Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Four More Days

While at work on Monday, I had received a phone call from a nurse practicioner at the MFM clinic. She was calling to schedule me for my fetal MRI and fetal echocardiogram. I was happy to know that there was a time slot available that coming Friday; that meant I only had to wait four more days before I'd have more concrete information of my son's abnormalities. I knew that every minute between the time she called and Friday morning was going to be riddled with worry. Needless to say I accepted the appointment time she offered me.

During my conversation with the nurse, she informed me that she still didn't have the results of my amnio and she assured that the clinic would call me as soon as they had them in. She also told me that I would receive a phone call from the radiologist who read my fetal MRI images the same day that the procedure was performed. I was thankful that I wouldn't have to wait until the report was finished, as that would take several days. The nurse said there would be a pediatric cardiologist to give me the results of my fetal echo within 10 minutes of completing the study. At least this was some good news for me as I was in such a need.

That afternoon, as I drove home from work, I called my husband to tell him about the scheduled appointments and I called my mom to see if she would go with me on Friday. She agreed to go with me and I suddenly began to feel a change in myself. I began to feel an understanding of this situation; a process that was about to begin.

When you learn that your unborn child has problems with his development, you grieve. Your mind goes crazy while trying to imagine what the outcome will be like. You wonder if he will die before he is born. You wonder if he will die in the first days of life. You wonder if you can handle him and his needs if he somehow survives outside the womb. You wonder what he will be like, and whether he'll be able to truly know you; whether you'll be able to truly know him.

At this point I had absolutely no idea what life had in store for me. The doctor had only told me of the suspected problems as he had no idea of the extent of those problems or what they meant for Caleb. I didn't know whether I should prepare myself to deal with a stillbirth, infantile death, or to be the mother of a handicapped child. I was overwhelmed with grief, guilt and fear. I wondered why this was happening to Caleb; to my family.

Was this all my fault? I have never been one to believe in blame. I have always felt that blame serves no purpose but to make people feel guilty. Humanity spends entirely too much time pointing fingers and not enough time figuring out how to fix the problem. But I suddenly began to have feelings of guilt. My body had somehow maimed my son.

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