Posted in Dreams, Life

Be The Cheerleader

When it comes to having a dream, you’ll encounter two basic kinds of people:  those who will support you and those who won’t.  People you love will fall into both of these categories.  People you trust will as well.  These same people can flip flop between the two, supporting only those dreams they believe in and crushing those they don’t want for you.  Sometimes those dream killers truly have your best interests at heart, sometimes they don’t.  Same goes for your supporters.  Of course, I can’t just throw this out there without an example for you.  I’ll tie it up nicely with a pretty bow and some unsolicited advice.

When I first decided to have a baby, I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  I have Factor V Leiden, which is a generic clotting disorder.  Basically, my blood randomly forms clots, causing all kinds of problems.  That’s important only because I take blood thinners to keep that from happening, but the oral blood thinners cause serious birth defects and complications during pregnancy and childbirth.  I couldn’t be off of all blood thinking medicine, because pregnancy is a hypercoagulative state.  So I knew I’d have to coordinate with my hematologist and OB.  It would get trickier because of the need for fertility meds, but only because the hormones in those also tend to cause clots.
I started with the hematologist.  I remember telling him what I wanted and laying out what I saw as the road blocks.  He looked at me and said, very directly, “You can’t do this.  You’ll likely die.  There’s always adoption.” And just like that, my dream of having a baby went right out the window.  I was heartbroken.
I had my regular GYN appointment a few  weeks later.  I told him what the hematologist said.  Dr. Hyde looked right at me and didn’t say a word at first, then started writing on his prescription pad.  He handed me two scripts, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “if you want it, let’s try to make that happen.  It may not be easy, but it’s doable.” Instead of saying no or it shouldn’t be attempted, he spent 45 minutes with me, explaining what I’d need to do, what the risks were, and the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy, birth, and baby.  He told me about the fertility meds and that I’d have to take blood thinning meds as a shot.  Well, twice a day shots.  In my stomach.  Starting the day I took the first fertility meds and ending the day I delivered.  I had a lot to think about.
Some people told me I was crazy for considering this.  Words like “foolish” and “stupid” we’re tossed around.  I kept remembering the hematologist telling me, “you can’t do this.” I thought about it for all of two days, then went to fill the scripts and learn to give myself shots.
I got pregnant the first month of trying, but had a miscarriage at eight weeks.  I tried again for a few months with no luck.  Fourth month was a charm, and I was cautiously optimistic.  And then the blood tests said I had another miscarriage.  Pain a week later sent me to the doc where it was discovered I had an ectopic pregnancy.  I was scheduled for immediate surgery.  I was losing hope.
I got a blood clot after that surgery, which required a visit to the hematologist, who repeated his earlier warning, this time adding “irresponsible” to the mix.  Dejected, I headed to the follow up with my OB/GYN.  At the end of that appointment, Dr. Hyde looked at me and said, “you knew this wouldn’t be easy.  You’re not ready to give up yet, are you?”
I had one more miscarriage in the next months then finally one day in March, it happened.  I don’t think I ever believed that I’d have that baby.  It was a horrible pregnancy, with lots of hospital admits and bed rest for much of the pregnancy.  And on December 5, 2003, I was holding this tiny baby boy who was mine.  My OB made it a point to be sure he was the one who delivered him.
When I went back for my first post-natal appointment, baby in tow, Dr. Hyde held him while talking to me.  “I told you it could be done.  You were the most amazing patient.  I was worried you were going to throw in the towel a few times.” He looked down and Josh, smiled and handed him to me.  “I’m glad you didn’t quit.  You wouldn’t have him if you did.”
The point?  I chose to listen to both sides and stuck with the doctor who believed in my dream.  I can’t even remember the name of the hematologist.  He became unimportant to me as I didn’t want that negativity, no matter how medically sound it was.
Every day, we all have choices.  We can choose to support our loved ones in their hopes and dreams, or we can tell them it can’t happen.  So think about how you want that person to remember you.  Do you want to be the one who said it couldn’t be possible or the one who says it’s going to be hard, but I believe in you?  I guarantee that if you are the former enough times, you’ll eventually wind up as an afterthought in a beautiful story.  Wouldn’t you rather be the one celebrating next to the person whose dream just came true?  Be the cheerleader, or you may miss the best part.