- my amniotic fluid level is normal, which is especially good with E because it means that he's peeing a lot (amniotic fluid is glorified baby pee I'm told :)), which means that his kidneys are functioning the way they should.
- they still can't tell whether or not he has a connected horseshoe kidney, or just abnormally shaped individual kidneys. (We go back in October to follow up again; the older he gets, the better they can see and diagnose.)
- he does, however, have 3 fluid-filled cysts (benign) towards the left side of his kidney(s): this doesn't affect function of the kidneys, and most people have them and don't know it; it's not as common in fetuses and infants, but cysts DO run in R's family...)
- when E is born, they will do a renal ultrasound to make sure his kidneys are okay; I don't know how often he'll need this done, but I'm assuming they keep an eye on him for things like urinary tract infections and kidney infections.
- his cleft lip and palate also look fine, the width being an average size: right cleft lip, right cleft palate
- however, they saw a little shadow on his LEFT lip (but NOT the palate). So it's possible that he has a slight cleft on the left lip as well: obviously it's not nearly as wide since they cannot tell if it is there or not. In October maybe they'll be able to tell if he has the two cleft lips or not (two cleft lips are called "bilateral cleft lip": as opposed to just one which is called "unilateral cleft lip")
- this is also something they will be able to see more clearly as he gets older. It doesn't affect his surgery either way, nor his chances of recovering well. It DOES affect how he'll be able to eat, so I'm hoping that he'll have a strong sucking instinct to make up for all this :)
To all those planning to visit:
- Prepare yourself so that R and I won't stress out about your reaction to E's appearance. Look up pictures of cleft lips and palates. Look at before and after photos. It really helps. Even with preparation, it will still be surprising. Don't be embarassed, we're going through it together.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions about E's recovery, or eating, or anything like that. We'll be happy to answer, and it's quite complicated. You should have questions.
- Don't worry about your kids asking blunt questions. We have a 3 year old, we're used to it! But seriously, it won't offend us, just come and be yourself.
- Please don't say things like: "I can't even tell." or "Don't worry, he'll be so handsome after surgery." We want to love him the way he is, both before AND after surgery.