Eve Isley Saarinen was born the evening of Friday, December 12th – 6 lbs, 9 oz, 20 inches… lots of beautiful dark hair.
At 2 days old, Eve was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. It’s a broad category. Her biggest problem is a severely leaky mitral valve, which puts strain on the whole heart function, enlarging the heart and putting pressure and excess fluid on the respiratory system. She was transported by Lifelink to the University of Minnesota NICU on the 14th. Paul drove through the blizzard that night to be at her side, but since I had a c-section I could not be discharged until the next day. Took a cab over there on the 15th and we hunkered down for the next 5 days. The medications seemed to be working at first, but within a couple days her heart was continuing to get larger, her breathing more labored. After an episode of SVT – which is basically super-fast heart arrhythmia, she was immediately transported to the U of M Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit – closer to the full time cardiology staff and cardiac surgeon.
She was started on a new, stronger drug to alleviate some of the pressure and workload on her heart. We were warned that her situation was precarious. The surgeon and team spoke to us of a possible transplant (her heart had already been greatly damaged by her defect and the tachycardia). Yet with all this, she has started to turn a corner and improve.
It is slow progress – and it’s hard to be patient. We don’t know how long we’ll be here as the medicines do their work…though they seem to be stabilizing her. We’ve told our parents to come now…want them to know her if God takes her from us now. Just writing this is almost unbearable. For now, we are only positive around her…so we cling to a tentative plan to get her bigger and stronger for a heart surgery at about 3 months old.
There are very sick children all around us here. It’s the holiday season and there shouldn’t be any sick children. Anywhere. So we pray for all these babies and continue to be grateful for how well Eve has been doing.
Blessings to all of you in the new year – cherish your new arrivals. They are the greatest gifts. We’ll do our best to keep you posted (Paul’s Eve blog updates can be found at: www.tweetandmeet.com)
Annamarie, Paul, Jack, Elle and baby Eve