In November I went back to my RE, essentially as a follow up as to why I’m not pregnant yet. She did a saline sonogram and the intent was to do a biopsy as well, but she discovered 2 uterine polyps that would need surgically removed.
Dr. T told me that I would have to wait until the next cycle to schedule the procedure and then wait 6 weeks after the procedure before TTC again.
I called the first week of December, and the nurse said they had only one opening, but Dr. T “probably couldn’t do it, so I should call back in January.” I was crushed. Frustrated tears streamed down my cheeks as I asked if she was sure there was no other way to get me in. Waiting another month seemed like a cruel joke. I was already over a year out from Ava’s death and still no closer to having a living baby.
I had accepted my fate to wait yet another month, when a few days later I received a call saying my surgery was scheduled for Thursday. Relieved, I got everything set up and this Thursday I went into the surgery center to have Dr. T remove my polyps.
As I was prepped and awaiting surgery, the only thing I was thinking about was how I hope this is it. I hope this is my last hoop to jump.
That’s all I was thinking, that is, until a male doctor walked up to the crack in my curtain. He hadn’t even began speaking before my heart began to race. He introduced himself, but I already knew who he was. Let’s call him Dr. R.
He said “Nice to meet you.” And I had no words come out of my mouth, but in my head I was screaming, We’ve met before! Do you not remember telling me my baby would die?!
He said he would be joining Dr. T for my surgery and then paused, a look of concern and confusion flashed across his face, likely because I probably looked like I had seen a ghost. I felt like I was seeing a ghost. He asked, if that’s okay with you?
You told me my baby would die. You aren’t supposed to be here. You can’t be here.
“Uh, sure,” I mumble instead.
He asks if I have any health problems.
You mean other than my baby dying inside of me? You remember that, right? You were there.
My heart monitor is giving my panic away, but only my husband seems to notice the difference in my heart rate as he flashes me a concerned look. I flash him a look back that I hope says, save me and how is he here?
Dr. R is still standing at the foot of my bed asking questions, but I’m back in the LDR trying to find something to focus on. I feel the dread and panic setting in. I know Ava is going to die, but I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to hear those words. I want to be anywhere else. There are no purple flower borders in this center. I land on curtain hooks this time. I tell myself there is no baby who can die this time. I tell myself I’m safe this time. But Dr. R is back beside my bed in the LDR, searching for the words to tell me my baby is going to die. His words fill the empty space “her heart will slow down until it stops.. and we want to jump in, but she’s too small, we can’t do anything…”
I snap back to reality, my husband squeezing my hand. Dr. R is reviewing my chart and saying we will get started when Dr. T arrives. My heart monitor still beeping quickly in the background.
Dr. R walks out, completely oblivious to the hell I just entered.
My husband asks what is the matter? I feel my eyes stinging and hot with tears. “Do you not remember him?” is all I could get out. He responds quietly, “Oh, I thought he looked familiar. Do you want me to do anything?”
I was afraid if I said anything, the surgery would be put on hold, so I shook my head. I would soldier on. Tears streamed down my face while I tried to ground myself.
What are the odds that Dr. R’s residency rotation landed him on my procedure with a different doctor and different surgery center 13 months and 3 days after telling me my baby would die? I realized he hadn’t seen me in 13 months, and in that time he’d seen hundreds of other patients, but I see him in my flashbacks regularly.
I wondered how many other moms he had to tell their baby would die since me?
I wondered if I was the first mom he had to crush with the medical reality, and if he had gotten any better at navigating the heartbreak.
I wondered if he remembered that night as vividly as I still do, or if he remembers at all.
As he strapped down my arms in the operating room and the anesthesia went into my veins making my vision blurry, the last thought in my head was that no baby would die this time.