Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jan 20, 2009: Echo Cardiogram

Today, we had to meet with the Pediatric Cardiologist for a follow-up echocardiogram. I was a little nervous. All babies are born with a 'hole' that seperates the 2 upper chambers of the heart, which allows for blood to be pumped through. This is because in utero, the lungs do not function and the heart does not need to pump blood to them. After birth, the lungs start circulating blood to add oxygen, and this hole closes since it is no longer needed.
The findings were as follows: Annelies still has a small hole between the upper ventricles, called PFO: Patent Foramen Ovale. The Doctor is not worried about this, he is confident it is closing on its own. She also has a heart murmur, which is caused by the openings to the lungs being a little on the small side. This is called Periphery Pulmonary Stenosis (PPS). This is a very routine thing to have happen, not even indicative of Ds, and the Doctor feels confident that this, too, will go away on its own. (Lots of people have heart murmurs, and this is a very common cause). So, everything looks very hopeful. This Doctor was absolutely awesome. When we asked questions, he drew the heart on a piece of paper, and explained it all clearly to us. Often, you kind of get a general explanation, because the Doctor is in a hurry and needs to go on to the next patient. Somtimes the Doctor kind of talks down and gives you a feeling he/she knows so much more and there is no way you will understand so they don't even try. This one took his time and made sure he answered every last question we had. I was impressed. It was a positive experience, and Annelies bahaved like a champ. She is such a good girl :)

Tomorrow, Marco turns 2!! I just finished putting together the treats for him to bring to his class tomorrow. We will have a party for him on Sunday, a lot of people are coming. I am planning this party and also one for my Sister in Law's B Day this Thursday, so this is a week full of party planning and cooking. I am enjoying it so much, and am realizing this is something I am good at! Maybe I missed my calling. Of course, the hospitality indusry is taking a huge hit in this economy so now is not a time for be to become entrepreneurial in this field, LOL.

Aaron and I were at Costo today (shopping for the aforementioned parties) and had lunch there afterwards. We had Annelies with us, and Marco was at my mother's. An elderly lady approached us and told us she absolutely HAD to look at the baby. She was really nice and told us how cute she thought Annelies was. We talked for a while. Afterwards, I turned to Aaron and told him how I kind of almost feel the urge to tell people that the baby they are going gaga over has Down Syndrome. Kind of almost like as if to ask them if they would still feel the same way about her. He understood exactly what I was saying. Personally, I feel that if I were to do this it would not be fair to Annelies. She has the right to have people go crazy over her like any 'normal' baby, right? And not to have to start her life out with a 'label'.
When she gets older, it will probably be obvious to a certain degree that she does have Ds. We will get attention then, I am sure. Most of it will be positive, but I am know there are still people who live in the dark ages and will label her in their minds as 'retarded', and actually feel pity for me and/or Aaron and even Marco.
I don't care for the word 'retarded', it sounds harsh. My most recent reading now has the definition of "cognitive ablilty" and "intellectual disability". I find these terms a little less harsh than "retarded". Funny enough though, I was at the barn today watching a lesson. The girl riding had to try to remember a course and was having a hard time of it. She said she felt so retarded. I was not in the least offended. I am glad about that, I am not too sensitive. I don't want people to feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi- I post on the DS pregnancy boards on babycenter and noticed your blog on one of your posts. I recently found out my baby has DS and is due in May. I have been wondering about once he gets here if we will feel like we need to tell everyone (if it's not obvious) that he has DS like you said in your post. I like your thoughts on that. Also about the word retarded- I guess I do find it offensive but I think I need to realize when people say it they are not trying to make a jab at me or my baby or anyone with a learning disability it's just something that comes out. I guess I need to learn to become less sensitive! You can read my blog if you're interested- your kids are precious!! Adrienne http://wwwourunexpectedjourney.blogspot.com