Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ultrasound and Bad News

Last Thursday James and I went to the doctor for my 19-week ultrasound. We had been anxiously awaiting this day for months because we wanted to find out the gender of our baby, aka "the bean". The ultrasound tech examined the baby from head to toe, focusing for a long time on the chest area. I thought the heartbeat was neat and all, but was ready for her to scoot down to the baby's bottom to see if it was a boy or a girl.

But then the tech stopped and said she was going to get the doctor to come in and look at something. James and I looked at each other and said "uh-oh". When she came back she said the doctor was in surgery and would be there in about 30 minutes. We asked what was wrong and she said our baby's heart and stomach looked too close together, but it could just be the way the baby was laying. She finished up the ultrasound and told us we are having a girl (Claire Elizabeth).

Afterwards we waited for the doctor in her office. When she got there she said our baby might have a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). She explained that the diaphragm acts as a barrier to keep the heart and lungs on top and the stomach and bowels on bottom, but our baby's diaphragm has a hole in it and it looks like her stomach might have moved up into her chest. She scheduled an appointment for me the following Tuesday at The Kirklin Clinic to get a higher-resolution ultrasound to make sure.

We came home and looked up information about CDH and realized that it is very serious. I told my mom and best friend about it and they told me not to worry, that it was hard to tell anything from an ultrasound and that it was probably the way the baby was laying. We wanted desperately to believe this and spent the whole weekend in denial, but were also really worried. Since we didn't know anything for sure we didn't tell many people because we didn't want to worry them unnecessarily. I couldn't wait until Tuesday so that they could tell me Claire was fine and put my mind at ease.

My mom and step-dad drove down to go to the appointment with us on Tuesday. While sitting in the waiting room I felt the baby move for the first time -- it felt like a butterfly fluttering in my stomach. We went in for the ultrasound and it took about an hour. The doctor didn't say much the entire time. Finally she finished and told us that our baby definitely has CDH. It's on the left side, and her stomach and about half of her intestines are up in her chest cavity where only her heart and lungs should be. Her heart is shifted to the right and her lungs don't have room to develop properly. The doctor said on a scale of mild to severe, that Claire's hernia is about a medium. She said her liver appears to be down, which is good. She will most likely be put on a ventilator immediately after she is born, and will need surgery to move the organs back in place and fix the hernia. Then her lungs will have room to grow and will hopefully finish developing.

She suggested I get an amniocentesis done and said they could do it right then. I was really worried about the chance of miscarriage, but we figured we needed to get all the information we could about her condition so I signed the form and let them do it. We should get the results back next week. We are scheduled to meet with a pediatric surgeon on March 8th, and are making a list of questions to ask. We are also supposed to take a tour of the NICU that day, which is going to kill me.


Baby Sofia said...

You, James and Claire will be in my thoughts and prayers. I will be here for you as much as you need me to. Stay strong!

Love, Catherine
Sofia's Mommy LCDH 4-18-06

Spam said...

Cindy, Heather and I are praying for you, James and Claire.


Anonymous said...

The Spina's (all of us) are praying for you every night. Stay strong, we'll be around if you need us.

Amy said...

I'll say it a third time, I'm thinking of you. And we've been considering the name Claire for any future girl we might have too, it's nice and not so common.

Lindsey said...

I can't imagine how scared you are. I've got everyone I know praying for all of you. I love you guys and will be happy to do anything you might need. Just let me know.

Love, Lindsey

Freebird said...

Hang in there. Everything will be okay. And I think Claire is a really nice name.

Kat said...

We're praying for all of you.
We love love -
Kathryn, Allan, Anna, Aaron, Grace, & Sam

Mag said...

James and Cindy -
We are praying for baby Claire and her wonderful parents. She will also be on our church prayer list until she is out of danger.
Margaret (Liles) and Larry Stephens

Cathy said...

What a wonderful idea. Claire's first blog. Before you know it she will have her own myspace page and be begging to borrow the car keys.

You've got some struggles ahead of you but you three will make it through, I have no doubt.

I look forward to witnessing all the blessings she will bring to your life. There will be many!

Sharon Lovoy said...

Dearest James and Cindy, Thank you so much for putting together this blog. Cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through, but this is a great way to keep us all informed so we don't inundate you with phone calls. Our time would be better spent praying. We love you so much. You are in our hearts and prayers every day. Love, John, Sharon and Casey

Billy and Amy said...

To our best friends... James, Cindy and Claire, you are in our thoughts and prayers every hour, every day. Keep your chin high, and know that God is in control. He always is.

