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Pregnancy Update: With Bicuspid Valve, Melinda Welcomes Baby Alex To The World!

Posted by Adam Pick on April 10th, 2010

I often receive questions about pregnancy concerns from women wanting to have children before or after heart valve surgery. That said, here is an update from Melinda Hacker, a bicuspid aortic valve patient who just welcomed Alex, her new son, to the world:

Alex Hacker – Born To Melinda Hacker,
Bicuspid Aortic Valve Patient


I wanted to give you an update on an email I sent to you about 8 ½ months ago telling you that I have a bicuspid aortic valve with a dilated aortic root and… I had just found out that I was pregnant.  Do you remember?

I’m sure you have SO many stories coming in so it’s probably hard to keep up with them all.  Anyway, I’m happy to report that I gave birth to Alex, a healthy 7 lb. 7 oz. baby boy on March 18.

My pregnancy went just fine. I was closely monitored by my cardiologist throughout the nine months. I had an ultrasound every 6 weeks to keep track of any changes to my aortic valve. As it turned out, there were no changes, even with the major changes in my blood level and extra work to carry the baby. Alex’s heart was closely watched too and he has no cardiac issues!

Oooh How Alex Has Developed Since
The Last Time We Saw His Six-Week Ultrasound!

I had a Cesarean delivery and immediately afterward I went into ICU for 24 hours, strictly for observation due to my aortic valve condition. I came through with no complications! I am so thankful for the team at Tampa General Hospital who coordinated my care and delivery.

I feel so blessed to be able to report to you that my story is a complete success story! I go back for a follow up visit with my cardiologist in 3 months.  It will be then that we begin to plan on my heart valve replacement surgery.

Take Care and God Bless!
Melinda Hacker

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.


Debbie says on April 10th, 2010 at 6:18 pm


I had an aortic valve replacement last July with only six weeks notice, but it was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be……raising my three boys has given me so many more challenges….LOL!

What a beautiful little one…..and I’m sure you will do well with your replacement and Alex and you will enjoy a long, wonderful, memory filled life!!!
Just wait until you get that first smile!!!!!


Linda says on April 19th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I am so happy for you and your beautiful baby. I was wondering who your cardiologist is and do you know what doctor will do your aorta valve replacement. I live in Tampa, too and also have congenital biscuspid aorta valve stenosis and was looking for a cardiologist and surgeon who is highly recommended. My email address is Thanks so much, Linda


Kathy J says on April 19th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Congratulations on your little one! What a cutie! Good luck with your upcoming valve replacement! I too had a bicuspid aortic valve and just had it replaced this past February.


Allison says on June 18th, 2010 at 3:03 am

Hi Melinda,

Congratulations! I am wondering how large your aortic root dilation was at delivery? I am trying to decide between a vaginal or c-section birth, and I have the same condition.



Sara says on October 18th, 2010 at 7:54 am


Many congrats to you! I was wondering if you would mind speaking (or emailing) with me a little bit. I am contemplating pregnancy with a dialated aorta (4.5cm) and I wanted to get a little more information on your experience and any potential issues that I might have. Is there a way that I could reach you?



Shari says on January 1st, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I am new to Adam’s blog…my husband purchased his book for me several weeks ago, after learning that it was now time for me to have mitral valve replacement surgery. I was born with congenital mitral valve regurgitiation, and experienced my first heart health crisis almost 13 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was diagnosed (following what was to have been a routine/precautionary echocardiogram) that I was in congestive heart failure. I was 36 weeks pregnant. Following my daughter’s birth (forceps delivery with all available precautions-she was even delivered in the hospital’s cardiac care unit), my cardiologist insisted it was necessary for me to have my valve replaced. Long story, short, I moved forward with the plan to have surgery, but fought the idea all the way. Lucky for me, my cardiologist (along with the second surgeon I consulted with) were both willing to listen to me when I told them how well I was feeling. Continued monitoring of my post-partum condition demonstrated that my heart was returning to a safe range and that immediate surgery was not necessary. My surgeon consulted with ob-gyn people he knew, and they all concluded that it would take up to one year for all of my organ systems to return to their pre-pregnacy state. I had the opportunity to elect to have the surgery-I declined. 12 years and 5 days later, I was again told that it was time to consider surgery. This time, I will proceed, using the minimally-invasive robotic procedure I was reading about 12 years ago when surgery was first discussed. At the time, I tried to find a surgeon doing this technique so that I would not be restricted from holding or caring for my newborn. Now I will have it so that I can be backstage doing hair and makeup for this spring’s dance competition season.

If you, or any other ladies out there, would like to talk about your concerns, please email me @


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