Soul Snack: Miracle Monday

l c38c16c9b4b71836017bf18351f58c02 Soul Snack: A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Over at A Mom's Life, Beth is hosting “Miracle Monday” where readers share personal experiences with miracles. I have been waiting to talk about our miracle and feel like Beth's idea is the perfect time to share!

Our baby, Andon, is a fat, cute, and cuddly 10-month old. We are so blessed to have him in our family and he has truly completed us! However, the road to his delivery and presence here on Earth was one that truly brought us to our knees in front of God desperate for his comfort and answers.

When we were 6-months pregnant and we had our routine ultrasound (as all mommies do) and me, selfishly, was so focused on getting that “girl” that I was blind-sighted by what we would find out. After our ultrasound, our doctor told us that she wanted us to go see a perinatal specialist to do an in-depth ultrasound because the baby's kidney was larger than they like to see at that stage in pregnancy. She told us, the condition was known as hydronephrosis, where one kidney isn't draining fluid into the bladder like it should. She said not to be alarmed and it was probably not a big deal but just a precaution to ensure things were all OK. Our doctor also mentioned that she's had patients whose babies have had this condition, but all corrected themselves and none had to have surgery. That put my mind at ease a little so I really didn't make an issue out of it.

I didn't think about it much until we had our first appointment with the perinatal specialist for the next ultrasound. Well, he confirmed that our baby had hydronephrosis and explained more about the condition. It is a condition where fluid in the kidney isn't draining properly and is causing the kidney to expand with all the excess fluid. We found out that it is the most common birth anomaly in boys (guess all the wiring is confusing and stuff) and it is not genetic nor considered a defect. He also shared that in like 99% of cases, the condition just miraculously corrects itself upon birth and that we shouldn't be alarmed. However, we would need to come back throughout the rest of our pregnancy for ultrasound check-ups to continue to measure the size of his kidneys to see if it was getting better or worst. Well, needless to say, I lost it. You know, I even told the nurse that I knew God was involved in this and it had to be good so whatever his will was, He would have to provide the comfort and reassurance (and patience) we needed to go by each day.

We continued to have ultrasounds throughout our pregnancy, and his kidney kept getting bigger and bigger. Luckily, it wasn't serious enough where we would need to deliver early so that was a blessing! They were especially concerned with his amniotic fluid since baby's drink in fluid and pee it out back into the womb (I know, gross, but that's how God made us!). Sometimes in these conditions, babies can have even more serious issues if they aren't protected by all the amniotic fluid and luckily our little guy must have been peeing a little bit because we didn't have that issue – another blessing!

We met with our pediatric urologist for a consult and that's when it all hit me pretty hard. Since he deals with these things everyday, he told us the likelihood of our baby needing surgery was high, but that they won't do surgery until he was 5-10 months old since there is always a possibility the draining will work. Selfishly, I had all the questions like, “Will he be able to play football?” “Will he have a normal life?” “Will he just be OK?” He was reassuring to all of these questions saying that once he has surgery and his kidneys were functioning right, you would never know there was an issue. Some of the ladies in our church family were so reassuring to me and I was so thankful for that!

Well, our precious Andon was born on April 19 and his birth was uneventful! He had so many tests, ultrasounds, scans in the first week of his life, it was ridiculous. Seeing your baby strapped down and them sticking things where you wouldn't want them stuck in you makes you cringe! We met with our pediatric urologist again and he confirmed, yeap, all those ultrasounds were in fact correct and he needed to come back in a few months to do these tests again before we scheduled surgery – because, again it could correct itself. We even met with our pediatrician and he wasn't alarmed at all, even reassuring us that it would probably correct itself too.

Well, two months later, we went back in for a test where they actually strapped him to a table and scanned him for an hour straight. Since babies have very little veins (and very little patience) the best place they could get an iv in him was his little head – so we do have a cute picture of him with his “horn” (I'm a scrapbooker and had to document all of it!). We met with our pediatric urologist again…and…yeap…it was serious enough but he still wanted to do another ultrasound to see if things changed before his actual surgery date. We set a tentative surgery date that day for October because I just wanted to have things scheduled so we wouldn't have to wait longer to have his surgery.

