a simple, but long procedure. They did an ultrasound of her heart, looking for any potential issues that could not be seen in utero. You would think it would not take very long with such a tiny heart, but it was about 30-45 minutes long. She was asleep the entire time luckily, so they did not need to fight to get the images they needed. Surprisingly, I was not very concerned about what they might find. Knowing that they did not find anything major on the fetal echo, I figured that anything found in this would be minor.
I received the results online the next day. However, it was still in doctor talk. I Google searched some of the terms, but needed to wait until her appointment with her pediatrician to understand it all. That appointment was yesterday.
In short, she does have a small hole in her heart, but it is not bad or worrisome. It just needs to be monitored to make sure that it does not get bigger and that it does close on its own. It is a small hole between the left and right atrium, also known as an Atrial Septal Defect or ASD. All babies have this “hole in the heart” while they are still in utero. It allows the blood to bypass the lungs before they are born. Once born, this hole usually closes within several weeks or months depending. This hole could close itself in a few months’ time, leaving her with no heart defects. Or it could not close completely and have to be monitored. If it gets larger, it could require surgery to correct. But for right now, it is small and not of major concern. And that is a sigh of relief from me.