My life consists of waiting. Waiting in doctors’ and specialists’ offices, hospital waiting rooms….waiting to find out just how much Noah’s brain injury has affected him and our hopes for his future.

We sit next to other parents, just like us. We’re united by a distinct commonality. We know what it’s like to wait. Sitting for hours next to a tiny glass isolette, only the beep beep beep of our baby’s and his or her neighbors’ machines for company. We know what it’s like to wait for hours for a 20 minute doctor’s appointment. Waiting to hear results.

We share glances and smiles at each other. Even though our children may have a different diagnosis, we can relate to each other on a different and deeper level than just a random stranger walking by on the street. I am always curious about their story. What brought them there? But it’s rude to ask. So instead I look away.

The days that we spent waiting for Noah to pass away were absolute, pure torture. 3 full days, we spent in a psychotic limbo. We passed out rather than intentionally falling asleep. We only left the room to use the bathroom down the hall. Thankfully our families brought us food, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have eaten. We expected every breath to be his last, every slight twitch to be a sign that his little body was shutting down.

I bring that up only because today (and tomorrow) we are at the Stollery. While we were waiting for Noah to be done with his MRI, I went to the cafeteria by myself to get us breakfast. Since it’s mid-November already, everything is Christmas-fied. This is the first time we’ve been back at the hospital when it’s been all decorated up and “cheery”, since those awful 7 days we spent there shortly after he was born. I already have a hard enough time without it bringing me back so specifically. All I needed was “Mistletoe” by Colbie Calliet playing over an intercom and I probably would have burst into tears….I was having a hard enough time just walking to the cafeteria!

Tomorrow Noah has an EEG. We’re going to visit his tree again and the NICU too. I have a new picture card thing to put on the “Graduate” wall. It’s going to be hard. Smelling those smells, hearing the familiar beeps.

Maybe I’ll see some fellow HIE parents, just starting on their journey. Maybe I will see some who had the same news as us. Perhaps I’ll recognize that look in their eyes, that look that says that they think they’ve completely cried themselves out, and that their world is crashing around them. In some ways they are right. No matter the outcome, their lives are changed forever. Only time will tell if they will walk out with empty arms or a full carseat. That diversion from their previous path will teach them more about life and love than they ever thought possible. They have many more tears left to cry.

But for now, all they can do is wait.


3 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. We are complete strangers, but I have been following your story from the start. I heard about your story through a mutual acquaintance. My story is different, the diagnosis of my son is different. I, however, understand the extreme anxiety and depression, the countless appointments and feeling like every day is just like the last. I waited 3 years before seeking help for PTSD. Though I still cry with certain triggers that remind me of the hospital (smell of laundry, etc…), it has helped me (i sleep through the night, eat…. things “normal” people do). Thank you for giving me a voice- I feel like you have spoken on behalf of every parent who has walked in similar shoes. Every time you feel alone, like no one understands, please know that there are people out there that see your strength and courage and wish they could be more like you. Seriously, Thank you.

  2. I have no words of comfort. You are a strong Mama. I see your words are already helping people. Let them also help you to heal. You have a great writing talent. Much Love.

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