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As most of you know Eric was born with a rare and life threatening congenital heart defect.
Eric is the surviving baby of a twin pregnancy and has been a fighter ever since he was in the womb. His journey started right around the 13th week of pregnancy.
13 weeks came around and our maternal fetal medicine specialists (high-risk OBGYNs) noticed that both babies had thickened nuchal folds and this was a marker for potential genetic abnormalities, congenital heart defects or what everyone hopes for, it could have been just a fluke and could be nothing at all. We underwent genetic testing for both babies and met with genetic counseling and began to live life worried about the possibilities.
At 14 weeks our high risk doctors noticed abnormal heart rhythms in both babies and a hole in Baby B (Eric’s) heart. Now i was terrified! Hearing that your babies are different and that something is indeed going on is news no parent hopes to hear. The first thing they tell you is stay off the internet and that this puzzle will come together by the time we deliver.
15 weeks rolled around and our genetic testing for chromosomal abnormalities were in and thankfully no syndromes were detected, now we would focus solely on their tiny little hearts.
16 weeks and 2 days we saw both beating hearts and both tiny babies arguing over who got to lay which way in the womb, a feeling and a sight i loved so much <3 16 weeks and 3 day, just barely 24 short hours later and what was going to be Michael’s mothers FIRST time seeing both babies on ultrasound we got devastating news. Our high risk doctor let us know that our sweet baby A could no longer fight and no longer had a heartbeat. Baby A was now a fetal demise.
That appointment was life changing and humbling at the same time. Without baby A, we would have no baby at all. A part of me was ashamed for quite some time, it was supposed to be a happy appointment and i feel like some part of me let everyone around me down.
Now it was time to digest the fact that Eric would lay beside his sleeping twin until we delivered. Eric had a 30% chance of survival and after 2 weeks it would go up to 80%. I was terrified every time I went to the bathroom and every move I made I was careful to listen to my body in a way that I never had before.
18 weeks and we got a more formal diagnosis and Eric’s survival skyrocketed! At 18 weeks we had our first fetal echo and met the man that would end up saving our son's life. Eric has a right Aortic arch with vascular rings and was also diagnosed with a large VSD and a smaller ASD (Ventricular and Atrial septal defects.) At this appointment we learned that open heart surgery was in his future.
At about 25 weeks we had a definite diagnosis that our son was going to be brought into this world with a rare and life threatening congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. His primary heart defect is a 4 in 1 defect. Each year about 1,660 babies are born in the United States with Tetralogy of fallot.
We had 4 appointments with our high risk a week for the remainder of our pregnancy and before we delivered I would go for monitoring sometimes daily. I developed severe Preeclampsia and was forced to deliver at 34 weeks on the dot because it was no longer safe to carry him.
On 8/7/2019 our son was brought into the world by 18 doctors and nurses at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix Arizona, and spent 2 weeks in the NICU. Every part of him is a fighter!
As soon as Eric was 10 pounds (3 months old) he underwent open heart surgery for a full repair for his heart defects. We are blessed with some of the best and most decorated surgeons in the United States.
Today Eric is a very healthy and happy almost 2 year old!
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