Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Saga of Baby Toby

----->Click here to start at the beginning.
Start today's chapter here at Tales From the Womb.
Toby Day 3

Dr. Murtha and Dr. Warrenton had just left the room. It had started raining outside, or should I saying pouring and it looked like we were in for quite the storm. With that, a large flash of lighting struck followed by the roar of thunder. The rain began to come down so hard, that Tom had to turn the television volume up to hear the remainder of the hockey game.

I knew Tom was pissed and I was just waiting for him to blow up. Tom’s always been a hot head since I met him in college and first saw him playing hockey on the team. That’s how we met. My college roommate was dating his roommate, who was a pre-med student at the time. Both played hockey and it wasn’t long before Tom and I started dating as well. Tom was a rugged man, tall, dark and handsome, as cliché as it is, but was an outstanding student. I was impressed with his brains as much as his brawn. His temper however, was another thing all together. It was the brains and the temper that made you want to be on his side, whenever you walked into a room, regardless of the situation. On the flip side, he was extremely charming, which is why I fell in love with him. He was a natural born salesman and never in all of the years have I know him, has he missed a sales quota. He can be charming and then turn up the heat to close the deal. He was also very protective of me.

The commercial came on and he slowly got up. As he turned around, he blurted out, “I told you not to see that female doctor!” he said. I could see the redness coming up from his neck and knew he was livid. “Tom”, I said calmly, “It wasn’t my fault.” ”Well, none of this would have happened if you had let Brent take care of you, as I suggested!” “But you wanted to see Dr. Stork.” “Tom, it’s Dr. Stern, Dr. Mary Stern.” I said. It was just Tom’s way of being obnoxious; he’s called her Dr. Stork ever since I got pregnant and insisted on going to her. Tom’s friend Brent, is an OB-Gyn. When I first got pregnant, Tom wanted me to see Brent; after all, he and Brent went back a long way, all the way back to the first grade. Somehow, it seemed too weird for me to have Brent as my Ob-Gyn and I chose Dr. Mary Stern instead. She was an older woman, old enough to be my mother’s age and I instantly felt more comfortable with her. She was, after all, a woman with several children of her own, as well as a career long medical practice. I don’t think I could have made a better choice. Tom was mad at first, and then seemed to be o.k. with it over time. He always referred to her as Dr. Stork though, just to get me going. It was everything I could do not to laugh every time I saw her, just remembering how Tom would say her name, “Dr. Stork.”

“But, Tom, it was an accident!” I said. “You heard the Dr. Murtha.” “Dr. Warrenton, saved Toby’s life! I am upset too, but you have to understand, it was an accident…” My voice trailed off or rather was overshadowed by the storm raging outside. It probably didn’t matter anyway because Tom wasn’t listening at all. He was right, I was wrong, and that’s that. Nothing would ever change his mind. Tom immediately started text messaging Brent. I knew it was him because they always text messaged each other during the game, like a bunch of kids, especially when they couldn’t see the game in person.

“You had better not tell Brent about this, I mentioned.” Tom stormed out of the room. I knew he would ignore me and tell Brent the entire story. He was probably going to call him now and fill him in on every last detail. We didn’t know if any of these things would happen to Toby for sure, but Tom, wasn’t about to listen to reason. This was after all, “his” boy and no boy of his was not going to wield a hockey stick. Not now, not ever. I dreaded the thought of an Occupational Therapist working with us. They were certainly going to have their work cut out for them.

No sooner than Tom left, my mother came in. I wondered if she heard us arguing; I had hoped that she didn’t. I didn’t want to get into the whole Brent deal now. I barely had time to absorb this when Tom flew off the handle. Just when I needed Tom most, he wasn’t there for me. Instead, he’s off filling Brent in on every last detail.

My mother informed me that she had ordered the birth announcement for me, or rather, e-mailed Toby’s name and details for the birth announcement. They would be here by the end of the week. I wanted to show her the pictures I had of Toby, but knew she’d ask me if I posted them on the blog so the rest of the family could see them. Suddenly, I didn’t want to post them at all. I couldn’t tell anyone what happened to Toby. I just couldn’t.

