Friday, April 2, 2010

Let's Hope It's a "Good" Friday

Friday morning finally came and my mother and I were headed back to Rush to have my fetal echo and fetal MRI. Two nights earlier, I had received the news that the first part of my amnio had come back with normal results. That meant that Caleb would not have the chromosomal abnormalities of trisome 13, 18 or 21. As much as this would put most mothers at ease, it didn't do much for me. What this news meant to me was that my son had issues with his brain development, but they weren't related to those chromosomes. It didn't mean that they weren't related to one of the other 20 sets of chromosomes; it didn't mean that he would be okay.

As I drove, my mom was telling me how proud she was that I was so strong. She told me how she wished she could have had that spiritual strength and trust in God's will when she had given birth to my sister 7 weeks early. I noticed that everyone kept telling me how strong I was, but it didn't make me feel any better just made me feel like they were glad they weren't the ones in my shoes. I never resented their comments, but I felt numbness to their words. What they said didn't mean much to me. What meant a lot to me was that they were praying.

We arrived at the hospital and we were ushered to the registration desk. I was given my written orders for the tests I would be having and we were led down to the MRI area. My mom wrapped her arm around me in the waiting area. She assured me that God was in control and there was no reason to be afraid. Just minutes after those words came out of her mouth, the staff member who had led us to the MRI area came in and told us that they were having problems with the fetal MRI equipment. She told us that there was an engineer looking at it and we should just go have the fetal echo first. We were hoping that by the time the echo was completed, the MRI equipment would be fixed.

Before I knew it, I was laying on a table in a small, warm, dark room. I was waiting for the echo to begin. The technician was a kind woman who spoke to me about her children and grandchildren as she performed the test. We discussed what I knew of Caleb's condition and what I was hoping for as a result of the tests. She told me of her granddaughter, who had been diagnosed with a brain abnormality in-utero and was born healthy. For the most part, we were making small talk to try to get my mind off the situation.

I could feel Caleb moving during the test. He never wanted to be still when we needed him to be. The technician had told me it would take a long time if Caleb didn't cooperate. I was hoping that he'd calm down, but he was once again dancing his Irish jig.

After just 30 minutes, the study was complete. I was thrilled that the technician was able to finish so quickly, and I waited anxiously as the cardiologist reviewed the findings. My mother joined me in the exam room, and we didn't have to wait long before a smiling female doctor bounced in the room. She introduced herself and delivered the news that the findings were excellent. She assured us that Caleb had no heart abnormalities and we would never again have to come to the center for congenital heart abnormalities.

As much as I wanted to be happy with this news, I couldn't be. I had been told that the referring doctor didn't expect Caleb to have any heart abnormalities, and that we were just doing the echo as a precaution. I had set myself up to believe that this test would come back normal, so if it hadn't, I would have been devastated. I thanked God that Caleb had a good heart, but I was still afraid for his brain.

My mom and I were approached by another staff member shortly after we received the results of the echo. She came bearing the news that the engineer was still working on the MRI, and we could wait another hour or so to see if he'd have it up and running. She couldn't guarantee that it'd be fixed that day, but since we had come so far, we might as well wait a little while and see. We decided to grab some lunch in the mean time.

We were disappointed an hour later when we were told that the engineer had to order two parts that wouldn't be delivered until the next day. My mom and I realized that we had no choice but to reschedule the MRI and come back another day. It was Friday afternoon and we were told that the next available appointment would be on Tuesday morning. I quickly agreed to come back at the appointed time and I knew it would be a difficult weekend.

It was Good Friday. We were hoping to go home with good news and I guess we did in some ways. My husband was furious when I called him to tell him of the MRI situation. I explained to him that if God had wanted it to happen that day then it would have. I was amazed at my ability to remain calm and accepting.

Sadly, we would have no new information on Caleb's brain abnormalities to share with our families as we gathered together for Easter. We knew we would be anxious all weekend, but I also knew that somehow, God would allow me to still experience a peace-filled Holiday in spite of it all.

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