Please be in prayer for a family who has been deeply on my heart since yesterday when I found out the whole story. Two of our new friends here in California (who we go to church with, but shall remain nameless, other than that) just had their second baby exactly a month ago. It took them just a few weeks to discover that he was not nursing well (odd, because she breastfed her first child until she was nearly 3 years old, only stopping because she got pregnant again). It wasn’t that he wasn’t latching properly– he just didn’t seem to want to eat.
They went to their first pediatrician, the Dr./midwife who delivered the baby. They went to a lactation consultant. Finally, they were referred to a different pediatrician.
What this second pediatrician figured out, after a few tests, was that the baby boy was severely dehydrated from not getting enough milk. He was transferred immediately to the hospital and put on IV fluids. He was then sent down to Children’s Hospital in LA for further tests.
What they discovered is that his kidneys never fully developed in utero (and yes, he was full-term, made it to over 40 weeks). As a result, they are not ridding his little body of toxins like they are supposed to. Instead of being 4.5-5.5 cm, as in a healthy, normal infant, they were 3.3 cm. He didn’t want to eat, simply because he was feeling so crummy.
What this means is that he is going to need a kidney transplant, as soon as he is ready. Luckily, as the dad explained to me, kidneys can be provided by the parents. Even though the kidneys are adult-sized at first, they shrink to the normal kiddie-size after a little while, then grow with the child.
Finding this out yesterday just made me feel so sad/awed by these parents. Once you give up a kidney, you are very limited in what you can do and participate in. This father is a martial arts expert– it’s his favorite past-time, one that he practices daily and has already taught to his 3 year old daughter. After the transplant, he will probably never practice again.
Then again, he didn’t even have to say it– it’s a complete no-brainer. I know that I would give my liver, kidneys, or heart up to Gregory in an instant, no matter what the implications would be for me, if it meant that he could live. There’s just no doubt whatsoever.
But it is still so sad. And hard for the time being. This mother now has to pump in order to feed the baby 24-7, all in order to monitor how many ounces he is getting in each feeding, to make sure he “makes it” until old enough for his kidney transplant. I did that for just a few weeks, in order to regain my milk supply when Gregory was 5.5 months old, and it was hard. I can’t imagine looking down the road at 12 months+ of that, but I know this mom, and it goes against every fiber in her body to do anything different.
So, please please pray for this little guy, barely a month old. They have no family to speak of (his family lives overseas, and she’s estranged from hers), so they can only rely on their friends and church family. This mother and I have discussed financial hardships and how to live on really really tight one-income budgets (she doesn’t work), so I know that even just their 1 week long stay at the hospital in LA took a toll on their already tight finances.