Well, B and I went on Friday to my 39 week apt, and it was a little more than we expected. We first had a growth ultrasound as Spencer was relatively big at 9 lbs 2 oz, so they wanted to see how this little man was shaping up. We found out that he is tiny in comparison, currently weighing in at around 7 lbs. This is good news in that I would love to VBAC (that stands for vaginal birth after cesarean), and a smaller baby is better for this. They did all the other measurements and were able to get a darling shot of his little face in 3D (he has Spencer's nose!!), and then sent us back to the waiting room to wait for the OB.
The nurse walked us back and my blood pressure and weight are good (only 0.5 lbs in the last 3.5 weeks- yea!!!) and then we got some unexpected news. It turns out that on the ultrasound the tech (who is great at her job, btw) noticed that our little guy has one "abnormally small" kidney. The other looks okay at this time. They did look back at the 20 week ultrasound pictures, and both kidneys were the same size at that time, so one of them has stopped growing while the other continued to grow. We were able to see that the heart is fine, the diaphragm and bladder are fine, the spine is fine and the brain is fine. These are all really good things.
Here's what this means and what we know so far:
1. This is a pediatric issue, not an OB issue. So, essentially, I can deliver whenever and it will cause no problems in the delivery or post-partum period. Unless something else is drastically wrong, he will not have to go to the NICU right after birth. They do not have to do an emergency c-section right now as my fluid levels are good (they can be low when kidney issues are present), so we're still waiting patiently to see when he decides to come.
2. He will have to have an ultrasound soon after he is born to determine the severity of the kidney issue. It could be that one kidney is just smaller than the other by a little bit but is still functioning or that there is actually a significant problem that needs to be dealt with. We have NO idea yet and won't until after the birth. We will meet with one of the pediatric nephrologists while in the hospital (more than likely) to see what all this means.
3. If it is a significant injury to the kidney, the only thing we know right now is that little guy won't be able to play contact sports. Any person who has only one functioning kidney (btw, you can totally life a long, successful life with only one kidney, thank God!) cannot take the risk of having any damage to that kidney, so things like football, hockey, rugby, lacrosse, basketball, and probably soccer are out. I don't mind football (too many head injuries anyway), but it has always been B's dream that his kids would play hockey, so I know this is hard on him. Truthfully, though, there are many, many other activities that don't involve direct contact, so we'll just have to steer him towards those.
4. While we know that the other major organs are in good shape right now, we don't know if there are any other concerns present, and we won't know until he is born. We don't know if the "abnormally small" kidney will have to be removed or if there are other concerns associated with this.
So, we're in a holding pattern for now. I am blessed that I work at our pediatric hospital, so I am going to be able to talk to one of our pediatric nephrologists on Monday (she was out on Friday afternoon) to see what she thinks about this. Having a bit more information will help me process this better. I know there is absolutely nothing we can do now but pray that all is well or that the concern is only minimal, so I am continuing to pray! One of the besties said that it is probably better that I found out this late as I only have (at maximum) 2 weeks left of worrying; whereas if we had found out at 20 weeks, it would have been 20 weeks of worrying. I agree completely.
I told B yesterday that I wasn't sure if I was more anxious to give birth so that I could meet him, feel more comfortable myself (it's getting really hard to be pregnant in the past few days), or so that we could get the dang ultrasound and just know where we are going from here. I'm sure it's pieces of all of the above.
I don't know if I've mentioned it here already but my back up c-section date is May 10th (5 days after the official due date), so that's the longest it'll be until we meet our newest son. If it takes that long, and I'm praying it doesn't, it's going to be a long 11 days. Not only just the physical aches that come in the last week or so (not sleeping well, dry heaving with my stupid vitamins, achy feet and lower back at the end of the day, etc), but the mental/emotional worry that we are now facing. We are definitely hoping for the best possible outcome. Who knows, maybe the ultrasound will be completely wrong! We're just going to have to cross that bridge when it gets here. If you don't mind, though, can you say a prayer that things work out for the best? We can definitely manage the issue of one kidney but can you pray that that is all it is? B, SYT and I would all really appreciate it.
As we know more, I'll update you all. We're in the home stretch and are very excited about that!