Sunday, August 11, 2013
Gut Check: When life kicks you in the balls.
Heartbreak comes to us all at various points in our lives. With it the aches, and questions that sometimes will remain unanswered. And emotions that run the spectrum from one end to another. My wife and I are dealing with one of life's heartbreaks now with the loss of our unborn child.
With our last child together, I kept it to myself up until just before he was born. Other than immediate family, I didn't tell anyone. Not because I wasn't happy. I was walking on top of the world. Rather, it was because I don't care for all the hen house cooing. You know, all the crap people feel obligated to say for months until your baby is born. A simple congrats is good enough. But the constant asking how are things, parenting recommendations from people who don't have kids themselves, the list goes on. For most people these are just normal day things that are treated as such. For me, it's unwanted coaching on how to take care of my family. So I kept quite. And my little man, my little angel, was born strong and healthy.
Recently, my wife and I spoke of trying one last time. Given the outcome last time, it was a scary thought. Scary because of going through loss again. Scary because of what she had to go through physically the last time. But we were given a spark of happiness. We found that she was pregnant. And for the past couple of months there has been a surge of joy in our home. So this time around I got superstitious. I didn't say a word because I didn't want to jinx anything. We talked about boy names, girl names, what room to put them in, etc. Life was good. But yesterday, tragedy turned it's ugly head again.
In for what should have been a routine checkup turned ugly. Ultrasounds tend to be quite for the first few minutes normally. But this time, it was quite to the point it got eerie. I'm sitting quietly next and I'm thinking, "Why aren't we listening to the heart beat by now?" Just two weeks ago things were fine. But on this day, things were changing fast. Then it came. The tech on the machine said she couldn't find the heartbeat, and she wanted to get a doctor to confirm. The doctor came in, and in couple of minutes that seemed to stretch into an eternity, she confirmed the news.
To describe the sinking feeling you have in your chest at this point is describable. It's the worst punch you'll take in the chest. But it doesn't end there. It's like you can feel a long talon fingers wrapping around your heart, squeezing it, and throwing it on the floor. Then an elephant wearing spiked heals does a Mexican hat dance on it. And that's just for the first second. Anger, sadness, pain, depression, and more charge through your veins like electricity. After a while, you just go numb. Numb to everything. Food doesn't have taste, humor isn't really that funny, and nothing makes sense.
Then on top of that, you look to your loved one (in my case my wife) and have to be their pillar of strength. I know this is my mission at this point, because no matter how bad I feel, no matter what I want to do, I have to be her strength. This is because regardless of what I'm going through, she's going through worse. She not only has the physical bond with our baby from carrying it, but the physical loss her body must go through. And with it comes a loss of mind that no man could ever know. In my mind, it's worse than not being able to have a child because it's there and then torn away.
There's some solace to be had. Friends that remind me of things I already know. And personal beliefs. They don't take the edge off. They don't make the hurt any less. But they keep me sane. Sweet child, you brought your mom and I great happiness in your short time in our lives. And while we'll never hear you laugh or cry, our love for you is just as great as if we had.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart. ~Helen Keller