Please help us fix AustinJo's Heart

In February I found out that I was expecting! I was elated and scared all at the same time. Why scared? I have a 17 year old son getting ready to be a senior in high school and a 12 year old daughter going in to 7th grade. How am I going to start over at 43?

As time goes by the idea of being a mom at 43 goes away and the excitement of holding a new born becomes more real. I made a choice to wait as long as possible to find out the sex. At 20 weeks we arrived at the doctors office for our gender ultrasound. We chose not to find out the gender that day because we had planned an a gender reveal party for all our family and friends. Leaving the doctors office that day I felt so positive and excited! I just couldn't wait to meet my new baby!

Several days pass and it's mid morning. I'm in the drive- thru line at the local Dunkin Doughnuts and as I am paying my phone rings. My blue tooth picks up the call and I say hello. The person on the other ends says good morning it's Dr. D. I need to inform you that there is something wrong with your baby's heart. I almost died in that drive-thru. It was a very short call maybe 2 minutes at most. I was in shock! Was that even a real call? I was instructed to wait for a call from the doctors office and told they would schedule me as quickly as possible to meet the Perinatal specialist. That was the longest few hours I have ever experienced. The next appointment was scheduled but, it would be a week before I could get in.

We were unsure at that point if we wanted to proceed with the gender reveal which was scheduled before the meeting with the specialist. I have never felt as much sadness as I did at that moment in time. But, all I did know is regardless of the outcome this baby was a gift and I wanted to celebrate our new baby!

The gender reveal party arrives and so many of our family and friends come to share in the excitement! The box is opened and the gender is known:

IT'S A GIRL!! We named her Austin Jo!

The following week we meet with The Perinatal specialist and he confirmed she does in fact have a heart condition and now this specialist refers us to the Pediatric Cardiologist for our baby girl.

May 9th comes and I will never forget this day. We arrive at Pediatric Cardiologist where I under go a hour and a half ultrasound. After the ultrasound is complete we are escorted to a small room with a beautiful view of or Phoenix foothills which almost made you forget why you were there. Scared and worried I had so much going through my mind. It seemed like hours before the doctor arrives to speak with us.

Finally, doctor and her assistant arrives we all sit down and she beings to speak. I could barely focus or see the pictures the doctor was sharing with all the tears but, I tried to listened and understand.

The diagnosis:

My darling baby girl had so much going on in her little heart. I wish there was something I could do.... surgery is inevitable but, when is unknown. 7 to 10 days after birth was one discussion and in another discussion possibility at 4 months and again later in her young life. We have been told doctors will know more once Austin Jo has arrived and her own Echocardiogram can be done.

I am now 34 weeks and we have met with the surgeon at Phoenix Children's and the NIC U at Banner Thunderbird where Austin Jo will be delivered. Every doctor that we have been in contact with has been so informative, helpful and uplifting. As we get closer to the arrival of Austin Jo I feel very positive that we are in the best hands possible.

I know that I have been distant and quite during this pregnancy and now you know why. I have opted not to do baby showers with family and friends and now as we get closer to her due date I ask if you would consider helping our family with medical expenses, and other unexpected expenses. Anything you are able to donate would be greatly appreciated. I also ask that if you share Austin Jo's story with as many people as possible and encourage all expecting mothers to take all of their prenatal appointments very seriously. The sooner the diagnosis of any heart defect the better planning to insure your precious baby will receive the care she or he needs for the future.

As the delivery date gets closer I will continue to update everyone the arrival of our beautiful baby Austin Jo's .

Thank you for taking the time read my story and please share it.

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Rebecka Baker 
Surprise, AZ