Morton Girl

About Me

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Thrifty finds, DIY, and a soon to be Home Reno...


I love to find cheaper ways to do expensive things. Whether this be through Thrift-store-shopping or DIY decorating, I find a way to get it done. I NEVER shop in the regular priced area of a store. If I do happen to see something I love that is regular priced, I wait til it goes on sale. OR, i make it my own version of it. I love to paint and do crafts. However, being a mother of two and a night-shift nurse, I have very little time to do it. We are also in a rental home while we search for my forever home. So, I am LOVING the blog world right now as I find ideas for my new home. Be sure to follow me so I will know I'm not just blogging to myself. :-)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

27 weeks!

I'm feeling a little stressed that I have only 13 weeks to get Baby Boy's room ready and all of my Christmas Shopping done. 13 weeks sounds like it's a long time....but, my goodness it's already been 27. Gotta get busy!

We are still having a hard time deciding on a name. I've given Neil like 50 to choose from, he's given me like 4...none of which we BOTH like. Oh well, maybe soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Change in suspected diagnosis

We had our targeted ultrasound today at UAB...

Both the ultrasound tech and the OB did a head to toe scan of little boy Morton and everything looked o.k. The right kidney was still dilated (hydronephrosis), but, the left was only slightly dilated. The bladder appeared empty. The past 2 US have shown a large/full bladder. The OB said that we could have just caught him at a "full state" on the others. But, today, it looked fine. With this change, the OB said that she suspects an obstruction of the ureter (between the bladder and the kidney), which is causing urine to back up into the kidney. This is called a UPJ (ureteropelvic junction) obstruction. She said that with the left kidney being only mildly dilated, it is most likely because it is in an overcompensating hypertrophic (large) state b/c it's working extra hard for the right.

So, what does this change mean? I really don't know. I read that UPJ obstruction is the most common type of obstruction of the urinary tract. The OB kept saying, "this is not an emergency." She also said, "don't worry, he can live a perfectly normal life with one kidney." UM, THANKS, WHEW, I GUESS?? I didn't get much reassurance from that statement. Of course, I know things could be worse. But, the thought of my baby losing a kidney within the first couple of years of life makes me sad. I know he can live with one. But, what if he wants to play football one day and he gets a knee to the other kidney?? As much as I see, I honestly feel ridiculous and almost selfish for being upset about this. I know things are going to be o.k. But, I will continue to pray for a miracle and that everything turns out normal. I know that God will not give us more than we can handle. I guess anyone who is a parent can understand that feeling of wanting things to be normal. I don't even like when LM has a fever for pete's sake! I know that I will be o.k. with whatever happens. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13)

She said that we will be followed with routine prenatal care and will follow up with her and have another targeted US at 32 weeks. After that, we will meet with the pediatric urologist once more to discuss an updated plan. She said she feels like we could deliver at Shelby. However, she said this would ultimately be up to the urologist. She said that most people deliver at full term and vaginally with this prenatal diagnosis. So, I will hope I fall into the "most" category.

So, I guess you could say I was slightly encouraged by this visit. There were a few inconsistencies from the previous ultrasounds. But, I am going to chalk that up to more high tech equipment, and experienced staff. The baby measured about 2 1/2 lbs. He was playing with his little feet during the ultrasound (so sweet!) The amniotic fluid was completely normal. We could see the 4 chamber heart pumping away! We saw his little brain and brain stem. With each ultrasound, I am amazed at how God forms this incredible baby inside of me. One good thing about this is that I have been able to see him grow from a little butter bean to a 2 1/2 lb baby boy who wiggles and waves!

My prayer is for me to truly accept that God is in control and that I won't know anything for sure until the baby gets here. I will continue to pray that if it's God's will that this problem corrects itself in utero.

i'll keep posting as i know things...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Good News and Honor

Well, Friday morning we went to my regular OB (who, i think is wonderful!). They did an US of little man & he was surrounded by 18 cm of amniotic fluid! (normal is about 6-20). So, I felt relief for the first time in 4 weeks. So, this means, stability for now. No 26 week delivery or fetal intervention for now. We will go back in 2 weeks. But, in the meantime, I will see the UAB doctors on Monday for my targeted ultrasound. So, my new prayer is that the targeted ultrasound will reveal a less severe situation than previously thought. Ultrasounds are somewhat subjective diagnostic, maybe with a more specific test the increased accuracy will give us good news. Even though my prayer is specific, I always begin and end with "if it's your will". Oh, and the glucose results will not be back until Monday.

