Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear Patient,

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for what you had to go through.

I'm sorry that you came to the hospital with a baby inside you and you have to leave with an empty belly and a heavy heart.

I'm sorry for the cold floor, the skinny bed, the flimsy hospital gown, and the needle we put in your back.

I'm sorry that you could hear babies crying when you walked through the hallway.

I'm sorry for being a nursing student, an extra person in the room during such a difficult time.

I'm sorry that I wasn't the nurse, who did all the right things-- holding your hand, talking to you, being present with your pain. It was important for me to see her do it, but I'm sorry it wasn't me.

I'm sorry that I had to maintain a professional distance and that I couldn't hold you in my arms and weep with you.

I'm sorry that this procedure is the best one we have. It's invasive and uncomfortable.

I'm sorry that you had to choose between giving birth to a dead baby or having the doctor take it out.

I'm sorry that we couldn't really tell you what went wrong. We don't know. And that's not fair.

I'm sorry that you are still going to look pregnant when you leave here.

I'm sorry that you've been through all of this before.

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. No one should have to be this strong. It's too much.