26 October 2016

What We Needed to Hear

If we'd really listened, perhaps we would have heard.

If the doctor had been more direct, perhaps we would have understood.

The moment she realized she "forgot" to print the sonogram picture, perhaps we should have known.

As we walked away with a weird print out of measurements -- measurements that were not what they should have been -- perhaps we would have heard what she wasn't saying.

I don't blame us. There were were, a hopeful, newly-expectant couple. A few weeks earlier, the blood tests showed that the pregnancy was progressing at a normal pace. We arrived at the doctor's office that morning -- two days before Christmas -- excited to see our baby for the first time, to see its heart beat.

And we did. We saw the little blueberry. We saw the small feather of a flutter, the heart seemingly beating away. "It's small," said the doctor,"but sure, go ahead and tell your families, if you want, that there's something there with a heartbeat. Your actual doctor will be able to tell you more at your next appointment."

And while I tried to stay positive, what she said didn't sit well with me. What she didn't say sat even worse.

What she should have said is that due to the size (measuring at about five weeks, when it should have been at least eight weeks), that the pregnancy would not likely be viable. Instead, after much prodding from me in subsequent emails, she eventually said, "Sometimes these things turn out ok. But you'll need to talk to your doctor."

What she should have done was be direct. Rather than talking softly, or putting the onus on our doctor, she should have just told us what she was seeing. While it wouldn't have changed the outcome, it would have saved us a little bit of grief, or allowed us the space to think about if it was really something we were ready to share.

Perhaps if we would have listened harder, we would have heard what she didn't say.