Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bye Bye Hydronephrosis!

It was a Friday afternoon late in the day. I was 21 weeks pregnant to the day and we were having our ultrasound to make sure our baby was healthy. We had decided this time around not to find out the sex. I was anxious to see my baby. I had started to feel movement around 16 weeks this time around and I wanted to put my eyes on this babe who I had already fallen so in love with.

The ultrasound immediately started out with a somber feeling. The doctor picked up on the kidneys looking abnormally enlarged to her. She said we would do the complete scan then go back to it. Everything else looked great. Baby was growing well. Heart and other major organs looked normal. Yet we still came back to the kidneys. The appointment ended with me standing in the room sobbing because we were getting referred to University Of Vermont Medical Center for a second opinion.

No, this couldn't be happening. What is wrong with my baby?! The worst is the waiting game. Here it was Friday around 5PM which meant we had to wait until Monday to hear from the hospital regarding when we could get in with them. Little did I realize that this would all result in requiring a lot of patience. I kept replaying in my mind the entire appointment and the words from the doctor; they were like tiny daggers into my heart.

It was a long weekend. I cried. A LOT! In reality it didn't matter what exactly was wrong. This was my baby. I was going to love this creature and take care of it no matter what! God had blessed me with this child and all I wanted was to be able to know everything was going to be alright. I would do whatever I needed to for this baby! As any parent, I wanted answers.

That following Monday they called and got us right in that afternoon. It was confirmed that my baby had enlarged kidneys. The left kidney was more enlarged than the right. But why? What was wrong with my baby? Still, no answers. They said it could be a few different things and we would have to monitor. The next ultrasound would be 7 weeks later. A very long 7 weeks.

28 weeks pregnant and  back we went. This time US (ultrasound) showed us that the right kidney looked good but the left kidney had more fluid.

Diagnosis: Congenital Hydronephrosis. Hydronephrosis is water inside the kidneys. The cause: UPJ obstruction. WTF is a UPJ?! Pretty  much what I was thinking as we were sat down in a small room after the US. My head was spinning.

UPJ: Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction. What happens is the ureter where the pelvis and kidney meet gets obstructed. The kidneys job is to filter blood and remove waste sending it down the ureter. My baby's ureter was too narrow, causing fluid to go in yet taking longer to come out backing up in the left kidney. The cause, that is unknown.

Here are a few things that I have learned:

* Kidney abnormalities with babies are very common on ultrasound ( I was reminded of this often and all the doctors were positive!)
* 1 in 1,500 children are born with a UPJ
* UPJ is NOT life threatening!
* By 18 Months many cases will resolve spontaneously
* Vermont is fortunate to have a children's kidney specialist, Dr Ann Guillot, whom has been with University Of Vermont Medical Center for over 35 years

I had to have an Ultra Sound a number of times throughout the pregnancy. There was a chance it would resolve on it's own before the baby made it's arrival. How I prayed for this to be the case for our child.

After our baby was born, Wesley as we now know him, had to have an US before leaving the hospital. How the condition is handled is different with boys & girls. The US was completed and we were told that it had resolved. This was probably one of the most happy moments (next to him being born of coarse) that I had ever had. They said they would just US him again at 1 month just to "be sure".      

We went back at 1 month, to the day, and we were told that it had not resolved. The left kidney did still have more fluid. I can't even put into words how I felt with that news. Here we go again back on the roller coaster ride of more questions, not knowing, and having to wait. 

We repeated the ultra sound at 3 months. Then again Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morning I was given the great news that the fluid had "decreased greatly" and Dr Guillot believed that we did not have to take any action (surgery). We will recheck at 2 years (14 months from now) and hopefully at that time it will be resolved.


I realize that I am beyond fortunate to have a healthy child. That there are families that battle things much bigger than this. This is my child though and I as a mother could not help but to worry. I spent many sleepless nights before Wesley arrived, and even after, wondering what this would all mean for him. I will never be able to put into words all the things that I felt. I knew it was not life threatening, for that I was/am blessed.  Mama bear's instinct is to protect her child. To keep the child safe. I think what it comes down to is that no one wants to see their child in pain. No parent wants to put their child through tests and surgeries. No parent wants to sit back and feel helpless. We want to protect our children. We want them healthy. I am beyond thankful that Wesley is a healthy boy. I will never take that for granted. I know that each day is a gift, just as he is.

I just love this face!

“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.”~Thomas Goodwin

January 6TH, 2016

Yesterday we had our follow up and FINAL ultrasound on Wesley's Kidney's. We are elated to report that his condition is considered resolved! Dr Guillot states that his left kidney has a "slight" dilation compared to the right yet she suspects that it will always be there and is insignificant. Both of Wesley's kidneys are healthy and functioning as they should. It is such a relief to finally finish this chapter in our lives. We are truly grateful and blessed!

Final Visit at The Children's Specialty Center!!!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Valerie!!! We are so blessed. He is a special little boy!