Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

The Arrival Of Anabelle – A Preemie In The Making Part 2

A few years ago I shared my experience of giving birth to a preemie. I meant to continue the story with a part 2, but life happened. Well, most of the rest of the story goes like this. Anabelle arrived as perfect as can be, weighing in at a whopping 3lbs 13oz. Other than the need to gain weight, she had to learn to maintain her temperature. She had some trouble with keeping her temperature up, and this kept her in the NICU for 54 days.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

A Hanukkah Miracle – Anabelle Comes Home

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

On Hanukkah we were given the best news ever – Anabelle was coming home! It was a Hanukkah Miracle!

Everyone jokes that they wish babies came with a manual, mine did. A big fat stack of discharge instructions, follow ups and more. During her newborn screening at the hospital she had passed her eye and hearing tests. However, a heart murmur was heard and more testing was done. It was discovered that Anabelle had an ASD, also known as Atrial Septal Defect.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time.

Anabelle’s Atrial Septal Defect

What is an ASD? Basically it’s a “hole” in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. After birth this separation is no longer needed and typically closes on its own. Unfortunately this was not the case for Anabelle. The hole was still there. Thank Gd it has not affected her in any way.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

However, we always knew that if it did not close over time – surgical intervention would be required.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

Finding the Right Pediatric Cardiologist

After following up with a pediatric cardiologist, getting a 2nd AND 3rd opinion, I finally felt comfortable with the course of action. Anabelle was sedated and a scan was done of her heart to measure the opening and see what was going on. The right side of her heart was slightly enlarged, but otherwise she was fine. The doctor didn’t think it would close on it’s own due to it’s larger than usual opening. Anabelle would need to come back after her 4th birthday for a check up. This would allow for her to grow a little to be better equipped to handle a surgical intervention if needed.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

In between that time I received a letter from her doctor that she was leaving her practice at the hospital. It was now time to find yet another doctor I felt was the right one for the task at hand. Our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric cardiologist nearby. The specialist did some testing, including an ultrasound, which showed that the opening was still there and the right side of her heart was still slightly enlarged because of it. The specialist referred us to a pediatric cardiologist at the local children’s hospital that was qualified to perform the procedure necessary. After discussing all the ins and outs of what the procedure entails, I scheduled an appointment.

The Time Has Come

This appointment felt so far away when I scheduled it, but now it’s just around the corner – tomorrow. In the morning we’ll be heading off to the hospital for Anabelle’s surgery to close the ASD. The procedure will be done by cardiac catheterization using a device inserted through the artery near the groin and into the opening to plug it. The procedure is done in the hospital and takes several hours. She will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation and Gd willing be home by the following afternoon. We’ve been very fortunate that Anabelle’s ASD has not been a burden on her life thus far and we hope that this surgery will close that chapter once and for all.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

I still can’t believe it’s been almost five years since she arrived – and she’s brought so much joy into my life. She was just a tiny little peanut – my lucky little ladybug. She reminds me so much of my Mama and great grandma – she is sweet, kind and smart.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

Anabelle is going to do big things in this world.

Part 2 is finally here - the long overdue update on Anabelle - a preemie story. A heart defect was discovered and monitored, and now it's time for surgery.

Whether you pray or not, I ask that you keep us in your thoughts and send positive vibes our way for an uneventful and successful surgery.

Mama E

Multitasking mama to 3 living in Miami. Blogging about parenting, lifestyle, cooking and traveling. Covering everything from diapers to dorm rooms. Ask me anything, I've done it all.

Comments (16)

  • You know you and Las niñas are very especial for BB. Prayers and strength to all of you. BB2U Siempre.

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  • She will be fine and back to her normal self.

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  • God bless her,you and your whole family. I will keep you in my prayers.

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  • Wishing all the best towards you.

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  • Wow you have had a lot on your plate. She is beautiful. As an RN , I always appreciate hearing from the family’s perspective…keeps us grounded.

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  • Was so good

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  • You and the sweet child are under God’s care…and will continue to be….and the best of luck also

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  • Such a gorgeous girl! Things will get better from here on. Best wishes from us xx

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  • Oh goodness what a wonderful baby girl!

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  • What a lovely story. You go Anabelle!

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  • Reading this just made me cry, I am so happy that everything turned out wonderful and look at her she is absolutely beautiful!

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  • Such an a adorable and strong little princess

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  • Prayers sent for this beautiful little girl. Stay strong Anabelle!

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  • This sounds like it has been a long journey! She is beautiful!!!

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  • My best wishes to you and your family.

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  • What a great story. She’s adorable. Thanks for posting!

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