05 January, 2006
Six years ago, a course of actions took place that irreversibly altered my future, the future of my wife, and the future of my family.
Andrea and I were expecting our second child. We didn’t know the gender yet because that little bugger refused to spread the legs for the ultrasound technician. We were 19 weeks, 6 days through the pregnancy. This exact number is important to the details of this story.
While I was at work at the electronics shop in Ketchikan Alaska with the Coast Guard, Andrea was at work with Wells Fargo. At 3:30 in the afternoon on that very cold rainy night (It’s Alaska, it was dark already), I received a frantic phone call from my wifes co-worker saying that I had to get to her office immediately.
12 minutes later as I pulled in to the Wells Fargo parking lot, there was an ambulance in the street. I rushed in to the building to find my wife being loaded on to a stretcher.
She had gone in to labor. Her water had broken. And the EMT’s were trying to console her. It became readily apparent to me what had taken place.
I drove to the hospital and walked with the nurse to the room where Andrea was already in a bed and her vitals were being taken. We received word that our child had not survived. Due to an abruption of the placenta, this little bundle that we were expecting to raise suddenly slipped from our lives.
There were many unsettling details and a heart breaking series of events that took place over the next hour in that hospital room. A still born child had been still born. It turns out we were going to have a son. A little boy. His name was going to be Jacob.
Andrea did the best she could to cope, but I did not provide the pillar that she had expected to lean on. I spent the next two days sitting in a hallway sobbing and heartbroken. I tried to go back to work in order to get my mind off of what had taken place. I wound up taking an additional five days sitting at home trying to wrap my brain around this whole thing.
I attempted to console my lovely spouse and I wasn’t the most effective.
A few rifts between us were formed over the course of that week. Rifts that are still being worked on. But the loss of this child caused damage to us as parents that we couldn’thave ever expected.
The funny thing about this child, if he could even be called that, is that by the letter of the law, Jacob was never actually born. If he would have made it another 10.5 hours, he would have received a birth certifcate, a death certificate, and an actual full name. However, because of those 10 and 1/2 hours, my child was still considered a fetus.
When he was born, I held him in my arms. I touched his skin. I held his hand. I looked at his fingers complete with fingernails. All of his digits and parts were in tact. We had a baby boy, but didn’t get to raise him.
Three months later, his cremated remains which had been placed in a small wooden box for burial were placed to rest in the Bayview Cemetary in Ketchikan Alaska. Andrea, Myself, attended a brief graveside which was hosted by a Nun from the local hospital for each family that suffered a stillborn child.
Afterwards, we went home. Life was slightly different.
Six years later, I still mourn the loss of a child that never got to take a breath on this earth.
Being a parent it turns out, is hard.