One of the things I wasn’t really prepared for was discharge. I had been discharged and had some follow-up appointments with my OB–2 weeks post-partum to follow up on my C-section scar and 6-weeks to check on how things were going overall. That was a hard one as often you’ve got your baby with you and June was still in the NICU at that point.
But June’s discharge from the NICU brought with it a SLEW of additional appointments and follow-ups with specialists. Now, in reality, we are SUPER fortunate that we didn’t have as many of these as some do, but we did have some concerns. Thankfully June had a very small brain bleed when she was born which is very common in premature babies. She also had an edema on her right cheek from the oxygen that we had an ultrasound on (or tried, that is) but it has all but gone down two years later.
Our first big follow-up other than the Grad Clinic was her Cardiology appointment 6- months after she was discharged in October of 2016. In her NICU stay she was given an echocardiogram and it was discovered she had a PFO–Patent Foramen ovale.
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole between the left and right atria (upper chambers) of the heart. This hole exists in everyone before birth, but most often closes shortly after being born. PFO is what the hole is called when it fails to close naturally after a baby is born.
June’s follow-up with her cardiologist in October was a bit scary. We weren’t sure if the PFO had closed on it’s own or if it was still present. There was lots of waiting while she had another echocardiogram and then we waited on the Cardiologist to come in and examine her and read and interpret the results.
After lots of waiting and playing with the paper, June was given the all clear from Cardiology! One more hurdle we had jumped!