An Update on our Little Girl

On Friday afternoon, I left work and headed to the doctor for another routine weekly appointment. As per the usual routine, the nurse weighed me; took a urine sample; checked my blood pressure; and asked me if I'd had any cramps, contractions, or swelling. After completing my chart she sent me to a waiting room to meet with my doctor.

After looking at my chart, I knew immediately, I was going to be tested yet again for toxemia. When I was 29 weeks pregnant I was tested for toxemia due to my swelling, headaches, and seeing spots but the results came back negative. However, this time, I knew when I had saw my blood pressure had shot up 15 points since my last appointment last week;  my legs and hands were swelling worse than they've ever been; I'd gained six pounds in a week (something I hadn't done in the last month);  and I'd been seeing spots throughout the day,  I immediately knew there was going to be a red flag to the doctor because all of these are signs of the condition. Sure enough as soon as my doctor caught sight of my  tree trunk looking legs when she flipped up the drape cloth to check my cervix, she started asking me twenty questions. After answering her questions, she told me after she finished up with me that she wanted to me to head to the lab and have some blood work done to make sure I had not developed toxemia. 

As the doctor was finishing up her time with me, I asked on a whim if Harper should be moving as often as she used to. I explained to her that she doesn't move as often these days but I assumed it was because she was running out of room. Her reply was for her to move ten times in one hour between 5-8pm. I explained that Harper has never really moved ten times in an hour. She only makes her appearance known in the evening and when she does I only feel her wiggle and squirm a few times. Just as a precaution the doctor wanted me to have some further testing to make sure Harper was hanging on okay in there. 

I was sent to the lab where a phlebotomist did my toxemia blood work then I was taken to an ultrasound room to check on our baby girl. The ultrasound tech was super nice and talked to me the whole time. It was clear Harper was in no way distressed. She wiggled and squirmed for most of the ultrasound. She even allowed me to see her full face for the first time. 

After my ultrasound, I was sent back to my doctor's waiting area to meet with her to go over the results of my ultrasound. However, when I was called back to the doctor's office, I discovered my doctor was rather irritated with her nurse. Apparently, she had ordered for me to have an NST (non-stress test) not an ultrasound and her nurse had misunderstood. Unfortunately, it was after 5:00 by this point and everyone who could perform the proper test had already left to go home. After much huffing and puffing, my doctor decided she'd just look at the results of the ultrasound to see what was going on with Harper and her lack of fetal movement. Thank the Lord there was a huge mix up because upon looking at the ultrasound, the doctor discovered Harper's hydronephrosis had grown increasingly worse and had there not have been a mix up she'd have never caught it. 

Now let me explain and say that we've known Harper has had hydronephrosis pretty much since we found out we were pregnant. Hydronephrosis is when the kidneys swell due to water retention. It is the most common problem found during ultrasounds and it affects about one out of every six babies. In most cases, the problem corrects itself before a baby is ever born. In those few cases that don't correct themselves in the womb, a baby may be placed on antibiotics until it corrects itself. In worse case scenarios, babies will undergo surgery and doctors will place a stint in the urethra to allow for urine to pass through. As of our last ultrasound a month ago, our doctor was sure Harper's was correcting itself. Her right kidney was still slightly swollen but the swelling had reduced and was barely there. However, after looking at our ultrasound on Friday, she discovered that both of Harper's kidneys were now swollen and were almost double their size due to fluid retention. This is a huge concern because due to the size of her kidneys, the fluid is backing up into her bladder and could cause irreparable damage. 

After asking my doctor what I needed to do, she told me she was sending me to see a high risk fetal physician that specializes in pediatric nephrology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (a research hospital about an hour away). Unfortunately, the doctor's office was closed since it was after five so my doctor could not call and get me an appointment. She explained to me that she was very concerned and didn't even want me going over the weekend without seeing this physician but we had no choice. She told me that she'd be calling the doctor as soon as his/her office opened on Monday morning and would be demanding they see me immediately so I was to keep my phone with me at all times come Monday. She explained to me that the purpose of seeing this doctor is for him/her to assess the condition of Harper's kidneys. Our doctor said if the condition is as bad as it appears to her, then she needs to know whether Harper needs to be delivered immediately, be induced in a few weeks, or try to come on her own. At this point, this gave her greater fear than the fact that I could potentially have toxemia. 

So as of right now, we are playing a waiting game. We're waiting for my toxemia test results that won't come back until Monday. If they do come back as positive, there is a potential chance that our doctor may go on and take Harper this coming week. We had discussed this back at my 29 week appointment when I was first tested for the condition because the only cure is to deliver the baby early. At this point, delivering Harper will be safe as she is currently a healthy weight and is considered full term. We're also waiting to meet with the high risk doctor to see what is going on with Harper's kidneys. Then we'll be waiting to see what the actions the doctors decide to take.

But all in all, through this waiting, we've gained a lot of patience. We trust God and know that His hand is in this. This was proven by the fact that there was a mix up in my tests Friday. There is no doubt in my mind that this was not an "accident". God used the doctor and her nurse's confusion to intervene and have the doctor see what He wanted her to see. Had the mix up not happened, Harper's condition would have gone unseen and the risk of danger might be greater. That my friend is God's handiwork and proof that He is real!

In the meantime, Kevin and I greatly welcome your prayers. We'll let you ladies know what we find out as soon as we know something (: Hopefully we'll be loving on these sweet cheeks very soon!


  1. Oh, Sara! That picture of her profile is precious!! We will be praying for sweet Harper and for you and Kevin in the waiting! Please keep us updated!

  2. I got the chills while reading this post - God is SO good sweet friend, and I am so glad that He allowed this mix up in order to help protect your precious baby! Praying for wisdom as the doctors determine the next steps that need to be taken in order to welcome a healthy baby Harper into the world. And praying for some peace for you and your sweet hubby as you face the next few days!!!


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