When Finn was born we knew from day one that he would need a kidney transplant in order to survive. It was as simple as that.
Not the smoothest start to new motherhood, but hey it could have been worse – a lot worse. At one stage there was fifty percent chance that we would not be going home with our baby at all, so as strange as it sounds a kidney transplant is actually not such a bad outcome.
The main thing is that it was looking very likely Finn would survive. And I would not have it any other way.
The doctors said in their matter-of-fact way that our number one goal was to get Finn big enough for the transplant procedure… which believe me is not easy when you have a renal baby who vomits non-stop! The JPEG feeding button finally fixed that issue thank goodness, but in the early days getting Finn to gain weight was one hell of a struggle. He now weighs 8.9kg, which pleases me greatly to say includes a whole lotta chub!!
The goal weight for a kidney transplant is 10kg. But it’s more about the baby’s length as an adult kidney is 12 cm long which needs to fit into a little baby torso. I believe the youngest age they have ever transplanted at Sydney Children’s Hospital is 18 months. So if all goes to plan Finn could well be the youngest baby.
Transplant has always been the end goal, which until now felt like a long time away but time flies and I can’t believe it’s actually almost here!!!
The thought both excites me and absolutely terrifies me at the same time. Whilst the transplant is completely life changing in all the right ways, it is a major operation and comes with it’s own set of challenges.
Kidney transplantation is a complicated process and involves far more than just the operation.
We are currently going through the work up which includes an immunisation schedule, this is because certain immunisations such as the live vaccines cannot be given after a transplant.
The most important part of transplantation is the extensive matching process which takes some time. The kidney has to be the right blood type, tissue type and size. The better the match the more likely the kidney will function well and hopefully last longer.
On average a transplanted kidney will last for 15 years. So when Finn is 15 or so he will need another kidney. And again when he is 30, and so on. Thankfully kidneys are one of the easiest organs to transplant.
We still have a little way to go, maybe three or four months… eeeeek!