The Odd Wife

Thursday, January 27, 2005

That Lost Weekend

I came to her office Friday afternoon, shrugging off the work day with the anticipation of a weekend ahead. However her desk was empty and soon she appeared with a look of confused concern. She had been to the bathroom repeatedly for the last hour and soon had to return again, even though she felt no urge. That was when she whispered her concern on the possibility that her water may have broken. The three of us made a direct route to the ER.

Our daughter, who had campaigned hard for the arrival of a younger member, was in attendance and her apprehension was evident in her questions. She is atypical for her age in that she handles these matters in a wise manner and we informed her of the situation in a scientific fashion. We readied her for low odds but she held hope. Our good friend came all the way out to the hospital and collected her in the waiting room in order to stay with them for the next few days.

Now the downtown ER on a weekend night is quite active and it tends to attract a dynamic throng, resembling a bus depot, only with gauze. TOW was brought back early but we were relegated to a small room with her having to endure resting on a rigid examining table for a few hours. That was when we were told there was little that could be done once the amniotic fluid has been voided at this early stage: her pregnancy was at the exact halfway point, almost to the day. We didn’t speak much for some time but we kept in constant communication, rarely letting go of each other.

Near 1:00 am we made it to the sonogram room and amazingly we could see our son Christian was still alive in his collapsed environs—heart still beating, movements still visible, but hope still negative. We had reached the point of consignment by then and the fact that our son was still persevering made it all the more futilely bitter. Then we had to go through the motions of a traditional delivery with the knowledge that we would have no such resolution. She was brought up to a maternity room and the staff was wonderful in their attention but there was no mistaking the quiet somberness that hung in the room like a wet curtain.

By 4:30 I was told that I should just go home because she would be under heavy medication and would not be fully conscious, so I should just get some sleep. We live blocks away so I acquiesced and took some restless slumber in an empty bed. At 7:30 TOW called in a drowsy and cheerless voice to let me know that she had gone through with it. I raced over to her and came to find out she had been more cognizant than promised and endured some significant pain as well, and her lucidity was a mixed blessing from seeing our stillborn child. Upon arrival I was offered the chance to take a look at him and I thought hard about it for a few minutes. I eventually elected to bypass the opportunity, the feeling that seeing my son in a sterile plastic container would only add to the emotional heft of the day.

TOW recovered relatively quickly but was mandated to spend another day at the hospital, a compulsory post-delivery 24 hours. The day was quiet with me running out and getting supplies as needed and spending the night in the room. We had gotten to accept things with good enough spirit but then we still faced another hard instance. Our daughter came back home on Sunday and we knew it was going to be a rough task of letting her know that she lost a brother, made even tougher when she bounced out of their truck full of optimism, asking if they were able to save him. We were rejoined with tears for the evening.

After some time my wife found just the exact tone to strike with this event. The news of her pregnancy coincided within days of our marriage being shaken with my transgressions on the internet, and she explained that maybe he was meant to be the catalyst to our recovery. She tells our daughter that he was angel sent down to keep the two of us together when things were looking dire, and I cannot think of a more apt explanation. The chains of our marriage were certainly being abused by myself, but he managed to have been the one link that kept us together at that vital stage. He not only gave us a reason to stay together but also reminded the both of us about what was really important.

Good night Christian. And Thank You…

Posted by The Even Husband :: 11:13 PM :: |
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