We are sitting in Dr. Devereaux’s office. He made a point to get Cat in even though we weren’t to see him again until after Spring Break. Cat had just got done telling him about our conversation with Dr. Packert and he is livid.
He picks up the phone immediately and calls that office. “Dr. Packert, please. Yes, I’ll hold.”
He is left on hold for quite a while then…
“Dr. Packert. I have a young woman in my office that is extremely upset with how you handled thing with her a few days ago. Cat Fischer? Yes. I see. You are supposed to counsel my clients Dr. Packert not bully them into making decisions that could potentially hurt them or the child they are carrying.
No! You listen to me. You work for me and I don’t appreciate my clients being mishandled by you. You are not to have any further dealings with Ms. Fischer again. Am I understood? Good,” Dr. Devereaux said and hung up the phone.
“I am sorry you had to go through that, Cat,” Dr. Devereaux says still obviously annoyed by the conversation he had with Dr. Packert.
“What scares me most, Dr. Devereaux is that if Alex hadn’t been there to work out the math, who knows what he would have talked me into. Or how many other women he may have convinced to have an abortion for a 25% chance that something might go wrong. There is something wrong with that man.”
“Cat. Not that this excuses his behavior in the slightest, but Dr. Packert’s son is severely handicapped. He lives his days strapped in a wheelchair with his mother taking care of all his physical needs. She feeds him, dresses him, bathes him and their son is now twenty-seven years old.
Back when his wife was pregnant there was no way to detect such abnormalities in the womb. Seeing the quality of life his son has, his wife has, I imagine taints his council.”
I can see Cat feels bad for the doctor, but I couldn’t help it. “Oh, screw that!”
Cat looks at me shocked but Dr. Devereaux just grins. “Tell me what you really think, Mr. Bragin.”
“Look I understand and I feel for the guy but that doesn’t give him the right to project his own opinion on every mother that comes into his office. He had Cat really shaken and hell me too until I realized everything he’s saying is B.S.”
“Well, not everything,” Dr. Devereaux corrected. “There is still a 25% chance that something could go wrong with the baby and he was correct in telling you what those things may be.”
“But we can rule out some of those things right?” Cat asks her eyes pleading.
“Yes, Cat. I will put through to your insurance the need for a high-level ultrasound.
I’ve gotten the results back from your tests and there are no signs of Down Syndrome, your markers came back good and so did the ultrasound.
Cat reaches out as crushes my hand and although I’m in pain I smile at her. This is really good news and we needed it after spending several days with ‘What If’s’ playing in our minds.
“The high-level ultrasound will let us rule out any obvious abnormalities but I’m also going to have NICU standing by when the baby is born.”
Dr. Devereux leans forward, and I immediately feel nervous again as I’ve picked up this movement as a tell of Dr. Devereaux’s that he’s about to discuss something uncomfortable or serious for his patient.
“Cat, I would seriously advise not going natural to deliver the baby. I think it’s best we do a C-section. This way we can plan when this baby is coming and be ready just in case.”
“C-section?” I ask, not like the sound of it already.
“A Cesarean Section is a surgery to deliver the baby as opposed to vaginal birth,” Dr. Devereaux explains, looking at me. “We make an incision along the abdomen and take the baby out that way instead of having her deliver vaginally where too many complications can be had.”
“Are there risks to Cat?” I ask and I can feel her eyes on me. I refuse to look at her at this moment because this is one of those times when I feel the fear we talked about before. Right now I’m terrified of the idea of losing her but can’t say a word. However, I can’t imagine it won’t show on my face somehow.
“The surgery is relatively safe for both mother and baby but it is a surgery and all surgery comes with some risk.”
Cat looks away from me and asks, “Will I even be aware of the baby being born?”
“Yes. You’ll be given spinal anesthesia, which will be administered by injection through your spine that will numb your body from the abdomen down. So you will be pain-free and awake during the surgery. I’ll have a curtain up so you won’t see anything but you will see your baby once they are cleaned up and checked by the nurses.”
“Surgery,” I say absent-mindedly. “If she does this, can she still have other children someday?”
“Yes, but depending on the time frame she may have to have another C-section as opposed to delivering vaginally.”
“Why is that?” Cat inquires.
“If you deliver this baby and say get pregnant again in the next few months after. If it hasn’t been more than two, two and half years since your first C-section it would be best to have a second C-section because delivering vaginally may put you at risk of your uterus rupturing.”
I look at Cat and I can tell this is a lot of information and she looks a little overwhelmed. I’m not surprised, as this seems a lot to process.