Just when I thought there was nothing else the doctor could say to me that wouldn’t offend or upset me, he asked, “What do you want to do?” To me, that question was cruel on many levels. Maybe it wasn’t the question. Maybe it was how he prefaced it….
“Sure, your son made it this far and I didn’t expect him to be here this morning, but now he has a grade IV brain bleed in both sides of his brain.” (Grade IV brain bleed is the worst possible….cerebral palsy is certain) The doctor continued on, “On top of this he, is on 3 blood pressure medications, has a collapsed lung, has blood coming out of his stomach, has acid in his blood, has jaundice, and is unable to breathe on his own. Your son is likely to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He will probably be blind, will have to be fed and won’t be able to care for himself. That’s IF he makes it. I’ve seen a number of these cases. 35% of these babies don’t make it. Now we’re talking quality of life. Is this the life you want for your son? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?” (He walked out to give us time to think about it)
This was it. This was the day. This was THE worst day of my life. In the prenatal consult we met to discuss my son’s fate; the doctor, the head nurse, my mom, dad, Lisa, and me. Life changing. Not an easy topic. In spite of the group setting I had a very lonely feeling. There’s something about a person wearing a long white (pure white) doctor’s coat with a Dr. So and So monogrammed on their chest. The words that came out of his mouth were real! They were scathing. I mean they felt alive. Like they had more life in them than William! There was a part of me that thought, “What if he’s right?” I actually visualized my son slumped over in a wheelchair, blind while I fed him. Yet, I could not give up on my son. I’m his father. I’m his dad. I refused!
When you’re sitting in a small, white room where the couch is too small and there aren’t enough chairs, faith takes on a whole new meaning. Despite the strife looming in that room, I could feel faith. Faith has a feeling. I could touch it. Faith had His arms wrapped around me. The doctor told us that 35% of these babies don’t make it. We were going with the 65%! I tearfully said, “Doc, we believe in a higher being. My son’s in there fighting. If he’s fighting, then we’re out here fighting for him.”
That night Lisa and I sat with William. He held our hands. He opened
his eyes and looked at us.