In September, we went back in for the final ultrasound and things were getting a little worst so he confirmed surgery was necessary or he could lose his kidney because if it can't drain and continues to stretch out the functioning deteriorates. Luckily we had the date for October so we now just looked forward to that.

I was so nervous and during the entire time this was going on, my prayer wasn't for the Lord to heal Andon (I mean, yeah, I hoped that it would miraculously happen like my OB and Pediatrician said it might), it was for God to give us the strength to deal with whatever was necessary to make him healthy. I also prayed for comfort, reassurance, and a racing mind so I wouldn't have time to think about all the “what if's” about what was going to happen. I was really comforted by a few songs during this time too: Mercy Me's “Bring the Rain” and Casting Crown's “Praise you in this Storm.” You see, no matter what happened, I always wanted to thank God for the storms and rain he brought because I know things could be worst – and better – but, I was going to praise My God no matter what because His way is amazing and He is good!

So, October rolls around and we had Andon ready to go for surgery. When the anesthesiologist and surgery nurse came back to get him, I felt like I was laying my Isaac down, just like Abraham did. No, I didn't see a ram for sacrifice or anything, but my correlation to that amazing story is that I was putting my faith and trust in God so much that I knew my babe would be in His hands, regardless of the outcome, and that meant either continue having his giggling face here with us or in Heaven with his Heavenly Father (and his Papaw).

My baby was out of my arms for 5 hours with the surgery and recovery. I cannot tell you the relief I had in my heart when his surgeon came out after his surgery to tell us he was OK – I am crying right now as I remember it. Our surgeon told us he hadn't had a case as serious as Andon's in a while – his kidney was so full of fluid that when they cut the ureter tube (where the blockage was), fluid just gushed out. I can't even explain the feeling I had when I had my baby back in my arms again…right where he belonged!

Andon stayed overnight in the hospital (with his momma right by his side!). And, he was doing amazingly well the next day that we were able to leave early. Several doctors commented they couldn't believe his disposition – laughing, smiling, talking in his precious little way. We went back two weeks after his surgery to have his stent removed. He had to be put under general anesthesia (since it was a little invasive going through his private part and all). He came through that like a trooper too!

We went back to the hospital in November for our follow-up testing and his kidney size has reduced and is on-track for post-surgery. We go back in April for more testing to test the functionality of his kidneys. We're praying that God's healing powers continue their amazing work.

During all of this we were worried if we chose the right hospital and right doctor since we live between to major cities: Dayton and Cincinnati and both have respectable hospitals and doctors. Cincinnati is rated as one of the Top 5 in the US and Dayton didn't have that remarkable rating but we had experience with them (from our other son's asthma issues), but they didn't have all the “sexy” equipment. After my due diligence, we ultimately chose Dayton with Dr. Nguyen (because we were referred to him anyway from our perinatal specialist). Well, here's how God answered our prayers and affirmed the decisions we made were right!

First, there was the phlebotomist at the local hospital. Andon got a urinary tract infection, which are common with this condition since the kidneys can't drain all the nasty stuff out, and we had to give a urine sample (very interesting with a 3-month old too). The phlebotomist was asking about him and shared that her son had some traumatic surgery due to a premature birth and complications. Her son had surgery at Dayton Children's Hospital where we were scheduled to have surgery too – this was an answer to my prayer. Knowing her son had a wonderful outcome and excellent care at the hospital we ultimately chose was an answer to our prayer that we chose the right hospital. I left the hospital that day with a weight off my shoulders knowing we made the right decision.

If that wasn't good enough, we had another interaction the day before Andon's surgery. We went in for our pre-op release from our pediatrician and visited an office that wasn't our typical office we visited for regular care. The nurse aide who was prepping Andon for the doctor asked us who our doctor was at Dayton Children's and guess what? Dr. Nguyen performed a similar surgery on her daughter less than a year before that. Mind you, this lady lived closer to the Cincinnati Children's and it probably would have been more convenient for her to go to that hospital, but she ended up going to Dr. Nguyen in Dayton. Why did God have us go to that office where that nurse aide worked (we had seriously never visited that office before – it is out of our way)? I believe He wanted us to hear her story and tell me (as the controlling mom), “I've got this under control, Andrea – let it go!” And, I did, along with another weight on my shoulders!

