Twelve Years

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There is a new twelve year old in our home.  Katie is an amazing kid with a huge heart.  She is smart, and talented and driven.  Everything comes naturally to her – academics, athletics, art, and music.  Twelve years ago when my obstetrician placed her on my chest, I knew she was special, different from the others.  She is a true miracle that overcame a very tumultuous pregnancy filled with a placental abruption, and preterm labor.  At 14 weeks I was rushed to the hospital.  The operating room was prepped to do a D&C since I was hemorrhaging, but I asked my doctor to check for a heartbeat first.  He assured me that with that much blood, my baby could not possibly have survived, but he checked for my peace of mind.   I knew my baby was alive and I was not going to stop fighting for it.  Imagine my doctor's surprise when he saw my baby's strong heart beating.

Today we celebrated with cupcakes, presents, and Katie's choice for dinner – pancakes!  

In honor of Katie's birthday, I decided to publish a letter I sent to my former obstetrician in 2010 when I learned he was moving his practice.  I truly believe that without him, I wouldn't have my beautiful daughter.



Dear Dr. J,

Well, I didn't think you'd be my doctor forever, I just thought I'd be the one moving. I'm picky about doctors, especially OB/GYNs. You have been mine for 12 years now, and I'm not really sure how I feel about finding someone new. I'll adjust, I'm sure, but who is going to tease me about my REALLY heavy file?

I wanted to write to you to thank you for all you have done for me. You have delivered 6 of my babies. How could I ever thank you for all the joy you helped nurture and deliver here safely. I always felt safe in your care, but more importantly, I always felt my children were safe in your care.

I will always be eternally grateful to you for my Katie. I truly believe that without you as my doctor, I would not have her. You are so compassionate and understanding. You listened to me when I told you my baby was still alive. Even with all that blood, you rolled in the ultrasound machine and checked; and then you let me go home on bedrest. That little girl is going to do big things someday, and you'll be on her list of people to thank. She has a picture of you in her baby book. I will be sure to tell her the story of how I came so close to losing her, and the part you played in her life.

I must have put you through a lot. Between Katie and the preterm labor (twice). Then, all those times I dilated early and still needed Pitocin. Don't forget about those Forceps (and how you teased me.) By the way, I really meant to push those last two babies out. No matter how they got here, cesarean section or naturally, you were the only doctor I wanted there with me.

I wish you well as you travel down your new path. Don't be surprised if I follow you to your new practice. Madison Avenue really isn't that far.

With warmest regards,

Jennifer Swartvagher


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