Twenty years ago today started out as a very normal day, but by it’s end it had become a day that would change my life forever.
Jeff and I lived in a tiny little home when we first married. Actually, this tiny home was previously a garage. It had a living room, bathroom, kitchen/dining room, side storage room and 1 bedroom. I had went to work that day at my job at a local video store, and Jeff had went to his at Coke. We had both come home, had supper, watched a little TV and then Jeff had retired to bed since he woke early in the morning to go to work.
Later that evening I started experiencing back pain and the incredible urge to use the bathroom. Having never been in labor before I did not know what it felt like but somehow I knew this was it. But it wasn’t time! I was only 6 months pregnant.
I called my mom to take me to the hospital. I didn’t want Jeff to go with me because he had to work in the morning and I figured I would be home in a few hours with my labor stopped. I was wrong. When the doctor examined me she determined I was indeed in labor and they probably would not be able to stop it. While the doctor gave me some medication to try to stop labor my mom called Jeff.
My labor pains grew worse and it came to the point where I started to push and started to deliver my baby. And that is when the medication decided to kick in and stop my labor. My baby was breech , the legs had been delivered and when my labor stopped and my cervix started to close it closed on the neck of my child. My baby, my hopes and dreams, my son was dead.
Later when my son and I had finished the birthing process and he had been cleaned up I held him for the first time. Wrapped in a blue blanket with a little blue knit cap on his head we rocked in the rocking chair. When our time with him was up, we went home alone, but we went home parents.
The days that followed Joshua’s birth are still kind of a blur. I remember picking out a casket, a co-worker bringing me cards, flowers and a casserole, and a small family only funeral. I remember Jeff not knowing how to comfort me and eating fudgsicles in bed. I remember long walks down a dirt road with Jeff and the dog and silence stretching between us. I remember my mother’s pain as she lost her first grandson. I remember nightmares when I would hear tapping at the door from my son trying to escape the cold of his grave. And I remember feeling that everything would never be all right again.
They say time heals all wounds. How could I heal from this? I would never be able to look into my son’s eyes, hear him giggle or watch him take his teetering first steps. I would never watch him get on the bus for his first day of kindergarten, watch him spiff up for his first school dance or see him graduate. I would never watch him and his bride standing at the altar staring into each other’s eyes with love. I would never celebrate when I found out he was going to be a daddy.
Time does heal all wounds. It takes a while to get through the hurt and move on, but things do get better. While this day will always be a day filled with pain and lost hopes I know now that things are all right again.