I was feeling depressed the other day. It seemed that we had insurmountable computer issues, staff morale was down and my family was acting rebellious. My kids were arguing with each other, with me and I found myself mindlessly walking out of my office down Old Country Road.
I came to a busy intersection and just stood there as cars sped by me. Honestly, at that moment in time I was thinking, why am I here? Why put up with all the hard work at the office trying to make the practice viable despite the pressures of the recession? Insurance companies were denying claims and when they were paying claims, it was at lower reimbursements that threatened to not compensate for our expenses. The government was planning to lower reimbursements even more. Patients, also experiencing financial difficulties were either asking for more breaks in the fees or not paying. I have to admit I gave thought to giving it all up as the pain and aggravations were not worth the efforts.
Suddenly, a white Audi convertible came to a screeching stop right next to me. It was one of my patients in the passenger seat sporting a very pregnant belly and apparently blowing through what I assumed was a labor pain. Her husband spoke. “Dr. Kreiner, Lara went into labor early this morning and we are on our way to the hospital to have the baby…can you come with us?” Speechless and shocked, I let myself into the cramped backseat and tried to comprehend what was happening as Lara’s husband took off.
We pulled into the emergency room five minutes later. Lara and I were taken to the labor floor while her husband dealt with the paperwork at the desk. Nurse’s barked orders, the doctor was called, and Lara started screaming during her pains and in this laboring frenzy I was awakened from my funk. It has been awhile since I was involved in a delivery but this baby was not waiting for the doctor and I got back into obstetrical mode, checking the baby’s position and heart rate and getting the anesthesiologist to administer the epidural. Lara’s husband was now at her side assisting her with her breathing.
“Push Lara, push”, I yelled as I saw the baby’s head crowning. She and her husband acted as if they had trained all pregnancy for this moment, working together as a team, his arm around her shoulders, breathing with her and supporting her back as she pushed.
Well, the doctor got there just before the baby was delivering. I stood on the side watching this miraculous event…Lara and her husband together pushing the baby out of the same womb that I had implanted nine months earlier. I remembered the image of showing Lara and her husband the photograph of the embryo and then watching on ultrasound as I injected the drop of media and air bubble containing the microscopic embryo into her uterus. I thought how sweet life was and I smiled.
Moments later, Lara put baby Adam to breast, her husband a proud new father was beaming as he gave out chocolate cigars to the doctor and nurses and then came to me with tears in his eyes and said, “thank you, so much Dr. Kreiner. We could never have done this without you. This will be my first Father’s Day and I couldn’t be happier.”
What can I say? It was as if my problems never existed. I thought the only thing missing for me was to be with my family and appreciate what I have. And what my wife and I have is truly amazing. We have my two lovely daughters and two sons, one with a fantastic girlfriend who he just moved in with and another son who has the best wife and most gorgeous three children one can ever wish for. Playing with them, having brunch and dinner with the family I love, I enjoyed a very Happy Father’s Day.