“Wh-wh-what?” I asked my breath catching in my throat.
“What do you mean Itty Bitty might not live?” Taylor asked Dr. Johnson quietly. He looked at the screen again.
“I think Itty Bitty has something wrong with it’s heart.” He said taking a deep breath. I felt the tears coming to my eyes as I looked at Taylor. He kissed my hand.
“What does this mean than?” I asked him as he clicked on the machine zooming in on it’s heart.
“It means I think you really need to see another doctor.” He said zooming in till you could see inside the tiny heart. I couldn’t move as I cried silently on the table as Taylor rubbed my arm soothingly.
“What is wrong Doc?” Taylor asked quietly. I watched the screen as Dr. Johnson did the same. I watched his face drop. “Doc?”
“You see the blood going through the heart?” He said pointing his finger on the screen to show Itty Bitty’s heartbeat.
“Yeah but it’s not right is it?” He shook his head.
“Your right Taylor it isn’t right. What I think Itty Bitty has is a congenital heart disease where it’s tricuspid valve is missing.” I looked at him as tears rolled down my face. “It’s called Tricuspid atresia.”
“But…but…” I said looking at the screen. “What it mean?”
“Well normally, blood flows from the body into the right atrium of the heart, then through the tricuspid valve to the right ventricle and on to the lungs. Itty Bitty’s valve won’t open so the blood can’t flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle. Blood can’t get to the lungs, where it has to go to pick up oxygen.” I nodded wiping my eyes.
“What’s this going to mean for it?”
“Well.” He tried to say something but closed his mouth. “It.” He tried again before closing his mouth again re-thinking it. “Itty I think also has other heart problems. An atrial septal defect and a ventricular septal defect. Those two defects are keeping Itty Bitty alive. They are letting the blood pump since the valve is cut off.”
“Are they fixable?” He nodded.
“They are. Tricuspid atresia is treated in 3 open heart surgeries. The first would be within days of Itty being born, the next probably between 4 to 6 months in age. The last would be between 18 months and 3 years of age.” I took a deep breath closing my eyes.
“Is this my fault?” I asked quietly. I opened my left eye a crack to see Dr. Johnson’s answer. He shook his head.
“There is no known way to prevent this condition. 5 babies out of every 100,000 births are born with it.” He printed out picture after picture. Taylor kissed me gently. “I want you to see an OB GYN. We need to monitor the baby’s heart. Especially when you start chemo.” I took the tissue Dr. Johnson handed me wiping my stomach of the gel.
“Do you still think chemo is the right idea?” He nodded his head.
“I think chemo is the best thing for you and the baby right now. You have full right to dismiss anything I say and go to another doctor. But I know what I mean when I say it. It’s the best, I think.” He smiled at me patting my hand.
“I know Dr. Johnson. I think I will. Even though I promised myself I would never go through chemo again. But I don’t care about me anymore. All I care about is this baby.” I put my hand on my baby bump gently. Dr. Johnson nodded.
“I knew you would.” He turned to Taylor to smile before picking up my folder. He handed me all the pictures. “Show these to the OB GYN when you get back home. You are going to need to see them a lot alright?” I nodded. “You can always call me if you need anything. You know that right?” I nodded at him again. “Alright. I hope to talk to you soon Bailey.” He smiled at me patting my hand again before shaking hands with Taylor. “It was a pleasure to meet you Taylor.”
“The pleasure was mine sir. Thank you. For everything.” Dr. Johnson nodded as Fin moved on Taylor’s chest waking up.
“Mommy?” He asked rubbing his tired eyes looking for me.
“Right here baby.” I whispered taking him into my arms hugging him as he wrapped his arms around my neck. “I love you Baby.” I whispered into his ear as he slowly fell back asleep. Taylor helped me off of the chair.
“Where do you want to go baby?” I shrugged.
“Let’s just get back to Uncle TJ’s house. I need to plan this out. What I’m going to do. I also need a nap.” He nodded wrapping his arm around my waist as we walked to the Jeep Maria gave me yesterday. I laid Fin in the old car seat Uncle TJ and Aunt Audrey had and hooked him in. Taylor took the keys as I got into the passenger seat slipping on my hoodie. We drove in silence as Taylor held my hand in comfort. We pulled up to Uncle TJ’s house and Taylor parked the car as I got out walking towards the house. He got Fin out of the back and made with way with me as I unlocked the door going in. Uncle TJ looked up from his paper.
“How was the appointment Sweetheart?” He asked looking at the three of us.
“Terrible.” I sighed before walking towards Sawyer’s room and closing the door behind me. Uncle TJ looked at Taylor raising his eyebrow asking a silent question. Taylor shook his head sitting down and sighed as Fin wiggled out of his arms.
“Finley no. Come back to Daddy.” He sighed rubbing his forehead. Fin shook his head running toward Sawyer’s room.
“Mommy.” He called getting to the door and looking up at the door knob. He leaned on his tippy toes to turn the knob enough to open the door. “Mommy.” He looked into the room before walking over to the bed and crawling up onto it. I looked up from the pillow that I held as I cried. “Mommy no cry.” He crawled up to my face looking at me with his big green eyes. “Mommy no cry.” He brought his hand to my cheek wiping the tears away like I always did with him when he cried. “Finny no cry so Mommy no cry.” His bottom lip moved as he pouted at me. I couldn’t help but smile at him as his eyes scanned my face for a sign I was going to start crying again.
“I love you Finley. So much.” I whispered at him getting chocked up again. He smiled at me.
“I love you Mommy.” He wrapped his arms around my head. I sat up on the bed as he moved to sit in front of me. He looked up at me before looking around the messy bed. His eye brows came together as he looked for something. He found it because his face lit up as he pulled Gator from the tangled sheets. “For Mommy.” He giggled at me putting it in my lap. “For my Mommy.” He fell back on the bed and smiled at me before giggling at himself.
“You are so your father child.” I smiled at him.
“I’m not sure if I should take that as a compliment or insult.” I looked over to Taylor as he stood leaning on the door frame. I smiled weakly at him. He walked over to us and sat on the edge of the bed. Fin smiled at him as I pet Gator. Taylor leaned over to kiss me gently.
“Daddy!” He giggled at him covering his face with his hands. Taylor picked him up making him squeal in excitement. I lay back onto the pillows as Taylor tossed him in the air a little before catching him making him giggle again. Fin squealed again as Taylor tossed him again before he lay back on the bed next to me.
“I love you Bailey. No matter what happens.” He whispered leaning over to kiss me.
“I love you too Taylor. No matter what.” Fin sat between us before throwing his arms up.
“I love Mommy and Daddy.” He giggled. “And Gator too!” I smiled at him as he clapped his hands in excitement.
“And Mommy and Daddy love you too.” He clapped again giggling. “No matter what Finny. No matter what.”
(Itty Bitty's heart problem in case you don't understand it. It is a real heart problem)
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