This milestone comes with a small millstone, unfortunately.
We had another ultrasound at Children’s Hospital yesterday, and got some nice hard data regarding the size and growth of the kids. What we found was something that we’ve been anticipating, but which nevertheless caught us off guard. Our daughter’s growth rate is steadily progressing at an even pace, but our son’s has started to drop off. Over the past few months, he has been much smaller than average, but he is growing at an even slower rate over these past few weeks, particularly in his abdomen.
This is not unexpected, and is likely due in large part to his heart disease and his two-vessel (rather than the normal three-vessel) umbilical cord. As he is getting larger and his nutritional demands increase, he is not able to receive all of the blood and nutrients which he otherwise might, and his little heart isn’t able to circulate the blood and nutrients sufficiently.
We have an appointment with our perinatologist on Tuesday, and hope to discuss the implications of these findings. At some point, he might be better able to grow outside the uterus. On the other hand, key lung development happens between 30 and 35 weeks, so we would want to wait as long as prudent before delivering, since normal lung function greatly improves his chances of survival for his set of heart surgeries. And of course, we’re quite concerned for his sister, who doesn’t need to come out of there any sooner than necessary. The thought of two kids in two different NICU’s is a bit more than I can consider just now.
God, please spare us the agony of choosing to put one child at risk in order to save the other. Please.