Controlling the Outcome
The weeks started to go by. I could say they flew but in actuality they crawled, dragging themselves across the floor inch by inch. My days were long, my nights longer and my weekends packed with trying to get the house ready for my family to come home…one day.
Tere became a prolific internet shopper –she still is to this day – I think it’s becoming an addiction. Every night after my couple hours at the hospital, I would come home to a stack of boxes near the front door. I would open them all up and call Tere to tell her what the day’s shipments were. She outfitted the babies in pretty much everything they needed from her bed, without seeing any of it in person.
I emailed updates to our friends and family often. Many came to visit. We had our birthdays in that hotel – I mean hospital. It felt like a hotel after awhile. I came and went whenever I wanted. I had a special parking card. The nurses all knew me and I could pretty much do anything I wanted. On some nights I would wander down to the nursery and see if there were any new babies to admire. I would think about how big they looked, so sweet and innocent. I wondered if mine would ever make it to the nursery.
I remember one dark night driving home late, making my way up the twisting canyon. It all became incredibly real. I could no longer keep my mind busy with work or baby preparations or my schedule. I couldn’t focus on what Tere needed or what my family needed from me anymore. There was no way to keep the thoughts away. And they came, in a rush.
Anger at first and then frustration. There was no denying the fact that I had no control over what was happening, no ability to influence the outcome of our situation. Lives hung in the balance of everything we did and I had no power over it. Every day I would askTere to ask questions of Dr. C and rarely did I get back answers that satisfied me. Every day, Dr. C was in control of our lives, making decisions for us. I started to imagine that those decisions came without a cost, that the outcome was only important to us and if she decided incorrectly, I could be left with a challenging and difficult situation for the rest of my life. But Dr. C would move on and not have a worry in the world.
Knowing that your life hangs in the balance of someone else’s decisions is impossible to understand for someone like me. It’s almost inconceivable. It required this very specific circumstance to make it clear to me that I had to let go. I had to let go of believing that I could convince everyone around me that I knew best. I had to let go of thinking I was controlling the outcome.
I needed to trust. I needed to trust Dr. C, Tere, the nurses, Dr. P, Dr. S…everyone. I needed to trust that the universe was fundamentally good and wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle. I don’t know when it happened. I can’t pinpoint the date. But by the time March 7th rolled around, my entire life, everything I knew to be sacred and true, was not in my hands.
It was in Dr. C’s and I was at peace, open to the outcome coming our way. In no way was it what I expected. But then again, I never expected any of this. And maybe it’s better that way.