Lest I Forget.
The flavour of this blog is usually a blend of humor with a dash of randomness towards the noob dad that I am. But, today I wanted to change the flavour to more of a personal reflection, of a bittersweet memoir from exactly one year ago today.
Before I jump back 365 days, the story begins a little further back than that. By June of 2011, my wife and I had been trying for over two and half years to conceive, with our share of challenges along the way. Two years into trying we consulted with the specialists to find out if their was complications we weren’t aware of. After a few months of tests, meetings, and lots of waiting we were diagnosed unexplained by the doctors to why we hadn’t conceived yet. There was little for them to do other than encourage us to keep on keeping on. They did suggest some medical options we could try, but left those decisions in our hands. We found all of this out last June and were very disappointed that there was no answer to why we hadn’t conceived, but on the same hand we felt relieved to know that there wasn’t any underlining medical complications that was hindering us from ever conceiving in the future. It was bittersweet. And when something is bittersweet, it is hard to taste the sweet through all the bitter. We left that appointment with a sense that it could take years for us to ever conceive without medical assistance. After a few days of processing what we were told, we decided to wait until the fall before we would seek any additional medical options. We said, let’s just enjoy our summer and see what happens. We prepared ourselves mentally for the long haul. In a sense we basically gave up on trying for the summer.
Of course, only three weeks later my wife conceived. It was insane! We had looked at so many pregnancy tests that when she looked at this one she was in so much shock that we didn’t even know what to say. We were stoked! We told our families and waited to tell our friends. We wanted to tell most of our friends in person since they knew we were trying for awhile now. We packed up and left for holidays so excited that we talked about baby names, parenting, nursery decor, and everything in between the whole way there. The excitement magnified with the time spent together during our family vacation.
The last night of our holidays, my wife had some concerns physically and called the health line to see what to do. They advised us to go to emergency right away to see a doctor. In the panic of hearing the news, my wife slipped down the spiral staircase at her parents cabin and split her toes wide apart leaving a large gash. Now we were on the way to the hospital for her foot and the baby. As we drove to hospital, our fears of a miscarriage were extremely present. Before the doctor stitched up my wife’s foot she said matter-of-factly that; “the abortion is in progress” and that most likely you were miscarrying, but there could be a chance everything is okay. It was confusing and random news. We felt like she stabbed us with the news, and summed it up with a glimmer of hope. We had to wait until the morning for an emergency ultrasound to confirm the fetal heartbeat.
The next morning (365 days ago) it was official as we received the news that the baby had passed away at seven weeks, almost two weeks earlier then that day. We cried long and hard together while in the appointment room, where we were transferred to another hospital to have a D&C. We had the most amazing nurse in the world at this hospital, which at one point we seriously thought she might be an angel. She was so sensitive and caring that it felt supernatural. After a few hours of waiting for the surgery in a private room, my wife passed the baby naturally. We had the rare and incredible opportunity of being shown the fetus that was passed and completely intact. As my wife and I saw the baby we were overwhelmed with the emotions of meeting our child for the first time but also sadden by the deep personal loss of the child. The nurse let us have some time to process this moment on our own, which was amazing and unforgettable. Even though we did not know the sex of the baby, we felt that we should name the baby anyway. We named him Enoch Tobias and believed that the baby was a boy. Who ever knew that you would feel so connected with a baby even though he was never born. Insane. That day was filled with extreme joy and extreme pain. Joy for seeing the baby combined with immense pain for losing him. Bittersweet.
It was a hard few weeks that followed that day a year ago when we lost our first child. It was heartbreaking and overwhelming for the both of us. We made it through those times with the help of God, our family, prayer, and lots of healing. As today marks the anniversary of our loss, we are grateful for the city we live in as were able to put Enoch’s name on a plaque at the pregnancy loss memorial at the cemetery where my grandparents are buried.
Today was a day to look back and remember, but also a day that reminds us of our next child who will be here in less than two months time. This baby doesn’t replace the loss of Enoch but helps us to be grateful for future we have as parents. Parenthood is a miracle and for that I cannot wait, even if I am a DaddyNoob, I am happy to just be a dad.