Cassius Lenander Cassius Lenander

First post: May 2, 2019 Latest post: Jan 14, 2021
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Cash’s story starts well before he was born. Around 13 weeks we learned that we would be having a baby boy and that initial testing showed he likely had Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome. We decided not to do an amniocentesis to confirm the testing, as the results weren’t going to change our decision on whether to continue the pregnancy or not. We had an ultrasound with a perinatologist and he noticed some extra fluid on Cash’s neck and shoulder that led him to believe that Cash had some kind of heart defect. Based on this we had another ultrasound and echocardiogram at 16 weeks where we were able to confirm he did indeed have a heart defect but they were unsure of the actual diagnosis. At 20 weeks we had another ultrasound  and echo where they diagnosed him with Tetralogy of Fallot  (TOF) with Pulmonary Atresia (PA). The ultrasound also seemed to confirm the initial testings of Trisomy 21 (wide-set nose, shorter femur bones, etc.). were correct. We had another ultrasound with echo at 24 weeks and they further confirmed TOF with PA.  

From about 16 weeks on, we moved my care from my regular OB to Minnesota Perinatal Physicians (MPP), as they specialize in high-risk pregnancies.  MPP was great in providing us the support and resources we needed to not only educate ourselves but also to help wrap our heads around all the information we were receiving. Around 28 weeks we were able to meet with Dr. Moga, the cardiac surgeon that will do Cash's surgeries. He helped us further understand Cash's diagnosis, the various surgeries Cash would need, and put us at ease.

I was monitored pretty closely by MPP throughout my pregnancy. When I was about 34 weeks, I was put on bedrest (at home) as my blood pressures were high. On Sunday, April 28th, I hit the 38-week mark. That evening I started having contractions that were pretty intense but only about 30 minutes apart. By morning they were closer to 10 minutes apart. MPP recommended that I come in and get checked and within less than an hour of being in the hospital, they informed us that I would deliver Cash shortly. Testing showed that every time I had a contraction, Cash's heart rate dropped and therefore it was imperative to deliver him. 

Cash was delivered via c-section on Monday, April 29th at 12:19 p.m. He was a healthy 6 pounds and 13 ounces. They immediately took him to do some monitoring and testing and then Duane brought him back to the delivery room to show him to me quick before they whisked him away to the Cardiovascular ICU (CV-ICU). 

Cash will be a patient in CV-ICU for several weeks. He will need to have a surgery within his first week to put a shunt in and then another one about 4 months out to do a complete reconstruction of his heart. Cash is at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis

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