I’m a firm believer in balance in life. Call it Karma, call it whatever, but I believe that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. If something good is happening to you, chances are there is an equal amount of bad that has happened, or that will happen. It’s cumulative, so it’s not like blessings lead to tragedies…just that in the big picture, things are balanced.
That day in Celebration Hospital in Florida cemented that belief.
To recap; pregnancy #4, score is 1 kid, 2 blighted ovums and this one is going south…fast. We’re waiting in a triage room with a bunch of strangers after a hasty, uncomfortable experience with an ultrasound tech. And we wait…..and wait.
I don’t know how long, but the next moments stretched on for days.
“Mr and Mrs. Gowden?” the doctor boomed. He was a tall dude with a deep voice and African accent. “I have reviewed your ultrasound. Your baby has expired…” and then he quoted Scripture…something about returning to dust. Neither of us can remember it exactly and many online searches have come up empty…close but no direct quote. We’re stunned….trying to process this. We discuss options, the hospital is willing to send us home and let nature take its course. We’re on vacation…leaving for home in 2 days, we don’t need nature taking its course on the plane. (Seriously…explain THAT to the TSA!!!!) Their OB is busy, come back tomorrow. ‘NO!” Heidi demands….channelling Ralph Kramden. ‘Get it out!”
Out of nowhere, a nurse grabs our hands…and the hands of anyone else around and starts a prayer circle. We’re religious….but this wasn’t our thing. We wanted to make plans for a procedure that would get Heidi back on her feet and test the baby to see if there was a cause for this. We wanted to call our families. We wanted this to set in and let our emotions catch up. Instead Nurse Prayercircle is droning on. As awful as this is, God/Karma/whatever is giving us an absolutely bizarre experience to soften the blow.
Finally they agree to bring in a doc that day who will do the D&E. I remember they asked if we wanted the remains. Gallows humor at this point…because, heck, you need to laugh or you’ll go crazy. I recall thinking “Are they going to give us a little box? A tube? Baggie with the biohazard label on it? Does it go in carry on or checked luggage? Probably checked because it’ll be more than 3 oz of liquid.”
Heidi was taken for surgery and G and I had something to eat and waited. Soon enough and nurse came to us, told us everything had gone well and we’d be able to see Heidi in a few. 2 hours later we were on our way back to Port Orleans: French Quarter; no longer pregnant, pathology ordered and hopefully some answers in our future.
We’d been given some temporary ‘balance’ by way of the Hospital staff’s behavior. We can look back now and shake our heads…and it gives us something less painful to remember than the calls to our families, the hurt in their voices, the empty feeling in our lives. Disney was about to step up in a major way to cement some positive memories.
Our taxi driver told us that Disney would take care of the cost of the taxi. We went to the front desk, gave them the short version of what happened and they said they’d take care of things. We went back to the room and went to bed. The plan was for me to take G the next day and meet up with some friends. Heidi would stay back in the room and rest, possibly meeting us all for dinner. We knew the routine and this was G’s trip…let her enjoy it.
At Magic Kingdom and my phone rang. Heidi called to tell me that Agata (wish I had her last name) the manager called to check on her, sent room service, free wi-fi (it wasn’t free in 2009) and told her to call if she needed anything. Then all of a sudden a couple of people showed up with a gift basket for us and toys for G.
Disney outdid themselves over the next 48 hours. They made sure Heidi was taken care of, but also Giada and me. Knowing Heidi was in good hands was HUGE for me and Giada was thrilled with dolls and coloring books.
For all the terrible news we’d had on this trip…the stress Heidi had felt knowing something was wrong, the worry about something happening on our trip. The sadness of finally getting the news and having miscarriage #3, which happened to be 364 days after our first…Disney did what it could. For all the awful memories, we do have some good ones and I guess it all did balance out.
Some would say 3 strikes and your out. Not us. To be continued…..