The next 24hour wait is very much a blur in my mind. I know I ate, because my dad and his wife came and brought food to us. I know I walked around the hospital, because I remember feeling great resentment about how cheery they had made the environment (I wanted my surroundings to be just as black as I felt). I know my husband was at my side the entire time, because I remember holding his hand almost constantly. What I don't remember is talking, or thinking, or acknowledging anything. Both my husband and I were living in a fog.
For as much as we, as parents, were being drawn through the 'valley of death', our little Duck was having a hard time, too. In some ways it was harder for her because she was not at the hospital with us. She was seperated from her entire family and had little information other than her new baby brother was very sick. We were trying to protect her from the worst, but she is far more intelligent than we were giving her credit for being - she already had started praying for a miracle.
We finally reached the next evening and the neonatologist returned to our room, bringing the social worker and the duty nurse with him. This, to me, was a sign that he wanted extra support for the negative news he was about to deliver. He drew a picture of a brain to show us what had been discovered from the tests. Our son had suffered a brain bleed in the left ventricle of his brain. The blood that had collected in the ventricle had caused the seizures and some brain damage could be seen on the wall of the ventricle.
He raised his head to look at us and said, "this is far better news than a diagnosis of stroke".
What? This is good news?
The doctor continued to explain that the bleed had stopped on it's own and the blood would also reabsorb on it's own - our bodies are made to work that way. The damage was a small area on the wall of the ventricle that may affect our boy's right sided motor skills and his vision (they know this because the brain is mapped out very well). However, because he is just newborn, there may not be any noticeable affect. As he grows and learns to grab and walk and use his right side, he may simply adapt to any weaknesses and develop normally.
Yes...this was much better news than a stroke, which would have damaged a much larger portion of his brain. The doctor smiled at us and said, "I'm glad my initial assessment was wrong."
At this point, my nurse brain snapped back on - I started asking about care plans, future therapy, reductions in medications, etc. It didn't take me long to move past the dark world that I had been living in and move to a place of hope again.
It took a little longer to reconcile my feelings toward the Lord. The prayer of thanks was immediate, but I didn't have the answer to my 'why?' question. In the end, I have concluded that we are 'vessels of clay' and He will 'have mercy on whom He will have mercy.' I serve a soveriegn God and although I don't understand the purpose in this event, I simply accept that He had a purpose - and I may never know what it was.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than you thoughts. Isaiah 55:8&9
To make the final part of the story short, our little man spent three weeks in SickKids before being transferred back to the first NICU where his seizures started. He stayed in that hospital for another two weeks and then CAME HOME! He came home with a feeding tube in place, but he was bright eyed and active. That activity has shown that his right arm and leg are strong and moving just as much as his left side!
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14
I will expound on some of the details that I've skipped over here (including a commentary about why I still don't support socialized medicine). However, with a newborn boy keeping me busy at home - the posts may be slow in getting out.
And the best babysitter I could ever have: