Today was a long one. Many appointments with specialists in Fargo to check up on little miss. These are the folks that come from “the cities” and only get to our part of the world once a month. They are nice, good people. They are kind because they are only seen by folks like me who have either had a loss or have had great problems conceiving or have some other underlying medical condition that may prompt a person to be referred. They are SO nice that it’s a little on the saccharine side to be honest. I’m not sure if they think I’ll break? Or break down? Maybe. I suppose that is pretty common. I also suppose they are often not the bearers of good news, so they are trained to be hyper sensitive to the emotional impacts that may occur. Anyhow, I went. I was scanned and scanned and tested and retested. Then, because she was NOT cooperative in letting them get pictures of her heart, I left with instructions to come back in 6 weeks and to have bi-weekly stress tests and once weekly ultrasounds starting in 2 weeks. Just to be on the safe side. So that we can achieve a “positive outcome” this time. I’d been gone about 45 minutes and was running errands when they called me back. They said they’d had a cancellation and if I was still in town, could I come back so they could give it another go? Sure. Why not. I had time. So, I turned around. And went back. And then, sat and waited for an hour. Now, in my head I understood that they only reason I was back was because they wanted to make sure all was well. To ease my mind. To reassure. But boy, let me tell you, that extra hour of waiting felt suspiciously like those 16 days of waiting to find out what was going on with Bennie. Suspiciously like that constant stress that presses on your mind and your body in a way that could easily lead to panic without trying too hard. I had to move around, I couldn’t sit still. I kept walking on that sixth floor, that same floor where Bennie lived for 7 days, just down the hall. That waiting area where we had to meet with social workers and fill out transfer paperwork and life insurance information. That same floor where we sat in a small room on the 5th day of his life for hours, waiting and praying that he would live after a bleb in his lung burst. That same floor where I sat in the bathroom and cried uncontrollably because I never knew that stress could literally cause NOTHING in your body or brain to work besides your tears. It seemed too close, all of it. Like it was pushing in one me. Now of course, how could they know any of this? How could they know what another trip, when I thought I was out of there, when I thought there was a plan and things were good, might do? How could I know? I’d geared myself up to be there. I’d thought it through in my head. But then, I had to come back. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t prepared. I was a big old ball of nervous energy that had no where to go.
So, after a time, they called me back. I laid on the ultrasound table, again. They tried to take her picture, again. They were not successful. The tech looked at me and said, “Well, I hope she is not as stubborn as this when she comes out!” and I laughed and said she was probably genetically destined to be stubborn. And then the doctor, who was so lovely before, came back. And she asked me about Bennie. Which she had not before, other than to say she was sorry for my loss. And I cried a little and said I was sorry but that he had lived…LIVED…just down the hall and it was catching up with me. And this lovely woman, who I had met only a few hours before, looked at me and said, “You just have to trust that God will be with you, because who can live without that? I am sure your son knew.” And she turned and walked away. This was the very LAST thing I thought I’d hear from a medical provider. They typically steer FAR clear of any religiosity. They tell you facts and statistics and quote Latin. And in those moments after she left, that push of anxiety left too. Simple as that. I know this would not have comforted everyone and I am sure in some cases it may have even offended them. I am sure that she could not know what it would do for me. But I can tell you, the firmness of her conviction made sense to me in a way that no medical terminology ever would have. So, today I am grateful for this specialist…who helped me in more ways than one.