Severe heart disease generally becomes evident during the first few months after birth. Some babies are blue or have very low blood pressure shortly after birth. Other defects cause breathing difficulties, feeding problems, or poor weight gain. Minor defects are most often diagnosed on a routine medical check up. Minor defects rarely cause symptoms. While most heart murmurs in children are normal, some may be due to defects.
If the heart problem is significant, your child's pediatrician or family physician will likely refer your child to a pediatric cardiologist. Pediatric cardiologists are trained to diagnose and treat heart problems in infants, children and young adults. They have the training and equipment to find out what tests and treatments your child will need, and how often your child will need heart checkups in the future.
Lilyann was diagnosed with a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). Usually a VSD will close on it's own over time. But in Lily's case, this was not happening. While it wasn't getting bigger, she wasn't thriving. The next step was to repair it. This meant open heart surgery for our little girl.
It was a lot to take in at that time. Knowingly passing your child to "strangers"...pretty much putting her life in their hands was the hardest decision. But a good decision. The doctors fixed her heart. Lily is so proud of her zipper. When asked about it, she tells about how the doctor fixed her sick heart and gave her a zipper.