Saturday, February 13, 2010

When the heart stops moving: Seven Hearts Series

Welcome to the seventh day of Seven Hearts in Seven Days - if you are looking for more information on Congenital Heart Defects or how to get in on the giveaway - check out last Saturday's post. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the finale!
Today's post comes from Erin at Words from a Busy SAHM

It was one of those pregnancies that you just have a feeling something is just not right. I was pregnant with my third child. Since it was going to be my last child. We decided to go have a 3-D sono done for memories. It was amazing. You could see all the features on her face and watch her yawn, suck her thumb and just watch her facial expressions. From having two kids before her I know that heart rates are not supposed to stay high like they are in the beginning of the pregnancy. When the sono was done she targeted on the heart rate and I noticed that the heart rate was only 129. I’m sure that was normal but it was something that always puzzled me.

A few weeks later I noticed that she was not moving as much and she was not as active. I ended up going into labor 3 ½ weeks early on December 20th 2005. When I arrived at the hospital I was 3 centimeters dilated. I had two c-sections before her so I had to have another one. While I was waiting to see what was going to happen, the nurse noticed that every time I had a contraction her heart rate would slow down. They sent the doctor in with the sonogram machine to do the movement test on her. They did it for a few minutes and she failed. She was not as active as she should have been. They set me up for emergency surgery right away.

I went in for my surgery early in the morning. When they delivered her. she was not breathing and she was not moving. I was so scared at that time. The nurses hurried up and started doing stuff to her. She didn’t even cry at all. After they got her breathing they rushed her down to NICU. I did get to kiss her on her head but that was it. The day after I was able to finally go down and see Olivia. I did hold her for a while.

 I was taken back up to my room and everyone left to go home. Before I went to sleep I called down to NICU to see how she was doing and they said that they are running some tests . I didn’t think anything of it. The next morning I went down to see her. The nurse took me down. As I was there the doctor was on the phone with a radiologist. When he got off the phone he came over and told me “the Plan”. Ok I didn’t know there was a plan in the first place. He told me that Olivia went for a ECHO because they heard a murmur and wanted to check it out. He told me that they found she had a narrow Aorta and that they were transferring her to a specialty hospital. I had some questions and they did help me answer them. After that news I decided to go back to my room to make phone calls. As I was coming up the hallway to my room, my OB doctor was walking toward me. I just started crying that he couldn’t understand what I was saying. He told me that he was going down there right now to find out what is going on. So two days after she was born she is now being transferred to another hospital for testing and to be in the NICU Surgical just incase. My OB doctor trusted me to leave the hospital to be with my daughter just two days after the C-Section. He told me he was going to release me so I can be with her.

The ambulance team that was taking her to the specialty hospital brought her up for me to see her. She looked so tiny in the clear carrier that they had her in. After a few hours of her leaving I was released to go down to be with her. We got into the room and there was at least 4 doctors in there with her and the genetic doctors. They did their own Echo and found that she had Hypo-plastic Aortic Arch. The genetic doctors was also doing their own tests and found out that she had Jacobsen Syndrome. It is not very common.

Olivia did very well in the hospital. She was not discharged until January 12th 2006 almost 4 weeks in the hospital. Today Olivia is 4 years old and she is doing very well. She has not had any surgeries. She is monitored every year be an EKG and an ECHO. She goes to school for special needs and has no restrictions. She does have Parachute Mirtal Valve and Mitral Valve Stenosis. Olivia is a very active girl. I have a website dedicated to her syndrome.

Everyday is just another day that she brightens up my life.


  1. What a story. My heart goes out to Momma Erin. Any Mom who has to go through such a scary process deserves Mom of the Year award to me!

  2. Wow! Beautiful story! My heart goes out to the family. Such a hard thing to go through.

    I have something for you at my blog!

  3. What an experience that family went through! I didn't know anything about this topic until I read your blog - thank you for making me aware!

    And Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  4. Olivia! You and your mommy, Erin are two amazing ladies!

  5. Wonderful story and what a blessing that she hasn't needed open heart surgery - is there a chance that she will in the future, or are things pretty stable?

    Hoping for many wonderful years to come!

  6. I visited your website and have to tell you that you and your family are so strong and brave. What happened to you is terrible but yet you are still raising awareness and I'm so happy to hear that Olivia is doing loads better! She's adorable :)


  7. Olivia is beautiful


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