What Was and Could Have Been

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The Football Game To Heal

The Football Game To Heal

I have never written about my feelings when my wife and I lost our babies. I tend to be the typical man who likes to share a little of himself but mostly of his innate male wish to push back his pain to absorb the pain of the love of his life, his wife. There were two occasions for us that we know of. Some of you may question the part where I say that “we know of” but we later found out that chemical pregnancy loss is common and we feel that may have happened as well. I really don’t want to know the truth.

The first one was before we took on the infertility war. My wife had always swore that she would never tell me she was pregnant over the phone but she did anyways. I was over the top excited. I called my dad at work and I never call my dad on his cell much less at work. I told my dad he was about to be a grandfather. I called my boss too. Now allow me to rewind myself a tic or two. A months earlier I was working for another man. He came to me to tell me he was about to be a father again. A couple of days later I saw his wife and congratulated her. She looked at me like I had kicked her dog and walked away. My boss came back a few hours later and said she was upset with him because he shared the news too early. I found that preposterous and talked to my wife about it and she agreed with my bosses wife that people do not always share early just in case something goes wrong. I still did not agree with my wife. Flash forward to the beginning of this paragraph. One week later we lost our pregnancy. I was stunned. We had been coaching baseball at the time and I had to meet the parents at the field to tell them that practice was cancelled. One of the mothers could tell something was wrong and I shared with her what was happening. She shared a similar story. When the lot was cleared I sat in my car and cried. It was an all out let it go sobbing. I went back home and asked my neighbor to take me to get my wife’s car. The loss occurred while my wife was at work.  We went to my wife’s doctor and she coldly told us that “lightning strikes”. So lightning struck my wife and we lost a child? I was hollow. I felt numb because I had been in a million bad spots in my life. I was a police officer and had dealt with an incalculable amount of issues but this time I was lost. I can look you in the eyes and give you great advice to get through a dark spot but this was too close to home and I felt helpless. That weekend we stayed in the house and watched an Americas Next Top Model Marathon for a day and a half. We decided we need something to look forward to and I bought my wife tickets to a Steelers and Redskins game (she is a Steelers fan).  We changed doctors and began our infertility story. I also learned that when your wife says don’t share until she is ready…..listen!!!

The second one destroyed me. We had been on the infertility journey for a while when we got news we were pregnant. I felt stupid. For years I had always thought that making someone pregnant was a God-given right. Lay down and nine months later you are there. We had tried with infertility help for a while to get pregnant. I remember asking myself what had I done wrong to not be able to fulfill my role as a man. I felt emasculated. I prided myself on being there and taking care of my wife and dammit I was not doing it. I had given up and was only hoping and waiting for my wife to say the same thing. Thank God my wife is stronger than I and did not give up. In October of 2008 our daughter was born as a result of an IVF. Had my wife not been persistent it would have never happened.

I did not think too much of the lost babies until recently. We hear noises in the house at night and I told my wife she was crazy for thinking it was the babies until one night I saw a child walking in our home. I still do not know what to make of it and have not seen it since then but I found calm after seeing it. We met psychic Sylvia Brown years ago in Las Vegas before the birth of our daughter. She told us one of the children was with a family member, my wife’s grandmother passed a couple of days after we lost the baby. I am not telling you that our lost babies became ghosts and sometimes I believe our minds deduce what they need to make sense of life’s strange situations. I do think that we all find ways to cope with loss and if my wife lost me I would want her to move on no matter what she had to believe to get through it. Every child is a gift even the ones you never get to hold. A child gives you hope for the future. A child fuels your need to do good and live a life that has new meaning.  To lose one is like losing hope but there is another side to consider. As hard as it is to lose a child have you ever considered that if the child would want you to move on when you could? The child knows you love them and when you love someone you do not want to be the thing that makes them not want to grow and move on. I believe a lost child could feel the same way. It does not take away the loss but it could give you reason to move on and maybe realize your dream to be a parent. To all of you that have  lost a child I tell you I love you and can understand. I wish you all the best and on this Day of Hope I honor all of our children.

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