“So where are the pictures of Toby?” she asked. “Everyone’s been waiting for them. I told them you were going to send them to me this afternoon, right after you got off the phone with me.” “Sorry, Mom. I didn’t get a chance to send them to you yet.” I reached for my camera phone and showed her the pictures. “He’s so handsome!” she beamed. “He looks just like Tom!” I knew she was thrilled and I was too. Who wouldn’t want their baby to look just like Tom? I know I did.

“Well, where is little Toby? I want to see him.” “I think it’s time he met his Grandma!” My eyes welled up and I told her everything the doctors just told me. “Oh, honey, I am so sorry. How did Tom take the news?" "He didn’t, Mom. He blew a gasket and then left.” I could see she was putting it all together now. "So that’s who he was talking to when I saw him." She accidently ran into him in the lounge down the hall and tried to talk to him when she saw he was on the phone.

With that, Tom walked into the room. He seemed calmer than when he left, almost smug. Something had changed, but I didn’t know what. With that, my Mother left to see Toby and Tom and I were left together. It had stopped storming by now but was too dark for any rainbow.
Toby Day 4
Tom spoke to Brent yesterday and had told him what was going on. Brent informed Tom that he had better get all of the information he could and to read through Toby’s medical records now, since it was going to be a tough road ahead if he planned on suing the hospital and the doctors. Dr. Stork, as Tom said, just secured millions for the new women’s pavilion at the hospital last spring. According to Brent, it was going to be an uphill battle if anyone was going to win a settlement against her. He suggested Tom see Philip Corboney, just for a consultation, to get his take on the matter.

Philip Corboney, Sr., was a premier malpractice attorney in the state, and was known to secure some of the largest malpractice settlements. He was the Corboney in Corboney and Dean and also considered one of the top lawyers in the state. If anyone was going to win this case, it would be him, but first we had to see if we even had a case.

Somehow, the blog didn’t seem important anymore. What should have been happiest time of my life, next to my wedding, had become an absolute nightmare. It was hard enough dealing with the fact that my baby wasn’t perfect, but Tom would never accept a disabled baby or a baby with any kind of handicap. It just wasn’t going to happen.

The therapist came in to help me walk down the hall. She said that if I was going to go home tomorrow that I needed to practice, one more time. My stomach hurt, both from the stitches and the turmoil and I wasn’t sure which was causing the most pain. As we walked down the hall, I asked if we could stop in the chapel. It would give me a chance to pray and also a chance to rest for a bit before I had to take the long way back to the room. As I entered the chapel, tears streamed down my face, as the thought of my poor Toby’s future, flashed before my eyes.
Tomorrow's finale will start at here at Tales From The Womb and end at my site.


wolfbaby said...

This is a riviting post ya'll are creating together. Amazing.

Chris and Vic said...

Mom, did you follow everything Dr. Murtha and Ashley told you? I was expecting you to ask more questions.

They moved on to their treatment plan over the next few days/weeks, and you were willing to move on with them. You didn't give yourself much time to digest or emote about what had been told you.

I expected you, Mom, to say something to Ashley---you looked over at her and saw her tears. Will you say something to her at some point?

Will you and your husband talk about him making unilateral decisions about litigation--you do not seem to be getting much input into these heavy decisions.

Will the two of you confront that you believe your husband will not accept a child with disabilities.

If it was me, I would say, "I see your anger and rage. It is easy to see where you stand with respect to anger, and that you want to punish those responsible for this insult to our son. But I need to know where you stand on raising a child who may need therapy for a short or a long time. I need to know that you still love our son and will stand by him and raise him with me." Will you say something at some point to your husband--call him on talking things over with his friend instead of talking them over with you?
Chris and Vic

Sarabeth said...

Dream Mom, this was well written. I once was on the sidelines as a family dealt with a medical mistake. The emotions you described of the husband and the disconnect with the mom were exactly what I witnessed. The two didn't talk with each other. One pursued religious help; the other immediately called a lawyer.

My friend died, and I spent hours upon hours writing an account of what happened just as a way of coping. (I was the one who took her to the emergency room and helped the family listen to the doctors.) I was appalled later to learn that the mother, with whom I shared my writing, had given it to the lawyer. She never asked my permission. And, she also never asked too many questions of the doctors or nurses. She just let everything wash over her until the anger found its way to the surface.

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