the MRI part 1

Before Isaiah Jane went in for her EEG & MRI, I did my best to find some personal stories – both in real life and online. Thanks to a few friends and a few bloggers, I was able to mentally prepare myself for both tests. And now it’s my turn to share.

On our way from the EEG to the MRI, we stopped off at the hospital’s ChickFilA to grab some lunch. Okay, just two sandwiches. No fries. No sweet tea. No spicy dressing. A very kind nurse then helped us maneuver our way to the MRI department. Chris bounced IJ around the lobby while I filled out a few forms. We were taken back and assessed by a very sweet nurse, who asked us when Isaiah Jane ate last. I told her that morning, and she made an “ouch” face. She finished her assessment and cooed at Isaiah Jane before she stepped out.

I panicked and quickly did the math in my head (& on my fingers). Somewhere around five hours. To be completely honest, I had offered to nurse her at the EEG but she hadn’t been very interested. I had intentionally kept that to myself, just to be safe. And we were still in trouble? The nurse on the phone had said six hours without solids, and two hours without clear liquids. Breastmilk seems to depend on who you talk to. Nevertheless, we were still nearly an hour away from anesthesia time. Surely we’d be fine.

The MRI tech came in after she left. She said that because Isaiah Jane had eaten when she did, they might not do the test. She proceeded with her portion but warned us that the anesthesiologist might refuse to proceed. The nurse anesthetist interrupted our time with the MRI tech to inform us that the anesthesiologist would not agree to put IJ to sleep that day because she was in violation of the food policy. I asked a few questions, and the MRI tech began explaining the concept of aspiration. Finally, I caved and told them I was a nurse. I also caved and burst into tears. I blubbered on about how small she is and how she can’t go all day without eating and how it had already been hours and how I’d rather her aspirate on my milk than any of the liquids they’d said were okay. 

The CRNA offered to talk to the anesthesiologist and try to fit me into the schedule, but the MRI tech said that another family had already been bumped because they were also in “NPO violation.” Isaiah Jane would have to wait until as late as five that evening. At this point, I was quietly sobbing and whispering that I couldn’t starve her any longer. I excused myself and made my way to the lobby. Chris made our apologies and got our parking ticket validated. He also picked up some contact information to reschedule.
One of my sweet friends from church had surprised us and was waiting in the lobby. I handed Isaiah Jane off to her and made a beeline for the bathroom, saying, “I just need a minute.” I let out a really good ugly cry and a few dry heaves. I leaned on the sink and stared at myself in the mirror. This is why my mother always joked about us giving her ulcers. This is motherhood. After my little moment, I dried my eyes and we left. I called from the car to reschedule, and that evening I wrote a few emails to apologize for my meltdown. The nurse and the tech wrote me back this week, and they’ve been super supportive.

The rescheduled MRI is probably underway at this very moment. We scheduled an early-morning scan, since she’s been sleeping through the night without eating. Chris volunteered to take her by himself, which works out since I don’t want to see her sedated. Looking forward to the text message that tells me she’s awake again. I can’t wait to hold her again.

17 thoughts on “the MRI part 1”

  1. oh I am so sorry…this sounds so hard and I can only imagine the stress I would feel if it were my little one. Sending you postivie thoughts and hoping you already got that text.


  2. I just know IJ will be fine. She is with her loving daddy and her Father in Heaven is keeping watch too! Hang in there mama. She’ll be in your arms again soon!

  3. Rach,

    My heart goes out to you in the biggest way. I know exactly what is running through your veins in those moments. The Jordans will be praying a million prayers for IJ and all the mama courage in the world for you.


  4. this makes me SUPER mad for you AND for IJ. common sense and my LC studies have both taught me that breastmilk IS A CLEAR LIQUID. its so friggin ridiculous that doctors can’t figure this nonsense out. its not a dairy product, its NOT like formula, its considered a clear liquid, and they have studies to prove it. also, she’s a baby and they can’t NOT eat! :(

    argh. sorry, i’m sure you’re aware being a nurse and all, not trying to preach at you, it just frustrates me when doctor ignorance about breastfeeding interferes with patient care.

    1. It was frustrating, but I’ve gotta respect hospital policy.
      This time, we sneak-attacked her with it so she just had a late breakfast instead of starving all day!

    2. but my issue is that their policy is wrong and based on who knows what. Pedialyte safer than breastmilk? BM a SOLID? crazy town! esp considering you said below that the same hospital has a different policy for in patient. sounds like a bad/outdated/misinformed policy that messes up babies and messes with poor mamas’ hearts and heads!

      i’m SO glad it worked out this time though. and i’m sorry for your rude comment below based on some more crazytown talk :-p

  5. You are being so brave and strong. My little son was in the NICU for a couple of weeks when he was born and it is so hard to be a fierce protective mama and comply with a system that isn’t tailored to your sweet girl. You are doing a great job.

  6. I feel for you too, but I guess the drama is lost on me. As a nurse, you of all people should know NPO for six hours, means NPO for six hours, period, yet you were going to nurse her right before the test anyway? It makes little sense to me, other than to be dramatic. I know from experience that medical folks hate when moms come in and “cave” and admit they are a nurse. So, what about it? Nurses aren’t exempt from following medical orders for their babies. The tests were ordered for a reason, obviously. You’re a nurse, not a doctor.

    1. She didn’t have to be NPO for six hours – only two. I didn’t offer to nurse her “right before” the test. I offered at the EEG, a few hours before. If you remember, I mentioned that the gray area was in regards to breastmilk. On the pediatric inpatient floor, babies may nurse up to two hours prior to the same test. In the outpatient setting, they may only have apple juice or Pedialyte, because they consider breastmilk a solid. This is at the same hospital.

      The “drama” has nothing to do with me being a nurse or trying to bend the rules. I simply fell apart, as a mother who is scared for her kid. Plain and simple. I am not a pediatric expert, and I didn’t pretend to be. I didn’t wear my badge or ask to the see the doctor or the printed policy on solids vs. clear liquids.

      Literally two minutes before I left, I explained why I felt so upset, “I understand you have to have rules. I’m a nurse and I work for the same system. I use the same paperwork. I’m not trying to argue.” That’s the only time it ever came up. I’m a rule-follower by nature, so you’ll get no argument from me there. The irony is, my husband took her for her rescheduled test yesterday, and he was back there when they put her to sleep and when they recovered her. I didn’t even go.

  7. Hi Rachel – I’ve been reading your blog for ages (can’t remember how I found it!) all the way from New Zealand. I’ve never commented before; but I just wanted to say that I am thinking about you, your family, and your little girl. It sounds like you guys are having a rough time at the moment, and I hope that you have a positive outcome. It can be stressful, even when you are in the medical profession when it is one of your own going through something. I am training to be a midwife, and yet when it was my own baby niece having difficulties, all my rational training went out the window – what I am getting at, is that I can understand feeding IJ when you did. Sounds like your on the right track with the morning MRI, and having Dad take her as well! Best of luck x

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