I can't believe I am typing this update with a smile on my face! It feels surreal.
Today we met with a different MFM specialist for an ultrasound and possible amniocentesis. It was an amazing experience and a complete 180 from the way we have been treated thusfar.
For once Finley wasn't spoken of as if she were a disease or a growth. She was marveled at. The doctors (yes, there were THREE in the room with us) took time to show me her sweet face and to speak of her as if she were a living, breathing child. They handed her back her humanity, what a wonderful gift. They reassured me that this is not a "closed case" and I have hope. I am no longer waiting for her heart to stop beating. We are fighting. The doctors are fighting. Most importantly, SHE is fighting.
Now onto the news you've been waiting for:
Finley no longer has a heart arrhythmia (an abnormal beat). Her heart beat sounds NORMAL. Her heart rate is also back up to the normal range! They measured it three different times and it was consistently above 120. I couldn't believe it when they told me this! Her heart is STILL working, in fact it has IMPROVED! If this doesn't show the power of prayer, then I don't know what does! The doctors gave me no hope for 2 months, yet now she has made progress!
On the other hand, this doesn't mean we are in the clear. Although her heart seems to have stabilized, she still has some pretty critical issues. It appears that her circulation is abnormal. She has some vessels that are narrowed and some arteries that appear to be "going the wrong way". She also has an enlarged umbilical vein.
These circulatory issues could be the underlying cause of the low fluid, enlarged heart, and enlarged placenta that we have seen all along. Now, it also appears as though her spleen and liver are enlarged.
However, instead of these things appearing to be isolated abnormalities as a result of a genetic disorder they may all be connected by this one thing.
When the doctor was finished scanning me, he actually took the time to sit down with us and go over all of this information. I asked him if he agreed with the other specialist in thinking that there is no hope. He did NOT.
Although he recognized that her demise is ONE possibility, he also discussed with us that she could be born in critical condition (in such a case we would need to be prepared for intervention).... but she could also be born much more stable than we have been preparing for.
He wants to make sure that we cover all of our bases before assuming the worst.
The office is scheduling an appointment within the next couple weeks with a team of fetal cardiac doctors to look more closely at her circulation. Hopefully they can give us more answers as far as how these issues will affect her and if there is anything that we can do about them. We are also planning on the amniocentesis at our next visit to rule out chromosomal abnormality.
One very encouraging thing that I took away from this appointment was the doctor DID NOT rule out the possibility of her thriving outside the womb. When a baby is born the heart structure and circulation make several changes upon that first breath of oxygen. There is a possibility that Finley will IMPROVE once she is born. This was the first time in a long time that I had even thought about giving birth to a LIVING baby girl!
Doctors tried to take away our HOPE 2 months ago and we were told to prepare for the worst.
Instead, we have had HOPE in a God who has a plan for us and who has a plan for this special little girl.
I am not going to say that I have not doubted in a miracle, I have. In fact, until today I had lost hope that I would ever hold my baby girl and look into her eyes and see her smile. But I have never lost hope in God's hand being at work. He is faithful, He is present, and I will never doubt that.
Please, continue to pray. Continue to have HOPE for our baby. Lift her up to our God who is faithful even through MY doubt.
Lord we come to You.... and now, with a smile. With tears of joy and a heart of hope.