Well, we've had two more appointments in the past week. We had an ultrasound and our final fetal echocardigram before Gavin makes his arrival. It was very difficult to see anything on the ultrasound as Gavin was sound asleep and absolutely refused to roll over or move in any way. But we did get to see the hair on his head, all of the major organs, and get an update on his stomach and heart. Not much has changed, which means nothing has gotten worse. His stomach is a little swollen due to the fluid build up from the duodenal atresia, but PRAISE GOD I have no fluid build up at this time which continues to reduce the changes of going into preterm labor. I am 36 weeks today. At one point a few months ago, we never would have believed we would have made it this far. We are so incredibly thankful and blessed for every additional day he has to grow and develop before making his entrance into this world.
He is measuring a week behind, but that is to be expected being that he is as sick as he is. We didn't see much change in his heart either, but again, I'd rather hear things are the same rather than hearing something has taken a turn for the worse. It's still difficult to determine exactly when his open heart surgery will take place without doing an echo directly on him, but right now it still looks like the duodenal atresia surgery will occur first. We're going to have to wait to see what the echo looks like when he's born, and what his oxygen levels and breathing ability are at birth before we learn any more about when the open heart surgery will take place.
After jumping through many hoops, it looks like Chris will be able to come back on emergency leave to be here for the induction and surgeries. We had a rough few days where we were told that a Red Cross message was somehow not official enough and before he would be released an email would be required from Duke to emphasize the seriousness of what we are facing. At some point, all of the appointments, ultrasounds, echocardiograms, meetings with surgeons, intervention plans and NICU visits begin to take their toll and as a parent, I just started to feel beat down by the fact that this was the third time we were being asked to prove that our son will be facing life threatening illnesses/defects at birth at a time when we are trying to focus on the positive and keep hope. But, our doctor did not hesitate to send the email to help Chris get home and emphasized the importance of what we were facing. He insisted that we absolutely needed to be together as a family at this time. And the response was rather immediate....they are letting him come home. A selfish part of me certainly wishes that he were coming home for good as our challenges will not stop after surgery, but I will be more than grateful for what we are given! It could always be worse.
We are three weeks out and counting. We sincerely thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and humbly ask that you continue to keep us there. We are at the very beginning of this difficult journey, but we have an amazing support team cheering for us. Thank you all for your kindness and we look forward to sharing Gavin's success stories with you!