Posted on September 14th, 2011 under Bicuspid Aortic Valve, Patient Stories & Updates.
Lately, there have been a lot of patient comments and questions posted about pregnancy and heart valve disease. To extend this discussion, I wanted to share with you a fantastic email I just received from Sara Bloomfield. Sara writes to me:
Sara & Matt Bloomfield (Chicago, Illinois)
I have a bicuspid aortic valve, dilated aortic root, and coarctation of the descending aorta. Like many other women with valve conditions that are hoping to have children, pregnancy has been an ongoing topic with my cardiologist throughout my life. The conversation was left open after each visit as it would depend on the state of my heart at the time I was ready to have a baby. After getting married last year, my husband and I were ready to address this. Based on the function of my valve and root, I am considered to be in the “grey zone” for pregnancy.
My valve function is considered to be moderate and my ascending aorta is estimated to measure between 4.7-4.8 cm (which has not changed in the last six years). The coarctation of the descending aorta is also considered mild. After performing a stress test evaluation, my cardiologist consulted a group of colleagues at The Mayo Clinic and agreed that they felt that I would be able to handle the pregnancy. They warned me that pregnancy could result in a need for intervention (risk of ~25% or less) and potential bed rest. These were risks that my husband and I were ready to take and I’m happy to report that we are now 18.5 weeks pregnant. We are are expecting a little girl!
Baby Bloomfield Is A… Girl!!!
Similar to Melinda’s story from a few years ago, the high risk OB that I met with was very concerned with the potential risks that pregnancy posed to my body. After much consideration, I have made the decision to travel to The Mayo Clinic to be followed by a team of doctors throughout the pregnancy and delivery. I just got home from my first team visit and couldn’t feel more reassured by the group of doctors that I have focused on me, and am happy to report that all is going very well so far in the pregnancy. Our baby is developing well and she even had her very first fetal echo. They went through all of the potential birthing options and backup plans and I am confident that I have a team that is prepared to support my husband and me throughout this adventure.
Information on pregnancy and heart valve conditions is difficult to find and I wanted to offer up my story as another data point for other women out there that are looking to share experiences. I am happy to start an offline group or provide periodic updates on my story throughout the pregnancy and delivery.
I continue to find inspiration and hope from the stories on your heart valve blog and hope to be able to do the same for others.
Thanks for all of the great work that you do!