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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Daddy's View: Dad's Matter Too

My story starts out the day we found out we were expecting. We had dealt with fertility issues to the point that for 6 years we heard the word "no" so much, it became the norm and we gave up. My wife went to the hospital for another non related issue. While she was there, I was out of town. I called to check on her just as the doctor walked in. After she spoke with the doctor, she told me on the phone "you're going to be a daddy". I didn't know how to respond. Finally I heard the words I've been longing to hear.Was this true? Did she really say it? I asked her to repeat and she said the same thing again. Still in shock I snapped out of it after hearing "hello??" from my wife. I started yelling with excitement...I couldn't contain myself.  Where I was...people were looking at me weird but I didn't care.

Fast forward to the morning of loss. My wife had been spotting the day before and the doc said it was normal and if it got worse to go to the ER.  Well it got worse and on our bathroom floor my wife was in extreme pain. Painfully I had to get my wife up and off the floor to get her to the ER. It was hurtful to me to force her to get up when she was in so much pain, but I didn't want was about to happen to happen on the floor. I wanted her to be with medical staff. 

We got to the hospital...I dropped her off and parked the truck. I expected her to be in her room by the time I got there. Wrong. She was still being checked in. I was irritated that they weren't in a hurry with what was going on. Finally we get back to the room and the nurse came in. My wife said she needed to go to the bathroom and they gave her a catch cup to put in the toilet. This is when she ended up passing our baby. She went into shock... she was just standing there in the bathroom shaking and screaming. The nurse and I got her dressed and moved her to another room.  I realized we lost our baby but I snapped into worry about the wife mode.  They gave her medicine for shock and it helped calm her down.  They did tests and proved that she did in fact pass our baby.  We were given discharge papers... information about the extra blood loss this week and a prescription to help with it. 

They asked us what we wanted to do with the baby. I wanted to have a service. I had to make the decision pretty much on my own because my wife was still medicated.  The doctor talked me out of a service because "its not normal for babies less then 21 weeks" and "no sense in paying funeral costs for a baby less than 21 weeks".  I thought about my parents funeral costs, which was about $5k and knew I couldn't afford that. So I chose for them to do what they do to dispose of him.  Later on I came to realize its only about $600 for a baby funeral and this is a decision that will always bother me because I could have afforded that!

I get my wife out to the pickup and we just sit there.  I'm at a loss. What do I do next? There was no help... no guidance... it was here's your papers now go home.  She asked me to make the calls because she couldn't do it.  So one by one I called family and friends to tell them the bad news.  All the questions were the same "do they know why?" and "how is Mandy?" followed by "well tell her we love her and we are praying for her".  Her? You don't love me or are praying for me? No one asked how I was. Hmmm must not have cared.  Then I told myself quit whining its not about you... you have to be there for her.  

Days went on... visits came... cards came... all very nice. For her... nothing about me. No one asked me how I was feeling... I was hurting too! He was my little boy too! How about how I feel like a failure? How about how I'm supposed to protect my family and my boy is gone. How about how my wife is in pain and there is nothing I can do to take her pain. Was that argument we got into a cause? I shouldn't have raised my voice and upset her. Is there anymore I could have done for him? For her? What am I supposed to do now?? Oh sorry whining again... deal with it and be there for her... its not about you its about your wife. 

- Douglas Hengstebeck

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