Elijah’s Kidneys – A GOOD Report!

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Getting ready for the test

Last Wednesday, we took Elijah to the St. Louis Children’s hospital for follow up on the kidney problem detected in pregnancy.

Ever since we were referred to a specialist at 26 weeks, it has been suggested that only the left kidney is healthy and functioning, with the right kidney missing from where it should be. Instead, a small cystic structure was found lower in the pelvis. Since the left kidney appeared to be functioning okay through the end of the pregnancy, the plan was for follow up at 2 weeks of age.

So yesterday was the day. We were expecting to get a clearer picture of what was going on. As we made the drive there, it felt so good just to have him here. We had made it this far, and we were trusting God for a good report.

First we had an ultrasound performed on his kidneys and urinary system.

From the sonographer we learned that there was no right kidney where it should be, and the cystic structure was still there. The left kidney still looked normal, with just a mild amount of dilation. We pretty much saw exactly what was seen during my pregnancy.

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Here he is getting the sonogram done. He was the cutest little patient!

We then saw the pediatric urologist, Dr. C, who had been reviewing all of my sonograms up to this point. He said that Elijah’s left kidney looks very good and has grown larger than a normal newborn kidney to compensate for the right(this is good). It appears to be effectively doing the work of two. Based on the ultrasound, Dr. C does not think the left kidney has a blockage or reflux, the two problems they were concerned about. This is great news! The amount of dilation found in this kidney is minor and will likely resolve. The right cystic structure is small and should not need removed or cause a problem. We will have a follow up ultrasound in 6 months to check on the good kidney and make sure that it still looks okay.

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Happy Daddy!

Dr. C said that the kidneys start forming between 6-7 weeks of pregnancy. They actually start out low in the pelvis and as the baby grows, travel up to where they are supposed to be. Likely, there was some kind of blockage in Elijah’s right kidney very early in formation, which caused cysts to develop, and prevented it from traveling up to the correct place. Instead it sort of died off.  We are so grateful that only one side was affected.

HERE is the best news…The doctor said that Elijah will be able to do everything that normal kids do: play, ride a bike, go sledding, and even participate in most sports! He is expected to live a normal, full life, with no problems at all! Yay!!!

We are so excited and thankful for this report. We have truly experienced joy after joy with Elijah’s arrival. After feeling like this whole pregnancy was an uphill battle, we are delighted with the good news.

We attribute this miracle to Jesus alone. Our God is all powerful and ever faithful. We are believing for continued good reports in the future. I want to thank each of you that have prayed, encouraged, and stood with us. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.

Now we can look forward to snuggles, smiles, giggles, rolling over, crawling, first steps, and all those wonderful milestones that parents are supposed to experience with their kids! I plan on savoring every one of them!

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The Arrival of our Miracle: Elijah Amos!

photo(64)Our miracle baby Elijah Amos has arrived!

Words simply cannot express our joy, thankfulness, and awe. I wanted to share just a snippet about his arrival before I go back into my little cocoon of just gazing at my baby’s face. :-) I can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks…

Monday, August 25, 2014 is a day that will forever be treasured in my heart. I was 38 weeks, 6 days pregnant. After a weekend of last minute baby preparations and grocery shopping, we were having a relaxing day as a family. We knew that the baby was coming any day, and I was hoping it was soon! Adam took Kyla fishing early afternoon and I rested around the house. After a nice afternoon nap, I awoke at about 5:15pm. I had been having plenty of contractions for a couple weeks, but had noticed some stronger ones that day. I began doing some housework and getting dinner ready.

From about 6:30 – 8:00 I had more contractions, but nothing strong enough to stop me from my normal activity, and I even got some nesting projects done! I felt the need to have our floors and bathrooms cleaned immediately, so after diner, Adam helped me. :) I also did a couple other projects that just seemed urgent in case the time was soon! As the contractions seemed a little stronger, I let Adam know that I could be in early labor, but was not really uncomfortable enough yet to think it would amount to anything.

photo(67)Due to my fast labor with Kyla (4.5 hours start to finish!), we had already decided that as soon as I could tell I was in labor, we would head to the hospital immediately. Especially because we knew that I had already been progressing for 2 weeks.

