|Back when we announced we were expecting on Facebook.|
My son Clarkson had woken-up from his nap and I was preparing his lunch. He likes these little microwave meatballs made out of turkey meat and veggies from the company, "Kid Fresh," so I went to pour five out of the bag onto the plate to cook. To my surprise, I got the perfect number out right away. Five popped out of the bag and I was really pleased with myself. It was the last happy surprise I would get before a series of really sad sudden events.
My Mom, Dad, and Sister flew-in to spend some time with us for the holidays, and see our son, Clarkson. We had dinner with them and then on the way home my wife’s hernia came loose. She had been sneezing a bit and had a hard cough, and it suddenly was an issue. She was in horrible pain once we were at the house and we called 911. An ambulance came and got her, we called Samii's sister so someone would be able to watch Clarkson, and then I went to the Mercy hospital to be my wife. We saw a doctor and they thought they were maybe able to manually move the hernia. The wanted to keep Samii overnight to monitor it, however. I went home as Samii wanted me to get some sleep and crashed into bed.
I woke at 8AM Friday and my wife texted me a few minutes after that it turned-out things looked bad still for her bowels. They were worried the hernia could be cutting-off blood flow and the bowel was possibly weakened or even dead. After a lot of prepping they did surgery Friday afternoon. Thankfully the bowel was not dead so it was the most minor surgery and the surgeon said we were lucky. Samii then was told for some days she would be recovering in the hospital. As she was also 15 weeks pregnant we were worried about that surgery posing a risk, but all seemed well.
Yes, my readers, that is right. Samii had been pregnant. I had not announced it yet as I had a fun blog post planned for December 31st to announce my, "Second Pregnancy of the Year." People on Facebook were aware as we just announced the news at Thanksgiving, but all you readers did not yet know. I was really excited to share that news, but as you read about the upcoming days you'll see why I'm disclosing all this now.
I went home as the evening approached on the 13th and spent time with Clarkson as things had been so crazy. It was weird having Samii at the hospital away from us, but she of course needed to recover.
My family came over Saturday morning and hung-out with me and Clarkson. Then I got a call from the hospital about Samii. She started bleeding a lot vaginally. She was moved to Labor and Delivery as they had the equipment there to monitor everything. They ran a bunch of tests and a lot of stuff had ruptured inside Samii. A variety of membranes had burst, the placenta had most likely separated from the uterus, her water had broken and there was basically no amniotic fluid or the usual blood flow for the fetus.
All of this would put a fetus at 20% survival odds should it be at 24-25 weeks. We were at 15 weeks. There was basically no way to keep my wife alive long enough to get to term and even if we were theoretically able to get to term the fetus would most likely not have gotten the development it needs. It lacked all that amniotic and blood stuff it requires. It was just not a viable pregnancy or possible to keep Samii alive without her going septic. There was still a heartbeat, however, so it was an extremely painful thing to talk about, and we were discussing something generally not ever talked about in Mercy hospital, the doctors told us. This was basically terminating the pregnancy to save my wife's life and save our developing baby from horrible pain and misery due to a lack of nutrients, blood, etc. As it was technically an abortion due to the heartbeat, Mercy was unable to help with the next steps.
We were transferred to another hospital--BJC--Saturday night. It was late and we were in the labor and delivery wing. It was hard to hear all these people expressing joy at their news babies knowing we would soon be losing ours. Many doctors came and talked with us. They broke everything down in terms of our options and it was decided because Samii still had a number of health risks what with the fact she still had fresh surgery wounds from the hernia procedure, so it was elected to do a D&E with her fully knocked-out with anesthesia. This would be the second time she was fully under in a week. We basically cried all of Thursday night and evening.
It was the morning and we had the D&E done to terminate the pregnancy as it was just not safe for Samii to continue being pregnant or viable for the fetus. The baby was not capable of surviving. We asked about if the baby we had tried so hard for would feel any pain and they assured us it would not. It would be asleep just like Samii. The surgeons told me after the procedure things were even worse when they were doing the procedure. The umbilical cord was coming out, the placenta was fully detached, keeping the pregnancy going would have caused Samii to die and the baby nothing but pain before it died. Still, we felt so sad and it emotionally hurt.
