As you can see on the side margin, I've posted some new pictures (Mark and I and one of our little guy on ultrasound yesterday). I thought the 3D/4D of the baby was so appropriate... he looks like he's boxing!
Our visit to Milwaukee on Monday was as expected. Our little guy does have an AV Canal. The cardiologist said to expect surgery around 4 months of age. If he comes early, though, he would likely need a minor surgery after birth prior to the more major surgery later. So let's hope that he doesn't decide to enter the world before 36 weeks (mid-January).
The cardiologist was great: very informative and supportive. She agreed that the majority of baby's cardiac care, barring the actual surgery, can be done here in Neenah at Children's Hospital - Fox Valley. We feel quite fortunate to live 10 minutes from that branch of Children's Hospital and that there is an excellent pediatric cardiologist on staff there.
We also toured the NICU and Labor & Delivery on Monday after we saw the cardiologist. It was bizarre, actually. I didn't ask how many deliveries they do there every year, so I have no way to compare that number with Northside in Atlanta (where we delivered Nathan... they do 18,000 per year!). But there were only 2 operating rooms for c-sections and multiples and neither was occupied at 10:00am on a Monday, which seemed rather bizarre to me.
The NICU was very nice. It has 41 beds and on Monday there was only one bed open. Thankfully, Nathan is over 2 or he wouldn't be allowed in the NICU to visit during RSV season. As it is, we'll have to get him comfortable wearing a mask. Yeah, right. But our nurse coordinator, Andrea, from Fetal Concerns is sending us a mask with Mickey Mouse on it so we can try to teach him about it in advance.
I also had an appointment yesterday with my local perinatologist, Dr. L (she's the one who took that cute picture posted to the right). Baby looks good. His femur and humerous were both measuring about 2 weeks behind, which is common for babies with Down syndrome. He has hair on his head (no surprise, considering Nathan was nicknamed "Monchichi" by a friend in Atlanta). He was moving around like crazy, just like he was during the echo on Monday. I have a high level of amniotic fluid, but it appears it hasn't gone up since my last measurement 3 weeks ago. Due to the high level of fluid, however, I will see the perinatologist every week throughout the rest of the pregnancy (as well as my ob/gyn) to have the fluid level checked and the baby measured for growth. With all these doctor's appointments, I'm so thankful that we live close to Mark's parents, who have been so great about watching Nathan while I make my medical rounds.
The delivery is currently scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31. For those of you counting, that means I would be in the hospital when the Packers beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. I'm not too pleased about that schedule, but it's still tentative... Dr. L will give advice to the peri in Milwaukee as we get closer to the end of January.
Next step... I need to set up a tour of the NICU here in Neenah to try to determine whether we should push to get the baby transfered up here after he's released by the surgeon in Milwaukee. It could be weeks after that before he could go home depending on whether he's quick to learn how to eat.
Suspense by Rachel Dylan
5 weeks ago