When I was carrying Suzanna, I had what they call a single artery umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is supposed to have two arteries and one vein and mine had only one artery and one vein. With that said, all the doctors I saw said that it was a common issue in pregnancy and basically not to worry. Well, I am the queen of "googling," so of course I read everything I could get my hands on. In the reading I found out that about 1 in 100 pregnant women have it and there are possibilities of defects to the child.
Because my pregnancy was and had gone so well since the beginning, I decided to take the doctors advice and not worry about. "It's as common as being left handed," one of the doctors told me.
So John and I didn't worry about it; however, I still had to have a monthly ultrasound to check baby Suz and her development. All ultrasounds had been great up until week 38.
At week 38 by belly was measuring 3cm off, so my doctor decided to do an ultrasound to check on things. In the ultrasound she noticed that one of Suzanna's kidneys was slightly dilated. She told John and I that this was a fairly common problem with babies and just to make sure her pediatrician checked the kidney in question.
Well, October 27 rolls around and I have the easiest labor, and this perfect little angel to show for it. At her first doctors visit we talked to her doctor about the kidney and he seemed to think that as long as she as urinating well then the problem would probably fix itself.
Suz and I had to go back to the doctor two more times for weight checks and on our third visit we had a different doctor. That doctor seemed to think that we might as well have an ultrasound done on the kidney just to make sure things were working as they should. So Suz and I went off to have an ultrasound.
During the ultrasound the nurse couldn't see the left kidney because of gas but definitely saw dilation on the right kidney. We went back to the pediatrician after the ultrasound and she referred us to a urology specialist because of the dilation in the kidney.
At the urology specialist they too had problems viewing the left kidney but were certain that there were issues with the right kidney. They referred us to the Presbyterian hospital in Huntersville to have a VCUG, which checks to see if urine is "refluxing" from the bladder back up into the kidney; and a CAT Scan to see if there is even a left kidney present.
Once we got to the hospital I went back with Suzanna and was with her through both of the procedures. When preforming a VCUG they have to insert a catheter. Suz didn't appreciate that very much but only cried for few minutes. She was able to calm down after that as they watched the dye moving in her bladder and took x-rays. Next, we did the CAT scan. For the CAT scan she had to have an IV. My little trooper whimpered just a little bit when they inserted the IV, and then went back to sleep as if nothing had happened at all; and then continued to sleep through the CAT scan.
After we finished with the test at the hospital, we went back to the urology specialist to get the results... Suzanna does not have a left kidney, which is mostly likely a result of the single artery umbilical cord. And her right kidney is dilated, as well as the ureter tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder.
The dilation in the kidney and ureter tube is present because the ureter tube is not entering the bladder at the correct spot. Suz's ureter tube is connected at the bottom of the bladder instead of the top. (Dilation in the kidney is not an uncommon problem in infants. Most of the doctors we talked to said that most of the time the problem just fixes itself, but because of the amount of dilation that Suzanna has, we can't afford to wait and see.... particularly since she only had one kidney.)
So here's our plan of action:
Tomorrow (Friday, November 26, 2010) we will be going to the Presbyterian Hospital in downtown Charlotte, and at 7:30 AM Suzanna will have surgery. Dr. Gazak will make in incision somewhere between where her leg joins up with the rest of her body. He will go in and disconnect the ureter tube and sew it to the top of her skin, where he made the initial incision. She will actually urinate out of this tiny slit, and the urine will drain into her diaper.
Doing this will allow the dilation in the kidney and ureter tube to go down. Once the dilation has gone down (approximately 3 to 6 months), we will go back to Presbyterian and Dr. Gazak will then connect the ureter tube to the correct spot on the bladder.
That's where we are right now. John and I are doing ok. We are glad that the problem was caught early and that once the surgery is preformed she will be as good as new. However, no one wants their 4 week old child to have to have surgery of any kind! Please say a prayer for her, and for John and I.
I will update facebook once her surgery is finished and she is out of recovery to let everyone know how she is doing.
John and I appreciate all the prayers and concern that we have received so far; and could not be more grateful on this Thanksgiving Day for such wonderful family and friends.
Much love, Carly