By: Heather Somaini
If you’ve been reading our story for the past year or if you had a first-row view of our challenges to create our family, I’m sure you understand the lows and highs that came along with the ride. You understood that this was a marathon, not a sprint. You understood that patience and hard work would see us through. But you see, I’m slow. I struggled and fought and resisted every step of the way. I didn’t want to give in, didn’t want to let go, and I didn’t want to trust.
At some point, over time, it slowly sunk in. It sunk in that I wasn’t in control, that I couldn’t make all the decisions, and that I needed these people in my life who were trying to help me. They were helping me regardless of my questions or my hesitations or my need to understand every last detail. Those doctors and nurses were keeping our unborn children growing and eventually they not only kept them alive but also kept Tere alive when everything went to hell in a hand basket.
(By the way, being a parent gives you the right to use old-time phrases like that – it’s pretty awesome!)
One doctor in particular was our rock. Now don’t get me wrong, my doctor, Dr. K, was awesome and amazing and we love him. But Dr. C is something else. Back when we were in the weeds of this pregnancy, I remember being so frustrated one night because I saw that the decisions Dr. C was making for us were going to change our lives for good or bad. I kept feeling trapped in those decisions like in a strait-jacket. I’m used to taking lots of information into consideration while making lots of decisions every day and this lack of decision-making was killing me. I was dying a little inside every day.
As time wore on, the strait-jacket loosened. The clouds weren’t so dark. The future seemed less bleak and scary. Our twins’ birth came with its own set of challenges and we weathered those as well. Nothing prepared us for any of it but Dr. C was with us the whole time. She made sure we came out the other side. She forever has my gratitude because through it all, she knew we were going to be ok. A little while after the babies were born, I decided I needed to write her a letter. To this day, we’ve never discussed it but when I saw her a couple weeks after, she made sure I understood that it was significant and meant a tremendous amount – all without saying a word. That’s just how Dr. C rolls.
Dear Dr. C,
It has been 6 months since our babies were born and I’ve spent some time thinking about you and the whole experience. I thought I should put it in writing before more time passes.
When they ask about our experience, I tell people that the miracle of what doctors do is not taking an emergency situation and “fixing” it but rather avoiding the emergency altogether. That’s where you come in.
I remember one particular night driving home after seeing Tere in the hospital and feeling sad and angry and frustrated that the decisions you were making could affect the rest of my life. I felt helpless and unable to change what could happen. I thought that if something went wrong, that was my burden forever but you would be on to the next patient with no worries. I know now that in fact the decisions you made were to affect me for the rest of my life and that you are on to the next patient helping them avoid emergencies just like you did with us.
Free and Izzy are beautiful and perfect and I’m so glad your hands were the first ones to touch them. They will be forever marked by you in the best way possible – they are here and healthy.
Even though they will probably never understand it, I am forever grateful that you helped make my family whole. You are wonderful and amazing and one of the finest people on the planet.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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