"We need to meet in the conference room, and plan on about an hour," the doctor said. Immediately, my heart sank. You don't need a one-hour private meeting for good news. What were they going to tell us about our two-day-old baby? I grabbed my notebook, kissed my baby in the NICU, and hand-in-hand with my husband walked down the hall to a room filled with teaching material, long tables, and cold chairs. The neonatologist, pediatric neurosurgeon, and head NICU nurse all walked in with somber faces.
We sat wide-eyed as they explained her diagnosis: Lissencephaly. I feverishly took notes: about nerve migration disorders that caused her brain not to fully form, about cognitive and motor delays, about cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation and seizures (I even misspelled the word as "seisures"). I wrote the questions as they explained the various reasons why it may have happened. There were some tears as what they were saying was processed in my head. But I held back so I could ask questions, learn, educate myself.
And then they left, told us to take our time, and we were alone. In that big room with so many tables and stuff piled against the wall. With a tiny tissue box that they had to go out to get from another room. With the notebook and notes sitting open in front of us, staring at us in black and white, information scrawled about my baby. My baby.
"He's good. He's good. He.is.good."
I had to repeat it over and over. We knew it was true. He was good. He is good. He's good. In that moment, a moment that no parents ever should experience, that's all we could say. There was nothing more to say.
That day our hearts broke like never before. That was one year ago today. My mother's heart has been crushed for a year.
And yet, we can say still a year later, He is good.