Monday, May 6, 2013

Shaken Baby

If you haven’t read the rest of the story first, go back to the beginning of the story first, trust me, it will make a lot more sense if you do.

The day after going to the doctor and realizing Richard was blind, I was off back to the lady pediatrician that had been so compassionate just two days before.

I get to the clinic and she is waiting for me. I ask her if she knew Richard was blind two days earlier when she saw us and she had suspected he was blind.  She then shared that the week before I had come in with the baby another baby boy had come into the hospital with a serious condition called “shaken baby” which I had never heard of. That little boy had been crying for long periods of time and one of the parents had shaken him so hard that he ended up having significant brain damage and died within just a couple of days.

With that as the backdrop she asked me questions about how we had dealt with the babies crying. In shame I cried telling her that I had to leave the room at times and just shut the door. This cry, which we later learned was a huge clue into the problem, was a very high- pitched cry that doctors know when hearing it, that there are serious brain issues going on.  She asked about my husband and I told her that he had to leave the house it was so bad. She asked if either of us had ever shook the baby and we said no.

A CT scan was scheduled for the next day. Looking back, I am amazed social worker had not taken our baby from us knowing what we know now. Certainly in 2013 he would have been taken right away. Back then shaken baby was not nearly as well known. I was told the CT scan would show what was going on with his brain.

I think I was still in shock over knowing our baby would never see our faces that I had no clue suspicion was casting it’s shadow over us. The scan wasn’t done for several weeks. I think we saw a dozen doctors before the actual scan. Each time the doctor would start out saying something like this.  “It must have been so hard for you and your husband to cope with all the screaming. How did you cope?”  After about the third doctor I would cut him off and say, we did not hurt our baby. They all had poker faces so I had no clue if they believed me or not.
Finally the day arrived for the CT scan.  He had to be put to sleep and it was very traumatic.  Of course the scan showed it was not shaken baby but it did show some of the challenges he was facing. To say I was relieved would not have been true. I just knew our baby was blind and couldn’t focus on anything else.

I wish I had been a spiritual giant back then. The only thing that I could wrap my brain around was that God would use his blindness for his good. I pictured Richard preaching for a large congregation. I pictured him leading singing to the song Amazing Grace. There is a line in the song that says, I once was blind but now I see. Of course he would preach on how when we don’t have God as our LORD and Savior we are blind to sin but when God comes into our lives our eyes are opened to his love and mercy. Never once did I believe that God would heal him, not once.

God says that we need to become like little children and believe. Serenity our little 5 year old was doing just that. She believed and she prayed.

It still had not dawned on me that we had asked all along for a special needs baby and that God had given us exactly what we had asked for. All I knew is that our baby would never get to experience the sun rising or setting and I grieved.

So many tests were done. They discovered that Richard had a hole at the base of his brain. They could see that his brain had been swollen but they still had no answers. By the time every test had been done, the doctors decided to med-evac Richard and I out to another base with a bigger hospital to hopefully find some answers.

With no family anywhere close to us and barely a church family since we were so new we had no choice but to ask the church to help us. A kind family took Serenity and Gabriel during the day while Rich was in his schooling. Richard and I flew out on a huge airplane that was a flying medical hospital.  The prayers of a little girl went with us.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "oh crud, she's up!"

1 comment:

  1. And the prayers of countless others as well!