Friday, July 9, 2010

Did Shunt Surgery Work???

We went home that night after the first surgery what a relief to be able to sleep in my own bed! The next day we went back for an ultrasound only to see that the shunt was only partially working. Due to Jacob's position the day before they had to place the shunt close to his leg which they believed was now blocking the shunt. Good news we still had good amniotic fluid.

They watched us closely over the next couple weeks, visiting often for ultrasound's.. they tried to do an in office procedure to assist the shunt in working but, it was not successful.

We found ourselves back at square one... Would they do another surgery or not?

We remained hopeful knowing that God had us exactly where he wanted us to be even if we did not understand it for now.

Fetal Shunt Surgery... 5/11/10

Monday morning we found ourselves surrounded by the faces that had become so familiar. Seemed as if we should be enjoying a warm cup of coffee and a muffin instead of discussing the possible future of our unborn son. Thankful that the Doctor and sonographer had become so familiar that they felt like friends. We knew that they genuinely cared for us and our baby boy.

As always we began with an ultrasound scan of Jacob... I love this moment to see our little guy with a strong heartbeat, little kicks... As a mother I hate that my baby boy is sick and I'm helpless... No amniotic fluid, and a bladder that quickly becomes distended... today we where hopeful that they would perform the fetal shunt surgery on our little guy even though we were not in the 'good prognosis range'.

Doctor came in to remind us where we stood at this point in time and to remind us what our options where. Overwhelmed with emotions and trying desperately to not sob I was thankful that Matt could talk and tell the Dr that we knew that without the amniotic fluid it was uncertain until he arrived 'if' his lungs had developed properly, that based on the testing we knew that he may need a kidney transplant, dialysis or may not make it at all the other things... Regardless of knowing that we had a lot stacked against us we had decided that if God wanted our little guy He would take him whenever that may be but, termination is not an option and we would do everything we could to help our little boy, Jacob.

After one of many of our heart to heart we got the good news that they would do the fetal shunt surgery the following day! So excited that our little guy was getting a surgery that could really help him!!

We arrived Tuesday promptly at 11am to wait until they where ready for us. Since the surgery is performed in a C Section room on the labor and delivery floor we have to wait until all emergencies are taken care of before going back. Finally about 4pm anesthesia comes to take me back to get me my epidural and spinal tap. I would remain awake for the surgery. I was excited to hear that Matt could go back with me. It was reassuring to have him there and to let me know what was happening when. The surgery took over 2 hours and 3 shunt attempts until we got one that worked! To help understand... The shunt is inserted through a needle through my belly into babies belly were it acts as a valve to allow urine to move from bladder into space for amniotic fluid. Relieved that they had a successful shunt placement and the surgery was over we headed back to the room to wait for the anesthesia to wear off and then head home.

Today was a good day! Our Jacob had a working shunt and for now would give his kidneys some relief and he had amniotic fluid! What a blessing from God!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Test Results 1, 2, 3....

The information was slowly soaking in after our first day of shock. Matt and I spent a lot of time comforting each other, talking and trying to work it out... at least the best that we could. Anxious, still searching for answers and unable to sleep I scoured the Internet researching and reading everything I could through tear soaked glasses. While I had hoped that my research would bring me comfort it left me quite emotional, saddened, and more confused than before! My research found that there are a number of variables to outcomes... Unfortunately in addition to the distended bladder and possible kidney problems, we did not know how long our little one had been without amniotic, we would have no idea how or if his lungs had developed enough to sustain life until delivery. It was official we would have to take it day by day and trust that God was taking care of all of us.

If you know me well enough then you know that I may be a bit of a control freak (maybe Matt too). We both have always taken whatever situation we are given and taken control of it, worked to 'fix' it or get the job done... whatever needs to happen. To find ourselves in a situation with NO CONTROL has been a learning experience that has brought us closer to God and each other. By the grace of God I am learning to take everything one day at a time.

That Friday, we waited patiently for the Doctor to call us with our first set of test results. Our first set of results where not in the 'good prognosis range' but just a little high. Typically, they do not look at these results closely because they don't know how long the urine has remained in the bladder. Saddened but still optimistic we looked on to our next visit on Tuesday when we would have more testing and baby would get 'synthetic' amniotic fluid which is crucial for development.
Tuesday we found ourselves back at ultrasound to meet with our Dr and answer more questions. This visit was extremely painful and tough on me as they inserted the needle to draw fluid off the bladder for testing and then try and find a spot to put 'synthetic' amniotic fluid in. I was thankful that my mother was able to join us. Since the fluid was so low it took hours for this procedure to finish. I was exhausted and thankful when it was done. (Just in case you are wondering... No pain medication ever in these procedures.) It was at this visit that the Dr's mentioned that we have the option of termination until week 24. After hearing this Matt and I discussed what we wanted to do. Through tears we agreed that we would do everything we could and fight this to the end. We would let whatever God had planned to happen. Assured that we were both on the same page and in this together no matter what....we waited for test results the following day. Thursday we would be back for another procedure.

Results from our second test did not show signs of improvement. The numbers had actually gone up but, again the Dr. said that we would look at the final results and see where we stood then.

Again on Thursday we found ourselves back at ultrasound to get scanned, meet with Dr. and pull more fluid off of babies bladder. Dr was unable to call with our results until late Friday...I was dying waiting to hear what he had to say, hopeful and prayerful. Still no good results our numbers remained about the same as the second test which put us out of the 'good' prognosis range. We scheduled another ultrasound for the following Monday. Emotional and crying as I listened to our third test results I told the Dr. that we had decided to do everything we could for our little one and that termination was not an option. The Dr assured me to stay positive and we would discuss plans on Monday.

This was not the Mother's Day present that I had hoped for. After weeping where my Grace could not see me I got myself together the best that I could. Remembering the beautiful blessings that surrounded me everyday! While some parts of my life seemed to be caving in around me, I did not want to loose sight of how fortunate and blessed we truly are!! So, we blew bubbles and listened to the laughter and excitement of an amazing three year old! For now we would do our best to live in the moment and simple enjoy each other. God would take care of us!