Margaret, we received some good news about your heart.

Dear Margaret,

Your Mom and I received some quite good news recently.  Yesterday, I took you to see your cardiologist for another follow-up after your operation in October.  Your last checkup had been in early November, which was about a month after the balloon operation on your pulmonary valve, and you were doing well then, too.

In the hospital after you were born and the doctor first identified the issues with your heart, the pressure across your pulmonary valve was about 40, which was not super high, but it showed that there was a problem.  Your doctor suggested that we do another echo on your heart in a few weeks to see what the pressure looked like.  She suspected it would increase as you grew, but how much it increased would determine how quickly we would need to have your operation.  After the follow-up echo, your pressures were near 70, which was very high, and your operation was scheduled for your one month birthday, October 2, 2015.

You do a lot of this – just watching and staring. You are always looking around and taking in what’s around you. Your sister is probably your favorite thing to watch, but you’ll stare at other people, too. And of course you like to watch TV with your sister.

After your operation, the pressure was back down into the 30-35 range, which meant that the surgery had done what it needed to, but we needed to keep an eye on it going forward.  Well, yesterday was the first follow-up and the good news of the day is that the pressure across your pulmonary valve is down in the range of 15-20!  A side effect of your pulmonary valve issue is that, because the pressure was so high across your valve, the chamber wall had thickened because it was working so hard.  So hearing that the pressures are back down is a big relief, because it means that your little heart doesn’t have to work so hard like it used to.

We also received some not-so-good news, but it wasn’t unexpected given what your doctor had already told us.  Your ascending aorta had increased in diameter more than it should have.  This is what your doctor expected given your bicuspid aortic valve, but it’s obviously not what we would have liked.  All we can do is keep checking on it so that we know what’s going on inside you, and maybe someday (but hopefully not) you’ll have to have surgery to fix it.

Your Mom and I were pretty anxious leading up to your appointment yesterday.  I don’t think about your heart as often as I used to, so when I was faced with the reality of the situation again, it kind of shook me.  We are so thankful that we have doctors who can take care of you so well.  We are truly blessed.

You are so wonderful and precious and such a part of this family after six short months – it’s already hard to remember what life was like before you came along.  I love you, Margaret Carol.