We FINALLY had a doctor's visit that left us with a positive outlook! We are feeling so incredibly blessed!
Today, we met with a cardiologist at CHKD. We had another fetal echocardiogram that resulted in 128 images of Gavin's little heart. And his heart has improved significantly from our last fetal echo which was about a month ago. The cardiologist told us that Gavin is now on the better end of the spectrum of Tetraology patients. While his pulmonary artery was very small a few weeks ago and indicated that he would have to go into open heart surgery very soon after birth, that artery has grown today and has pushed back the surgical window to 4-6 months old! The cardiologist also said that they are seeing good blood flow through that artery and he wouldn't expect Gavin to have the "blue baby" syndrome that characterizes most Tetrology patients. It looks like, even at this stage, that Gavin's heart should be able to transport a good amount of oxygen to his lungs prior to his surgery. And even better, that pulmonary artery may continue to grow over the next few weeks leading up to delivery. So he will still require his open heart surgery, but it will not have to be immediately and his heart seems to be getting stronger!
His duodenal atresia surgery will still have to be within a few days of birth, but the fact that he will not have to endure that surgery within a short time frame of having undergone open heart surgery is such a blessing. Now we can focus on one surgery at a time and one recovery at a time, and let his little body gain some strength before heart surgery.
The CHKD team has also offered to work hand in hand with Duke once we are set up with our second opinon there, to help ensure that both hospitals will be ready to deliver and care for Gavin no matter where Chris and I happen to be when labor starts. After last week's appointment, Chris and I were discussing the fact that it didn't seem that Gavin would come home with us...ever. We have been in a very dark and difficult place over the past week, and I swear I physically felt my soul break.
We went into today's appointment with that same darkness looming over us and our son's future, but today we saw a spark of hope in that darkness and it has absolutely renewed us. We are still looking at some very serious health concerns and complications for Gavin, but we really needed that small glimpse of hope. Our son DOES have a chance of coming home, and I can't wait to meet him and hold him and kiss him. I don't care if his stomach has imperfections, if his heart has imperfections or if he has an extra chromosome. I love this little angel so much already and I know he will be showered with love from all of his family and friends.
My aunt sent me a card a few weeks ago where she looked up the meaning of Gavin's name. She said that Gavin means "white hawk of battle" and Walter means "ruler of an army" and that he sure sounded like a fighter! My little man is fighting right now and I am so excited about that. God has certainly been good to us.