I’m sure I scared you with my huge stack of papers.
We had yet to even shaken hands and I pounced on you with words tripping over each other.
I saw your eyes get bigger and bigger with each sentence that I breathed out in rapid succession.
I saw you wondering, “Who keeps all this paperwork with them anyways?”
That would be me.
I’d been lied to and disregarded for 32 weeks, and you were my last hope.
You asked, “What’s your biggest concern?”
I pulled out the crinkled paper with yellow highlighter marks all over it.
I said, “This is too high.”
I handed it to you and watched as you scanned the page. I tried to explain what research I’d done and how I was sorry to be bothering you, but you were engrossed in the page.
Your face grew somber.
My heart skipped a beat. I was prepared to be told, “You’re wrong. Everything is fine.”
After all, I had been told that for weeks.
“You’re right.” I heard.
I didn’t understand. My lips were already forming an apology for wasting your time.
“This needs to be addressed immediately.” You said, “How long has this been going on?”
I sat there, shocked. In the entire 32 weeks I was pregnant, you were the first person to genuinely care. At least for long enough to listen to what I had to say.
You said, “You will most likely not make it to term. You need to prepare to deliver at any day.”
I did. I sent up a pack and play, a diaper pail, and got the carseat installed that very next day.
We requested that you be our OB for delivery, but you said that day was your last day in this part of the OB unit.
It was true. My next visit, you weren’t there.
The other doctors didn’t like me. They didn’t listen like you. They didn’t believe I could deliver without pain medicine, they didn’t like that I had a doula, and they really didn’t like that I was young.
The results you ordered the day I saw you came in, and with the ranges for normal that you had told me, I knew something was wrong.
But you were the only doctor that knew what the problem was, let alone what it was called.
I called and begged for you, with hot tears streaming down my face.
The nurses told me you were gone. That they couldn’t find you. That there was no way to track you down.
I was scared. I knew that the condition was fatal for my baby if I went to term.
I began trying to go into labor.
I walked, I ate so much spicy food Bubba will kill me if I ever eat anymore, I did squats.
I tried everything.
Then, at 38 weeks pregnant, I walked into my last appointment as a pregnant woman.
The nurse took my blood pressure. She took it again five minutes later. And again.
Something was wrong. She placed me in a room with my husband and told us not to worry, she’d have the doctor come immediately.
I sat there, sipping water as I was instructed, asking my husband if he thought the nurse had been acting funny.
“Hey!” I heard, from the other side of the door.
You sat down in front of me and leaned forward.
“How are you?” You asked.
“Crappy.” I said, with all the tact that can be mustered out of a 3rd trimester, exhausted and ill pregnant woman. Even still, I was happy to see you.
You grinned and said, “Let’s fix that, shall we?”
I asked you questions and you made sure to answer all of them before having me sign the paperwork. You explained everything and addressed every last concern.
Little did any of us know that a day and a half later, after a long, but successful induction, my son would be in my arms.
Because you listened, we are both alive today.
When you popped in at my 6 week checkup to make sure we were both okay, I was sad that this would be the last we would see of you.
I didn’t find out until later just how hard you worked to come back and make sure I was properly cared for.
You’ll see hundreds, if not thousands of patients in your career, and I hope you treat every one of them as well as you treated my son and I.
For all of this : Thank you, Doctor.
New Crunchy Mom