I hadn’t felt Gideon move for a day or so. Deep down I knew he was still with me, I knew he was still here, but I felt like I needed to call the doctor. Problem is, I have been hating going to the doctor’s.
Everytime I would walk through the front doors I would cry. Why? Because I was immediately taken back to all my normal, healthy pregnancies where every visit was exciting and life giving. I remembered what it felt like to walk through those doors and feel joy and now instead, only sadness. I also remember what it felt like that day. The day I found out that my sweet baby did not have kidneys.
To top it all off the nurses and doctors treated me like any other patient. The nurses would happily weigh me and say “Awww what are you having?” The doctor would come in and say, “So how you are you feeling?” To which I would say, “You don’t remember us do you?” Then I would have to spend the rest of the visit holding back tears and cuss words because all I wanted to do was sob and yell.
Then came all my unanswered questions. Simply put it felt like they just did not know how to deal with me. The doctor typed in his computer as I asked him questions. Basically the message was clear “there is nothing we can do for you or your baby now except wait.” Wait? That’s all you have for me?
So I’ve boycotted. Going there and talking to them just set me back five steps.
The other day, though, I couldn’t stop feeling like I needed to go. So I called up the nurse who sent me to scheduling, who sent me finally to the triage nurse. I told her all about our situation, our decision, our baby, and also my struggles with how we have been handled in their office. Her name was Taylor, I will never forget her as long as I live, she said, “Maria, let’s start talking about what we can do to take care of you. What do you need today? You tell me and we will do it.” Taylor…I could have hugged her.
When I arrived at the doctor’s office they personally escorted me directly to a room. Taylor met me there and with tears in her eyes she gently took my blood pressure and checked for Gideon’s heartbeat. Gideon was great, heart beat strong as ever, and I knew God brought me there that day for a different reason.
It is very secluding being in a situation that most people have not been in. Its complex, painful, and lonely. Turns out not even the doctor’s office has seen many patients like me. Maybe one other in the past 7 or so years that has carried this specific fatal diagnosis. Being that our practice has so many doctors it became clear that all the ones I had previously seen literally had no experience with a pregnancy like mine. Why the pretending? Why the speaking as if they knew what they were talking about? Why not just listen? I’m not exactly sure of all the answers to my “why’s” but I do know that the difference in that day is that I was finally faced with nurses and doctors who weren’t putting me in their bucket of rules or “do’s or don’ts,” instead they were lovingly caring for me. At one point both the nurse and the doctor (the doctor I will now be seeing for all my appointments here on out) each said something to me along these lines,”We are going to take care of you, and not just your body and your baby, but you and your soul too.” If words could heal…
This experience surely brought to light a few things I have been learning about God and about people.
The whole experience for me was a huge answer to prayer, I was running on empty and I was really starting to wonder if I would be able to make it through another day. But being taken care of in such an unexpected way really boosted my spirits, showed me again that God always comes through just in the nick of time.
In painful times like this my only hope is to stay founded firmly on God’s promises and what I know to be true. Harder it has been though to really feel God’s love. I felt it at the doctors. As I sat there and listened to Taylor’s words and the doctor’s words, it seemed almost oddly and overly loving. I found myself thinking, “This feels so good, but who am I to deserve it? Why are they loving me so well?” A little whisper came into my soul, “And to think God loves you immensely more than they do. Imagine that…” He does love me and He will take care of me, even better than the world’s sweetest nurse will.
I have been amazed at the power people, friends, and family have had in this experience and how often (daily) God uses them to love on me and show me “It’s going to be okay.” I have also learned what to do and what not to do with someone who is struggling, sad, in mourning, or depressed. I only pray that God uses me someday to love someone the way you have loved on me.
Some, understandably are afraid to talk, because they don’t know what to say to me. Honestly? A listening ear has been the best thing I could ever ask for. I will talk your ear off about Gideon if you let me, so don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there…if not to talk then just to listen.
I have learned that praying for someone, and simply telling them you are thinking of them is more medicine than you can imagine. Everyday I am so blessed by the Facebook messages, texts, comments, emails, cards, and sometimes even groceries or treats just to say “I love you and am praying for you.” There is nothing anyone can say or do to change the path we are on, it is an immovable path only to be impacted by God himself. But your love has truly blessed us and I thank you.
Dave and I will go to the doctor’s again on Thursday to sit down (finally!) with someone who will listen and help us formulate a plan for the next few months. Would you pray for our visit? That even in a doctor’s office God’s plans would unfold and that He would use the doctor in a mighty to bring some peace to this whole situation for Dave and I and infinitely loving care for Gideon when he comes. I pray for patience for myself as each day feels like a year and continued strength for my husband and children.
Next week…I will let you know how it went.