Friday, March 26, 2010

My Heart Broke on a Friday

There we were; my husband and I. Waiting to begin my Level 2 ultrasound at a Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. My husband's optimism was almost getting on my nerves. He was arguing with me while we waited for the technician. He insisted that our son, Caleb, had this minor, choroid plexus cyst and that it wouldn't be a problem for him. I argued back that he shouldn't be so set on that outcome until he has more reason to expect it. I guess we all cope with stress in different ways.

Finally, the technician came in and began the ultrasound. We smiled as we got to see him, once again, bouncing around in his own private pond. He didn't want to stay still this time either. It seemed like every time the technician got him in a good position, he'd move before she could take a measurement!

She was able to go over all the parts of his body and confirm that his bone density was good, as well as his proportions and major organs. And then she came to the brain. I could see the same black mass on the screen that we had seen in our first ultrasound. I also noticed that she didn't pretend not to be measuring it as she knew we were already aware of it's presence.

After the technician completed the exam, she called in the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist to go over the findings. When the doctor entered the room with his resident, he stated that he needed to go over the brain once again since the technician noticed something that she felt he needed to see himself. The doctor looked at the head from several angles and was having a difficult time because Caleb continued to dance his Irish jig. He decided to take a break from looking at the brain and to get a look at the heart.

Again, the technician and doctor spent a lengthy amount of time studying the heart. I was beginning to panic. The heart? No one ever said anything about abnormalities of the heart! I watched his face as he stared at the screen; desperately trying to read his expression, but to no avail. I only knew that he was aware of something that I wasn't.

The doctor determined that in order to get the view of the brain that would be most useful, they would have to do a vaginal ultrasound. Apparently, Caleb decided he wanted to bury his head in my pelvis for a while in an attempt to hide from the doctor. After I agreed, they began the ultrasound once again and I saw exactly what they had been trying to get a look at the whole time. My son had a large black mass in the middle of his brain. I was alarmed as they measured it and discussed what they were looking at with each other.

When the exam was complete, the doctor finally explained to us what he had seen. I remember hearing the words at the beginning of his speech, "What I'm about to tell you won't be easy to hear..." and that is when I knew, without a doubt, that my life was about to change.

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