Love, Billy, Amy, Will, Anna and Abigail

Anonymous said...

James and Cindy,

We will be praying for you guys! Hang in there!

Love, Corry, Erika Benjamin and Macy

Sharon Lovoy said...

From Greg and Meredith Jones: Sharon, Thank you for letting us know. I tried to add a note but couldn't so if you talk to them please let them know that Greg and I will also be praying and hoping for them too.


Margie Nichols said...

Prayers are so powerful. I will keep all of you in mine.

Vikki said...

I am a friend of Sharon Lovoy's and I wanted to let you know that I am praying for you, James and Baby Claire. God will give you peace, strength and wisdom, through this. Just lean on him.

Sayd's mama said...

Hi James & Cindy!
I found your blog from lil Sofia's blog. I am the mom of Saydie who is 6.5 and has LCDH. I wanted to tell you we will be checking your blog often as well as keeping you in our thoughts/prayers. Try to stay as positive as possible & keep your chin up although it is not easy.
Proud mama of Saydie 4.9.00

Anonymous said...

Your precious little Claire is in my prayers. I love and miss you.

Your cousin,

Karon Miller said...

My thoughts, prayers and hopes go out to you and your little girl. I know that you'll have the strength to get through it all.


Casey Lovoy said...

Cindy and James, I am having my bible study group keep y'all and the baby in our prayers. We are praying everything goes well and for a miracle. But If anyone can do it, God can!
"Trust in the Lord God with all your heart... and he will make straight your path."
~Proverbs 3:5-6

Love you guys!

Lauren said...

Thank you for sharing your daughter Claire with us. I will pray for your family as you begin your journey with CDH. It can be a long road, but I imagine that Claire will thrive. I'm anxiously awaiting the amnio results, and more stories and updates. Thinking of you and hoping for all the best,

Love Lauren
Avery's Mom LCDH

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy:
Your aunt and I are already praying for Claire. For God's healing and mercy. We miss you and love you.
Uncle Ron

Ottis said...

Carol and I are praying for you!

carole said...

You and baby Claire are in my thoughts and prayers. If there is anything I can do...or any support I can give you...please do not hesitate to let me know.

Cristin said...

Just sending good thoughts your way as you start this journey....

Graham's momma RCDH 3/31/03

Elizabeth said...


I have been thinking of you and your family - and of Claire too. You all will continue to be in my prayers too. I am glad your Mom found Breath of Hope for you too. There are wonderful stories of these children beating the odds. Amios shouldn't take two weeks - I recall awaiting ours too!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful girl!
Elizabeth, Breath of Hope, Inc
Support for CDH

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, and chances are that we will never meet (or at least we won't know one another if our paths happen to cross somewhere in time)but I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows you. THAT is how far God has carried your name. THAT is how far He has already carried the name of little Claire. And no matter what else happens, seen and unseen, THIS I know -

His eyes see her unformed body.

All the days ordained for her are written in his book......

before one of them comes to be.

Psalm 139:16 (adapted)

Anonymous said...

My name is Linda Faust from First Baptist Church in Troy, AL. I learned of Claire's condition from Sharon at a clerks certification class. I want you to know that First Baptist Church will be in prayer for all of you including the doctors. God has really put a burden in my heart for this precious little angel so please know that prayers will be sent up daily and continuously. God is good and just depend on him and he will see you through. I don't know you personally but please know I love you.

Linda Faust
Troy, AL

Anonymous said...


alex45 said...

Ultrasonography is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used to visualize subcutaneous body structures including tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs for possible pathology or lesions. Obstetric sonography is commonly used during pregnancy and is widely recognized by the public. There is a plethora of diagnostic and therapeutic applications practiced in medicine.

Anonymous said...

viagra substitute india viagra cialis vicodin cost of viagra buy viagra australia viagra dosages viagra and cocaine viagra by mail viagra mexico herbal viagra viagra commercial canyon filmed viagra commercial canyon filmed viagra strips viagra suppliers in the uk over the counter viagra

mabel said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


helathcare said...

Epigastric hernias differ from other hernias in that they don't usually disappear when you lie down. This is because the defect is usually too small to allow the herniated sac/fat to go back in. Repairing an epigastric hernia is usually straightforward involving a small incision and a couple of stiches. Occasionally in larger hernias a mesh may be needed. Visit: Renal Failure Treatment India
Piles treatment India
Spinal Laminectomy India
PLIF Surgery India
Deep Brain Stimulation India