Saturday, January 31, 2009

Forgiveness?

He probably doesn't know how big his role was in my story.

He probably doesn't know that for years in that room I spoke his name through tears of anger.

He probably doesn't know that I finally forgave him and thought I was healed but when I saw him 4 years later... heard his voice... my hands shaking... I ran to my car and sobbed and sobbed. I may have forgiven, but I will never forget.

"Your fetuses are dead."
I don't know what ripped through me more- the fact that he told me the two babies I was planning to deliver that night were dead, or that he called them fetuses.
"Fetuses?"
Do you know who I am?? I am those fetuses mother- or am I simply the host womb- or is there some other technical term for me???
Fetus. I hate that word. When I saw that first ultrasound- those hearts beating- I fell in love with babies, not embryos.
When I would watch my enormous stomach make shapes I didn't know were possible- I laughed at my babies, not my fetuses.
And now- if this man, whom I've never seen before in my life, was going to tell me that my babies were dead, he better get the damn word right! They were my BABIES!!!!

The news he delivered didn't phase me or shake me for a moment. I knew what I felt and I challenged him. Sure- he had seen the images twice of a baby with no heartbeat, but what he didn't know was that he was looking at the same one twice. And it wasn't until I challenged him-physically placed his hand to my side to feel the kicks- that he got a second opinion.

By then my doctor had reached my side, but the damage was done. Somehow by using that word I felt it made them a little less which angered me because even before I learned about them they were my everything.

And so I spoke his name. I told everyone what he said to me. I told everyone who would listen his name and what he did to me and when the insurance called to charge me for a second c-section (from his office) I told them his name too- I had one surgery pal- they took two babies out but it was one surgery and there was no way that guy was going to earn another nickel on me!

But as the years passed my anger began to fade. Little by little... And as I shared my story and those awful words, I would not say his name. The sting was leaving me. I thought I had forgiven him. With my second pregnancy I had made sure he wouldn't be on the floor when I delivered and with my third I was feeling even more at peace... or so I thought.

A few weeks from delivering, I was in for a non-stress test- perhaps more to calm a mom to an angel than to check on the baby of another problem-free pregnancy.
When the nurse spoke his name and said he would be in to see me in a moment- to sign off on the test, I felt something in me go numb. I had forgiven him... hadn't I?

He walked right in, not even making eye contact and he said his name. A name that I had said millions of times. I knew his name. He glanced at my chart and asked me if I had any problems with this pregnancy. It was so hard for me to find my voice that evening, but I did. When I said I hadn't, he laughed and questioned why I was there. For a moment I caught his eyes and said, "I had a stillborn baby."
"Oh. Well this looks fine and healthy, no worries." and he left the room as quickly as he had arrived.

He didn't remember.

He. One of the major players in my story, had no idea who I was, had no idea that his words had held me prisoner for years, had no idea that I had chosen to forgive him, had no idea he had done anything wrong. He had no idea.

I walked as fast as I could until I reached my car. I paused. It was dark. I collapsed in the front seat, shut the door and began to sob. For while I may have forgiven him, I could not (as much as I have tried) forget.

4 comments:

  1. Laura, I can only imagine. I wish everyone working in the field realized what a huge role they play in their patients' lives. I will never forget how grateful I was during Anna's ultrasound when I was frantically asking the ultrasound tech if my baby was o.k., alive, healthy. She so very gently touched my hand and told me she had been in the room during my ultrasound with my conjoined twins. My memories of that day are so clear that it literally hurts my heart, yet I don't remember there being anyone else in the room. I have no memory of how many people came into the room to confirm the "diagnosis"...I have no memory of this lady. Yet, she calmly and lovingly told me she understood how nervous I must be...but, this baby - my little girl looked perfect! I will forever be grateful to how gentle, loving and caring this woman was. I am grateful that she took a moment to acknowledge my grief and loss. To this day, I can't remember what she looks like...during that ultrasound with Anna I couldn't anything see through all the tears. But, she impacted me in way she will never know.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lori

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laura,

    I still need to write that letter on this man. The fact that he misread so many of us, is unforgiveable... I think he needs to learn how to use an ultrasound machine and some bedside manners.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Laura, I can only imagine. I wish everyone working in the field realized what a huge role they play in their patients' lives. I will never forget how grateful I was during Anna's ultrasound when I was frantically asking the ultrasound tech if my baby was o.k., alive, healthy. She so very gently touched my hand and told me she had been in the room during my ultrasound with my conjoined twins. My memories of that day are so clear that it literally hurts my heart, yet I don't remember there being anyone else in the room. I have no memory of how many people came into the room to confirm the "diagnosis"...I have no memory of this lady. Yet, she calmly and lovingly told me she understood how nervous I must be...but, this baby - my little girl looked perfect! I will forever be grateful to how gentle, loving and caring this woman was. I am grateful that she took a moment to acknowledge my grief and loss. To this day, I can't remember what she looks like...during that ultrasound with Anna I couldn't anything see through all the tears. But, she impacted me in way she will never know.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lori

    ReplyDelete
  4. Laura,

    I still need to write that letter on this man. The fact that he misread so many of us, is unforgiveable... I think he needs to learn how to use an ultrasound machine and some bedside manners.

    ReplyDelete

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