The Other Shoe

posted by Mel

We had an OB appointment yesterday, and the doctor had trouble finding Simone’s heartbeat. So she sent us down for an ultrasound. Good news: Simone is alive. Bad news: We watched her heartrate drop from 121 to 78 to 66 within a matter of a minute. At 121 I looked at the u/s tech and said, “That’s awfully low, isn’t it?” She looked a little panicky, but she said, “Yes, that’s low, but they do that and then bounce up. Let’s watch it.” Second later she was on her feet saying something like, “I’m just going to step out and get the fetal/maternal medicine specialist around the corner.” Shit.

They were gone a long time. I gripped Vanessa’s hand and tried not to cry. We heard scuffling in the hallway. They were out there talking about us in low excited tones. Finally the u/s tech returned with our OB b/c she had not been able to find the perinatologist. It’s not coming coherently. Just need to get out the facts here.

The upshot of the whole thing is that Simone has an arrhythmia. From the Google research conducted in our home last night, we have surmised that this is called fetal bradycardia. We had an appointment in two weeks at Riley Children’s Hospital for a fetal echocardiogram anyway because of the two-vessel umbilical cord, but that has now been moved up to next Tuesday. We are to continue using the doppler every night and call the OB if we can’t find the HB. So far we’ve been able to find it. I think Vanessa has the magic touch– have always thought so, since she is always able to find it almost immediately. I never can. We’re not measuring the BPM (didn’t rent a fancy enough doppler apparently), but it is much faster and more consistent at home. So maybe it’s stress-related? They took blood from me to test for a couple of autoimmune disorders that might be responsible. They briefly considered keeping me overnight for observation, but they decided against since there is really nothing they can do but watch and wait– at least until she’s viable, which will be a minimum of 4 more weeks. From now on we’ll have OB appointments at a minimum of every two weeks and ultrasounds probably just as often. We’re told that we can choose to move our OB care to the perinatologist at any time. We really like our OB and she works closely with the perinatologist, so the jury’s still out on that one.

In the space of a two hour appointment (they’re usually 30 min), we went from worrying about daycare to worrying about whether Simone’s going to make it long enough to deliver safely and whether or not she’ll require a pacemaker at birth. We hope we’ll know more after speaking to the fetal cardiologist on Tuesday.



Filed under Preggo, The way the world works

32 responses to “The Other Shoe

  1. jay

    Oh shit. I have my fingers ever so tightly crossed here. Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts and thinking of you all. xxxx

  2. nutella

    Oh, thinking of you and knowing that you will get the best care that you can. Sending you healthy positive thoughts.

  3. Lo

    Oh, crap. We’re holding our breath.

  4. oh how terrifying. i’m so sorry you’re all going through this. do they think it’s related to the alloimmunity? sending you & Vanessa & Simone all the good thoughts in the world.

  5. docgrumbles

    shit fuck no no no!!!

    I want Simone to be ok! I hope you keep finding the hb and you have a reassuring visit.

    Thinking of the 3 of you…

  6. Pingback: Crap « Doctor Grumbles I Presume

  7. sending you gals and simone love and strong steady heart-rates. sorry you are having to go through this scary moment… i hope it is soon a past memory overshadowed by a healthy rest of your pregnancy and delivery. xxoo mulberry

  8. Io

    Oh fuck. I hope she’s okay.
    Lots of people have heart arrhythmia and are fine – I hope they’re just catching hers really really early. I’m sending my best mind power rays her way.

  9. you and your babe will be in my thoughts!! may you get a quick answer from the appointment.

  10. You are in my thoughts.


  11. Here from Doc Grumbles to tell you that I’ll be extending my good wishes and healing vibes to you all. Hang in there, you three.

  12. amy

    oh shit! holding my breath over here and hoping for good news. just try to take deep breaths as often as you can, it will at least help control the cortisol your body produces when it’s stressed.

  13. I cannot imagine the stress you are feeling right now. I’ll keep all three of you close to my heart.

  14. vee

    I’m not a praying person, but my thoughts and hopes are with you both and with your baby.

  15. Shitshitshit… we’ll be sending you guys lots of good thoughts. Keep us posted when you can.

    I had a pretty significant murmur at birth that ended up going away on its own. Hopefully this is just as simple…

  16. Co

    How terrifying. I am sending you and Vanessa and Simone lots of love and light.

  17. K and I send our thoughts! We love all three of you girls!

  18. How unbelievably scary. I have a cord insertion problem myself which we have weekly heart tests to make sure he’s not leaning on his cord, killing himself. So even though I’m not in your shoes, I do somewhat understand your terror.

    I will be hoping and praying everything comes out fine for her. ~hugs~

  19. Got every available part crossed for your sweet little Simone.

  20. Oh no, what a scary situation for all of you! I will be hoping and praying that she is OK.

  21. Jen

    I’ll be praying for you girls 🙂

    PS. Totally wish I lived closer,I would lovelovelove to do daycare for simone!

  22. Crossing everything for you and hoping for the best. Thinking of you.

  23. You’re in my thoughts, I pray that Simone will be all right.


  24. oh my goodness. I am thinking of all three of you and hoping that tuesday gets here soon!

  25. I hope all goes well with your little love

  26. Kim

    Simone and her mamas are in my thoughts.

  27. Oh crap. Holding you guys in a bubble o’ love.

  28. We are sending you lots of love and positive energy. Hang in there little Simone! Jen and Michelle

  29. I am holding little Simone in the light. All my love.

  30. And here I was kicking myself for forgetting your birthday again! I’m so sorry this had to happen right now. We’re keeping you in our thoughts and sending positive vibes and love your way.

  31. So scary. So hoping Simone’s okay. It will work out. She will be okay!


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