Seeking Moms That Know About Fetal Heart Development

Updated on March 12, 2007
T.K. asks from White Lake, MI
18 answers

I just went in for my ultrasound for my second baby at 18 weeks. The ultrasound technician kept on telling us that it may be too soon to see everything, but she announced we were having a girl and that everything looked fine. However, when we got to the doctor, he told us it isn't anything to be alarmed by, but the technician could only see two chambers of the heart and I would have to come back for a second ultrasound. He said that we would have to worry if she said that there was a defect, but because it was so early, that I probably have nothing to worry about.

Well, of course I am worried! I am freaking out! I know that I should calm down about it and just wait until I get the results back, but I just wanted to know if anyone out there has had this happen. And, if so, which way did it go. If my baby only has two chambers, what kind of defect am I about to face? Will my baby die or possibly die?

Thanks for the help!

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B.L.

answers from Detroit on

I would get a second opinion you have that right I am not an expert but if it was my child I would consult an expert in fetal heart development. Some technician are not very good at ultra sounds too. I ask every doctor or technician how many times have you worked on this machine? and how long you have been ultra sound?

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J.G.

answers from Detroit on

T.,
This also happened to me for my first daughter with her first ultra sound. We had the second Ultra sound and everythig was fine. She is seven now with no health problems.
Good luck.
J.

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W.P.

answers from Detroit on

Of course I can not speak to what your technician actually saw, but I can speak to the fact that working with pregnant moms for the past six years I have had several that have had ultrasounds where they were unable to see all the chambers of the heart. Upon a higher resolution ultrasound thing would invariably turn out to be fine. It is no less unnerving, and I pray that you can get in for that next ultrasound soon so that you can know for sure one way or the other.
My Best,
W.

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C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi T.,

I don't really know anything about what happens when you have a baby with a 2 chamber heart but,I had an ultrasound at 20 weeks when I was pregnant with my daughter. They told us something was wrong with the heart but they didn't know what because everything was still too small. Later we switched from Beaumont to U of M for care while I was pregnant. My daughter had open heart surgery at 5 days old. She now lives a completely normal life and the only reminder we have of what happened is an anual visit to the cardiologist and a super light scarr on her chest. I am not saying that any of this will happen to you. I hope everything is fine but just so you know if it isn't there is so much they can do for these kids. I know that it is such a scary time. I can totally understand. I was told in my case that my daughter would never walk, talk, feed herself, she would have cleft palate, kidney failure, you name it they said she would have it. They wanted me to abort her. They asked me everytime I would go in for tests if I had decided to get an abortion. She is so normal that I am so glad I never listened to the doctors at Beaumont. U of M is an amazing place for heart surgery. People travel all over the country to see these doctors.
I am so sorry if this is scaring you but I hope it helps if you ever have to deal with it. Take care, C.(Nina)

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K.O.

answers from Grand Rapids on

As a mother of a baby born last March with a heart condition I would be more than happy to talk with you about our experiences. We had the same thing happen to us during our ultrasound. After our doctor found it we ended up going to a pediatric cardiologist to get the actual diagnosis.

Our son was born with a condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) where he was missing a chamber of his heart. Are you seeing a local cardiologist here in West Michigan (Dr. Jeffrey Schneider) who does a more detailed ultrasound? I know DeVos Children's Hospital do many heart surgeries, but HLHS is not done there. We had our son's 2 surgeries (there are 3 surgeries to complete the reconstruction) at U of M Mott Children's Hospital.

Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you want to talk more. If your baby's condition is a heart issue know that the success rates are very good and there are lots of support groups out there for parents. There is also a local group at DeVos Children's Hospital called Families at Heart that can help to answer questions.

My e-mail is [email protected]____.com if you want to talk more about this.

