My Baby Has a Heart Murmur… What if Yours Does, Too?

I know the title of this post might be a bit jarring. Believe me, when I heard the words “heart murmur” my entire body went numb. That’s why I decided to write this post–just in case any of you other new mommies out there hear those same words.

NOTE: The contents contained in this post are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions.

Before we get too far along here, let me start by saying this: DON’T FREAK OUT. I know the title of this post might be a bit jarring. Believe me, when I heard the words “heart murmur” my entire body went numb.

That’s why I decided to write this post–just in case any of you other new mamas out there hear those same words. I can’t promise that your experience will be the same as mine but I can at least tell you what mine was in the hopes of calming your nerves (as much as they can be given the circumstances).

They didn’t catch it when she was born. They didn’t catch it at any of the many doctors appointments we had been to… It wasn’t until the home nurse visit that I was informed that my baby girl has a heart murmur.

She was over three weeks old! How did they miss it all this time?

That’s a question for another time, I guess. Because at the end of the day, it didn’t matter. What mattered was getting it looked at. I needed answers and I needed them RIGHT AWAY.

As soon as I found out, I called her doctor and schedule an appointment for the next morning. As we were hanging up the phone, they gave me directions:

“If she looks pale or seem to be breathing faster than normal, take her in right away to get looked at.”

I hate when they do that! Of course, the rest of the night I was staring at her, asking my husband over and over again, “does she look pale to you?”

The next morning finally came (longest night of my life, by the way) and I took her in. She did, in fact, have a heart murmur. The NP immediately made her an appointment with a cardiologist for that same day. It was something I never imagined having to do–take my baby to the cardiologist.

The tests made me cry. She had an echocardiogram and an ultrasound. It took hours. And I was a nervous wreck the entire time. When the results finally came in, I was both completely prepared and completely unprepared to hear what the doctor was going to say.

My poor baby!
Break my heart into little bits!!!!

The verdict? Yes, she has a heart murmur. No, it’s not serious. Turns out, it’s super common for babies to be born with heart murmurs! The doctor went through a whole long explanation, using a little chart to show me what was going on and why the murmur was there.

It’s called a P.A. Branch Stenosis or a P.P.S. (Peripheral Pulmonic Stenosis).

The chart the doctor used to explain everything to me

I’m not going to lie, I only half paid attention. As soon as I heard that she was okay, I couldn’t focus on anything else. All I could do was breathe a sigh of relief and try to bring my nerves back down to a manageable level.

We’re not 100% out of the woods just yet. The doctor wants to see her again in 9 months. He said that the little hole causing the murmur hasn’t closed completely by then we’ll need to discuss other options. He did tell me, “treat your baby just like a normal baby. There’s nothing wrong with her.”

So, that’s what we’re doing. Until we go back for her follow up appointment in December, we’re not going to think about it. What’s funny is that I’ve discovered that so many people I know have heart murmurs and are completely fine (my grandpa, my friend’s husband who is a competitive cyclist)!

It sounds scary but it doesn’t have to be. If your baby has a heart murmur, get it checked! But, don’t get yourself worked up or worried until you absolutely have to be.

4 thoughts on “My Baby Has a Heart Murmur… What if Yours Does, Too?

  1. I realised I had held my breath until I read the line “No, it’s not serious. Turns out, it’s super common for babies to be born with heart murmurs!” I exhaled in relief. So glad your baby is fine and so thankful you wrote this post for new moms out there. The first year of parenthood is like living on an active volcano or walking on fire. Every minute, every second is a mystery. There’s so much to do, small infos like your help moms out there. I shall keep my fingers crossed for your baby to be completely okay post december check up. Broke my heart to see her crying pictures, but in the end she is fine, am glad. Keep writing Mumma!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe!! =) Thank you for your comment. And I’m definitely discovering the anxieties that come with being a parent. I find myself staring at her randomly throughout the day just wanting to make sure she’s okay. Thank you again for your comment and your kind words!!

      Liked by 1 person

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