I just had the worst day ever. My team went down in the worst way. We won 73 games this season. No team had ever won more than 72. We had come back in the conference finals from a 1-3 deficit against a team that everyone said had two of the best five players in the world. We were up in the final round 3 games to 1. No one had ever blown that big of a lead in the championship round. We had this! The champagne was on ice. But right after halftime it all fell apart. We lost. Everything went down the drain. I sat silently in despair. It didn’t get any lower than this.
…until we lost our baby. Again.
How could this have happened? We had gotten past the tough part; the first trimester. We’ve endured more miscarriages than we care to relive. Each time we lost our baby in the first three months. Our son Donny was the only one to make it out of the first trimester. He was our benchmark. We knew if we could just get our fragile little baby past that point we were home free. And then we did. We had our appointment at fourteen weeks and we heard her heartbeat beating fast and strong. She was moving around and very much alive. We celebrated. We had pie. I should note here that for us, celebrating and eating pie are not the same thing. We love pie. The celebration was eating out. The pie was the normal part of the day. Banana Crème, in case anyone wanted to know. We were happy. I was happy. No, I was ecstatic. For the first time I was looking forward to this baby from the start with no worries or fears.
I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe we got ahead of ourselves. We were starting a whole new chapter in our lives. We moved to a bigger house in the suburbs with central air –`cause we fancy now. The place even had an extra bedroom for our growing family. We moved to a real suburb where there’s no traffic and people say good morning when you pass them on the street. One of those types of neighborhoods where you feel like you don’t belong because everyone else on the block is an adult. I mean, we’re adults too but our neighbors are all adultier adults. The kind of adults that probably play tennis and pronounce GIF, “jif” like the peanut butter. Everything was going well and nothing could stop us. We announced our pregnancy to the world! The congratulatory messages and well wishes poured in. And then it all ended.
I was numb too. How are you suppose to feel when you’re faced with the exact same disappointment you’ve felt over and over again? The feeling of numbness eventually gave way to embarrassment. How could I be so stupid as to get my hopes so high? The feeling of embarrassment soon became anger. Why is the world doing this to us again? I was mad at life. I felt betrayed by it. How could it take this baby away from me? THIS baby? I wanted her so dearly. I wanted to break something. I wanted to throw my fist through the wall until it looked as shattered as my heart felt. But I was an adult now. A father. And with age comes maturity and the knowledge that my frail aging bones could never absorb the punishment the wall promised to give back. I stood there staring at a wall that suddenly felt like it was mocking me. Saying, “Go ahead. Take a shot, punk. You’re not even close to your deductible.” I conceded. My anger turned to sorrow and I did what any reasonable adult does. I ate. Everything. I started with a few slices of watermelon and then some chips. I chased them with a handful of grapes and a few carrots. Then I slathered some hummus on a couple of stalks of celery before getting out the crackers and dipping them in this exquisite artichoke and jalapeno dip we had bought from the local farmers market. Then it was back to watermelon and more chips. The combination of salty potato chip and sweet melon was so damn good it was magical. With every bite I took I could feel all my sorrow and pain and anger come together to give me the strength to tell my wife the craziest thing I could think of,
“Let’s try one more time.”
She was not on board. She told me that she thought this was life’s way of telling us to stop. That we had Donny and another child simply wasn’t meant to be. I couldn’t argue with her. This was our [redacted] miscarriage. [Redacted] times now we have made plans to welcome a life into this world with no one to show for it. Too many times now a dream has come true only to end in tears and confusion. No answers, just questions about how and why this keeps happening. I’ve had to watch my wife swallow one foul pill after another in order to force her body into giving birth to nothing way too many times. How could I be so selfish as to ask her to continue to endure this? How could I sit beside her and watch her struggle again and again to come back to me as she laid recovering on a hospital bed? I couldn’t. I decided I wouldn’t ask her to do it again. She has already fought so hard and given me her most precious gift, the miracle that is our son.
My wife is a Warrior. She’s so tough and doesn’t even know it. I’m just speaking about her physically. Mentally, she can not be defeated. She may see me as her rock and the foundation of our family, but she is without the question the engine that drives us and carries us through this wild unpredictable ride we call life. She has tried so hard to give us another child and never feared the consequence of failure because she’s so damn tough. She fights for this family with every fiber of her being. That’s why it came as no surprise when a few hours later she said,
“F— this. Let’s try one more time”
That’s my girl! She may not have said, “F— this” because she’s a classy lady but that’s the way I took it. This woman can’t be beat. So try again is what we’re going to do. We’re both getting older so it’s not going to be easy. We’ll get in better shape, eat better, live healthier, and take all the professional advice we get. There are no guarantees in life and we know this could end in heartbreak again. However, it is said that fortune favors the bold; bold we shall be.
We lost our child. It sucks, but we’re ok. We’re better then ok, we are determined. Determined to not let this destroy us and determined to not let our failures define us. What will define us will be our strength and resilience in the face of everything life has in store for us. We don’t require your sympathy, what we do desire are your smiles. Be happy and hopeful for us. Happy for our present and hopeful for our future.
“Everything depends on what is in our hearts. Heartfelt prayers will definitely be answered. If we decide that something is impossible, then, consistent with our minds thinking so, even possible things will become impossible. On the other hand, if we have confidence that we can definitely do something, we are one step closer to achieving it”
– Learning From The Gosho
Daddy Day By Day – No. 22