Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sometimes, there are no words.

Today, I held my gynecologist's hand while she cried.

Thirty minutes before that, I sat in the waiting room with three other women. They were all visibly pregnant. I thought to myself, "Ugh. I hated being pregnant. Good outcomes, but no fun at all." I felt a little sorry for them. They all looked so bored. I remember that boredom... when you feel like you end up spending half of your pregnancy in the doctor's office looking at the same magazines over and over again.

Fast forward ten minutes. We were all separately ushered into our own exam rooms. Before I knew it, I was on the exam table, waiting for the doctor, thinking about how much I hate being at the gynecologist's office. I hate the gowns. I hate feeling so exposed. It's just not a fun visit, ya know? Yuck.

A few minutes after that thought, I heard a woman sobbing, pleading over and over, "NO!" I heard, "It can't be!" I obviously couldn't see her face, but you could tell exactly what was going on. She wasn't going to have a good outcome. Chances are, she wasn't going to have a healthy baby placed in her arms in a few months. My heart broke for her. It was all I could do to just sit there and listen. I wanted to get dressed and go to her. Hold her hand. Somehow comfort her. But, I couldn't. So, I sat there half naked, waiting.

Eventually, my doctor entered the room. She was trying to put on a brave face. And she did... for a few moments. Tears began to stream down her face. She apologized profusely as she dabbed at her eyes. I told her there was no need for apologizes. And then, without thinking, I grabbed her hand and held it for a minute. There was silence. She squeezed my hand back, giving me a knowing glance. It was probably inappropriate, but I couldn't help myself. Can you imagine what it would be like to give people some of the happiest and the saddest news of their entire lives? I can't. And for just a minute, I got to see the grief that comes to a doctor who cares about her patients. It was gut-wrenching. But, at the same time, it was a privilege.

So, if you're of the praying sort, I ask that you say a quick prayer for my doctor and especially for the woman who will probably never meet her baby. May God, or whoever's in charge, help them both heal a little.


  1. Oh, dear God. My heart goes out to that mother, and your doc. This is one reason I don't think I could work in OB or pediatrics. I can't deal with babies or children with serious medical problems or bad prognoses, it tears at my heart just to hear about it.

  2. So much love and prayers for everyone. What an awful thing to go through.


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