Bilateral Fetal Pyelectasis – An abnormal finding during pregnancy

After watching bubzvlog on an abnormal finding during pregnancy (thank goodness all is good now following further tests), memories of my own pregnancy scare came flooding back.  Pregnancy is scary enough with so many unknown variables.  Throw an abnormal or unusual finding into the mix and you get one big bag of stress and confusion.

So when I was 21 weeks pregnant with Baby E, he was diagnosed with bilateral fetal pyelectasis as both his kidneys measured at 7 mm (the normal range is less than 3 mm).  What the heck is that?  It means both his kidneys were swollen and a lot bigger than they should be.

Being the ignoramus that I was / am, I decided to Google it to find out more information.  Basically, having bilateral fetal pyelactasis means:

1) The kidneys are just under-developed compared to the rest of the body and will sort themselves out when the baby is born

2) It is a soft marker for down’s syndrome — but soft markers are only ever relevant when they come together with other soft markers and cannot just standalone and he had no other markers

3) His kidneys will be problematic at birth and cause him urinary tract infection (and symptoms related to UTI) or kidney problems and may require medication

Obviously I worried about it and prayed that Baby E would be ok and really annoyed my friends, and anyone who would ask about the baby, by talking about it at length.  At his 30 week scan, it seemed like one kidney had gone down but the other was just mildly inflamed.  This was a good sign because it meant that his kidneys were developing.  My mother was super calm about it and just said, “Why are you worried? It just means that his kidneys are developing slower than other parts of his body. But they will be fine!”  Yes, I guess she can add antenatal medicine to her mantel of other degrees. (Inside joke, she only has one degree – a degree in Law).

But having an abnormal finding during pregnancy is never easy because nobody can see the baby in your womb – except God.  This is an extract of an entry I wrote in my paper diary when I was 26 weeks pregnant,

One of the things I realize about being pregnant is that you are completely living in faith.  You have to trust the Lord that He is in control and you have to trust the doctors when they give you advice.  It really is a step of faith everyday because you can’t see into your womb, you don’t know what is happening inside.  God only knows – literally!

I have to have faith that E will be all right and likewise he has to have faith and trust that I’ll take care of him when he’s born!  [And we both have to have faith that God will take care of us!]

Just as a quick aside, I think birth is rather like death.  The baby in the womb cannot comprehend what life is like on the outside.  He cannot comprehend what a rose smells like, what fresh buttered popcorn tastes like and what a field full of flowers looks like.  We can describe it to him, but until he is here, he will never understand.  To him, his understanding of the world is just the water and the placenta.  Likewise, the Lord can describe heaven to us in His word, but until the time comes and when we are finally there – only then will we be able to truly grasp hold of what it is like.

When Baby E was born, he was born perfectly healthy and the next day when the hospital did an ultrasound on his kidneys they found they were only slightly swollen and were perfectly fine.  The pediatrician, Dr Terence Tan, said that his kidneys were completely normal (albeit still slightly swollen) and scheduled a six month ultrasound so that we will be able to “close this chapter” once and for all.

On the day Baby E and I were discharged, on the very cover of MIND YOUR BODY (the health supplement of The Straits Times, Singapore’s main broadsheet), was an article of fetal pyelectasis.  Seriously, God has a sense of humour.


So now that Baby E is six months, I will soon be bringing him for his ultrasound.  So far, he hasn’t had any unexplained fever (only once, but I’m not sure because it’s due to UTI) and It seems like a lifetime ago that we had this scare but I know for some expectant mothers the fear and stress is real and profound.  I guess there really is not advice that I can give but to say, I know what you are going through sister. 



2 thoughts on “Bilateral Fetal Pyelectasis – An abnormal finding during pregnancy”

  1. I just wanted to let you know your story has helped to put my mind at as much ease as possible right now, so thank you!!

    1. So nice of you to drop by and write this note. I am so happy to hear that my story helped ease your mind. I hope all is ok with your baby?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s