Baby Chavez

First post: Jun 18, 2022 Latest post: Jul 2, 2022
On February 22, 2022, Emma and Isaac posted this on Facebook: "After 3 years of trying and lots of patience, Isaac, the boys and I are so excited to announce that our family of 4 will be growing to 5 in September 2022! We are over the moon and can't wait to meet this bundle of joy!" As Emma said, they'd been trying for years to get pregnant and had endured heartbreaking pregnancy loss along the way.  For this reason, they waited to announce the pregnancy until they felt sure things would be okay.

On May 5, 2022, Emma had a routine ultrasound during which they discovered the baby, a boy, had a significant (and possibly lethal) heart defect.  At first, the doctors predicted it was an Ebstein Anomaly which is exceptionally rare and has a low chance of survival. After talking with more specialists, they thought it was tricuspid dysplasia which, while not as rare, still meant a huge possibility that the baby would die in utero or shortly after birth. To say our hearts were breaking is an understatement.

On May 19, 2022, Emma had more imaging and saw another specialist. The news, while still very upsetting, was MUCH better than they thought. The baby was diagnosed with pulmonary valve atresia which means one of the major valves of his heart isn't working. Although this was still not good news, it meant the baby would likely live which of course was amazing to discover. Unfortunately, his heart will need repaired at birth and he will likely need to be in NICU for an extended period of time.

With the new diagnosis, the waiting game began. Will the baby survive pregnancy? What will happen after birth? Will the heart condition cause other organs to be damaged or fail? Emma has a heart condition herself which makes the situation even more tricky. If, God forbid, the baby dies in utero, Emma runs a significant risk of experiencing sepsis, a life-threatening condition that afflicted her when she lost a previous baby. Every new medical appointment is a time for dreaded anticipation and fear. 

I've started this Caring Bridge page to keep family and friends updated on how Emma and the baby are doing. I expect that it will largely be dormant until the baby is born. I plan to provide updates after medical appointments and/or if Emma's condition changes. In the meantime, please keep the Chavez family in your thoughts and prayers as they await the birth of Isaac Junior.