In late 2008, I had my 20 week Ultrasound. I didn’t think too much of it when the doctor told me the heart looked good and pointed out the four chambers and the blood flow. I liked hearing that, of course, but I didn’t see a reason why it wouldn’t be good. I was more interested in finding out the gender.
My baby was born healthy. No Congenital Heart Defects. He’s 9 months old, and just as healthy. So why do I care? Because Cora made me care.
When I first read about Cora, I thought it was another story of another baby dying. I hate them. I try to avoid them. Then I saw the posts announcing her birth, and saying that she’s healthy and going home, and then the gut wrenching post that Cora was lost.
In one of my first ever blog posts, I wrote about my initial response. I couldn’t get the story out of my head. Then I read how it happened, and could vividly imagine a baby dying in my arms. My baby.
How does this happen? How did I not know that this could have happened to me? How can we stop it?
We can educate pregnant moms that this is something that could happen, and to ask for a pulse ox test. Granted, it doesn’t find every Heart Defect, but it does find some of the most critical ones. I tend to not want to give new mom’s something else to worry about, but if they could ask their doctors about it during pregnancy, maybe a more thorough ultrasound or echocardiogram could be ordered. When a new mom picks a pediatrician, she should ask that he order the pulse ox test. She can also ask for it herself.
The more women ask for this simple test, the more people are aware of CHD’s, the more attention it gets, the more funding it will get to study how to prevent them in the first place. We know folic acid can help prevent spina bifida. What if some CHD’s can be prevented by diet?
I’d rather Cora be in her mama’s arms right now instead of her and her mama working so hard to save lives, but I know two expecting mothers, and I have told both of them of Cora and pulse ox tests. They say they will ask for one. If one of them have a CHD, sweet little Cora will have saved them, and I can stand her loss a bit more if I know she’s saving others.