How Do You Save A Life? ...part one


I looked on as the beautiful doctor delivered the delicate news.  Her long blond hair floated over her crisp white coat, as she quietly spoke to the pregnant woman sitting on the examination table in her paper white gown.  I watched as the mother’s face fell into her hands and the sound of spattering tears rose above the undercurrent of her sobs.

I was the room.  The stark awareness that hung in the space between the walls.  Witnessing the scene of grief, when the mother in me didn’t know how to hear what the doctor was saying.  How to wrap my brain around that there was something wrong with the baby.  My baby. 

“Did I do something wrong?  I just don’t understand.  Why is this happening? Is it my diet?  I’ll eat anything I’m supposed to.”  I bargained. 

“Is it my work?  I’ve been really stressed at work.  I’ll cut my hours or I will quit.  Yes.  We will figure it out.  I’ll quit my job” I was pleading.  I could hear the desperation in my voice, but I couldn’t quite feel it yet.  I couldn’t feel anything. 

I sensed the rising tidal wave and watched the unfolding of our tender family, still not able to feel into the heartbreak of the weeping mother.

Anne held my hand.  She was Anne now.  When a doctor tells you your baby is no longer living and now something is wrong with your second pregnancy.  Your second child.  She becomes, Anne.  Just Anne.

“The baby isn’t receiving all of the nutrients she needs, so her body is sending everything it can to her brain in order to survive.  She is a fighter.  But we need her to stay in there a few more weeks.  A few more weeks and she goes to Creighton.”

Anne was a preemie.  Born at 26 weeks.  She was a beautiful tiny spit fire, with piercing blue eyes that fought her way through life.  From the beginning of her miracle birth and all of the way through the top of her class at Creighton. 

“Two more weeks and she goes to Creighton,” became our mantra.  Just like Anne.

“Now go home, lie on your left side, don’t move from the couch and stay off of the internet.  Come back in two days for another ultrasound.  We will watch you both like a hawk but we need a few more weeks.”

“And stay off that internet – I mean it”, she reminded again.

I don’t remember the car ride home.

Jay put me on the couch and whispered.  “It’s gonna be ok, Snappy.  Our little fighter just has a Kate Moss body and an Einstein brain, honey.  Big brain.  Little body.  Every girl’s dream.” he stroked my hair and murmured.   “It’ll be alright.”

I nodded.

To be continued...


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