Category Archives: PVL

One Doctor and A Closed Curtain – Periventricular Leukomalacia

I mentioned in my last post how much I enjoyed hearing how well my babies were doing. What I didn’t mention was how awful it feels when you hear they aren’t doing well. It doesn’t come from a whole crowd of doctors and nurses standing around your babies… it comes from one doctor and a closed curtain.

My first NICU post relayed that both boys had had head ultrasounds at 1 week old and that both of them were suffering from a Grade 1 brain bleed (Grade 1 being the smallest grade of bleeding – small victory). Super common in premature babies, the last trimester is spent developing the blood vessels in the brain, meaning premature babies have very weak blood vessels that are prone to rupture. Alas – because of this – they would have a follow-up head ultrasound in a week’s time. This is the part that I didn’t previously mention.

I distinctly remember the moment the doctor came to talk to me. I just happened to be pumping (so glamorous) and she told me she could come back to talk to me later. Naive me, I figure, no big deal – I’m covered, and so many people walk in and out as I’m either feeding my babies or pumping, whatever she had to tell me she could tell me while I’m “in the moment”. She proceeded to close the curtain and pull up a chair.

The doctor filled me in on the good news first – Fin’s ultrasound looked as it was expected to look, the bleed was resolving on it’s own and his brain was developing beautifully.

Then came the bad news – unfortunately for me, she didn’t give me the option of “do you want the good news or the bad news first?” – I think I’m the type of person who would always choose the bad news first, every time.

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