Today is one day before Duane's and my anniversary; however, I am leaving to visit my sister and family out of province tomorrow (and Duane works a night shift) so we decided to go out for lunch just prior to my fetal assessment earlier today.
It was a nice time but in the back of both our minds was the wondering what the fetal assessment would show regarding Baby Vaags' kidney cysts... are they getting worse? Is the kidney deteriorating? Etc...
I thank the good Lord that a pregnant woman is no longer required to have a full bladder for fetal assessments. I mean, seriously, is there a crueler punishment for a woman whose current state (border line loss-of-bladder control) is amplified by some technician squirting hot liquid onto her abdomen and then pushing down all around her ready-to-burst bladder?!!! Sheesh! Thankfully, fetal assessments are far nicer than ultrasound... they even have a bathroom right next to the reception desk!
There I am lying on the oh-so-comfy medical bed (designed for size 2 women) with my tummy flying high in the sky. In comes the technician who does the familiar squirt of jelly onto my tummy (at least this one did not feel the need to comment on my "extra weight!") and there before our eyes is our beautiful Baby Vaags sleeping soundly in my womb.
Our technician is quiet this time as she takes her measurements and our eyes are busy as we try to make out the various shapes being recorded. And then you see the feet kicking... and the heart beating... and the little tummy full of amniotic fluid... and finally, the beautiful little profile with a hand resting over the eyes (just as Duane does when he is trying to nap after a busy night shift). To top it off, the little mouth begins to make a sucking motion. It is all so precious and it just doesn't matter how many times I see my unborn children, I always swell up with pride yet am humbled by the privilege of carrying new life within me.
But we are here for more than just gazing upon our darling unborn child...
Finally, the doctor comes in and takes his own measurements and he asks us to come into his office. That does NOT sound good...
He begins by drawing a diagram of two normal kidneys side by side. They clean the blood and create urine as a means of excreting toxins and waste. The kidneys have a little pocket where the urine collects and connects to a tube that brings it down to the bladder. In Baby Vaags' case, seven weeks ago, they assumed the condition was Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney... basically the little pocket that collects urine lacks a connection to the tubing and therefore creates cysts of urine within the kidney. What they expected to see today were either more and/or larger cysts, and an enlarged & misshapen kidney. What they found instead seemed promising...
Baby Vaags' left kidney is only slightly larger than the right. It is lighter which means it is denser due to some scarring, and the cysts have not increased in number nor in size which leaves them with two conclusions:
1. The left kidney has shut down all together, which is okay because this means the kidney will not continue cleaning blood and trying to rid itself of the leftover garbage only to have it get plugged up with cysts instead, or
2. The left kidney HAS function and the only issue we are facing are plugged ducts.
Basically, my dear ladies and gentlemen, your prayers have found their way to our precious child and the result is a kidney that is either functioning better than we anticipated or has at least stopped getting worse. Either way, we are delighted with these results and could not have asked for a more precious anniversary gift!
So thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts... from the fullness of my pregnant bladder, even! Thank you for your time and your good intentions, your loving prayers and healing encouragement. They are working and we are forever grateful to you all.
We go back again on August 18th at which point we will eagerly update you all on the progress Baby Vaags has made yet again. The doctor explained that when Baby is born, they will want to insert dye in the blood and watch over live x-ray to see exactly what function is present in the left kidney. It may be as soon as two weeks after Little One is born but if all is going well, we can postpone it a few months.
Let us pray and hope that Baby Vaags will continue to flourish in your prayers. God bless you all out there!