The hematology department at the hospital is the scariest, saddest place. I didn’t know, I mean I probably wasn’t thinking but it hits us a soon as we walk in, mom, baby and I. Scary and sad. Everything is meticulously done, everything seems important. Everyone seems somber and quiet. There is absolutely nothing worse in the world than sick kids. It’s like a cold shower as we walk through the long white hallways. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. The hematology department. It is my biggest, deepest fear-this is it. I can’t even think it, can’t even mention it. Not put it in words. Kids here are really, really sick-for real. “Might never get better sick”. I can’t meet the parents’ eyes. Can’t deal.
The waiting room despite its colored walls and festive drawings is just frightening and I feel like I want to be any place but here. A little girl without any hair skips around holding her mother’s hand (I assume it’s her mom) outside the window. She has a purple, flowing dress on with tiny pink sparkles in the skirt part. Girly dress, girly girl, happy girl but absolutely no hair. Her mother looks tired and far from happy but she is there because, “there” is where she is needed. She holds her daughter’s hand as she skips outside on this sunny, perfect day at the hospital playground. Except it’s probably not the perfect day for her, is it? I close my eyes as a hopeless feeling washes over me and I am ashamed over the intense wish of not wanting to be her or a mom that has to go through that. This mom who didn’t ask for this but needs to be strong for her daughter. I know I’m making a lot of assumptions here and I don’t even want to-it’s just this place is getting to me. We don’t know what’s wrong with the baby yet and this is surely a place you never want to be. I feel worried and terrified and guilty all wrapped in one. Mom and I don’t even talk to each other (which is highly unusual) and I know she feels uncomfortable and frighten as well.
When it’s our turn the very quiet nurse in very neutral navy scrubs and a mask over her mouth and nose attempts to joke that baby girl at least seems to get enough to eat after weighing her in at around 13 lbs. She doesn’t know she lost almost a pound in the three days she was hospitalized. We get to sit in a very small, and again, very quiet room for a very long time before another nurse comes in. She seems very capable and professional but I could have done with all the millions of general questions she asks. I get the whole pregnancy complications, medical history, childbirths and baby’s NICU stay, while other seem more pointless, (the brand of my toothbrush, really??) time consuming and frankly nerve racking. Let us see the doctor already!
The last thing the nurse does is putting on hospital bracelets on both baby and I. “So you match” she says, which explains absolutely nothing. I turn cold. What if my biggest fear is just turning into reality? I can literally hear my mother gasp. I’m too scared to even look at her, can’t even glance her way. We sit in silence. The nurse has left us. Finally my mom clears her throat “the bracelets…you don’t think” and leaves the sentence hanging. “No, no of course not, absolutely not, just a precaution of course” and I cuddle my 15 weeks old baby close.
The nurse collects some more blood before the doctor comes in; she is good, steady and efficient. BABY dos great with minimal crying (but I hate to think she is getting used to this). It’s the same doctor from before, he is nice and honest and again I feel listened to. That’s a good thing because we have what feels like hundreds of questions. He lets us know that all the additional tests taken at the hospital has come out negative and even the new ones from today look good. Thank God, this is what we have been waiting for, finally. Mom and I exchange smiles of relief.
I can’t help asking what went wrong that’s awful day just a week ago anyways. Unfortunately the doctor does not have an answer. I just want to know what went wrong but if he says my baby is good-that is all I need. I don’t get that reassurance however, he still seems to think that there is something wrong. She is too little to check a lot of things and again they can’t draw more blood from her little body until she is at least a year old. He doesn’t think the “TT procedure doctor” did anything wrong even if he might have been aggressive and cut too deep, the bleeding should just have stopped on its own. He lets us know not to worry (yeah right) but to still be very cautious. Caretakers have to be alerted to her condition (which is?), and AMICAR has to be on hand in case of any bleeding anywhere. We are also informed that we will see him again in less than nine months (seems very long) but to go to the ER for any bleeding that doesn’t stop right away and to see him again for any questions or concerns. He is really nice and he tries to answer all my questions, the problem is he doesn’t have all the answers to give me…