Friday, February 14, 2014

When We Were Young And Foolish

Vor met MG and DG when DG started working with him at the engineering company back in Buffalo. I met MG when I started working with her at a pool supply store. Vor and I met through them, and we have all been friends for years now.

They got married months before we started dating; we were in their wedding party, and they were in ours. We went on dates together; we made plans; we talked about buying house, changing jobs, losing family members, moving to different states, having families. We did all those things.

We started talking about getting pregnant right around the same time, and lo! Baby G was due just three months after Lis.

On Valentine's Day 2012, I sat in the dark, in my living room, staring at the small, sleeping Lis in her Moses basket. I felt overwhelmed, sad, depressed, and alone. How was this best, most perfect gift also such a burden and a curse? My life had been wonderful before; now I never wanted to get up in the morning and face the day. How could I love her so much and be so afraid of her existence?

Vor came home, talking on the phone and immediately retreated to the office, not even saying hello. I know this is a bad sign--a conversation that cannot be stopped, and it's usually an invitation for me to come listen in. It was DG. MG had just given birth to a stillborn baby girl. She was almost 8 months pregnant. Happy Valentine's Day.

Something about that snapped me out of my funk. Not that it was gone, because it came back in full force after Lis was diagnosed with craniosynostosis. But I was almost always able to see beyond the fog after that. I hurt so badly for MG and DG, and in a (OBVIOUSLY) lesser way for Lis and Vor and I. We already loved their baby, too. Lis would never get to know the playmate we were all so excited for her to meet. We all had such plans! If Baby G was a girl, they would be best friend. If Baby G was a boy, well, then, there was an arranged marriage on the horizon.

They miscarried twice more after that before finally getting a diagnosis: MG had a clotting disorder that only showed up when she was pregnant. I felt furious on their behalf--how do those crazy OB high risk doctors MISS something like that? but since they were relieved and ready to move on, we cheered them on.

They came to visit us in September 2013. During the 8 hour car ride to our house, MG decided to go pee on a stick in a gas station, and lo! PREGNANT. We all did the happy dance when they told us, and celebrated accordingly. We sent chocolate covered strawberries when we found out they were expecting twins. TWINS! I don't think I'd seen them look so light in spirit and heart since their first baby's stillbirth. It was almost like a healing had taken place with the news of twins.

It never lasts, does it? How were we all so foolish when we younger, to think that sex makes babies, and easily. How stupid were we when we thought we had it figured out, then SOMETIMES (usually) sex makes babies, and babies are born healthy. Oh, God, if there is a lesson I wish I could unlearn with with all my heart, it is this: Sex doesn't always make babies; babies aren't always born healthy, or even always born.

MG and DG called us, shaken, to learn to that Baby A had a terminal genetic defect. Baby A would likely pass away in the womb, and then it was a 50/50 chance on Baby B surviving. Baby A's heart stopped in December 2013.

I know this was MG's nightmare--to once more have a dead baby that she longed for inside her. I picked out her birthday present in January, and I wanted to get her a charm that said "Mother" but I couldn't. I know MG too well, and I just knew how it would hurt. I'll save it for later.

Almost three weeks ago, MG and DG texted us--MG was in labor; Baby A's water had broken. They stalled the labor, but MG was at high risk for infection, given how long Baby A had been dead, and that the water had broken. For two and a half weeks, MG stayed in a hospital bed, fighting off infection and boredom and fear.

Baby AG was born yesterday, after only 25.5 weeks of pregnancy, one day short of Valentine's Day, almost exactly two years after they lost their first baby. If you are the praying kind, please do it. If you're not, I think good thoughts in the universe count for a lot.

1 comment:

Attorney at Large said...

All of my good wishes to them and much of my heart on this Valentine's Day. I, too, have a rare clotting factor that only showed up when I was pregnant and it was pure (nepotism and) luck that we had a small-but-healthy Pea.

I hope they will be able to say the same in a few years. Hugs to you, too, for being a good friend in hard times.