Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Story, Part 28

Since I have been on a hiatus from blogging about pregnancy after loss, Claudia's story, this was the last post I made. Part 27 On the side of my blog are a list of each post about "our story" I have to go through and tag them, there are about 26 entries at this point (I got messed up somewhere along the way with the numbers.... one day I will go fix it. Not today.) I am going to finish her story and...heck, get started on Cole's. Why not? So look for these posts in the coming months!

We had agreed to meet with the doctor over 90 minutes away. I clearly remember the appointment being at 3:30pm on a Thursday. I had been emailing with the doctor and she had squeezed us in. Craig and I drove to St Cloud, MN and arrived 30 minutes early. We easily found the clinic and made our way to the waiting room.

The waiting room was packed. Full of pregnant women, babies, and the humdrum of a busy office. My stomach was in knots. I felt like I was going to throw up at any given moment. Craig was making light jokes, like he always does, and I was shooting him death glares. We must have been quite the sight.

The minutes ticked by and our appointment time came and went. My head was racing, a headache had already formed. What if? What if this doctor didn't live up to expectations? What if she was cold and clinical? What if we didn't click? How was I doing to get this baby here? What if she tried the doppler and the baby was already gone?

About 45 minutes after our appointment time came, they called me back. A nice nurse lead us back to the room. After she sat down with us, the first words she said to me were "I am so sorry about the loss of your son, Curtis."

She said his name. She mentioned my loss. She KNEW. She looked at my chart. I wasn't just a number, another random patient. She took the time, the doctor took the time, she knew. I had my charts sent from my former clinic, but I was still so impressed they took the time to mention him, and by name. I love his name. I love hearing it.

The nurse went over my history. It is typical in a first prenatal appointment. Entire family history. Medications. Blah blah blah. I relaxed some, but this work up took over 45 minutes and I wanted to meet the doctor. The nurse eventually stepped out and said Dr R would be in soon.

We waited. We sat in silence. I often wonder how Craig held it all together. I was the one with the baby growing inside of me and I am sure he felt on the outside so much. Not sure how to get me through, not sure how to get himself through....but he was there and that is what matters.

Dr R came into the room. A beautiful woman, late 30s, with a giant smile. She warmly smiled at us, shook our hands. She leaned into us as we talked, she combed through my charts. I felt an instant kinship with her. I later would joke that I would move her in with us if she would come. I loved her that much. She apologized for our loss. She asked me if it was hard being in a clinic full of pregnant woman.  She asked questions and listened to our answers. She was more than willing to have me monitor with the research doctor in my 3rd trimester. She wanted to see my very 3 weeks instead of the regular four. Eventually, the middle of the 2nd trimester she wanted to see me every two weeks. Starting at 28 weeks, every week.   She wanted me to have regular ultrasounds to monitor growth. I would have the nightly monitoring starting at 28 weeks with the cord doctor and she would review the monitor strips each night. She would give me her phone number to reach her at any time. She wanted a full blood work, something my past doctor had completely missed. She laid out a wonderful plan. She was honest. She said she wouldn't hesitate to put me in the hospital if something didn't look right. She wanted me to meet with the perinatologist for a high risk ultrasound. At anytime, she may transfer me to a peri if she felt I would be better served. The appointment was a breath of fresh air. To have a doctor not rush out of the room. To have a doctor take the time, to listen. My other doctor told me, despite losing Curtis at 40 weeks he would do nothing different. This was light years different. Right away.

I would later discover I would have to often wait for my appointments well past the scheduled time...but it was because she spent so much time with her patients. Yeah, I probably got a little bit extra because of my history. But I have met her other patients, ones non-high risk and they all feel the same way about her.

I remember walking out of the clinic with Craig by my side. We started walking across the parking lot and he took my hand.

"We made the right decision in coming here."

Yes, yes we did.


Ya Chun said...

That sounds like our maternal-fetal medicine specialist - high risk pregnancy doctor.

And you sure did make a good choice!

Hope's Mama said...

By the sounds of it, you did make the right choice. And I know all too well of a husband who tries to crack jokes when you're sitting there feeling like you might throw up in to your hands. Not just because you're pregnant and nauseous, but the sight of other blissfully ignorant pregnant women makes you feel violently ill.

A Joyful Chaos said...

So glad you were able to have such a sweet caring doctor!