Even if we lived in a state that had outlawed abortion the procedures would have been allowed as this was a medical situation, but it is scary to think how much more paperwork there could have been or how much longer things could have taken. Samii could have died due to too much legal junk, and there was already a lot of legal junk we had to sign while sobbing because we wanted this baby, we just couldn't have it. Sometimes people who lose their babies become very anti-abortion. If anything, this has shown me how private a choice it is for a family to decide if they have to terminate a pregnancy or not. This is something that should be up to a family and their doctors. The doctors told us everything and it was clear after having all the facts laid-out there was no way to keep Samii and this baby alive. We truly appreciate everything all medical teams at Mercy and BJC did. We were in the midst of one of the hardest weeks of our lives and being given accurate facts and data allowed us to know what to do in order to save the life of my wife.
Samii was groggy after being knocked out for a second time. After spending time with her until she got her bearings I headed home.
A snowstorm hit Saint Louis and I was unable to visit Samii at the hospital Monday, I was snowed-in with Clarkson and he and I just relaxed. We talked with Samii over Facetime and she was physically feeling better. Keep in mind she had within the span of a few days gone through two surgeries.
During this time the doctors were able to talk to us and Samii and I talked about how crazy things had been. Really, these were two separate events that just happened close to each other. Her hernia issues were unrelated to anything with us losing our baby, it was clear. She was just arguably lucky to be in the hospital when her body started shutting-down the pregnancy. There had maybe been some signs something was amiss with the baby--genetics tests we had sent-for to learn the sex of the baby had come back inconclusive twice, things like that. Samii's body was quite possibly trying to protect her from this baby that could threaten her life due to some problems. It still does not diminish how sad we were and the pain we have felt.
Tuesday morning my car wouldn’t start and I had to get a new battery for it at the local repair shop. I’m glad I did it fast as my wife came home Tuesday afternoon. The doctors talked with us about how the recovery from the hernia surgery would take longer than the recovery from the D&E, even though it was performed later. Samii will need to be out of work for at least 6 weeks as her body recovers from the hernia surgery and that will give us time to emotionally heal. My family (who had arrived to visit the same day all this started, you may recall) came by again to visit Samii at the house and say goodbye as they were heading back home the next day.
Samii rested at home and some friends came by to check on us. We talked a lot, cried, and the snow finally started melting outside.
It had been a full week since everything went way differently than we had ever pictured. Clarkson went to preschool and had a good day while I got us some needed groceries as Samii rested at home. I got a fun surprise in the mail that made me happy. Someone in a comic-trading group I am in online sent me some fun little promotional-flyers for comic-books as the group knows I like ashcans and little comic promos. They had done this simply for free and out of the kindness of their heart. It was probably the first surprise I had experienced since the meatballs on Wednesday the 11th that didn't make me worry or cry.
Samii is still recovering from everything physically. We continue to have days we feel okay and days where we are just so, so sad. It is a process and we have so many wonderful people in our lives to offer their love and support. There is still a lot to process. We had so much planned-out for our lives with a second baby on the way, that has to change now. Clarkson does not fully understand everything that has happened beyond that Samii was gone for some days and he was very happy when she came home. Everything is emotionally raw right now, but time and the support of those around us will help.
Samii and I just wanted to make everyone aware of what had happened because trying to keep it a secret feels wrong. We had this baby on the way, we wanted it and loved it so much already, but Samii and the baby just could not survive, so we had to lose our baby. I hurt so bad without any physical pain, and Samii is upset as well. We lost a pregnancy we had tried so hard for and Samii was doing everything right during, so of course, we are sad. I 100% believe that everything we did was the right choice, however, and our baby understands and loves us too, in whatever hopefully happy and magical place it now is in because it just couldn't join us here in this life. This is probably the hardest blog post I have ever written, and I have had to pause multiple times as the tears in my eyes have made it too hard to see the screen at certain points.
Generally, my blog is more full of fun posts on popular-culture and just has the occasional serious post about my life, but I like to put these posts up because I want to share how I feel with my readers (those I know or don't know) and my friends who read this too. I am in pain, but I am so thankful for everything I do have from my wonderful wife and amazing son to our comfy home and all the people who care about us. Everything that happened from 12/12 to 12/19 has been so hard, but with our own inner-strength and the additional strength of all those who love us, we will get through it. I appreciate you all. I want to finish this post with a quote from Maya Angelou, "“The love of the family, the love of one person can heal." Having all of you wonderful people in my life will help heal me. Thank you.