We are officially full term (37+3 today) which means baby boy can some any day and be ready to survive on his own on the outside! Even though my OB is always reminding me that if things get too uncomfortable (especially given my spine issues) we can induce, I am content to let this little guy come when he’s ready to enter the world. I think there is something special about letting them chose their own birthday! So until then, we remain on baby watch and continue to prep for his arrival.
I know I wrote before about how this pregnancy has been a totally different vibe than when I was pregnant with Porter so for that reason, especially, I am so glad I decided to have another maternity photoshoot. Some may think it’s silly, but I want to cherish, honor and celebrate each unique pregnancy – not just the first one! A special thank you to Samantha Weaver for her artistry and time spent capturing this pregnancy.
Medical Update || In my last BB2 update, I mentioned we had an abnormal finding on his ultrasound. They found hydronephrosis (swelling from increased fluid) on both kidneys at his 19 week growth scan which caused us to need to come in for repeat ultrasounds to monitor. By the second one at 30 weeks, his right kidney had gone back down to normal size but his left was still around 50% bigger than his right, which put him slightly outside of the normal range. We also noticed that he was breeched and estimated to be a pretty large baby so in addition to looking again at this kidney we wanted to check for position at 36 weeks to make sure he, well, knew where the exit was! Right before the last ultrasound it felt like we was transverse but I’m happy to report that he is now in position and I credit Spinning Babies’ ‘Big Turning Day’ for helping me get him there. As for his left kidney, unfortunately there has been no improvement and his hydronephrosis (rated a 2 out of 4 by the pediatric urologist) will need to be routinely monitored beginning shortly after birth. We saw an amazing pediatric urologist for a consult this past week and I am beyond thankful to have the Duke Hospital network in our backyard with sub specialties like this!
Why Hydronephrosis Happens || We were given 3 reasons for the big question – ‘Why is this happening?’ First, there can be a blockage along the ureter line which kind of acts like a stone in a stream; anything above the stone will swell up. Second, it could be urinary reflux (where urine flows both up and down the tract) which causes excess urine to stay inside the kidney since it cannot properly drain. And third… it just happens sometimes. Luckily my amniotic fluid levels look really good so they are not concerned with BB2 having issues emptying his bladder. Apparently at this point the amniotic fluid is basically his output so he is floating his own pee – kinda gross but oddly comforting. Either way it is hard to say why this is happening which is why we will begin with ultrasounds once he is 1-2 weeks old.
So What’s Next? || The good news is, nothing within my birth plan will change and we can continue to let BB2 do his own thing until he makes his debut. Once we start the ultrasounds, we are hoping to see either no change or an improvement where his left kidney goes back down to size. If that is the case, we will still continue monitoring until around 2 years of age and then that’s it! If his left kidney gets worse, or if we notice BB2 is having fever and getting cranky which are signs of a urinary tract infection, we need to have more extensive tests such as a CT Scan, MRI, or MAG3 to evaluate the structure and functions of the kidneys. Until then, there is not much we can do to remain hopeful and pray. And in the worst case scenario, I am at least thankful we are all built with an insurance policy where we only need one kidney to function. How is that for looking on the bright side?
With all that out of the way and only a few weeks to go I am focusing all my efforts into creating a beautiful space for this baby and am looking forward to sharing all the details of his nursery soon. I am still crocheting his blanket like a madwoman and Chris is sanding down, staining, and adding a modern twist to shelves he had in his childhood bedroom that his grandfather made for him.
It’s nice to be able to write all of this down and get it out of my head so I appreciate this safe space to do just that. Thanks for reading and being part of this journey with me.