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Update on Baby B

I mentioned in my last post that Baby B had some heart issues and just wanted to give a quick update. A little backstory never hurt anyone…

Baby B Heart Update|Ahrens at Home

Once my regular OB determined that we were indeed baking two buns in the oven, she sent me over to a high-risk OB (MFM) as that is the standard of care in their practice. Since I was already 14 weeks along by that appointment they did a first trimester screening which is standard/required in California. You can read more about it here.

They found that our Baby B had a large amount of fluid on the back of his neck (as an aside, Hudson did too and it was totally resolved by the next appointment). Another round of testing was ordered as this is considered a “screening test” not a “diagnostic test”. Our doctor really pushed for additional, more invasive tests (CVS and amniocentesis) as he said this is typically a symptom of a larger, more serious chromosomal issue. He also let me know that Baby A looked “perfect” which was even more confusing on the genetic front as they are identical twins.

Anyway, fast forward 2 weeks to my second ultrasound and meeting with the genetic counselor. We ultimately decided against the invasive testing and would take what we got and move forward after the second ultrasound and blood testing. The ultrasound showed the fluid on the neck issue resolved but potential problems with his heart. So, two weeks later we were off to a second, more specialized OB office + echo appointment.

Our pediatric oncologist let us know that Baby B has a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). In a nutshell, he has a hole in his heart that will need to be repaired 4-6 months after birth with open heart surgery. Doctors aren’t sure what causes the defect but it is apparently a common one. Obviously, it doesn’t lessen the seriousness and worry of a baby going in for open heart surgery at such a young age.

Thankfully, barring any premie issues (praying we deliver as close to 38 weeks as possible!) we’ll be able to take both boys home from the hospital without NICU care. We were also relieved to hear that he isn’t in any pain in utero, that babies with this defect don’t realize they have a problem while still on the inside. He will be considered in mild heart failure after birth and we have to be vigilant about weight gain (that’s a common problem with heart babies). Our Baby B will be followed closely by the cardio team after birth and they’ll assess him and decide on a surgery date.

So that’s where we’re at! The thought of any of our kids needing any kind of surgery is panic inducing but we are thankful it is a fixable issue. I have bi-weekly high-risk OB appointments and cardio appointments every four weeks until delivery. We have our next update in a week or two and would appreciate any prayers or good juju you’ve got to spare.



  1. Amy
    April 21, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    I went through the same thing as my daughter had a VSD. They didn’t detect hers until her 4 month well baby check but she had her open heart surgery at 8 months. It is a scary time but kids are little superheros! Our daughter had surgery on a Thursday and we were home on Monday and there has been no looking back since! Good luck to you and your family and prayers to the medical staff taking care of your little one.

    • Brittney
      April 22, 2017 / 7:52 am

      Thanks for sharing Amy! I’m so glad everything turned out so well with your little one. Hoping for the same outcome for our guy too!

  2. Grantie
    April 7, 2017 / 6:35 am

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