Monday, February 8, 2010

Heart Catheterization

The time is finally upon us.  The first step toward Hope's next surgery is a heart catheterization.  Edited to add that Hope's catheterization is scheduled for February 25th.  I am going to start by posting what a heart catheterization is for the non-heart followers:

This is an invasive imaging procedure that allows your doctor to evaluate heart function.  During a cardiac catheterization, a long, narrow tube is inserted through a plastic introducer sheath (a short, hollow tube that is inserted into a blood vessel in your leg or arm...Hope's will be in her leg).  The catheter is guided through the blood vessel to the coronary arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine.  Contrast material is injected through the catheter and x-ray movies are created as the contrast material moves through the heart's chambers, valves and major vessels.

There are risks to this procedure, but we are praying Hope avoids all of the possible risks.  We are nervous and scared about the next month because after the catheterization, Hope will be scheduled for her bi-directional Glenn surgery.  There will be plenty of time to think about both in the next few weeks, so I am going to stop focusing on them now and move on to catching up with other stuff around here.

Hope is still doing of the reasons they are scheduling everything.  Dr. Prieto wants her to have the catheterization and the Glenn before she starts showing signs that she really needs them done.  She said it is always better to do them before it is an emergency situation.  Hope's saturation levels have pretty much stayed the same and she is still gaining...although slowly.  They are a little concerned because her gain is slow, so the nutritionist will be calling later this week to see if we will move her calories up a little.  I'm willing to try anything, but I know that part of the reason her gain is so slow is because she is awake all the time.  She takes 2 naps a day and neither one is longer than an hour.  She is really active when she is awake and for any other baby, it is great.  For a heart baby...she needs the rest to help her gain weight.

Destiny and the boys are loving on Hope all the time.  It is so cute to see Jerry playing with Hope and talking to her.  He can get her to smile any time of the day.  Paul and Hope get their diapers changed together and spend the whole time smiling and 'talking' to each other.  Paul can be a little rough sometimes, but he always says sorry when he is a little rough.  Destiny is great with Hope and can make her laugh and talk all the time.  Every day is so special and I am treasuring each and every minute watching all of them grow up.  I know everyone says that they focus a lot of their attention on their kids, but I have been actively focusing on it every day.  I find even the smallest details of the day make me laugh, smile, and sometimes cry.  I am so much more aware of everything!

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers and spread awareness of Congenital Heart Defects whenever you have the chance.


  1. I am a fellow heart mom. I know how scary these proceedures can be. It sounds like she is doing good and I agree with your doc, it is better to have it done before things get bad. We will keep her in our prayers for these next few weeks. Good luck!!

    Becca-Ellie's mom

  2. When is Hope's cath? I didn't see the date anywhere. Let me know and I will add her to the list of prayers for the other kids who have stuff coming up!


    Stef, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan

  3. Praying for you guys. Hope looks great, she looks like a different baby now. I hope she can get some more calories in so that she can gain some weight. I cannot believe she doesn't sleep during the day, wow is she active. Sending you ((hugs)) like usual. Kiss that precious little girl for me.

  4. Hey, I found your blog through another one... :)

    We'll be praying for that precious girl as she undergoes her heart cath, then her surgery. Our son had his Glenn three weeks ago, and he did great. I'm glad it's behind us, and I know you will be to. I'll be checking in on Hope, and definitely be praying for her (and the rest of your family!).

    Big heart hugs and prayers,
    Shannon, Derrick's mom

  5. Good luck with your cath! I will be thinking of you guys.

    Regarding naps, I don't know if this will be helpful to you, but we have noticed a dramatic improvement in sleeping since we started Magnus back on Zantac a couple of weeks ago for acid reflux. I don't remember if Hope is already on Zantac or if she has had any other reflux symptoms, but just thought I would mention it in case it helps! We have been going through the same frustration with weight gain, and this is one of the few things we've been able to do that has actually made a difference.