One of the most amazing things about Ovia has nothing to do with us or our apps — it’s the incredible user base we have. Amanda reached out to us to tell us about her pregnancy journey, and her story is nothing short of incredible.
“Nine times out of ten, when things go wrong it’s a complete, medical fluke, and no one can explain how it happened,” Amanda explained over the sound of her nine-month old son Camden’s voice in the background. “I feel like women shouldn’t feel like they have to blame themselves, as if it’s something they did wrong. We need to stick together and support each other.”
Amanda understands the impulse towards self-blame, though. The day after Camden was born, she was discharged from the hospital where she delivered, only to race across town to bring him to a children’s hospital better equipped to investigate his heart murmur. “Luckily it was only 40 minutes away, but my husband must have driven there at a hundred miles an hour, because he was so freaked out, and I was so freaked out.”
Amanda faced a long, tense period of time early in her pregnancy because of a subchorionic hematoma. Subchorionic hematoma is one of the most common problems on early ultrasounds, and can have serious repercussions. Bleeding from a hematoma isn’t always a sign of a problem, but it’s always worrying. “When you’ve had a miscarriage, and then you go to the bathroom, and there’s blood consistently, that’s unsettling,” Amanda said.
“And so when we had that twenty week ultrasound, and that hematoma was gone, and he was okay, I let out a sigh of relief, like, ‘Oh, okay, we’re okay, things are good.’”
Today, about nine months after the race across town to the children’s hospital, on Camden’s second day of life, things are good again. The day after Amanda delivered, though, when he hadn’t yet been diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart condition that forms as a result of a combination of four heart defects, and makes it harder for the heart to circulate oxygen through the body, her worry was back in full force.
“The cardiologist came into the room and said, ‘First of all, I want to tell you that your baby is going to be fine,’” Amanda recalled.
“And I, you know, sigh of relief, thank god, literally thank god. And then [the cardiologist] said, ‘But he’s going to have to have open-heart surgery when he’s about three to four months of age.’ And I’m like, ‘What? That is not fine, that is not fine on any level.’”
Around three months old, Camden did undergo open-heart surgery, and though he and his family will have to keep an eye out for future problems with his heart for the rest of his life, Amanda describes him as a happy, healthy nine-month-old who loves to snuggle.
To other new parents in similar situations, Amanda recommends reaching out to organizations or groups of other families facing the same problems. “Your family is there for you as much as they can, but there’s just something about people who have gone through it and been in your shoes, who just get it a little bit more.”