What a day. This morning, a nurse from the hospital called (a routine call I knew to expect) just to make sure Sammie B hadn't had any bad reactions to the anesthesia yesterday. She hadn't (she'd been groggy most of yesterday, but still smiley), so I reported that and started to get off the phone. Then the nurse said, "and you already have a follow-up appointment to talk to the neurologist about the MRI results?" I said, "well, I assume she'll call when she gets the report, she said it would take a few days." And the nurse said, "she should already have the report."
And my heart, momentarily, stopped because I thought (1) if they sent the report so quickly, something must be wrong and (2) the nurse specifically said "an appointment to discuss" so she must know something is wrong and (3) oh my god something is wrong. I was driving into work at the moment and just freaking out. I called B who calmed me down and said, "you HAVE to relax. Don't read into this . . . " blah blah blah. I called the neurologist and got the nurse, who told me the Dr. wouldn't be in until lunchtime . . . more freaking out. I went into work, did what I had to do, but I was pretty useless, so I came home to sit and wait. And then the call. . . the doctor (yes, silent freaking out because IF THE DOCTOR IS CALLING, IT MUST BE BAD) . . . and she said, "the MRI was normal." And then my heart started beating again.
The last few weeks, days, the last YEAR, have been so emotionally exhausting. B and I are both feeling it. The MRI itself was rough on us . . . he held Sammie B when they put the IV in, and he was holding her when the anesthesia hit and she went limp in his arms. Then he had to lay her down on the table and we walked out. And we cried. I looked back into the room, and she looked so tiny laying on the big MRI table. And B just kept saying, "I hate that she has to go through this." We do. We hate it. Through the NICU experience, finding out Sammie B was delayed, and everything else we've been through, this has been the first time I thought my B might crumble, and it has been hard. But today, we feel such relief.
We still have more appointments with specialists (geneticist next month) but we are so so hopeful that this really is just a process of ruling things out . . . that in the end, we are right where we started ... with Sammie B having "low tone" and nothing more. (maybe some coordination issues, but we can deal with those). That leaves us with some unknowns still . . . but everyone has those.
I honestly don't even know HOW to put today into words. I've freaked out so much over the last year, and most of the worst case scenarios I'd painted for myself were ruled out today. I've agonized over whether maybe Sammie B had a birth injury. Maybe those moments when I couldn't push hard enough because everything happened so fast after the epidural and her heartrate kept going down and they had to give me oxygen . . . maybe in one of THOSE moments she suffered brain damage. And through each of those scenarios, I know I put a little blame (or at least a question of blame) on myself . . . maybe I COULD have done something differently. Maybe I COULD have pushed harder. Those were hard questions to walk around wondering, and not telling anyone (except B) . . . . that I was scared that Sammie B was struggling because I COULD have done something differently (which I realize isn't totally rational . . . I did what I could during labor, and when a baby ends up with a birthing injury, there's not always "blame" to be laid) . . . but I wondered. On top of that, I think I'll always feel some sort of guilt or resentment or anger or disappointment that my pregnancy wasn't so typical . . . that for some reason, my body failed me and Sammie B, and she didn't make it to term. Those questions are haunting, and the extra ones wondering about the possibility of a birth injury . . . almost unbearable. And it was a feeling that I couldn't kick. But now I can.
So, we continue to struggle to be comfortable with unknowns, and we keep on keeping on with Sammie B's therapies, and we hope beyond hope that with the two of us beside her, this little girl will get there, wherever her "there" is. And in the meantime, we just enjoy the magic that is her.