The phrase that is always said when teaching this class is "typically infants have healthy, functioning hearts...and if they don't, mom and dad find out usually at a 20wk ultrasound appointment."
Now this isn't always the case, there are exceptions to every rule (no prenatal care, cardiac issues that develop during/after delivery, something was missed, etc)...but in this day and age, we benefit from great technology that says "there is a problem, but we have time to develop the best treatment plan and once the baby is born, we can fix it."
Story in point in precious Annabelle and my friend from high school's daughter Amberlyn (who is now 2 yo). They both found out mid-pregnancy that their babies were going to become very special, they had a congenital heart defect. Variety of things can cause them, and usually, the exact cause isn't able to be determined...God's plan for these children is greater than anything most could imagine...they are going to change the lives of everyone around them in one way or another.
Sweet little Annabelle, underwent her first surgery the day she turned 2 weeks old. And while frightening as it can be, surgery is almost ALWAYS the answer for "heart babies," may not be that early, but somewhere during their childhood and/or adult years they will face multiple surgeries and heart caths. This is the only way this children are still in this world. As the children develop, their heart defects may be able to be 100% fixed, but in the early years (depending on the CHD itself), they patch what they can with donor parts until a permanent solution can be found...the worse of these cases is a complete heart transplant, and as easy as that may sound...they are hard to come by and have to be a perfect match.
There are hundreds of resources available online on congenital heart defects for those who would like to learn more, learn how to help a family with a "heart baby," places you can donate funds to help with research and treatments and so much more!
Annabelle is home from her surgery (2 months ago now), but she is already facing one when she reaches 5/6 months old and more to come, depending on the results and what they can do to fix the hole she has in her heart.
You can read Annabelle's story here on Facebook ~ reach out to her family with any advice, help, resources you may have. A lot of times the families with experience are the best friends to families with a new baby in this situation. They can help ease the pain and fears...they can share the successes and joy as well.
The page is a profile page, so you will need to send a friend request (tell them you are from Gracie's Gowns).
To Annabelle and her family ~ we are praying for each of you!! She is a fighter and she will do great things in this world. Hang in there, hold on tight and enjoy every second you have. God is going to use the whole family in an amazing way...remember the trials in life, are the biggest blessings...you just might not be able to see that right now, but you will once past the big hurdles and looking down from the mountain!