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J.B.

answers from Detroit on

When I went in for my ultrasound, the technician had a hard time finding all the chambers of the heart as well. She tried for about 20 minutes, then had me get up and walk around for about 10 minutes, and then tried for another 15-20 minutes. It was all due to how the baby was positioned. My baby boy was born with no problems at all.
So, just because the tech couldn't see all the chambers doesn't mean that they aren't there. You'll probably find that the next ultrasound will go just fine because the baby will be bigger and the heart will be easier to view.
Congratulations on your baby girl, and good luck with the pregnancy!

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S.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I don't know anything about the fetal heart development...But I had the same thing with both of my children. With my first child I was heavy and my stomach wall was thicker and so they could not see her all that well. So, they did a second ultrasound a few weeks later after she had gotten bigger and everything was fine. With my son, I had lost alot of weight, but he was positioned in a way that they could not see his whole heart. It truley was nothing to worry about. We again went back when he was a little bigger and all was well!!! If the doctor is telling you not to be alarmed...don't be alarmed!!! Hopefully it is a matter of her position!! Good Luck!!

Sus

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi T.,

I had a simular situation at my 20 week ultrasound. It was my son's left ventrical that was the problem. I was using a midwife at the time. They then sent me to a fetal medicine doctor in Flint, that doctor told me to abort! I was completely against that so I went to U of M and seen Dr. Mark Russell, he is a heart specialist. He was wonderful!!! There's no point seeing doctors that don't specialize in your babies condition. It's called the congenital heart center it's in the basement of the Mott Children's Hospital the #is ###-###-#### I'd go see them as soon as you can. My son is now 3 and is health as a horse. The OB's at U of M were all great, too. I decided to deliver there since my son would have been sent there to Dr. Russell when he was born anyway. I can't say enough good things about the staff there. It is an awesome facility even if there is no problem with the baby. If the baby does have the problem they are telling you, you'll get the best care for her there. The Congenital Heart Center there is rated in the top 10 in the country. I hope all goes well for you and your baby. Take care.

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C.T.

answers from Detroit on

HI
my son is now 7 months old. but with my 1st ultrasound at 19 weeks. they thought they saw a whole in his heart. they set me for a second ultrasound at 23 weeks. it sill was inconclusive. so they sent me to a heart specalist,they did a echogram on him in utero. that showed something very small or it still could be nothing. he was born 3 weeks early, they did another echo on him at 1 day old, that showed he was fine!

so hang in there, i know it worries you. but the pictures can be wrong and it depends on who is reading them! just have faith! C.

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D.D.

answers from Detroit on

i personally haven't had to deal with something as scary as what you are going through and my heart and prayers go out to you and your family; and you have every right to be scared; i would be too; but i do know from extensive research on congenital defects and my medical back ground that what is seen on ultrasounds this early in pregnancy may correct itself over the next 5 months... my prayers are for that. good luck.

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L.B.

answers from Saginaw on

I had the same thing happen at our 5 mo. ultrasound... it was nothing to worry about. They got a good picture of the whole heart the second ultrasound, and I got to see my baby again!

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S.J.

answers from Detroit on

This same thing happend at my first ultrasound appointment. The tech saw everything, but had problems seeing a certain part of the heart. I had to go back in a couple of weeks for a follow up ultrasound and everything was fine. The baby doesn't always want to be in the right position needed to see everything. I would try not to worry and just think of it as another opportunity to see your baby girl. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind an ultrasound more often to see how precious she is.

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K.C.

answers from Detroit on

I had a similar situation at my 20 week ultrasound. The baby wasn't turning over so they could see all the chambers of his heart. I had to go back two times in order for them to see everything, and it all had to do with the baby not being positioned right. They tell me everything is fine...and I should be having the baby in about 2 weeks. Don't stress yourself out until you know something for sure. If there is a problem, your doctors will be able to answer all of your questions and give you all the information you need.

