Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Letter #14

Dear Future Doctor,

In 1991 I gave birth to a baby boy born at 25 ½ weeks gestation. Christopher was my second child, my first born on her due date at 9 lbs., 4 oz. There were no indications that there were any difficulties with my second pregnancy. My biggest fear with my second was having a bigger baby than my first.

I awoke at 3:00am with Flu like symptoms. A call to the maternity ward, at the hospital where I would be delivering, was not comforting. The nurse I spoke to said I had likely strained my back lifting my then two year old. Back to bed, no comfort. Shook hubby awake in tears at 4:00am. Off to the hospital with two year old in tow.

Arrive at hospital, walk ¼ mile to Maternity Unit; OB nurses blow me off as hysterical. Hubby, with two year old off parking the car. Hubby arrives in Maternity Ward; nurses still have not even checked me. He pitches a fit, they check me and find I am 9cm dilated, all h-ll breaks loose. A call to my OB/Gyn goes out, she arrives in short order.

My doctor offers comfort and reality at the same time. 25 ½ weeks, not good, but she will be by our side until Peanut is delivered. Tests, more tests, not good. Doc is still there, many hours later. We are her only patient that day, not really, but she makes that happen. She stays with us, she is funny, she is reassuring, and she is realistic. After all tests results are in the turbutaline is stopped and Peanut is delivered. He is delivered vaginally, the squeeze through the birth canal and the stress of the delivery will help him produce surfactant, which is he is lacking. ;

Two pushes and he is out. She holds him up; he takes a big breath and cries. His lungs immediately collapse. He is whisked away, now in the hands of the many in the room who have been awaiting his arrival. She stays with us, she delivers the placenta. She assures us, she hugs us. She comes every day to see us, at least once, to report and interpret what is happening in NICU. She is our advocate, she is our intermediary. We never ask for this, she just assumes the role.

One hundred days this goes on. Sixteen years later, this 25 ½ weeker has just received his driver’s license. He is six feet tall and a wonderful young man. We cannot help but credit this wonderful doctor. We still hear from this doctor, we have moved many states away. We send her pictures and thanks. We do believe that her involvement in our lives had a positive outcome in Peanut’s life and in ours!

You too, can make a difference in the life of an individual and their family.

Roberta and family in MA

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