That being said, before I take my MUCH needed nap, I wanted to let you all know the outcome of Xander's appointment this morning with the Cardiologist. He was seen this morning by a very good doctor who is actually not only a lead Cardiologist for an area Children's Hospital, he is also the Clinical Professor of Pediatric Cardiology at a well-known university here in Virginia. He's been doing this longer than I have been alive, so I feel completely confident in his diagnosis. I was relieved that Xander was seen by such an experienced physician, because if we had walked in to see Doogie Howser, I don't know that I would be so trusting. I hate it when a doctor looks about 16, because it makes me question their level of experience to a certain degree.
Anyway, Xander was completely and totally happy during this visit, and was laughing and smiling at the doctor the whole time. The doctor listened to his heart and had Dan hold him in several different positions to hear it from different vantage points. He listened to his chest, his lungs, his back, and even near his armpits. The diagnosis? Xander has what is known as a Pulmonary Flow Murmur, which is thankfully completely and totally INNOCENT! He explained this to us in plain English (another nice touch) and what is going on is this: When babies are born, sometimes their heart is still more towards the center of the chest. Over time, it will rotate more to the left hand side and will end up in the proper place. When the heart is centered more, it sometimes makes normal sounds of blood-flow appear more pronounced, and you can hear a "whooshing" noise, which is described as a murmur. The heart has an area that contains a split, sending blood to and from both the left and right sides of the body. The sound detected in Xander's heart is simply the sound of the blood flowing at that split, and is completely normal. He does not have a hole in his heart, he does not have any valve problems or deformations, and the blood flow to his lungs is perfectly fine as well. And thankfully,his blood is properly oxygenated. (This was my biggest worry, because if his blood had poor oxygen saturation, that would absolutely require open heart surgery or other means of surgical intervention to correct it.) There is no follow-up needed, and the murmur should completely disappear as he gets bigger.
I am so unbelievably relieved! Upon hearing the diagnosis, I started crying, picked my baby up, hugged and kissed him, and thanked God for listening to my prayers and for giving me a happy and healthy little boy. This visit could have gone much differently. Apparently a heart murmur found before 6 months of age can be a sign of a serious and life-threatening problem. That's why they wanted us to get a second opinion from a highly trained specialist. I am so happy that my fears can be laid to rest. This has been weighing on my mind for the past couple of months while we were waiting for an opening at the cardiologist's office. The wait list was long, as he only travels to my town once a week to see patients here. The rest of the time he is at the Children's Hospital.
I also talked to a colleague who happens to be an expert in PPD and is a published author on the subject about my feelings of guilt because I wasn't initially thrilled about having another baby so soon after the pregnancy from Hell and a C-section, and I was reassured that those feelings were completely natural to have, especially during a high-stress time in my life and a minor bout of Post-Partum Depression after Sophie was born. She told me I should not feel guilty for having these completely normal feelings and trepidations, as they are (and were) blessedly temporary. Her advice? Enjoy my baby. Don't dwell on the fact that I was not thrilled when I got pregnant with him. He's here NOW, and he is incredibly loved and wanted, and that's all that matters.
So that's the scoop. My baby is alright, and completely healthy! His heart is fine, and I will be able to rest easier. Thank you SO much for all of your support and prayers. I have been a very scared Mama recently, and I had just been holding it in until last night when it became too hard to deal with leading up to this appointment. I am grateful to all of you for your kindness. You guys are the best! For now, I am in desperate need of a nap, and both babies are napping themselves...So when in Rome....Well, you know the rest! I am going to get some shut-eye, but you can expect some more reviews and maybe even a giveaway by the end of the night!