Leo Update ~ Fetal Echo #4

Rush hour traffic on the way into Toronto

Yesterday morning, my friend, Cynthia, and I left at 5:40am to drive to Sick Kids in Toronto. Traffic on the 401 and 410 was terrible and we didn’t get to Yorkdale Mall until 8:30am, so Cynthia dropped me off at the subway while she went to park the car at the mall. The subway was pretty packed, too, and had three emergency stops haha. So getting to Sick Kids took a lot longer than expected, but I only arrived twenty minutes late. (I think we’ll leave 3 1/2 hours earlier next time).

After a trip to the business office to pay a bill, I returned for the fetal echo, which probably went took an hour or so. Then I met with the cardiologist and nurse coordinator in the consultation room. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Leo’s atrial rate was 163 bpm (which what it normally is at).
  • His ventricular rates ranged from 56-69 bpm during the echo (mostly staying in the mid-60s).
  • The cardiologist isn’t sure whether his heart rate is gradually dropping or if the “variability may be related to varying loading conditions dependent on the timing of atrial contraction and ventricular filling”. Hope that made sense, lol. I think it basically means that his heart defects cause his heart to function abnormally.
  • The rest of his heart functions looked good and their was no fluid around his heart or lungs, so their only concern at this moment is his heart rate. (There is a high mortality rate for babies in the womb with heart rates lower than 55 bpm).
  • The cardiologist said he doesn’t think he needs to put me on medication yet (a medicine that would increase my heart rate and somehow increase Leo’s by around 5 bpm), as he wants to be sure the cause of Leo’s decreased heart rate before I go on any medication because of the side effects the medication would have on me.
  • So they have booked an appointment this Friday at 12:30pm for another fetal echo, as they weren’t comfortable in waiting 10 days to see me next.
  • My job until Friday is to continue monitoring Leo’s movements, and if his movements decrease rapidly or stop then I have to go to the nearest OB Triage for an ultrasound and possible emergency transfer to Mt. Sinai. No pressure, right?

Sick Kids then sent me over to Mt. Sinai for an appointment there. I technically didn’t have to go as my OB last week told me they would alternate weeks from now on, but there was some miscommunication between Sick Kids and Mt. Sinai. One of the OB Fellows (a lady that has been so encouraging to me) got permission from our OB to have a “secret ultrasound scan” to check on Leo’s growth, so that we didn’t have to pay for one that wasn’t really necessary (don’t tell the hospital!). She said that Leo is looking good, and *insert drum roll here* he is a healthy 7lb baby now. haha. The pregnancy week-by-week e-mails I receive say he should be around 4 3/4 lbs this week. hmmm.

The drive home was pretty windy and rainy, as Toronto was preparing for the arrival of the “Superstorm”, but we made it home safely arriving at around 6pm.


  • That we live so “near” to a pretty amazing Fetal Cardiac Program, and that our cardiologist, Dr. Jaeggi, is an expert in fetal heart blocks.
  • That we weren’t delayed by any storms on our return home.
  • Lauren made it back home in time for a ladies’ Bible study.
  • We are so thankful for all of the people who are praying for us and have sent us encouraging notes!
  • We are also so thankful and blessed by those who have helped us out financially with all of the medical bills and travel costs!


  • That Leo’s heart rate won’t drop anymore, and that he’ll remain active.
  • For Lauren as she has to drive back to Toronto on Friday.
  • That we won’t be overwhelmed from dealing with insurance claims and that we’ll be able to stay on top of homework.

4 Comments on “Leo Update ~ Fetal Echo #4

  1. Will definitely be praying that Leo’s heart rate doesn’t drop anymore and that he stays stable and you can stay off the meds. And it’s weird that they are telling you that you have to pay for extra scans and things… have you actually had to pay for anything at the hospitals yet? Just wondering because they’ve never mentioned anything like that to us and I’ve had so many ultra-sounds it’s not funny!!!

  2. Love you guys so much and are really anticipating Leo’s arrival! He are excited to be rejoicing with you in all that God is doing!

  3. First, I really enjoyed your guest post on your mom’s blog. Second, I know you’re going through a lot here – with your schedule and lives full – but you’re doing a great job trusting the Lord and getting through one-day-at-a-time. I’m thankful for the way things are working for you all. I think often of how you have spoken of Leo being the Lord’s. And, indeed, he is. I think about the way faith works – a knowing from our past experiences that God is there and works in our lives. A sense of knowing Him, and knowing He’ll get us through it all. Hard to grasp sometimes and sometimes, when grasped, hard to hold onto. I’m so glad you have folks who are helping you and lifting you up. Your lives bless us. May the Lord just bless you really big and give you what you need to get through all of this and may Little Leo be shielded and protected for his arrival date. I pray that all the medical people handling your case are directed by the Lord. Counting the days with ya. Take care and hugs from Uncle M and Me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s