Finally, after Andon's stent-removal procedure, Dr. Nguyen took a lot of time with us and talked to us about the surgery, his recovery, and other stuff. I told him about the nurse aide from our pediatrician's office whose daughter he performed surgery on. He was joking about he was the best surgeon there was (don't they all think that?). I shared with him that, honestly, we were torn with making the decision of which Children's Hospital to choose – after all, they don't just give out high ratings like Cincinnati received for nothing. Dr. Nguyen shared his opinion on that (which I'll leave out), but proceeded to share that he did his residency in urology with the urology “forefather.” Basically, his teacher was like the best there was/is in the study of urology and it sounded like it was really hard to get to study underneath this specific Chief. One more confirmation that God guided us in the right direction!

Oh, and remember me sharing my OB never had a patient who's baby had to have surgery? And, my pediatrician said how unlikely it was that Andon's hydronephrosis was serious enough for surgery? Well, I am so glad I didn't take stock in what they were saying because that could have brought me down big time. I took my stock in my God knowing he would take care of it..and He did!

God may not be here on Earth in a physical form performing miracles in 2008. But, I know 100% that God was the one working through our surgeon's hands, correcting the hydronephrosis on our baby that day! God was in the loving touches of our nurses caring for him throughout the surgery and through that night. God was answering the prayers of all of our blessed prayer warriors in helping to heal our baby. God performed a miracle in healing our child – yeah, we had to have surgery but the miracle is that God did it all in his own amazing will!

For any mothers who googled hydronephrosis and found this post, please email me! I was a nervous wreck just like you and the information I found was so scary that I had to stop researching it. Just remember, God and all of his Wonder is there for you!

I know this snack is long, but I felt like I had to share all of the details – God is in all these details and they truly did matter along our journey. If you have your own miracle, please share it by leaving your story in the comments section or link back to Miracle Monday! I would love to hear about it!

Here's living proof that Miracles do exist!! Isn't he just perfect!!!

Andon is completely healed now! I shared details on his visit in April here.

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on March 03, 2008


  • Beth - March 03, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful miracle of the healing of your son Andon!

    God is good and your son is adorable!

  • Becky - March 03, 2008 @ 7:22 pm

    To God be the glory!

    And you’re right…he is perfect. And utterly adorable.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog - March 03, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

    That was quite a snack! But well worth the digestion. This story has blessed me. What a beautiful baby. God is so good.

  • Angie - March 03, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

    Thanks for changing your M.O. and sharing your story about your son’s condition and recovery.

    On another note, I like your site and all your tips. It is nice to see someone who plays the walgreens and CVS game without buying alot of things they don’t need for the sake of ECB’s. It doesn’t make sense for me to buy another razor when I have three I use and refills that come with them. They aren’t disposbably razors, either, so treating them as such doesn’t seem very ‘green’ to me. I am gettin the hang of it. I am not much of one for stockpiling too heavily on things that are used slowly (shampoos, body washes, toothpaste) I like to have extras, but not 10 extras. I have all boys in my house except me. Regardless, now that I am not paying much (been playing the “game” for about 1-1/2 months now) for toiletrees, I wish I could figure out how to curb my grocery spending. I try. I use coupons and I take ads in to comparison shop (I even price match at Super Walmart), but I still spend over $100/week on groceries. This one is hard for me.


  • Denise - March 04, 2008 @ 12:36 am

    Thanks for sharing a precious miracle.

  • Carrie - March 04, 2008 @ 4:11 am

    Thanks for sharing your Miracle story! He is indeed a priceless gift from God!

  • Susan - March 06, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

    He is truly a blessing. God did answer our prayers. He’s such a wonderful God! Andon is such a little trooper. If you think he’s cute in the picture, you should see him in person. Always has a smile on his face. Beautiful story to share.

