Sitting on the firm blue and green couch, the office-sized furniture barely fits both Jason and me. The pediatric cardiologist sent us across the hall after an hour-long echocardiogram. A hundred shots of Baby Sprout’s heart, many different recordings of the blood flow, and several screen shots filled with blue and orange streaks denoting the blood flow direction–all lead up to the final verdict.
For the past few weeks, three different Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors insisted there was a heart defect.
“There is at least one, if not two, severe defects. The fluid around the heart is particularly concerning,” said the first doctor.
“The hole is right there,” said the second doctor, defiantly punching the screen with his index finger, denoting the zoomed-in blurry image of Sprout’s heart. “I want to see you back in one week to see if she is still with us,” concluded the second doctor.
“This constellation of problems is probably indicative of a genetic disorder. It is most likely what Sophia had,” concluded the third doctor.
And now, as my worried eyes widen, my jaw stays clenched (yet simultaneously feeling like it dropped to the floor). Listening to every word the pediatric cardiologist divulges, I wait for the “but”. It never comes.
“I don’t see any evidence of a heart defect.”
“The fluid around the heart is minimal, and is not a concern unless there are other heart problems.”
“The septum has a thin spot at the bottom, so when not seen at the right angle can appear to have a hole. I got a shot at the right angle. I don’t see a hole.”
“We can debunk the idea that there is a constellation of symptoms indicative of a big problem.”
Leaving the doctor’s office, with few questions left to be asked, shock settles in. Tears of relief, joy, and utter disbelief stream down our faces. Amongst the entirely empty chairs surrounding the white cinderblock walls, we hug. For the first time since 17 weeks, we got good news. We got fantastic news. We got news that seemed impossible.
While we still have a long way to go, Sprout continues to grow on target, wiggle herself, and slowly lets her presence be known through tiny bumps and knocks from within. Even though her hands and feet might still not be moving as we’d like, we have been shown just how doctors don’t have all the answers. We now understand that doctors make mistakes (even huge ones). We now know we did right by cutting ties with the toxic doctors.