Archive | 12:49 pm

What did he just tell me?

22 Jan

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Seth left the next afternoon to go pick up my son Kekoa (he was 18 months old) from his Grandma’s house where he had been staying. The pediatrician, who was supposed to come and look at Oli in the morning, still had not shown up. A little while after Seth left, the doctor walked through the door.

“I’m just here to take a look at your baby.”

I sit up in the hospital bed anxiously awaiting his assurance that everything is fine. “Ok. I’m kind of worried about her eyes because she hasn’t opened them yet. I think they’re just swollen, you know because I had been in pre term labor awhile and I’m sure that stressed her out and probably caused some swelling, but I’m sure she’ll open them soon. Maybe later today or tomorrow. Do you think? I’m sure there’s nothing wrong. They’re just swollen. Right?”

He just looks at me like he’s mildly bored and somewhat irritated because I am rambling at this point. I tend to ramble and talk really fast when I’m nervous.

“Are you going to look at her eyes?” I ask. I am quickly losing patience with his non-committal attitude.

He is looking everywhere else besides her eyes. Her feet, legs, tummy, arms, nose, mouth. Taking his sweet time at it too, I must say. I just wanted to scream at him “TELL ME NOTHING IS WRONG WITH HER EYES YOU BIG JERK!!”

Finally he tries to open her eyes. Oli starts screaming her head off like he is trying to rip her eyelids apart. Which is essentially exactly what he was doing because they were literally fused together. After trying this for a minute he puts the blanket back over her, straightens up, looks at me and says,

“Well, I think she has either really small eyes, or no eyes at all and she will be completely blind. Microphthalmia is what it is called. Do you have any questions?”

My mouth is now gaping open, tears are pooling in my eyes, and I’m looking back at him with a mixture of astonishment and offence. Do I have any questions? Well let me see… I guess I have two. Where did you get your medical license and where do you live so I can come rip your heart out while you are sleeping. Like you just ripped out mine.

Did I have any questions? What a dumb question. Of course I had questions but, at that point I couldn’t even remember my own name let alone think of a way to put together a question out of the millions of thoughts racing through my head.

“I don’t know. Have you ever seen this before?”

“Once. 15 years ago. A little boy that had Fraisers Syndrome. We’ll have to check her kidneys. She might not have any kidneys.” He answers with a blank, emotionless expression.

Again I am staring at him with my mouth open. Did he just say what I think he said? No kidneys? That means death right? I mean, I am a nurse and I’m pretty sure no kidneys means death. Did he just tell me she might die?

“Ok then. I’ll order some tests and we’ll let you know.”

With that he promptly walked out of my hospital room leaving me alone with my new baby that I now thought might die.

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Something is wrong

22 Jan

Right after Oli was born the neonatologist I worked with, that had attended her delivery upon my request, took her over to the warmer to check her out. At 35 weeks there is always a small chance that the baby’s lungs will not be fully developed. Oli’s lungs seemed perfectly fine. She was lying on the warmer, pink and screaming away. The doctor looked her over carefully.

“She looks perfect. Good job Shannon. Let me know if you need anything else.” He smiles at me quickly before washing his hands and leaving the room.

After he was gone the nurse placed her on my chest. I really didn’t notice anything unusual about how she looked at first. After about 10 minutes I did think that it was strange that she wouldn’t open her eyes. My son had opened his eyes right away after he was born. Oli seemed to have hers tightly squeezed shut. I quickly ignored the small nagging feeling in my chest. The feeling that had all of a sudden returned. Sneaking its way through my heart.

Something is wrong with her.

After about a half an hour the nurse took her back to the nursery to clean her up, give her her vaccines and put medication in her eyes. These are things that the hospital does with all newborns. Seth went with the nurse to watch over our new daughter. A little while later he came back and told me that she was a little bit cold so they had placed her under a warmer to get her temperature up. Then he said something that made that nagging feeling grow a little bit stronger.

“The nurse couldn’t get her eyes open to put the eye drops in. She said that she is concerned that her eyes may still be fused shut.” He is looking at me with a significant amount of fear in his eyes.

“What? That doesn’t make any sense Seth. Baby’s eyes stop being fused after about 24-25 weeks. She’s 35weeks! No. They’re not fused shut. They’re just swollen. I’m sure they will be fine in the morning.”

“Well, maybe. But the nurse is going to call her pediatrician right away in the morning to come and look at her. I’m sure you’re right. They’re probably just swollen.” He looks slightly more relieved relying on my medical knowledge of newborns.

Deep down I knew that something was not right with her eyes. I knew that she should have opened them or at the very least the nurse should have been able to open them. I had to ignore those feelings though. I had to make myself believe that she was fine. I went to sleep early that morning after the nurses brought Oli back to the room. But before I did I sent a little prayer to heaven. The first of many prayers for my sweet girl that went unanswered.

Please open your eyes baby girl. Please open them and look at me.

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