Monday, June 8, 2009

Dr. Awesome does Broadway

Speaking of Dr. Awesome in my previous post reminded me of the Broadway show Rent.

I saw the traveling version of Rent on a Sunday when I was 19 weeks pregnant. Three days prior, we had had the eventful ultrasound that showed various markers for a genetic abnormality as well as hydrocephalus. Though the Tank and I had previously declined an amniocentesis, after speaking to Dr. Awesome about the ultrasound results we marched right back into the radiology department. I was scheduled to work that afternoon and knew I couldn't make it now that I had this unplanned procedure yet to complete. I called into my boss but a coworker answered the phone instead. I apologized for not giving more notice that I couldn't work and expressed concern that they might not find a replacement in time. Because this was supposed to be "the" ultrasound where the baby's sex would be revealed, I had excitedly told everyone about today's visit in advance. My coworker didn't need much more information to realize that something had gone wrong with my doctor's visit.

"Is the baby okay?" she quietly asked. I had managed to hold myself together throughout the conversation but suddenly burst into tears. "No!" I sobbed, "No! He's not okay!" Then I hung up on her and crumpled onto the Tank.

Because the results were likely to take a week or two, we were in a torturous limbo after the amnio. What were we dealing with? What would we do about it if something was wrong? I could feel my little guy kicking strongly and couldn't believe that there could possibly be something abnormal with him. I clung to the two pictures we had been given at the ultrasound. As we watched our baby moving around on the screen that day, he appeared to be punching the placenta. One of these images had captured that moment with his little fist raised high. I felt that he was telling me he was a fighter and I needed to be a fighter too.

I spent the weekend trying not to let my mind wander. We didn't have any definitive diagnosis so I knew my worries were wasted. I asked everyone to please go on with regular routines. My parents were supposed to drive up from Virginia to see Rent with me and the Tank. They considered canceling but I refused to let that happen. I needed to stay busy, I needed to be around family and besides, we already had tickets.

As we sat down in our velvet-covered balcony seats, I opened the program. There on the first page was Dr. Awesome. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and asked the Tank to check his program. Yep, Dr. Awesome was there too. At the time, our hospital had a marketing campaign highlighting its various departments. Each print ad featured a large picture of either a patient or staff member from that department. Apparently Dr. Awesome was representing Obstetrics-Gyncecology in this latest version of the promotion. I was speechless. What are the odds and what did it mean?

"He's telling us that everything will be okay", the Tank offered. I looked down at the smiling visage of Dr. Awesome and had to agree that yes, no matter what the amnio results revealed, the good doctor knew everything would be alright. It was beyond comforting and for the first time since the ultrasound, I put my worries aside to enjoy the show, occasionally sneaking a peek inside the program for reinforcement.

A few days later, I had a scheduled appointment with Dr. Awesome. The amnio results still weren't in yet but being of "advanced maternal age" I had more frequent prenatal check-ups. I brought the program with me and couldn't wait to share it. I told the story to Dr. Awesome about opening the program only to see his picture on the first page and how we had decided he was protectively watching over us. He laughed and said that some of his residents had also attended the performance but they had a different reaction. They opened the program and said "He is always watching us. We can't get away from him!"

I still can't hear a song from Rent without envisioning Caden's perfect little courageous fist raised in the womb. And I still have that program. Our interpretation of the hosptial ad was spot-on: everything was alright.


tekeal said...

that's a beautiful story... thanks.

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. What a beautiful story. I am always comforted when I hear these little moments of divine intervention.

Kristi Mantoni said...

I should know better than to read your blog if I want my mascara to stay on!! Touching, as always.

Did you know that you can turn your blog into a book? I haven't checked it out completely because I don't think anyone will be interested in reading my opinion of Elliott Yamin on American Idol 10 years from now. But I'm pretty sure your blog post will be timeless and of interest to many.

Jessica said...

Thanks guys! I feel like I'm an amnesiac recovering my memory and little moments like that will suddenly pop into my head. There were just so many emotions and ordeals in such a short time and I'm slowly recovering it all.

Kristi, how do you make a book out of your blog? I'm not familiar with that but it's a great idea. And hey, there are plenty of AI fans that would buy a book of your blog!

Lucky Number Five said...

Wow Jess. Beautiful story. Loved it - thanks for sharing.