“Where the hours go slow
And the beauty we know is the love
That is the key” – Chuck Ragan
The phone call
Roughly 1230 AM. I’m at work on midnight shift. I receive the most troubling phone call of my life. Seeing my wife’s name flash onto the screen of my phone put my stomach in my throat. “Hello?”, I’m barely able to leach out. “Brad, I’m bleeding.” says my wife’s trembling voice on the other end. My mind immediately enters damage control mode. I blurt out, “How much?!” She replies with a quivering voice, “Umm, its pouring on the floor.” I become the most terrified that I ever have in my life.
“Call 9-1-1 now!” I shout. I then explain, as my mind races, that I’ll make sure Claire is accounted for. I can somehow read my wife’s mind through the phone as she ponders what to do with our first born. You may recall the struggle it was for us to get our Claire. I can assure you, our road to Bennett was much more “exciting”.
I last left this topic of my struggle to become a Father , discussing how we had our first by what seems like a magical bit of luck mixed with our sheer determination. Bennett came into this world on all determination. Luck had very little to do with it. 3 IUI’s, 5 egg retrieval’s, 7 implantations, and finally…we had a taker. Bennett took. He was the one that God wanted us to have. And I say it that way, because it took faith in a higher power to keep us going. And I thank Him every day I leave the house and peer into each of my kiddos rooms. “Goodbye Peanut, have a good day! Goodbye Monkey, you be a good boy!” I whisper towards their general direction, hoping somehow they hear me subconsciously in their dreams.
After the bleed, Colleen was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. I left work and drove frantically to meet her. Somehow we both arrived there safely, and surprisingly at the same time. It was my nervously smiling face that my bride saw first as the ambulance door was opened. I could see a wave of calm come over her as we met eyes, which comforted me as well. I was in “cop mode”. Her assigned protector. She knew I would be there to help her make all the decisions. But first things first. Neither of us took a breath until we were sure Bennett was safe.
31 weeks is not an ideal time to have a baby. Doable, yes, but problematic in the same. Critical developments had not yet been reached and time was precious. However, if needed, he could have a very high survivability rate if born anytime from that moment on. The medical opinions we received, from both doctors and family, were all over the board. Thankfully, we had each other. Even more thankfully, Bennett was just fine.
No easy task
Over the next 5 weeks, Colleen and I grew up. We were faced with making the decisions for our family and no one else. We were confident and powerful. It was difficult to explain everything to our family, but we stuck to our guns. The life experience, although scary, was exhilarating all the same. We had innumerable discussions about what to do and when to do it. With Colleen’s help, we ended up succeeding. I was able to go back to work, provide that Claire was taken care of (thanks Mimi and Grandma Pam), have a 4 year old birthday party (in the hospital) for Claire, as well as prepare her for her 1st day of 4 year old preschool. All of this before Bennett was able to round out our family of four on September 13, 2018. That’s right. One year ago today.
He’s snoring on me as I type this and I couldn’t be happier. This last year has by far been the hardest of my life. Our life. But in the same breath, it has also been the most enjoyable. So take joy in your successes. Reflect on how you got there. Despite the chaos and uncertainty perceived, you very may well have grown up. Like I have. Hang in there. Life’s hard, but worth it. I’m holding proof in my arms right now. Till next time. G’night.