The last two months have been the most challenging in my life to date and I imagine that’s true for many others as well.
These are strange and tragic times.
3 months ago my wife and I were living our best life, as I’ve heard it said. Doing well financially, making plans to buy our first home, and 12 weeks pregnant with our first child. I had started a new career path and my wife was getting prepared for her annual summer workload.
On a Wednesday evening my wife told me we needed to go to the hospital, that there was blood and she was worried. We waited for 6 hours in emergency, we were scared, tired, and the spreading coronavirus was all over the news. We were eventually seen and sent to get an ultrasound. I watched the monitor as the technician moved the wand around, our baby was gone.
I told myself she was just looking in the wrong place, that I didn’t understand what I was looking at, that everything would be fine. I was wrong.
We were wheeled back to the exam room and we waited, knowing and not knowing. The longest and most painful waiting I have ever experienced. Our doctor came in and we knew we’d lost our baby.
We wept. Never in my life have I heard a more mournful sound than my wife’s grief. It broke me in a way I did not think possible. We sat in our car at 3am and wept at our soullessness, our void.
We slept most of the next day. I woke around 5am Friday morning to sounds of my wife in the bathroom. I got up to ask her if she needed anything only to find out she’d been bleeding non-stop for hours and it was only getting heavier.
We made it to the clinic at 7am. Within 15 of arriving she lost all color, her eyes rolled into the back of her head, she shook and lost consciousness. It was then that our doctor realized how much blood she’d already lost and how very serious the situation had become.
We waited, and she bled. After two hours I tracked our doctor down and demanded to know what the plan for her was. Eventually it was decided that the best thing to do was go to a different facility that could perform the necessary procedure that would save her life. No ambulance, I was supposed to get her there. In that moment I reached peak fear, I thought I was going to vomit. I wheeled her out into the long empty hallway, her mouth went slack, her hands shook involuntarily, and her eyes rolled back, and she passed out again. there was no one around, no one to call out to, it was an empty space and we were alone. I started to wheel back to the elevator with my arm wrapped around her chest and I almost cried out when her eyes popped back open.
We made it to the hospital on the hill, to the people that could help her. she couldn’t walk for the blood loss and had gone totally white. I thought she was going to die. I sat by her side while they performed the emergency vacuum aspiration as she passed in and out of consciousness. And I broke again. Afterward I remember the doctor looking at me with the gravest expression and saying “it’s good that you got here when you did”.
We waited another 90mins after the procedure and then we were told we could go home, I couldn’t bring myself to leave. We eventually made it home.
Days later my wife was laid off due to the coronavirus and we lost ⅔ of our income.
Then everything shutdown.
And now we are here. In this new place, we’re different people. We have new triggers, new problems, and we’re starting all over again.
It is here in this place that I find my values evolving yet again. I have come to completely reject the rugged individualism of our culture. Rebuking the romance of the loan hero, the great man.
We need each other.
I don’t want to miss the infinite wonder of the night sky for the finite brightness of a single star.