On Friday afternoon, we laid Neil's Grandmother to rest. Neil and his brothers did an incredible job honoring his Grandmother. We laughed, cried and praised the Lord. It was a very emotional day. But, I feel sure that Maw Maw Morton was thrilled to see such a sweet sight (her 5 boys surrounded by friends and family, her 3 best friends on the front row in honor of their friendship, her new bodily resting place right beside the love of her life that has been gone from her for almost 30 years)...To hear her precious boys talk about what a wonderful influence she had on their lives. I'm FOR SURE she was happy to hear laughter. She would not want people to cry for her. So, to honor her once more, I will tell her favorite joke. "have you heard about the haunted hankerchief? had a booger in it!"

Well, I'm looking forward to another week. I'm hopeful it will be a good one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wow, what a week!

Well, we had our appointment at UAB Maternal Fetal Medicine. Once again, I was hoping for answers. No such luck. Apparently I needed a targeted (more specific) ultrasound before seeing this particular group of OB's. Well, that wasn't done. Therefore, I am scheduled for a targeted ultrasound on Monday.

After leaving the appointment, feeling both frustrated and anxious, we found out they had called in the family for Neil's Grandmother. Maw Maw had been in Hospice care for a couple of months. However, she was doing pretty well. She became confused Tuesday morning and was unresponsive by 10 a.m. She passed away at 7:30 p.m. with all of her family gathered at her house. We were so glad that God spared her from going days on end in this condition.

She was such a wonderfully unique lady. She was sophisticated and genuine. She was independent and loving. Her favorite thing in the world was to GIVE!!! She will be missed by all of us, especially by her "BOYS" (Alex, Neil, Joel, Casey and, of course, Ronnie). Her funeral is tomorrow and Neil is speaking, per Maw Maw's request. She wrote him a letter several months back and asked him to do this. She didn't want him to tell anyone. So, he didn't. Not even me. She told Neil's step-mom it was b/c he was "right with the man upstairs". Neil is honored, but, this will be very difficult for him. So, if you read this, please say a prayer for him. He loved his Maw Maw SO much and I can't imagine the emotions that he will have as he tries to speak of this love and of God's love for this wonderful lady.

Lastly, I have a doctor's appt in the morning. I am supposed to have an US and my glucose test. I am hoping that my amniotic fluid is stable and my glucose is normal.

Well, I hope everyone has a great weekend.

LOVE TO MAW MAW MORTON. Heaven is a better place as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night!

Monday, September 14, 2009


We have an appointment with the High Risk OB's at UAB next week. I feel very at peace with this decision. Meanwhile, little man is moving like crazy!! He is super active which makes me feel super reassured.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

22 weeks and a generous ultrasound tech

The ultrasound did a few 4d pics for us with our last ultrasound. This is my favorite...

Same picture, just a little closer

Friday, September 11, 2009

More uncertainty, but, hope...

Well, unfortunately, we don't know a whole lot more than we did before we went to our appt. The specialist sort of explained the potential diagnoses to us. However, he said that there can't be a definitive diagnosis until after the baby is delivered. There were 3 diagnoses that he mentioned (one that was pretty bad, one that was pretty benign, and one that was very rare and he said he didn't suspect by our history).

He said that the baby would need testing immediately to finalize the diagnosis so that they would know what they are dealing with. This testing would need to be done somewhere where he has priveleges. Shelby is not one of those places. He recommended that I see a high risk OB. SO, that means that I have to go to change OB's and hospitals. It's not ideal, but, we'll do what we have to do. It's between Brookwood and UAB. I am going to let my current OB help me make the decision on this.

Lastly, he said that the biggest indicator of health at this point is the amount of amniotic fluid. If it remains stable, we can go to full term. If it remains stable for the next 6 weeks, we can be out of the window of needing a procedure in utero (to drain the bladder). If it drops after that, they would just give me steroids to help with lung development and go ahead and deliver the baby. Worst case scenario, the fluid level drops in the next couple of weeks, they would consider placing a shunt into the baby's bladder to create fluid (which will help with lung development).

Thank you for your prayers! Please keep them coming. I was hoping for more answers today, but, I didn't get a whole lot. But, it is reassuring that there is a possibility that it is not as bad as it seemed originally. Even though there is potential for the bad diagnosis, there is hope for a milder one.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Well, over the past week and a half we have had several "firsts"...

We purchased our first official Alabama Cheerleading Uniform. Lanie Mae wanted to wear the thing out of the store...she was so excited!

Lanie Mae had her first day of Mother's Day Out/3K yesterday. She did great! She, once again, had sopping wet hair (from sweat) and dirty clothes. (the girl sweats like there is no tomorrow and plays hard). But, that is a sign that she had dries and they have great stain products these days!

Last night at dinner she told me she read a new book called "I Love Me" (the teacher had told us that this is one of the books of the month). I should've known that would be one of the things that Lanie Mae remembered most (she's a book worm). Then, this morning, she drew a straight line and said "Mama, look, I made a 1". There are so many reasons I love that LM goes to preschool. But, her learning so much is the most rewarding!

