Kennedy had her 3 month check up with the children’s cardiologist. Many that I talked to through my pregnancy towards the end knew that she had narrowed fetal ductus arteriosus. This was extremely difficult to here because it meant they could induce me early and she would be born way ahead of time. Our OB wanted to keep her inside the womb as long as possible. He kept saying to me that inside the womb was the best incubator to keep her healthy and not in the NICU. What is extremely difficult about this is that there is hardly any research besides case studies to read on the internet. Normally when you hear about a diagnosis a lot of people research on the internet. Apparently the Children’s Heart Center here in Nevada is excellent and way ahead of a lot of places with detecting this early.
Many asked me how she got this? A lot of research is still being determined, but for the most part they have gathered that when the mother eats too high of an antioxidant diet this can lead to this, but not always the case. They then put you on a special diet to help this valve stay open. You must eat a low polyphenol diet. If anyone knows about food the whole world pretty much tells you to eat a high polyphenol. It is extremely uncommon to eat low polyphenol foods since they are unhealthy.
Kennedy’s valve was closing inside the womb. The valve is supposed to close, but not until the baby is born. When it closes inside the womb it’s not good. It can lead to heart issues and worse case scenario death inside the womb. Horrible! I began going into the doctor to be monitored twice a week.
I was put on this special diet to pretty much as my doctor told me “I need you to eat like crap. You are eating too healthy.” Isn’t that crazy? I think I eat this way because I have celiac disease and cannot have gluten. Therefore, I do not eat carbs like everyone else. This diet was extremely challenging because it wanted you to EAT everything I couldn’t have! Jeff and I spent $130 dollars for me to meet with a dietician for ONE HOUR to help me figure out what to eat because I was in tears because I couldn’t eat anything and I was afraid to even kind of cheat and hurt Kennedy. I stopped eating fruit, vegetables, smoothies, salads, juices, tea – pretty much anything that was healthy.
After being on this miserable diet for two weeks my numbers started going up instead of down. I was the first patient ever to be taken off the diet because my numbers went up. I believe this was because I can’t eat gluten like they wanted me too. Kennedy was born at 38 weeks. I was scheduled to receive induction on Friday March 24th at 4:00AM because I was getting contractions, dilated 4 cm, and the valve was closing. However, I checked in March 23rd because my contractions got too bad.
This week I took Kennedy to the her cardiologist for a recheck. When Kennedy was born this doctor came to meet her and gave her two different tests an ultrasound on her heart and an EKG. We were told to bring her in at 3 months to redo the tests. They looked at her fetal ductus arteriosus and found another issue the patent foramen ovale aka PFO. Good news or bad news?
Good news! The ductus has officially closed as it was supposed too. Her PFO went from being open from 4-5mm to 1mm. The doctor was very happy to see the number go down. He said the amount it was open when she was born is where they worry. Kennedy will need to go back into see him when she is 2 years old to recheck this. This doctor was extremely nice and said if I was worried I could come back in at 6 months for a recheck; however 2 years was better because it would show better progress.
What if it doesn’t close I asked? All in all she will be okay. If it doesn’t close she will be limited to doing activities like scuba diving, heavy weight lifting; etc. Things like this he said won’t be too bad. He didn’t want to worry me and said we would discuss that later if it did not close. I am extremely relieved to hear she is okay. After spending the past 3 months with her and then 9 months in the womb – I seriously cannot imagine anything happening to her. It’s when you a have a child you realize so much more in life and you can instantly relate to families who lose their loved ones to horrible accidents or cancer. I was able to sympathize before, but never show empathy. Now I can instantly tear up when I see these horrible stories.
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