At our second meeting with Dr. Ball, he explained that while the majority of CDH are isolated, additional evaluations are needed to help rule out other birth defects, since they may adversely affect the life of the child. The amnio had ruled out any chromosomal abnormalities, but there were still a few other evaluations that we needed to rule out other problems as well. One of these was a fetal echocardiogram.
Dr. Ball said that he would arrange for this to take place and have the doctor call us to schedule. Within a couple of days, Dr. Michael Puchalski from the
The fetal echo consisted of an ultrasound – a really long ultrasound! Dr. Puchalski spent nearly an hour studying Nathan’s heart – its size, structure, and function.
His verdict? For the most part, our son’s heart was structurally sound. It had all four chambers and was working well. However, there was a hole between the two ventricles (bottom chambers of the heart), but that is not uncommon and they often tend to eventually close themselves. His heart was also slightly displaced into the right side of his chest, but this is also common among CDH babies.
We left the echo considerably upbeat. Nathan’s heart was structurally sound. This was extremely important to his survival after birth. It was also a big relief to us. We knew our prayers were being heard. We knew that there was still a long road ahead of us, but each bit of good news was very reassuring and helped to strengthen our faith.