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Congenital Heart Defect

Posted By Karen on April 30, 1999 at 11:47:38
I found out I was pregnant on 1/31/99. I had had a tubal ligation more than 4 years prior after the birth of my daughter, but I got pregant anyway.  I did not know I was pregnant until this date and although I had symptoms, because I had a tubal ligation, I did not connect my symptoms with pregancy.  I had an ultrasound done to make sure the pregnancy was not ectopic, which it wasn't. On my secong ultrasound, a heart beat could not be seen, however a vaginal ultrasound did show a heart beat. From the beginning, my HCG levels have been lower than normal- which was a cause of concern for myself and Dr.'s.  On a later ultrasound, a possible defect was noted by the radiologist and I was referred to a Perinatologist who felt the baby had a probable atrial septal defect( hole in the heart). Upon fetal echocardiography, the defect was definatley diagnosed. The baby is very small- although I am 21 weeks.  They say it is suffereing from IUG(intrauterine growth retardation)  and it appears that the defect is causing problems for the baby already as far as growth. Dr.'s have described it to me as  the baby appears sluggish. Stree tests and non stress tests show a decrease in heart rate upon movement or contractions which I know is not a good sign. I feell very little movement from the baby- except for at night, but even that is  not extensive.  My Dr. seems quite concerned and is quite knowledgeable, however I get the feeling that they are not telling me everything. It seems to me that when they tell me things, they are cushioning the information- perhaps not to get me upset. I have been under a tremendous amount of stress due to this.  At my most recent appointment, I was told that there was very little growth and that the amniotic fluid was lower than usual? What does this mean? There was also mentionof the possibility of the baby developing an infection which could in turn be spread to me. Obviously this has me concerned. I just dont understand what is going on. I dont understand how the baby got this defect- what are the causes? I know my Dr. told me drug and alcohol use are often causes, but I do not use drugs and as far as alcohol, I may have drank when I didnt know I was pregnant which has me feeling compeltely responsible. What are the chances that this is what caused the defect?  Could drug use in the father cause this defect? If an infection passed to me, how serious can that be. What are the chances of this baby being born? I know I was told if she is born, she will need surgery to close the defect.  These are all questions I have asked my Dr. obviously, but I wanted to get an unbiased opinion. I have foudn a lot of helpful and informative information on this site and I would appreciate any information you could give me. If anyone else readingthis has ever had a similar experience or knows of someone who has, I would greatly appreciate hearing from them as well.

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Re: Congenital Heart Defect hfhs.md.db 5/03/1999

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