Margot Gardin

It Was Not Enough

When your heart stopped, I was surrounded by people who did not know you. People who would not recognize your tired eyes, your weakened smile, the sheepish facial expressions that always accompanied your soft-spoken words. I had already started a new rotation at another hospital and was no longer a part of your care team, though I checked in periodically to see how you were doing.

When I received the news, there was no space to process you. I was standing in a crowd of white coats, and I was utterly alone. These were not the white coats who had spent morning after morning with you, checking in to see if your pain had lessened, if you were feeling more upbeat. These were not the white coats who had pored over each lab, each scan, each part of your history in the hopes of unearthing a clue we had previously missed, of uncovering a piece of the puzzle that would explain what brought you to us a few weeks earlier.

Perspective

 
“Your ovaries never developed.”

I am trying—and failing—to wrap my mind around those four words, to grasp the weight of their meaning, but every time I try to speak or swallow, the sharpness of the word “never” lodges in my throat. Never, meaning never counting the number of fingers on an ultrasound, never feeling the flutter of little toes against your abdomen, never arguing about whether you prefer the name Sophie or Sophia, never wondering if your baby girl will recognize your voice when you get to hold her for the first time.

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