Monday, October 6, 2014

Ellie's Heart

What a week we've had!  I must apologize for my lack of updates as I was all set to make many posts last week about Eliza and everything we've been doing, and then her two week check up happened.  My mother-in-law and I toted Samantha, Zachary, and Eliza to the pediatrician last Monday for Miss Eliza's two week check up and for Samantha and Zachary to get their flu shots.  The appointment went really well, Eliza was up to 9 pounds 2 ounces, an entire pound above her birth weight, Samantha and Zachary did sort of okay with their flu shots, and at the end the nurse asked if I had any other questions.  I mentioned that Eliza's legs and feet had been turning purple several times a day and asked if it was concerning.  She laid Eliza on the table and checked her legs and feet, as well as her stomach, and felt all her pulse points.  She noted that there was adequate blood flow going to her legs so she wasn't super concerned but decided to consult with a colleague just to be sure.  While she was gone Eliza got hungry and I started to nurse her.  I noticed during her nursing that her legs and feet were turning purple so as the nurse came in I said that it was happening.  She ran out to get the doctor (at least I think it was a doctor) and they both started checking out Eliza.  They asked me to stop feeding and as I sat her up they noticed that her face and lips were turning blue as well.  This really freaked them out and they raced to get a pulse ox monitor to check her.  It all happened so fast!  Thankfully the pulse ox test came back normal and her O2 levels were at 98.  However, they said they wanted us to see a cardiologist ASAP.  We waited a while while they got a referral from our insurance as well as got us a same day appointment with a local pediatric cardiologist.  Then we got to go home where I could dwell on everything until our appointment that afternoon!

I ended up having to go to the appointment solo since it was Chris's "one day off" and he expected to stay home all day.  Thank God I didn't get any bad news that day!  Eliza and I got to the doctor and they immediately did an EKG on her.

The EKG was normal and then we were sent for an echocardiogram to check for heart defects.  The echocardiogram took quite a while and was rather difficult.  Eliza was tired and upset and I don't think she liked all the goop very much so she was crying a ton.  I just kept trying to soothe her but it didn't really work too well.  Finally after what felt like forever the tech let me get up on the table with her and sort of cuddle her and she immediately fell asleep.  I don't know why we couldn't have done it that way from the start!  After the echocardiogram we were able to talk to the doctor.  He said they are watching for three things (they were also looking for more serious defects but nothing immediately serious was found): Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), and Peripheral Pulmonic Stenosis (PPS).  ASD and PFO have to do with a hole in the top chambers of the heart.  This is present at birth and should close over time.  However sometimes this doesn't happen and the hole remains.  The PPS has to do with the arteries leading to the lungs.  While in utero there is a 3rd artery that goes to the placenta and once the baby is born, the third artery shrinks since the blood now goes through the other two arteries to go to the lungs.  Sometimes when the artery shrinks away it causes the other two arteries to get kinked.  We will be returning in 3 months for another echocardiogram to make sure none of these conditions are present.  Unfortunately though (or fortunately too!) none of these 3 issues could cause her to be turning blue.  We were sent home with a 24 hour Holter monitor to monitor her heart for the next 24 hours.  I had to keep a log and write down every time she had an episode of turning blue or had any other concerning symptoms or behaviors.  They would then compare when I pressed the button (I pressed it every time she had an episode) to the heart's activity to see if her heart was experiencing any changes during the episodes.

Last Friday we made the trek back to the cardiologist to get results.  Again fortunately everything was okay.  Her heart had a few occasional early beats but the doctor said that that is completely normal and nothing to be worried about.  Unfortunately though, we still have no answers as to why she keeps turning colors.  The doctors best guess is that she is just a little behind with learning how to regulate her body temperature.  I am not sure about this because even though she appears blue/purple her skin feels warm.  The doctor is hoping it is something she will eventually outgrow but if she is still having the episodes in a few months, we will reevaluate with our pediatrician.  I am so thankful that it isn't anything serious and I am praying that she outgrows it!!  Although I didn't post about it here, I thank everyone that followed this on facebook for all of your thoughts and prayers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness it's nothing so serious that it must be dealt with ASAP. and a double thank goodness Ellie was able to show off her purple feet just at the right moment so this could be checked out promptly. HBS (honorary Bubbie Sharon)