Lastly, Lanie Mae started her Dance Class today! She kept saying she was going to the "Dancin' Cital" (dance recital). We went to her cousin's dance recital a few months back and boy has she remembered that! But, she told me that when she got there today she was going to be on stage with her friends. I had to explain that she was just going to class today. She finally got it once she got there.

Practicing before we left...

As soon as she sat down with the other girls, she spotted the mirror. She got up and did every dance move she knew while looking into the mirror. (she did this multiple times during the class and had to her sweet teacher would say "that's so good! now, sit down and I will call your name for you to have another turn in a minute". I wish I had my video camera!
She volunteered to be first in the "dance across the room".

This was super cute! They all did the choo choo around the room. As you can see, Lanie Mae is one of the smallest in the class. She has one girl who is younger than her. The rest are 3 1/2-4. But, I was pleased at how well she did. She cried when we left...which, to me, is a good sign.

And...for the first time in my life, I am truly feeling the peace that comes from prayer. I am praying, my family is praying, and my wonderful friends are praying for my sweet baby boy. Last week was terrible. I literally cried everyday. And, for some reason, I am like a new woman this week. The worry is there, but, not like it was last week. I am giving God the glory for this! We have our appointment tomorrow with the pediatric urologist. So, please continue to pray. It's working, I KNOW!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Life's trials and tribulations

God is in control of every situation. He has his big, strong, powerful & mighty hand holding mine. I should trust him in my trials. I shouldn't worry. Everything is going to be o.k. He comforts me. He cares for me and my family....

These are a few of my thoughts at this moment. Last Friday we found out that Little Boy Morton has some sort of urinary blockage. The problem that was first noticed at our 18 week ultrasound is still there and is even more apparent. My prayer was not answered in this circumstance (i prayed that on the 1st ultrasound, we just caught him at a "full" moment). This was unfortunately not the case. We were referred to a pediatric urologist at Children's/UAB with a preliminary/suspected diagnosis of Posterior Urethral Valves. My OB made it sound pretty benign. However, he called the neonatologist to ask a few questions as well as confirm who to send us to and when. The neonatologist told him that the little one would need surgery pretty soon after birth and would have either a catheter or a abdominal wall stint like thing pretty much immediately. As far as prenatal management, I will have serial ultrasounds monitoring my amniotic fluid level...which, at this time, is normal. This means that he is tee teeing some (which is good). If the fluid level decreases, it means that his kidneys are starting to be affected by this congenital defect. If that happens, we have to have a plan. For some people this is fetal surgery, other times it's delivery- It depends on the gestational age at the time. It looks like his bladder is pretty much always full which causes urine to back up into the ureters and kidneys. That's where the kidney damage comes from.

So, now we wait...We have our pediatric urologist appointment on Friday, September 11. (which I found out today is not with the original Dr. I was referred to-this is where I have to trust that God's hand is in this). I have been extremely anxious about the whole thing. I have read so that I will be educated on questions to ask the MD. Well, in that reading, I have, of course, read some pretty disturbing things. One thing that is a common thread is that this happens to only boys and it happens in 1/8000 births. 1/3 of these kids end up with end stage kidney disease b/c of the kidney damage. I have read multiple stories of kidney removal/ transplant related to this problem. Needless to say, I'm ready to talk to the specialist. I have met a girl through a friend from church whose son had the same problem. They underwent fetal surgery at 24 weeks and kidney removal at age 2. But, she says now, a kindergartener, is doing fine.

Some of my worries, which to some may seem petty, are will I be able to deliver at the hospital where I have been receiving care? (which is where I also work), WILL MY BABY BE ABLE TO BE WITH ME IN THE HOSPITAL OR WILL HE BE IN NICU?, Will I be able to nurse my baby, will he have to have that awful abdominal wall stint thing?, is he hurting inside me with his bladder being constantly distended?, will he be one of the ones that has to undergo kidney removal or transplant?, will I make it to full term?, will he have to have fetal surgery?...

These are just to name a few.

I know that he could have a much worse problem. I know that I shouldn't read internet articles (which i have read mostly medical journal articles), I know that there is nothing I can do about it at this time. This is what I have heard from people (mostly family members). I know these things. But, how can I not worry? What I need is PRAYER, LOTS OF PRAYER. Prayer for this sweet little innocent baby boy, Prayer for this weak and weary mama who can't help but think of all of the possibilities, prayer for Lanie Mae who will, no doubt, be affected in some way by this. She has already seen me crying and doesn't understand why.

Here is a picture of me at 22 weeks/ 3 days...