Around 8:00pm, I decided it would be wise to get ready for bed, rest, and if the contractions continued, time a couple to see where we were at. After showering and brushing my teeth, I laid down on the couch while Adam and Kyla watched a movie. My first timed contraction lasted 1 minute 10 seconds. My second timed contraction started exactly 5 minutes later, and halfway through it, I felt the POP of my water breaking! It was 8:45pm. Immediately, I was thrown into full blown labor contractions and I knew it was time to go. Adam jumped off the floor, started getting Kyla ready and said, “Go to the car!” This daddy wasn’t messing around with getting to the hospital. :-)

We left within 10 minutes and met my mom and sister at the hospital. As I sat down in the wheelchair by the emergency entrance, I blew a kiss to Kyla, who was watching from the backseat of the car. This was it!

I got to labor and delivery triage around 9:15pm. Due to a busy night, there were no delivery rooms available right away. We had the sweetest nurse taking care of us, and our wonderful Christian doctor came in right away just to be with us and deliver our baby. While we spent some time laboring in the triage room, Adam and I shared an emotional moment remembering the last time we were here. Neither of us said a word, but we looked in each others eyes and knew we were thinking about the same thing.

photo(71)It felt like we were facing so many challenges with this birth: All the normal stress and fears of delivering a baby, the traumatic memories of our last visit to this wing of the hospital, and the lingering questions and concerns about this baby’s health. In the back of our minds was this deep wondering: can we come here and have a different outcome?? Can something beautiful yet come to us in this place that represents so much pain? We knew this was a different birth with a different baby, but the feelings and flashbacks were all still there.

I was constantly aware of all these things, yet I was also having to focus to get through each contraction. Several times, I asked how the baby was. I didn’t want the monitor taken off at all, and was attentive to the sound of the heartbeat. The whole thing was a very different experience emotionally. I was so thankful to have my wonderful husband and sweet mom there with me.

It wasn’t until almost 10:15pm that  a delivery room was ready for us. My labor was pretty intense by this time, and I soon learned why: things were progressing fast!! We were about to meet our little one.

At about 10:30 they called the doctor back in and at 10:54pm…Elijah Amos entered the world! I heard Adam exclaim “It’s a boy!” We had a son!

photo(66)Relief beyond words washed over me the moment they lifted him up to my chest and I saw his perfect little face. After a couple cries he was quite content. I was in such a state of shock and joy as I held him, and I kept asking over and over again, “Is he okay? Is he breathing okay?” It felt surreal. The nurses kept reassuring me that he was doing well and his color was great! My baby was finally in my arms alive and well.

Within a few minutes, our little guy was nursing like a pro. Adam and I got to spend a precious hour bonding with Elijah before the nurse even got his measurements or footprints! When they finally checked, he weighed in at 8 lbs 1.8 oz, and was 20 inches long!

Kyla, who was still awake from excitement, came to see us right away. She marched right in to the room, ready to see her baby! She even brought her favorite doll bottle, intent on feeding it to her little brother!

When it was time to move to the recovery wing, they wheeled me (with Elijah in my arms) through the hallway to push the lullaby button. My little Esther was in the back of my mind as I confidently pressed the knob and listened to the wonderful sound announcing her little brother’s birth. It was a new day. We were all okay this time. What a beautiful moment it was when the nurse pushed me past the room where we had said goodbye 18 months ago. Though our hearts had been literally broken in this very place, this night, we found life once again.

photo(72)As we settled into our post partum room around 2:30am, it was hard to believe that just 6 hours before, we were sitting at home! Not only had Elijah arrived healthy, but he came very quickly, with no complications, and completely naturally!

The celebration in our room that night was real, tangible, and oh so sweet. We had finally received our miracle

Elijah passed all of the newborn screenings and assessments and we were discharged August 27, 2014. What a victorious moment it was when we snapped him in the car to come home with us! I burst into tears when I stepped into the car beside my baby. I felt like I had been given the whole world.

He has been going through diapers like crazy – yay kidney function! :-) At his 1 week checkup, he was already up to 8 lbs 5 oz, and checked out great with our local pediatrician. We are so in love with this little guy! He is the sweetest baby ever.

We ask for your continued prayers as we take him to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital tomorrow. He will be having an ultrasound done on his kidneys and we will meet with the pediatric urologist to discuss the results/recommendations for future treatment.

photo(69)We are confidant that God will continue to finish His work in little Elijah Amos! Thank you so much for all the prayers and support! We made it here!

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