I was looking for a thread to talk about taking our babies to medical specialists, but I could't find one. So I started one of my own.
At the hospital, 2 days after my LO was born, the pediatrician on call heard a heart murmur, but wasn't too worried yet. He said that sometimes it is normal in newborns and that it would be followed at each visit. At her one week check up, her pediatrician (different doctor, same pediatric group), heard a murmur and suggested my FI and I take her to see a specialist. She gave me the name of a local pediatric cardiologist who is highly regarded and has been in practice for 30 years. Today was our appointment and after running an EKG, BP, and Pulse Ox, and then listening to her chest and talking to me about our everyday activities and how she handles things such as feeding and crying, and pointing out how fast she breathes and how much her chest moves when her heart beats, he wanted to perform an echocardiogram because he suspected she had a ventricular septal defect (VSD), and wanted to confirm. He does the echos in his office, so we had one, and he confirmed VSD. So basically, my LO has a hole in her heart. Now, the cardiologist said that these can close up on their own, however, in his experience, a defect as large as what my daughter has, generally doesn't close on its own.
I would have thought that I'd have been freaking out over this, but I'm not. I understand exactly what the cardiologist was talking about (I have a little medical knowledge background). I'm not sure if I just haven't fully accepted it yet or I've accepted it completely and am looking forward to the next steps. But the diagnosis does explain a lot, such as why it is so hard to feed her, why she only eats a little bit each feeding, why she falls asleep during feedings, etc. Why I have to constantly wake her up to feed her during the day. Her heart and lungs are working harder than they should be, so she gets exhausted quickly. My FI is more upset and worried than I am, I think. He also wants to know if we should get a second opinion. I'm not sure another opinion is necessary. This pediatric cardiologist is one of the best in our tri-state area. Also, he brought up a symptom I didn't even know was a symptom until he said something, but it is something that happens all the time. I had no idea that babies really don't sweat, and that the sweat on the back of my LO neck and when I hold and feed her is a symptom of VSD. I just assumed it was because we keep the house warm and because I am always warm, I was making her warm. Nope, it is from her body working overtime to pump blood and oxygen through her body due to her defect.
So basically, we have to monitor exactly how much she eats and when, since babies with VSD don't really gain weight. They use up all the calories and energy just pumping blood and oxygen through their bodies. We have to watch her breathing, her spit ups, her color (though it is very good), how long she sleeps, how much she cries, and go back in a week to discuss how she is doing and to decide if we need to start medications yet. At some point she will probably need surgery to fix the hole, unless it closes up on its own (thought the doctor is doubtful about this happening).
Anyone else out there have medical issues with their new LO and want to talk about it or vent?