Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'm surprised when I hear people say SMDC is such a big, cold hospital system because we, and most of the people we know who use it, have had a very different experience there.  The past couple of days have been extraordinary, and I feel compelled to give credit where it is due.  I was thinking I need to be quicker to commend..  We're all too often "quick on the draw" when we have sub par experiences, but how often do we recognize those who go so above and beyond?  Not often enough :)

We were nervous as we headed into the OB department of the Duluth Clinic on Monday. I was twelve weeks gestational with our fourth child when I was woken up at 4am with increasingly harsh cramping and some bleeding.  We haven't experienced anything like this before, so we weren't totally prepared for the events that followed.  My doctor wasn't in yet as I requested an earlier appointment when my cramping and bleeding progressed, so I saw a different one who tried patiently to find the heartbeat, then got us in for an ultrasound quickly when she couldn't find it. 

The sweet tech obviously had a pretty good idea that our baby had passed, yet she kindly and patiently recorded the evidence before she noticed the tears streaming down our faces.  See, we have a child with a chromosomal abnormality, so we've seen many ultrasounds.  We both instantly noticed that the baby wasn't moving and there was no heartbeat.  The kind lady stopped and put her hand on me with a heartfelt, "I'm sorry."  She was sincere and kind as she finished up quickly and got the doctor.  We were escourted in to see my doctor when the sweet, young nurse looked sincerely distressed and offered us condolences when it would've been much easier to show us to the door and sneek away. 

We were able to see Dr. Scott Johnson who was just coming into the office that day.  We weren't on his schedule, but he took the time to walk us through this uncharted territory.  If there was a way to ease our pain at that moment, he did so and it was a gift.  He is always so sincere and thorough, but today even more so.  We'd just been hit with terrible news, yet we needed to make some decisions but really needed some professional opinions rather than just sterile options.  He was able to work us into his surgery schedule the next day when we opted for a D & C as I was in a good bit of physical pain with my uterus contracting as it was starting to pass the baby.

We had a few questions after we got home from what happens to the baby's remains to needing some pain meds as my contractions were increasing in intensity.  I spoke a few times with a nurse Sharon, I think, and she was so sweet.  She even called back a couple of times to make sure our questions were answered and I had the pain meds that I needed.

The next day was mostly a blur as we went from expectant parents to mourning our loss in a hospital room at Miller Dwan awaiting surgery to remove our deceased baby.  Everyone was really kind, but there were a couple of nurses and my doctor (of course)  that really went above and beyond.  They took the time to minister not only to my physical health, but also both our hearts.  It didn't take a rocket scientist to spot the difficulty we were having, but they chose to stop and take the time to care rather than rush by and attend to their busy schedules. 

I'm still unsure if nurse "Ruthie" ever really said anything at first.  She just came close, took my hand in both of hers as I laid in pre-op, and smiled with a knowing look in her eyes.  The tears came as I was so touched by her gesture.  She leaned over and gave my husband a half hug too and we shed a few tears before we thanked her.  She told my husband that she would be in surgery with me and that she'd take good care of me.  Another nurse came by too and squeezed my hand as well and expressed her sympathy over our loss.  The anesthesiologist was also a person I had recognized from my last surgery a few months prior, and he too took the time to be extra kind.  No one questioned my husband being with me, and even offered him a chair.  I know it wasn't optimal in the tiny space, but no one seemed to think twice about it.

Dr. Johnson was attentive as usual and took great care explaining the process.  To top off our day that we thought would be sterile and lonely, aside from the plethora of love and support we brought with us via facebook, we were trying to remember the name of that sweet nurse that was in surgery with me.  The nurse that discharged me actually went and checked our records to see if she recognized the lady we described under the list of nurses that had cared for me.  She came back with "Ruthie."  We wanted to make sure we made mention of her kindness to someone because it was so amazing, but almost wondered if we would find out she didn't exist, but was a visiting angel :)

I was being wheeled out when I entered the elevator and someone hugged me from behind...  With tears of gratitude running down my cheeks I asked, "Ruthie?"  She smiled and said, "yes" as she gave me a quick squeeze before we were ushered out of the elevator.  All we could say was, "Thank you."  We were so touched by so few words, a kind smile and gentle squeeze.  What a gem and a reflection of a kind heart and tender caring.  During one of our darkest times we were surprisingly touched by hospital staff who took the time to care. 

Thank you!
Allison & Andy Moore


  1. Oh boy that got my tears a flowing. I think it hits me hard because I remember this pain so vividly. We lost our first baby at 17 weeks, then Emarie's twin at 6 weeks, and we lost one a year after Emarie was born around 6 weeks again that I didn't even know I was pregnant with. I had a D&C with the first, but was not as blessed with people who attended other than my mom and husband.

    Please know that my heart is with you, and my prayers of course. And all I know is that you will get to raise this sweet spirit one day.

  2. I thought about not posting this here because I know you're heartbroken... but I sent you an award on my blog.

    Love y'all and praying for y'all!

  3. My heart is aching for you guys. Those feelings are all too fresh. I'm very sorry for your loss. Many prayers for you and your family in this time of sadness.


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