Saturday, November 21, 2009

Clean Bill of Health for Miss Izzie!!!!

I don't think that I've discussed Izzie's kidney issues yet. At an ultrasound around 26 weeks (I had so many I can't remember the exact date...), the ultrasound tech noticed something unusual on Baby A (Izzie)'s right kidney. She called in the doctor (Dr. Lambers, one of my favorites who ended up performing our c-section) to have a look at it. The tech kept referring to it as "the mass on her kidney." I finally just had to speak up and say, "the word 'mass' is really freaking me out. Can we call it something else?" Dr. Lambers looked at it from many different angles and checked the blood flow through it then said that it appeared to be additional kidney tissue. She couldn't see anything that may be harmful to Izzie, so we would just keep an eye on it and measure it along with all of her other organs at each of the babies' growth scans. Once she was out, we would have a pediatric urologist look at it.
All of the babies were born healthy on a Monday morning. That Friday, Izzie had another ultrasound done. She had an extra right kidney. Well, more specifically, a partial kidney. I joke that I was so busy making body parts, I just didn't know when to stop! One week after being discharged, I had to take Izzie to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for more testing to see exactly what we were dealing with. I still remember that first appointment. My tiny 3 wk old preemie who had finally reached 4 lbs had to have an ultrasound (non-invasive-- no big deal), a VCUG and a dye test to see the function in each of her kidneys. These last two tests are much more invasive and my poor little sweetie hated them. Her Mommy hated them just as much. They had to run catheters, but her itty bitty urethra was so small, none of the catheters were small enough. They had to use the smallest feeding tube available. Anyway, with all of this testing, they discovered that the additional kidney had function, but the ureter did not connect to the bladder like a normal kidney. Instead, it connected directly below the bladder to her urethra. Long story short (too late), she would have normal function, but we would never be able to potty train her. She would be able to feel a full bladder and empty it, but always have a trickle.
The game plan was to monitor it with regular ultrasound, then remove it between 9-12 mos of age. The surgeon, (Dr. Defoor who we love) thought this was the best age. We ended up having the surgery at exactly 9 mos old, on June 8th. Dr. Defoor removed the kidney and cleaned up her good right kidney (they were attached.) The surgery took about 3 hours and it was the longest 3 hours of my life. Thank God, he came out and gave a great report. He was able to get in and out with no complications and everything looked perfect!
Izzie was an absolute champ! She spent most of that evening sleeping or awake and groggy. At one point she woke and acted hungry. The nurse brought me a bottle, but said she probably wouldn't each much. I had to send the nurse out for more formula. Twice!!!! She said that was definitely a good sign. We spent 2 days in the hospital and she was released on June 10th- my Dad's birthday. We came home and had a big dinner with my whole family to celebrate Izzie's homecoming and Gpa's birthday. It was a wonderful night!! I got to see my parents and siblings and nieces and nephews, be with all of my children and sleep in my bed instead of a hospital pull-out sofa.
We had follow-up 6 wks later, then this past week we had to repeat all of the tests. Izzie passed with flying colors!!!! Dr. Defoor wants her to have an ultrasound each year until she is 5. As long as her right kidney continues to grow proportionately to her left and we don't see anything unusual, she is golden!
This is such a weight off of my mind. We have been fortunate that at no point along the way did Izzie act 'sick', but still knowing that something wasn't right with my little girl was horrible. I was always assured that worst case scenario, you can lead a very normal life with 1 kidney, but I'm grateful that it didn't come to that. Once again, God has held my children in his hand. We are so blessed.

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