We found out I was pregnant on 17th Feb 2017, it was also 4th anniversary of our relationship. Words couldn’t describe how happy we were, such news on such a day! Unfortunately our happiness didn’t last long, prenatal screening test and scan carried out on 14 th April 2017 shown some abnormality.
Hipsoplastic nasal bone, high translucency 3,2mm and the worse one wrong picture of 4 heart cavities. I can’t remember much from that doctor’s appointment, couldn’t stay focused as tears were running down my face. Easter wasn’t so happy for us, couldn’t bear to talk about pregnancy without bursting in to tears so avoided the subject.
We decided to repeat the tests in different clinic as we still couldn’t believe this is happening to us and our unborn baby. Week later we repeated the tests, and this time results were only slightly better. The diagnose has confirmed heart disease, in this stage of pregnancy screening test only confirmed dextrocardis ( heart on the right side) and right-handed isomerms, this is a gap between the heart cavities. Unfortunately Laura’s heart was too small to state how serious the heart disease is at that time. That was not the end of the bad news, probability of a Down syndrome was very high 1:13. We couldn’t understand why this is happening to us, we are only 30 years old, eat and live healthy, don’t drink or smoke. There were no genetic illnesses in both our families.
Doctor has advised the amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, this test is usually carried out between 11 and 13 week of pregnancy. A tiny tissue sample of amniotic fluid is taken from the chorionic villi of the placenta with a needle guided by an ultrasound scan. We had this done on 4 th of May (my brother’s birthday who also is our Laura’s God father to be). I didn’t feel any pain only fear. There is a risk of miscarriage f between 1 and 2 in 100 procedures.
Awaiting the results seemed to last forever. During following gynaecologist appointment we have been mainly talking about the risk of having a baby with numerous genetic conditions and abnormalities and whether is worth to think about having an abortion. This honestly has shocked us we would have never taken this option under consideration. During 18 week of the pregnancy we had fetal echocardiography test done, this specialist, detailed baby’s heart scan clearly has shown a rare and difficult form of congenital heart disease called double outlet right ventricle (DORV).
In a normal heart, the pulmonary artery sends oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle into the lungs, and the aorta sends oxygen- rich blood from the left ventricle to the rest of the body. Together, the pulmonary artery and the aorta are known as the great arteries. But with DORV, both of the great vessels connect to the right ventricle. Infants born with DORV usually have a ventricular septal defect (VSD). A VSD is a hole in the wall that separates the lower chambers of the heart, allowing some of the blood to get pushed into the right ventricle instead of flowing normally to the rest of the body. In our case the tests also discovered the crisscross heart (CCH) is a cardiac malformation characterized by crossing of the inflow streams of the two ventricles what even more complicates this difficult heart problem.
I was 19 weeks pregnant when I got the results of amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling test, in fact it was my birthday, I got used to all the important information about our baby’s health are passed to us during important for us dates or family celebrations. The test results excluded all the genetics illness also Di George syndrome what is a common condition in such a heart problem. That was the best birthday gift I could possible get. Now we only have to focus on our Laura’s little heart.
Baby is due on 26 th of October and to provide the best care for our little girl I need to give birth in a specialist clinic where the baby will get all the medicine she needs straight after being born to stay alive. In first week of being born Laura will need a heart operation, our hopes are in an outstanding heart surgeon Dr Malec who specialised in such a heart defects.
This operation can only take place in German clinic in Munster. Unfortunately first operation costs around 52 300,00 Euro. We can not afford it without your help! I truly believe that with your support we will manage to raise the money we need to save life of our precious child.
I am begging you please help us safe our child!
If you wish to help Laura please make a donation on to The Cor Infantis Charity and add ‘Laura Biel’ as a comment.
The account numbers are:
BGZ BNP PARIBAS BANK Lublin branch
ul. Probostwo 6A