I must begin by saying this: Nannygoat stop reading now. Go away. I love you, but I want to talk about this on my blog. I do not want you to know what I am thinking cuz I am mean like that. So don’t read this post. Period. Listen to your mother, it will be a first (hah!).
After Nannygoat (following in her mother’s footsteps) eventually gave birth after 6 trillion hours of labor I wasn’t tired. I was excited and jubilant. My first grandchild was lovely and tiny and sweet. We had been at the hospital, awake, since Friday eve at about 10pm and it was now 2am on Sunday morn. A long haul. After several hours of adoring the little creature, exhaustion settled in. I went home for a shower and to sleep a full nights sleep. It didn’t happen.
Around 4am (?-that part is blurry) Nannygoat called. Something was wrong with the baby. She didn’t know what and could barely get a coherent word out through her fearful hysterics. When we arrived at the hospital, Ladybug was in the NICU. They said she was having seizures and were arranging for an EEG. Results were not normal. They called in a specialist. They decided to transfer her to Children’s via ambulance. It was all overwhelming and confusing. And it was my job to hold it together. And take care of everything. Because that is always my job, it is what I am good at. It is the one thing I feel I am really, truly good at.
At Children’s, they performed an MRI. The results showed two massive strokes with resulting severe brain damage of the left side worse than the right. Another EEG showed decreased brain function. There were consultations and counselors and social workers. Feeding tubes and breathing tubes. Collapsing veins and IVs in her head. No one could visit her in the NICU but her parents, so there were cell phone pictures through the barred windows. There were nights at the Ronald McDonald house and in hotel rooms. There was the statement from her doctors to her parents (while I held my babies hand) that if they (the parents) chose to remove Ladybug from life support that they would fully support that (they screamed no so hard at the doctor, he had to leave for a bit as we collected ourselves). As she continued to survive there were the consults about cerebral palsy, hemeplegia, brain death, mental retardation and on and on. There was 15 days of pain and sorrow and suffering and fear. I was not afraid though. (ok, well that one time when the doc said that stuff previously mentioned it made me run outside and kick a tree, but that wasn’t fear, that was anger). My fear was not held at bay by faith (which I had plenty of though), but by my complete submerssion into taking care of everyone. The new parents, my husband, the new aunty and uncle, and even both my parents who were still there.
The end result was a miracle. Today Ladybug runs around telling Grama she loves her. She continues to see specialists and they are watching her language skills. A follow up MRI at two years showed there was no mistake, it happened. Some of her brain appears as useless tissue. By some miracle her brain re-wired itself. At least that is what I tell myself. Professionally they don’t know why. Her neurologist just says we have to go with what she can do, not what the MRI says because it just does not match. I like that Ladybug fooled them all. There were many, many, many tests to determine why this happened. Even genetic testing. Still no answers why. But they are fairly sure it happened either during the labor/birth or just after.
And so here comes the fear for me. The surprise of what happened to Ladybug is gone. Now I know babies have strokes. As the day approaches for JumpingBean to be born (4 weeks or so) I am starting to have nightmares. I don’t usually dream at all. I want it to be done. I feel like I will explode from the fear and worry. My faith feels lacking and my strength seems missing. I don’t really know what to do with myself. Where am I?? The me who is strong? The me who took care of the entire family when Gramps was in ICU, at his funeral, at the Children’s NICU, when Macdougal kept trying to die from necrotizing fasciitis instead of graduating from high school and a million other times?
So yes, I am afraid. Not really afraid that anything will go wrong with JumpingBean. More afraid that I have lost me. Lost the me who I have been for nearly 30 years. What if that me is needed and I can’t find her?