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Friday, January 11, 2008

March winds

The date hadn’t been set except I was two weeks overdue. I had been able to balance the book I was reading on the hard lump under my ribs for a month by then. Weekly visits for a sonogram doubled. As unpredictable as March could be, that day was definitely bleak and damp, and as windy as any other day of the year.
First one doctor did the sonogram, left the room and in walked the other. Then they both left me deeply concentrating on the pattern of the ceiling tiles. Returning in tandem the doctors filled the room. One thought the other had told me. What I hadn’t been told was that they were leaving town in the morning. One of their young friends from medical school who was soon joining their practice had instead died from a heart attack while doing surgery. My doctors were leaving for his funeral. Usually they presented kind and cheerful countenances but today the skin was drawn tightly on their faces. They wanted to induce labor and both agreed that they’d be doing surgery in the long run. Only it had to be done today. They were concerned about many issues I’d faced during the term and both wanted to be present for the delivery. Tonight.
In a shiny, dim operating room I listened to the local radio station piped into the room. Each doctor, one tall and blond and the other short and dark stood on either side of the gurney. The anesthetist was subdued, listening and charting the event. Sweet Audrey, as cool as a thawed turkey, was placed next to my face, her black eyes searching the lights. Later in my room, flat on my back, waiting out the spinal’s slow retreat from my body only one doctor came to see me. He said the other was on his way home to pack. He sat on my bed sounding cheerful once again but looking forlorn and exhausted.
The day our children are born is never forgotten. Likely these doctors still remember their friend who was almost their partner on that day in March.

From a prompt for Sunday Scribblings.
[painting entited Peasants Bringing Home a Calf Born in the Fields / Jean François Millet French, 1814-1875]

13 comments:

Shari said...

Good contrasting between death and new life. Oh yes, we remember those details of giving birth well. And women seem to love hearing the birth stories of other women.

Just Jen said...

you wrapped the beginning of a life and an ending brilliantly.

Granny Smith said...

What a wonderfully descriptive piece! One could almost smell the antiseptic. And it reminded me of my four birth experiences, each remarkably different from the other ones.

I could feel the sorrow of the doctors torn between two duties,

BTW your site gets prettier and prettier. I love the new heading. And isn't that a different shade of blue as background?

Marianne said...

My emotions are going in all directions on this post... and yes, we do remember all the details of the day we have our babies...
beautiful post :^)

tumblewords said...

A lot of story in a very short space. Your writing is so enjoyable to read!

khambagirl said...

Quite a contrast, birth and death. Very well written.

keith hillman said...

A beautifully concieved and written piece. Congratulations

Linda said...

Very well written! The life/death connection really makes the story!

Penelope Anne said...

Wow, you took me back to my troubled pregnancy, and I worried for you....and then to find it was the doctors who were dealing with hurt and sorrow.
Well developed and written out.

Penelope Anne
http://wannabeawritersomeday.blogspot.com/2008/01/sunday-scribblings-date.html

forgetfulone said...

Beautifully written piece. Loved the word choice and imagery.

susan said...

Not quite the same, but I found out I was pregnant with my daughter shortly after attending funeral of a friend. My friend's death and my daughter's beginning are linked for me.

Julie Schuler said...

Just lovely. Audrey is such a beautiful name, too.

LittleWing said...

i enjoyed reading your post...how very sad but yet when you spoke of audrey's eyes when they laid her next to you...that got me..brought back the delivery and everything...i ended up with an italian doctor who wore the most equisite italian loafers...my doctor was having knee surgery...