I mentioned in my last post that last Thursday at our appointment with the perinatologist the ultrasound showed that the fluid build-up (heart failure) was getting worse. We had been hoping and praying not only for it not to be worse but even for it to be better. So as you can imagine it was devastating to hear.
On Monday of this week we had another appointment with our pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Hardy. Thus far, Dr. Hardy has been Baby Gracie's biggest fan and cheerleader (besides us). He has never downplayed the seriousness of her condition but he has been persistently optimistic and hopeful. Not so this week.
One of the major things that Baby Grace had going in her favor was that even though she only has a single ventricle, it was still doing a good job and was quite healthy. This week he said there has been a significant change and decline in its condition. Her heart rate was also the lowest it's ever been - 54 BPM. She is obviously in distress.
She desperately needs a pacemaker but after several calls to surgeons and a cardiac electro-physiologist, Dr. Hardy called us on Monday evening to give yet more bad news - surgeons simply cannot put a pacemaker into a baby less than 34 weeks because their hearts just aren't big enough.
I sobbed in Matt's arms after the call.
Earlier that day, Dr. Hardy had told us as gently as he could that he thinks she isn't going to make it much longer if we don't do something. The pacemaker was our last something. She needs five more weeks in my belly to have a chance after birth. At the rate her heart failure has been going five weeks is a very, very long time.
Here is what she needs prayer for:
- Increased and sustained higher heart rate.
- A sufficient increased heart rate to pump the fluid out of where it's been accumulating.
- No further decline of her single ventricle.
- Strong and healthy aortic and pulmonic valves.
- To grow big and strong in preparation for surgery after birth.
- That her continued life in my belly and surgery and recovery would be so remarkable and inexplicable that the surgeons would marvel all the rest of their practice; that it would completely confound them.
I know the odds are stacked against her. I know the doctors are waiting for what they deem to be an unavoidable outcome. But today she's living and kicking and moving. And Acts 17:28 says, "For in Him (Christ) we live and move and have our being." Today God has given her life. And we won't stop persisting in prayer, asking for life and healing.
Please ask with us?