Monday, February 7, 2011

CHD Awareness Week Begins

Today through the 14th is CHD Awareness week. If you are pregnant, I would suggest a couple of things. Sometime around 20 weeks or after, get a good, diagnostic ultrasound done. Ask specific questions about the heart. Don't just settle for knowing if you're having a boy or girl. Many CHDs can be caught at this point. Be aware that the perinatalogist will probably suggest further testing to see if you want to murder your baby. Whether or not you go for more testing, please let me encourage you to give your baby the gift of life. No matter how bleak things look. They held out almost no hope for Jethro ~ and we are about to celebrate his first birthday. But life, no matter how long it is has value. Yes, a CHD or something else may take your child's life. Just don't let it be at your hands. Enjoy that baby, no matter how long you are blessed with them.

The other thing I strongly encourage you to do is make sure that a pulse oximeter test is done on your newborn. This is a very simple, non-invasive test that measures your baby's oxygen levels. They should get a reading from the hand and foot. This alone will catch many undetected CHDs. Still, not all hospitals are doing them routinely ~ make sure your hospital/midwife does a pulse ox on your newborn! You are your baby's advocate, so advocate. :-)

Today's CHD fact:
Congenital Heart Defects DO NOT have a cure. Children born with a CHD undergo OPEN HEART surgery, usually multiple surgeries to "mend" the problem. But this is only pallative, never "fixed" CHD'ers have a lifetime full of medications, heart catheterizations, and numerous procedures. 1 in 100 births! Donate to CHD research and help us get one step closer to a CURE.

Picture by Jessica Goffard ~ thanks, Jess!

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