  • Anonymous - March 07, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    I had hydronephrosis 35 years ago. I had surgery (1 month in hospital). All of my life I have been fine.
    My son had hydronephrosis when he was born. Your story brought back so many memories. He had the surgery also and is fine today as well.
    I am thankful to God for healing us. He is so good.
    Beth Ann

  • Kristi - September 18, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    What a beautiful story – thank you for sharing! I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile now, but had never gone back far enough to see these posts about your son. The minute I started browsing your posts and I saw the info about Dr. Nguyen, I knew that your story was going to turn out just fine. :) Our son had surgery with Dr. Nguyen at Dayton Childrens twice – once when he was just 6 months old (3.5 hr surgery) and again about a year later. Our little guy’s situation was a little different (he had a serious hydrocele that had to be repaired), and like you, Dr. Nguyen told us our case was one of the worst he’d seen. He still has a scar that runs all the way across his groin. I have and always will be forever grateful to Dr. Nguyen and the staff at Dayton Childrens. They were amazing! I think they take just as good of care of the parents as they do the children – they work wonders! Reading your posts sure brought back some memories – I remember VIVIDLY the fear and the emotional roller coaster that came with having a baby who needed surgery. I still thank god every day for getting us through our tough time, for giving Dr. Nguyen such amazing knowledge and talent to repair complicated medical situations like these and for letting our child’s condition be a “fixable” one. God really is great! Hugs to you and your family!

    • The Savings Lifestyle: Andrea - September 19, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

      Kristi, how amazing!!! My husband and I are grateful for Dr. Nguyen’s experience as you know personally too!! When he told us that he studied basically under a world renound urology Doctor, well, I knew God showed us that the decision we made was right (even though he was showing us all along). We have always had a positive experience with Dayton Children’s and will likely consider them before even Cincinnati if we are ever faced with serious medical stuff for our kids in the future.

      And, regarding the scar, Andon is so lucky because he has a scar that is barely noticeable. I guess when you’re that little you grow and they do outgrow it. But, with your lil’ guy’s, at least he has something cool to show his friends, right??!! I gotta think positive thoughts on that one!

  • Amanda - February 15, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    i am so glad you baby is well! when my little princess was 2.5 months old she got this out of the blue fever, considering she was so young i freaked out and went straight to urgent care. they told me she had a urinary tract infection, mostly likely due to some poo getting into the wrong places. they gave us some antibiotics and sent us home. 2 weeks later exactly, and 5 days after the last doe of meds, she got another really high fever so again i went straight to urgent care. of course they had to do more tests, sticking the needles (soooo hard in babies and ouch!) and catheters…such a whirl wind. she started to look better while at urgent care but they said that they wanted to send her to childrens hospital. crazy me my only thought was “do we really have to go in an ambulance?” those moments make you a little nuts dont they?! well its a good thing we went because while in transit my little almost 3 month old baby got a 103 fever. the fever would not go down and stayed between 101-103 for 5 days. i felt like such a bad momma thinking that the whole time it was due to a bad diaper change. thank goodness (well, thank goodness kind of, but not really i guess) it wasnt because of myself or anyone else…she has a somewhat common condition called Vesicoureteral reflux which basically means that her urine goes back up and sits in the kidneys. the poor kiddo had a kidney infection. her fever finally did go down after the 5th day, ill never forget how pathetic she looked and also how sweet she was. after even more testing and ultrasounds we have found out that she has a low chance of growing out of it and will need surgery at around 3-5 years. sorry this is a long winded “i understand the things youve had to deal with” i hope that my little one is healed as well. we continue to have to take meds every day, which really worries me to how it will affect her later in life. i try hard not to think about any of it, and try not to look too much up. there isnt anything i can do but hope.

    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea - February 16, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

      Amanda, thank you for sharing your story. How terrible with all that she has been through – and you too!! I’ll be praying for her that she is completely healed! Hopefully you are around a good Children’s Hospital. I can’t say enough about the care we received from ours!!

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