Sunday, July 27, 2008


Nicholas' pregnancy was a difficult one, mentally and physically. Through some routine ultrasounds the doctors discovered that one of his kidneys was larger than the other. They told us it was called Polycystic Kidney Disease. Rich and I had to undergo genetic testing. Later they told us that what would likely happen is that the enlarged kidney would eventually atrophy and then be absorbed into his body and he would be born with one kidney. They told us it was perfectly fine, and there are lots of people out there that are born with one kidney, because of this, most don't even know they only have one until the existing one starts to shut down.

They told us he had Autosomal Recessive PKD. You can read about it here if you like:

The pregnancy was mentally exhausting, and I was told to "take it easy". I had to have numerous ultrasounds to monitor Nicholas' kidneys. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I kept feeling like I was leaking fluid or something. While I was sitting in the waiting room at my doctors office I was having contractions. My doctor did a test to see if the fluid was amniotic or something else. I was still having the contractions. The test came back and it was indeed amniotic fluid that I was leaking. So he sent me straight to the hospital. I was going to have my baby that day. On the way to the hospital I had to call Rich and tell him what was happening. He took all the kids to a friend's house and met me there.

I had an epidural, because I remembered how marvelous it was when I had the twins. However, they didn't shoot me up as well and I still felt everything. I had some trouble pushing him out, so the doctor used a suction cup type thing to help pull him out. We came to find out later, that the suction was ripped off his head a few times and permanently scarred his head. He has two noticeable scars on his scalp that doesn't grow hair. He was born at 6:01 p.m. and weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces (my second biggest baby).

Right after I gave birth, they rushed him off to do another ultrasound on his kidneys. Both kidneys were still there (the left one was still enlarged). They put him on an antibiotic to help stave off any bladder or kidney infections. We asked for the best pediatric urologist they could find. We were sent to Children's in Pittsburgh. His doctor monitored his progress, ordered bladder scans and kidney scans, more ultrasounds and voiding cystourethrogram.

When Nicholas was nine months old, the doctor decided he would try to put a stint in his urthea tube, thinking that the cysts were coming from backup built in the kidney (called kidney reflux). The surgery was supposed to take place on a Thursday, I think. We had called Rich's mother to come in and help watch the kids the first couple of days. The morning of the surgery, I got a call from the hospital. The lady told me that the doctor wouldn't be able to do the surgery as there was a huge car accident that morning and he was going to be doing surgeries all day. When I told Rich, he said God will take care of it, we're going anyway.

So off we went. We waited and waited, they sent us from one waiting room to another. My mom and her husband came to sit with us, but weren't allowed back, so Rich and I took turns sitting with Nicholas. Rich went and bought us lunch but you can't eat in front of people waiting for surgery, so we took turns eating as well. One of the kids old babysitters is now a nurse and at the time she was working at the hospital, so she came and sat with us too. Nicholas did amazingly well for a boy who hadn't eaten or had a drink since the night before.

After hours and hours of waiting, the nurse told us they wouldn't have time to do the surgery today, and the doctor had used up his allotted time. The doctor came to us while the nurse was still standing there and said he would do the surgery. He said he would even pay for the room if he had too, because we came all that way and waited. That man should be a saint! Nicholas was prepped and I waited with him. They took him back and I went to a waiting room where Rich, my mother and her husband and I waited. The doctor came out and told us that Nicholas was fine, they were sending him to post op, a nurse will take us to him when he woke up. He told us they inserted a camera to look around and discovered Nicholas' urthea tube was kinked and tied in a knot. So he took the kinked, knotted part out and fused the two ends together. Meanwhile as we waited to see Nicholas, our old friend and babysitter, took us in even though we weren't allowed. And we got to stay with him until he woke up. I ended up staying in the hospital while he recovered.

The doctor later told us that his left kidney is now functioning, not as well as the right one. But it works. He also told us the kidney will always be enlarged, mainly because it was enlarged for so long.

Nicholas means "victory of the people" Aaron means "enlightened". We named him these two names for a reason. He is named Nicholas after Rich's great grandfather, who traveled here from Italy. He overcame so many obstacles on his journey, just as our Nicholas did. Nicholas is also named because of his victory over his obstacles and struggles. He keeps overcoming them and he is victorious. Aaron because God showed us the problems, he "enlightened" us and we made decisions based on the information we received.

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