Callie stepped out of the elevator onto the maternity floor of the hospital. Everywhere she looked there were signs of new beginnings and cheerful expectations. It broke her heart to be here under such grim circumstances.
One of the jobs Callie had taken on over the years was grief counselor for their practice. She’d enrolled in some specialized courses and learned, mainly, what not to say to bereft parents. Personal experience had taught her how much some of those well-intentioned words could hurt. When Gavin died during that first year of her marriage, if she’d heard “He’s in a better place” Or “God must have needed a special angel for his garden” one more time she would have screamed. Gavin’s place was here with her, playing in her garden. Period. Callie had accepted God’s will in Gavin’s death years ago, but it still hurt. If she could do something to ease the pain of another parent in similar circumstances, she would.
A miscarriage, even in the earliest stages of pregnancy, could be devastating. Stillbirths like this were the hardest, and thankfully, the rarest. Hardest because the parents spent nine months forming an emotional attachment to their unborn child. Missy and Jeff’s dreams of a family had been yanked from their fingertips in the cruelest possible fashion.
For these parents, there was a little more that could be done to provide some comfort in the months ahead. Callie was so thankful that the medical community had realized the importance of allowing these families to say hello to their child before they were forced to say good-bye. Her thoughts grew wistful. Things had changed a lot in the last thirty-five years. She shook it off.
Dr. Rayburn had standing orders in these cases. Callie was grateful they didn’t have to use them very often. She stopped at the nurse’s station.
“Hi, Callie,” the nurse greeted her. “We’ve been expecting you.”
“How is she this morning?”
“Like I expect any of us would be. It’s just so sad.”
Callie nodded her agreement. “Do you have the box ready?”
The nurse reached under the counter and pulled out a small pink box. “Here you go. They’re in room four thirty eight. Good luck.”
Callie took the box into the staff lounge. When one of their patients miscarried, the most she could
offer was a shoulder to lean on and a support group. For Missy and Jeff it would be taken a step further.