I love babies. When my babies hit their first birthday, I long once again for that tiny helpless little person that smells like baby powder and doesn't squirm away when you're staring at his beautiful little face. Now don't get me wrong. I love the other stages too. I laugh out loud when I hear the jibber jabber of his first words (Jackson). I giggle when I see one dance hysterically when she hears a Justin Bieber song (Bekkah). I beam with pride when she puts gospel principals into action as she prepares for her upcomming baptism (Emily). I am amazed over and over as he accepts and conquers challenges far beyond his years (Ammon). I burst with pride as I watch his determination and drive in all that he sets his mind to (Zane). I melt when I see the empathy, and concern she has for others (Mckenzie). I have to catch my breath when I see him snuggle with his baby brother (Zachary). I am amazed as I read his letters from his mission (Tres). I guess I just love it all. And this is why I have, despite my horrible pregnancies, we have eight beautiful, talented, amazing, wonderful children!
Today Rebekkah spent the afternoon at Phoenix Children’s hospital undergoing a battery of tests on her heart. The last few months we have noticed a few problems with her such as excessive sleepiness, and loss of appetitive, things the parents of a three year old without a congenital heart defect would just chalk up to "a phase". So we were apprehensive about her visit today.
Bekkah’s tricuspid valve, (no. 6 on the diagram) hung down 13 mm into her left ventricle (no. 7) at birth. The defect was considered a mild Ebstein’s Anomaly at that time. Today her echocardiogram showed that the valves have dropped 22 more mm and are laying flat against the walls of the ventricle. To give you a better picture, her heart is about the size of a small plum and 35 mm is about an inch and a half. So now her left atrium (no. 5) is very enlarged and her ventricle is less than half it’s normal size. Her condition has now been upgraded to a severe Ebstein’s Anomaly. Blood flows down from the left atrium into the ventricle and the function of the tricuspid valve is to stop blood flow (regurgitation) from going back up. People with a displacement as severe as Bekkah's have large amounts of regurgitation. Her doctor’s words were ”leaks like a sieve.”
For some amazing reason, however, her echocardiogram showed that Bekkah’s leaks very little. If fact your's and mine might leak as much as hers. It was so remarkable that her doctor called in two other doctors from the practice to take a look. None of the three had ever seen anything like it.
If her heart leaked like it should be, she would not be getting enough oxygenated blood and would go into heart failure. There is a surgery to fix the tricuspid valve. This surgery is only performed at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota. It is very difficult and not very successful, especially on a 23 pound little girl who’s heart is the size of a plum.
So today we thank you for all of your prayers for our family and our little girl. And we thank our Heavenly Father once again for another miracle for the Hustons!