Eloise Rose’s Story

Site created on January 1, 2020

Ashley’s pregnancy with Baby Eloise started normally, with an expected due date of April 27th, 2020 (aside from Ashley feeling severely ill and her retroverted uterus). A completely different start than her older sister Aggie’s gestation, in which Ashley felt great almost the entire time.

With Ashley’s retroverted uterus and a small ulcer on the umbilical cord, we had a few more ultra sounds than the previous pregnancy. It was a blessing in disguise because on December 16th, 2019 we went in for a follow up 21 week ultra sound to get better images of baby’s heart and brain. It was at this appointment we found out that there were some concerns with Eloise’s heart.

Twenty-four anxiety ridden hours later, we had an appointment with a maternal fetal medicine specialist in Fargo. After an extensive ultrasound and an echocardiogram, Eloise was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA).

TGA is a complex congenital heart defect. In a normal heart there are two large arteries that carry blood out of the heart. In children with TGA these arteries are connected to the heart abnormally. The aorta is attached to the right ventricle instead of the left. The pulmonary is attached to the left ventricle instead of the right. Children with TGA require open heart surgery through a procedure called Arterial Switch Operation (ASO). During gestation Eloise is otherwise a healthy baby as she receives oxygen from Ashley.

We will be giving birth at Minnesota Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis so that Eloise can have open heart surgery within the first week of life.

Although uncommon, there is a high success rate and we hope and pray that all goes smoothly so that Eloise can have a normal, active life. We appreciate all the prayers and will continue to update everyone about Eloise’s journey.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Ashley Champa

Some have been asking how Eloise is doing so we thought we would share a 6 month update!

Eloise’s heart is now considered repaired! We were initially told she would have a catheter procedure to check on her PH (pulmonary hypertension) at 6 months but that has been moved tentatively until around a year (due to covid and no signs of issues). She hasn’t been showing any signs of PH which either means A) her medicine is working or B) it is resolved. There is no way of telling unless she were to be taken off of her medication. She is on a slow ween process; she is continuously on the same dosage but as she grows, technically it is a smaller dose. The cardiologist discontinued two medications this past week leaving the PH medication 3x a day which has been much easier on all of us!  At a year old they will discuss if she needs to have the catheter procedure and change the dosage of that medication.

She has moderate pulmonary stenosis (narrowing of the pulmonary arteries) which is normal from her ASO. They will continue to keep an eye on it to see if any interventions need to take place down the line.

We went to physical therapy to get some “kinks” out of her neck/shoulders and to help with her strength. It helped tremendously and she currently loves tummy time. We wouldn’t be surprised if she’s crawling around in the next month or so! From laying in a hospital bed the first month of life, she has plagiocephaly, fancy word for flat head. We will meet with the orthotist next week to get fitted for a helmet.

She is thriving and loving life. Eloise adores her big sister and is full of smiles when she’s around. Her scar has healed so well that you can barely tell it’s there. She is absolutely unbelievable and we are blessed to have such a tough cookie on our hands. Eloise is a true warrior.

Thank you to everyone checking in and the plethora of prayers sent our direction. We appreciate you all and couldn’t have made it without the love and support.

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