Tuesday, September 25, 2012
There are some people you never hoped you'd meet. Not because of who they are, but because of the circumstances under which you did meet them. The two wonderful people holding my son in this picture fall into that category. They are Dr. Michael Gallant, and his nurse, Cricket.
During an ultrasound on August 4, 2011, I learned that the baby I was carrying was a boy. My husband and I were delighted, as we'd (perhaps not so secretly) been hoping for a boy. About 2 minutes after learning that, we were told he likely had a cleft lip, and possibly a cleft palate. Now, of ALL the things you can learn in an ultrasound that are "wrong" with the baby you are carrying, this is one of the best possible things to hear. However, it was still devastating at the time.
I was devastated that this little man I hadn't even met yet would have to endure painful surgeries and undergo anesthesia at such a young age. I was devastated that he'd be teased on the playground. I was devastated that.....on and on and on. I wish I could go back to that day and tell myself how "ok" everything would be. But I digress.
We began learning more about clefts, the challenges he and we (his parents) would face, and the process by which we'd go about "correcting" it. Enter Dr. Gallant and Cricket. We met them while I was still pregnant. We got a plan, which we would adjust when he was born and we knew the exact extent of what we were facing. Dr. Gallant very patiently showed us photos, explained procedures, told us personal stories, and stopped it all to comfort me when I began crying in his office. He spent over an hour with us that first day, without ever having met his patient.
He performed our son's first surgery, to correct his lip, back in March of this year. He and his staff and the amazing staff at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL took wonderful care of our son - AND of us. He smiled when I cried tears of joy when he first re-introduced us to our son.
I took this picture this morning, when I met again with Dr. G and Cricket, to discuss the next surgery. We'll be going in again in October, to correct the palate. Once again, Dr. Gallant took the time to answer all of my questions today, tell me exactly what we're facing, and was honest but gentle when he told me this is likely the worst one for our son. Again he was patient and kind when my eyes teared up, and explained how they would help him - AND us - through this one, just like they did the last one.
When Dr. G walked into the examining room this morning and saw our son for the first time in about 5 months, his face lit up. He told me how lucky he is to have this job. It is so obvious that he loves what he does, and I believe that's why he is so brilliant at it.
So....I'm incredibly grateful that these two people are in my son's - AND our - life...even if I never hoped I'd meet them.