On Monday, I took off work in anticipation for that phone call from the doctor. Around 9:00am my phone rang and sure enough the Caller ID flashed my doctor's office name. As I answered the phone, the secretary informed me that I could not be seen at Baptist Hospital as soon as my doctor had liked so they had arranged for me to see a fetal specialist at the Center of Maternity Fetal Care at the hospital where I would deliver. Unfortunately, they couldn't see me until 8:30am the next morning.
So on Tuesday morning, I headed to Greensboro to meet with the physician. When I arrived, I was blessed by how nice the people were at the center. They offered multiple times to get me some food, drink, etc and really went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome. A kind nurse took my blood pressure and weight. Then I was whisked off to a giant ultrasound room. The spaciousness was a bit overwhelming. I felt like I was lying in a delivery room with all of the machines and technology that were surrounding me. It didn't help that I had to lay there for five minutes by myself since the hubs couldn't get off work for our visit.
The ultrasound tech came in a short time later and introduced herself. She was very nice and informed me of all that she would be doing. She informed me that she would do a full anatomy exam but it would be hard to see some of Harper's body parts due to her size as this ultrasound was so late in my pregnancy. Thankfully though, Harper cooperated and the tech was able to see everything she needed and she was able to complete the whole ultrasound in about forty five minutes.
Following my ultrasound with the tech, I was left alone in the room for about ten minutes while she prepared her final report. A short time later two doctors came in to introduce themselves to me. They were both nice and seemed personable. They explained that they were going to perform their own ultrasound so they could verify things for themselves and they'd explain everything as they went along.
After about 20 minutes of them poking and prodding my belly to get views of Harper's kidneys at all sorts of angles, the ultrasound was finally done. They cleaned me up and then sat down to discuss with me the results of their findings. Basically, they told me what I already knew. Harper's kidneys were swelling due to hydronephrosis. However, unlike most babies, Harper's hydronephrosis was occurring at an unusual part of her body. In most cases, babies that suffer from hydronephrosis have trouble getting their urine from the kidney into the ureter. However, the ultrasound showed that both of Harper's kidneys were emptying into her ureter. However, once at the bottom of the ureter, it wasn't going through the bladder. Having not seen this much before, they offered two solutions. One being that Harper has a blockage between the ureter and bladder; the second being that she may suffer from hydronephrosis reflux. A condition just like acid reflux but involves the bladder and urine instead. Basically it's where the bladder allows some urine to pass through and sends the rest of the urine back up. The doctors assured me that both options were completely curable and would not have a lasting impact on our daughter. They even explained that even though her kidneys are retaining water at a rapid pace, she is still expelling quite a bit of waste as my amniotic fluid is not low at all. So it was very encouraging to hear.
The only drawback with both possible causes is that neither condition can be fixed until Harper is delivered. As soon as she is born, she will be placed on antibiotics right away in order to prevent her from getting a kidney or bladder infection from the bacteria she'll be exposed to out of the womb. We then will have to meet with a urologist instead of a nephrologist as was originally planned since now they feel that her bladder is the problem and not the kidneys.
So where does all this leave us? Basically, we're waiting now to meet with a urologist at Baptist next Tuesday at 3:30pm. The urologist will check out her bladder and see if he/she can determine the exact cause of Harper's ureters not emptying completely into her bladder. Then we'll be waiting until she arrives to fix the issue. However, this time, we feel so much more prepared. We know that even though we may face some challenges when Harper first arrives, in the end the Lord is blessing us with a healthy, beautiful baby girl and for that we are very thankful and blessed.