Aubree's Most Recent Ultrasound Photo
Alyvia, Sarah and Aubree, and Mike
The most serious concern for Aubree right now is her heart. Not only is it pointing to the right instead of the left (dextrocardia), the actual chambers of the heart are not completely separated and the valves within the heart are not formed correctly. This results in oxygenated blood mixing freely with the unoxygenated blood as it cycles through her heart. The veins that bring blood to her heart are not connected in the correct places, and the arteries leaving the heart are not large enough. The muscles of the heart are non-compacted, meaning they are thick and spongy instead of tight and smooth. Due to the damaged muscle tissue, the electrical pulses of the heart's internal pacemaker are not operating correctly resulting in heart block. The atria (upper portion) of Aubree's heart beats around 100 bpm (beats per minute). The ventricles (lower portion) is only beating around 50 bpm. Normally a baby's heart beats 150-180 bpm. Anything below 50 is considered to be in imminent danger of the heart stopping completely and the baby passing away. Aubree has been towing the line for eight weeks now.
There are really no intrauterine interventions that can be performed on these issues. At this point we are praying for enough time for Aubree to grow and gain weight in order for her to be delivered early. Once she is born the doctors can try to implant a pacemaker and use several different medicines to raise her heart rate and stabilize her. Over the next few weeks we will be meeting with a team of doctors to decide when she will be delivered and what interventions we want performed. For now, I've been given medicines that raise my heart rate in a dose strong enough to pass through the placenta in hopes that it will also have the same effect on her and raise her heart rate with the hopes that this will relieve some of the fluid accumulation in her body.
We didn't realize at the time we chose her name how perfectly it would fit with our situation. Aubree means "supernatural power." And we are relying heavily on God's grace through this journey.
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (2 Corinthians 12:9).We are so thankful to have had the last twelve weeks with our daughter. And we understand that she faces enormous challenges in order to survive delivery and life outside the womb. We are learning to take life one day at a time and to trust God with what seems completely impossible. Whether our daughter lives for four more days, or months, or years, or decades, we are blessed to have this time with her.
I have had several readers ask how Aubree is doing, and I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to me and my family. Thank you for remembering her, even though it's been awhile since you've read anything about her. Sarah updates her blog, Un-Supermom, every few days with her progress and the plans that are being made for her. Thank you for continuing to lift Aubree up in prayer along with Mike, Sarah, and her big sister, Alyvia. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "I have the best and most caring readers!"