Mum-To-Be’s unborn baby diagnosed with AVSD

Country: England, United Kingdom
Anna Lebbe writes about what it feels like to know that her baby has a heart defect before the baby is born.

On the 9th September 2011 my partner Daniel and I found out that there was something wrong with our un-born baby but we were not sure what, so we had to go for a re-scan at North Devon Hospital (Barnstaple) on the 23rd September 2011. We finally found out that our little Boy had a heart defect known as AVSD (Atrial Ventricular Septal Defect).

I was in total shock and Daniel didn’t know what to say, on the journey home nothing was said because we were both still in shock. When we got home Daniel gave me a big hug and that’s when it hit home.

I kept asking myself why me?

What have we done to deserve this?

We finally got a letter to attend St Michael’s Fetal Cardiology in Bristol for the 17th October 2011. When we got there we had so many questions and they explained the heart defect to us and we felt a little more at ease with what was going on, she explained what would happen when I have the baby and that he will have to have open heart surgery at 3 months old. When I heard the words open heart surgery my heart sank so low into my stomach that I thought the worst. Daniel was really supportive and I really don’t know what I would have done with out him.

I am now 34 weeks and as my due date creeps up closer the more worried I get, some days we are really excited and others we are just generally worried.
We also have a son called Harvey who is two and a half, and is full of questions but he is to young to be able to understand what is happening. We take him to all the scans with us so that he doesn’t feel like he is being left out; but we are more worried about when his little brother arrives because a lot of our attention will be based on the baby. When he has his operation we shall be leaving Harvey with his grandparents as we feel he will become bored and a bit distressed with all the waiting. I am more worried that Harvey will get used to having a little brother around and then when we take baby for his operation the worst will happen, but we have been told that 95% of babies survive and go to live a good life.

Anna and Daniel
December 2011

When Anna and Daniel’s son is born, he will benefit from the multi-function patient monitor