Life does not always give you answers. Life does not always give you solutions. God does not always answer prayers and horrible things happen to good people.
Those are the hardest lessons to learn about life. After dealing with so many obstacles I will tell you…
Life is beautiful.
July 5th, 2011 started off like any normal day for my wife and me. I got up around 4am to go workout. The workout was really good, so I stayed a little longer at the gym. I got home and started to do a little work around the house.
It actually was a special day. My wife was nineteen weeks pregnant. We were going to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Once we found out, we were going to tell our family and all of our friends. We were excited and thrilled.
When we got to the doctor’s office, we were off for a sonogram. The heartbeat was great, but the baby was being fussy. It was hard for the nurse to get a read on the baby, so she could not tell us the sex of the baby. All of the sudden she told us the baby’s fluid was low.
We asked if we should be concerned. She was a little hesitant in answering. Looking back she looked extremely concerned. She said it was something to be aware of and the doctor might send us to the hospital to have it checked out.
My wife was shaking a little. I told her everything would be fine. We were in the second trimester. The baby had a great heartbeat.
Tears started to roll down the side of my wife’s face. I told her to wait for the doctor and not get worked up.
The doctor came in. He is very straightforward. That is what we like about him. He delivered our first baby. We have known him for years and is very good at what he does.
He was looking at our chart and started to mumble “Man….this is so rare. In twenty years of doing this I have only seen this twice. I mean, wow…um…”
Then he got very clear…
“Guys, this is not your time. Your baby will not make it. You need to go to the hospital”
I was confused. I did not understand. How did it go from a healthy heartbeat to losing a child in a matter of minutes?
I asked if there was anything we could do to save the baby. Anything at all!
“No, there is not enough fluid for your baby to survive. It needs the fluid to grow. Your baby has days to live and even then… I am sorry.”
I wanted answers. I wanted solutions. That is the kind of person I am. I asked if there was a way to put fluid back in. I asked if there was a way to have the baby survive. Anything. I did not know, I just wanted some solution, not the answer he gave us.
“NO! It does not work like that. I am so sorry, so sorry.”
So my wife and I sat there is horror and shock. Imagine your worst dream and then multiply it by a thousand. That is what happened. That is the moment.
What was supposed to be a very special day turned into the worst possible day for my family. We took our two year old son to his grandparents house and we went to the hospital.
We got to the hospital around 2:30 in the afternoon. I know this because we got stuck in downtown Orlando traffic. We got stuck because they were about to announce the Casey Anthony verdict. That is what people were concerned about. Casey Anthony. We were about to lose a child. People were concerned if a woman had any part in killing her child.
The hospital we went to is called Winnie Palmer, which specializes in pregnancies. It is nationally known for being one of the best hospitals for having children. We had our son there.
Now we were going to lose our child there.
When we got to the hospital, we were put on the ninth floor. The floor is known for the high-risk pregnancies. We saw so many different doctors who had different philosophies. Yet, they all said that our baby would not survive. Not one of them gave our baby a chance. If one said there was a chance…a glimmer of hope, we would have done anything to save the baby. Anything. Yet, like the doctor told us, it was not our time. No one can prepare you for something like this.
My wife and I were in the hospital for four days. Four days of sadness. Four days of uncertainty. Four days of surgery. Four days of compassion.
The nurses there were wonderful. Because they have seen people lose children before, they knew what to say.
Yet, who really knows what to say?
We tried to make the most of it. We asked if we could donate any organs. At nineteen weeks, we were not able to. At nineteen weeks, the baby was too small to be in ICU.
This is not supposed to happen at nineteen weeks!
When I would walk into our room at the hospital, I noticed that we had a butterfly on the door. That shows the nurses and doctors that we lost a child. So they do not go in and yell “Congratulations!” Yet, at that point, anything would offend us.
We lost the baby. It was not our fault. There is no reason for it.
I am a person who believes in accountability and answers, so in some ways I wish there was a reason. There was no reason. Just like the doctor said, it was not out time. You get tired of hearing it after a tragedy, but there is really no other answer.
I was never angry. I was just sad. My wife and I really wanted this baby. We love children. It was the main reason I lost 221 pounds. It is the main reason I will keep off the weight.
It was the second trimester. We were supposed to be safe. We had a heartbeat. But at the end of the day, it was not meant to be.
We felt alone. We felt like this only happened to us. That no one else lost children. We felt like we failed. We felt like we could have done something to prevent this. If only we were to see signs of it earlier. Yet, you learn that there is nothing you can do.
Last Christmas Eve my wife found out she was pregnant. We were happy and scared. After losing a child, you worry every day. Every time something feels funny you get nervous. You get scared. You do not want to tell people you are pregnant. You are afraid.
In August we had a daughter. I did not cry when she was born. I felt relieved. I felt thankful. I felt like every answer I did not know two years ago was answered.
Today I looked at my daughter who is four months old. Memories came back from the last few years. I started to cry. All the emotions I kept in for so long came out. You never lose the sadness, but I was thankful.
My wife and I were talking, and I told her that we couldn’t be alone in this. Good people lose children. This happens to other people. Very few talk about it. It is something they keep private. Memories are kept in a safe never to be opened.
Honestly, you learn that it just happens. Life does not have to give you reasons.
I told my wife I wanted to write about it because it would help at least one person. If this has happened to you or someone you know, just know you are not alone. No one talks about this. This is not something people want to talk about. Why would they?
Sometimes I am not there emotionally for my wife. I cannot hug her and hold her like I want to.
I promised her we would try to have another child after losing one.
I always keep my promises.