Bridgitt & Steve Eaton Baby Eaton's Journey

First post: Mar 3, 2018 Latest post: Apr 22, 2018
We would first like to thank all of our friends and family for your unconditional love & support that has helped us so much during our difficult times. Steve & I went to our big 21 week ultrasound on January 10th and received some bad news. Our beautiful baby has a small & large hole in her heart as well as one valve and not the normal two. We also found out that she has a blockage in her bowel and will require surgery immediately after birth in order for her to be able to eat. She has been diagnosed with Duodenal Atresia and we won't know the extent of her treatment needs until she is born & the doctors are able to do an ultrasound. This means we will be spending anywhere from 2-4 weeks in the Nicu post surgery so doctors can make sure her digestive system is functioning. Once the bowel surgery is complete, we will be heading to Boston around two months of age for open heart surgery to repair the holes and create two valves. The surgery she will need is Av canal surgery. The surgery itself is fairly involved but done all the time at Boston Children's hospital. We are so lucky we live close by. Baby Eaton has been following up with the cardiologist at UVM medical center for echocardiograms. She will also need an echocardiogram once she is born so the doctors can look directly at her heart, rather than through ultrasounds. One chamber of her heart is slightly smaller than the other but as long as they both keep functioning & growing then she will only need the one surgery. If for some reason the chamber stops functioning, then the one valve will  run into the functioning chamber but that would mean she would need several heart surgeries over the course of a year or two. The survival rates of several surgeries aren't as good but we are optimistic that Baby Eaton is a fighter & will continue growing as strong of a heart as she can. These problems coincide with Down syndrome. Steve and I never did any testing because from the beginning we said that we would love this baby no matter what and we most certainly will. It was recommended by our doctors that we take a blood test and see so they can better care for our child throughout the surgeries. We declined an amniocentesis test since that test carried a risk of miscarriage. Although the blood test is not 100% accurate, it came back highly likely that our child will be born with Down syndrome. The diagnosis doesn’t bother us as much as the surgeries that are planned ahead. We have a lot of unknowns which scare us the most but we are also very prepared for what’s to come and are remaining positive. We ask that everyone please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. If for some reason the pregnancy takes a turn for the worst, it is possible that I would have to deliver the baby in Boston or the baby would be taken via helicopter to Boston immediately after birth. Yet the doctors are saying the baby is completely fine while inside of me and as of now we can have a regular birth at UVM Medical Center. We have a phenomenal team of doctors we are working with who have been monitoring us closely and helping us cope through this process. We couldn’t be more blessed for that. Initially we were going to be surprised about the gender but because of the diagnosis and surgeries needed we felt like finding out the gender would give us great hope and some excitement. Even though everything in my body said this baby was an active boy, it turns out we are just having a very active girl. We couldn’t be more excited and finding out has helped us so much. We want to be open and honest with those close to us as we need all the support we can get. Our child will be no different than any of yours and we will not single her out in anyway or make her feel different. As she grows bigger everyday our excitement grows and we can’t wait to love her to pieces. God blessed us with this beautiful baby and we are so grateful for that