Penelope Sue Birgen

First post: Feb 10, 2017 Latest post: Jan 5, 2019

As many of you already know, Jeff and I are expecting our 3rd child (due date March 5, 2017). At 21 weeks along, a cardiology team at Children's Hospital Colorado (CHC, in Aurora, CO) confirmed some scary news about our baby. Our baby has 3 congenital heart defects (CHDs), and will require emergency surgery at birth to correct the most serious issue. One of the heart defects has led to significant lung damage in utero; the extent of lung damage cannot be fully accessed until after birth. Our baby has been diagnosed with the following CHDs:

1) atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD)
2) double outlet right ventricle (DORV), previously diagnosed as transposition of the great arteries
3) obstructed supracardiac total anomalous pulmonary venous return (obstructed TAPVR)

The obstructed TAPVR is the issue that will require emergency open heart surgery. The current plan is to have a scheduled induction with regular delivery at CHC on the morning of Monday February, 13, 2017. At this time I will be 37 weeks and 1 day along. After delivery, a medical team will evaluate the lungs. They will immediately insert a breathing tube and hook her/him up to a ventilator, assess the oxygen levels of our baby's blood (to determine how well the lungs are oxygenating the blood), among many other things. If our baby can be stabilized and lung function is adequate, she/he will be taken immediately to the Cardiac ICU and prepared for open heart surgery to correct the obstructed TAPVR. 

Although our baby has more than the typical battle ahead, Jeff and I remain optimistic that she/he will pull through, and that someday we will be able to bring our baby home. We pray for the health of our baby's lungs, heart, and that my preeclampsia issues will not require that our baby be delivered any earlier than scheduled. We pray for excellent timing and expertise from the medical staff that will ultimately try and save our baby's life.   Thank you for continuing to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.

Edit: Jeff and I intend to set up a GoFundMe eventually. We will link it to this site once complete. Thanks!

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