Our story does not end with us.
Fifteen years ago in March, we had our first child. A son that we called Alex. We thought this was where our story started, but then we thought this was our ending.
I was 34 weeks and 5 days along in the pregnancy. I was feeling anxious that evening. Maybe it was my body’s way of telling me that I was about to deliver or just tired of bed rest.
We went to bed talking about how soon we would bring home our son.
The nursery was ready.
We had finished all our classes.
Our bag was packed and our birthing plan was prepared.
We were ready or so we thought. We were not ready to be woken up at one o'clock in the morning.
My cord had ruptured and I had bled all my placenta blood out from the bed to the bathroom. We drove ourselves to the hospital the whole time my husband was thinking he was going to loose me. I only hoped he was right.
A few hours later our son, Alex, was born. He was breathing, but needed a blood transfusion. Alex was taken to the NICU while I went to recovery.
We were relieved to know he would be fine after his blood transfusion. We got to see Alex and hold him skin to skin.
We had worked so hard to bring this miracle into the world and now we got to enjoy him.
Thirty hours after delivery, everything changed. Alex’s kidneys started to fail. The doctors tried lots of hopeless techniques on Alex.
Forty hours after our miracle had come into this world, we were blessed to hold him while he went into Heaven.
As Alex’s parents, to say we were heart-broken is an understatement. To say we were destroyed does not even come close to painting our picture.
We left with hand and foot prints, but no child. We went home to plan an infant funeral. As I recovered from my c-section, we were picking out a casket and head stone.
My family was afraid I would not ever come out of my dark hole. I was not sure I wanted to survive this pain. They said things like, “You need to try for another baby right away.” Or my favorite was, “when are you going back to work?”
Everyone wanted me to pick up like I had never watch our son take his last heart wrenching gasps in my arms. I stayed at home for four months crying and sanding every piece of furniture I could get my hands on.
I knew to survive this tragedy, I had to cry as many tears out as possible, but why did everyone want me to hide my sadness? Was it so they would not feel bad about their sweet babies that they came home to enjoy? It had to be more about them, because I knew what I needed. I needed to be sad. I will never live long enough to cry all my tears out for Alex, but those four months of not working enabled me to cry many of those tears out.
I walked daily to Alex’s cemetery and spent hours with him. I knew he was not there, but that cemetery gave me a place to go and mourn.
The walks gave me hope and strengthened my body. I knew baby steps were the best thing for me.
All the specialists told us we either would not become pregnant again, or our babies would not live long, or I would die in the process of giving birth.
I so wanted lots of children.
I wanted to give that to my wonderful husband.
So I prayed.
We soon became pregnant again, not without more struggles. However, we have three healthy children here with us and three waiting for us in Heaven.
I thought the death of Alex was the end of me and definitely the end of my marriage, but luckily I was wrong on both chapters.
Life is a series of curve balls.
Only in the last year have I truly come to peace with the loss of Alex.
I will always miss him, but his death was not my ending.
His death was my beginning.
His death helped create the person I am now.
His death made me so appreciative of my three children and gave me a deeper love for my husband.
The gift our children bring into a marriage is priceless. With children we love deeper than we ever thought possible. We see everything this world has to offer through their eyes. We are better versions of ourselves when we see how our children look at us.
When your marriage is blessed with children, your story continues.
If you have been blessed with children, love on them a little more tonight. If you are trying to have children, have faith. This is not the end of your story. Your story is just beginning. I am grateful our story does not end with us.