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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

T.,
Sometimes those ultra sounds are even hard for the tech to see stuff maybe she just missed something. It's understandable that your worried though. Just try to relax! Alot of times things turn just fine. With the medical technology these days doctors are able to do alot. L. o

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S.M.

answers from Jackson on

Hi T., I don't know where you had the ultrasound at, but if it was at Foote, I'd go somewhere else for the next ultrasound. My brother does ultrasounds, and thank God he does. My daughter had a son 2 years ago, she didn't know she was pregnant for the first three months, she was taking anti depressants which messed her system up. Anyway, one of the meds she was on causes birth defects, she had '3' ultrasounds at Foote, each with a different tech and read by a different radioligist, each one showed the baby was fine. My brother wanted to play with the baby, showing all of us while he scanned her, for fun mind you. He got quiet right away, which I knew my brother, the baby had no diaphram, most of his organs were up in his chest, his heart was on the wrong side, he couldn't find a stomach what so ever, no right lung and I could go on and on. Even after knowing all this, she went to her doctor who ordered another ultrasound from Foote, they still didn't find it. We took it upon ourselves to go to the U of M, they weren't even going to try and save him, they had my daughter sign over his organs before he was born. My daughter got online and found a doctor in Florida who works on saving these babies. I went with her to Florida, she delivered him there, he was treading on thin ice, but I have a happy 2 year old grandson. He has issues, but to me he's perfect and the doctor in Florida, I am so grateful for. He is a miracle worker, a true gift from God.
Back to why I'm writing, the U of M has the best pediatric heart surgeon in the world, I would go see him 'now', he will scan the baby himself from what I understand, and let you know all you need to know. I wouldn't mess with anything else if I were you. At 18 weeks, they can tell the most from what my brother tells me, thats when he scanned my daughter. He works at Bronson. I don't know where you live, but that covers both sides of the state. Get a second ultrasound now, you have the right and reason, and it will help ease your mind knowing what you're dealing with. We researched diaphramatic hernias big time when we found out. And let me tell you, it helps knowing to much than nothing at all.
I wish you much luck and I'll be praying for your little girl:)Sue

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S.N.

answers from Saginaw on

I can't speak of fetal heart developement, but we had a similar scare. They noticed that the space near the back of my son's brain was a touch enlarged, in my first unltra-sound. I memorized the term they used, since they were making it sound like it was no big deal, but spent alot of time measuring it anyway. I googled it, and found out for myself that the enlarged gap could be in indicator of several disorders, such as Down Syndrome, Tasaches Disease(Not sure on spelling), Spina Bifida, or Hydrocephalis(water on the brain). Needless to say I was jarred. I was a bundle of nerves until that next ultra-sound. Turns our it was only enlarged by about a millimeter. But, the specialist said that it's usually better safe than sorry. They also were clear to tell me that the extremely small amount of enlargement did not mean nothing was wrong at all. But, they would be shocked if anything was wrong. He was born a very healthy baby boy. No issues at all. So I worried for nothing. I guess my feeling is, if the doctors don't appear worried, beyond a better safe than sorry attitude, try to trust them. They have no reason to withhold the information from you, other than lack of further knowledge. If it makes you feel better, ask the doctor point blank what all of this means to you, at this point in time. But, try not to stress about it too much in the meantime. The fact that your baby's heart is beating inside you shows that she's strong enough for that. And it might have just been that she's so small right now that the grainy image of the ultra-sound didn't pick up the image properly.

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R.P.

answers from Grand Rapids on

That exact same thing happened to me when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had to go back a couple of weeks later and everything was fine. It was just something that they couldn't see on the original ultrasound. It was there but they could not see it. I wouldn't worry. I know it's very hard not too.But I am sure everything will work out. Best of luck!

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

I would be freaking out too. But, my husband was born with a bi-cuspid (normally tri-cuspid) aeortic value. He has had 3 open heart surgeries (he is 30) but is healthy and lives a normal life. Hopefully there is nothing wrong, but if there is, doctors can do absolutley amazing things these days. If you can afford it, I would recommend the Clevelend Heart Clinic-- they are fabulous. Good luck, and keep us posted.

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