The Loss of My Child
By Bernd Cox
My loss occurred on December 9th, 2001. My wife was 22 weeks and a couple days into her pregnancy. We were both starting to get excited. Doing the usual things, that most pregnant couples do.
We had to go a different route. We had to go to a Fertilization Doctor. It’s ok. They understand the grief and hardship that women go through, or that couples go through. It’s hard on a relationship during these times. We chose to use this type of doctor after my wife had to have surgery so she could get pregnant.
After seeing him, the fertility doctor tells the wife she needs to keep track of her temperature daily, marking it down on a sheet they provide. D-day arrives and the man’s only job is to donate his sperm. Oh man, and if you can’t, run, ’cause it will cause so much stress in your home. Of course, the man’s feelings aren’t even considered. Yes we want to, but pressure isn’t the ideal situation to be put into when trying to give a donation so your wife may get pregnant.
In my case, the first time went ok. You have to donate 2 times (two days in a row). The first day went great, did my job, off goes the wife to see the doctor and comes home with a smile on her face. The second day wasn’t so great; the sperm and everything surrounding the donation went wrong. The doctor was coming in especially for us ’cause it was a Saturday. I couldn’t perform the task and the time clock was ticking. The doctor was on his way, and the pressure was starting to drive my wife crazy. All she could think of was my sperm donation. I am sitting there trying, and she is asking can she help? I didn’t know how to respond to this, how? Finally, I became so frustrated I gave up and had to call the doctor and tell him I had failed in my most important mission of our so far happy marriage: I couldn’t donate. He understood and drove home. I, on the other hand, had to stay at home and take care of the damage I had caused by not being able to. Man, what damage it was. You could see the hurt and disappointment. It’s hard to understand till you go through this.
Here you are on the second try ’cause the first time you wait and wait, and finally it’s time to get the home pregnancy kit out. You anxiously await the results and, boom, it’s negative. Another day of not so good vibes. Of course things go through your head as man. My most important mission in life, and I failed. This runs through your mind, over and over! Finally you get the nerve to approach your wife and try to comfort her and she gives you this look and you know it’s better to stay away for awhile, or until she approaches you.
That time clock is ticking in your wife’s head. She has to get pregnant. This isn’t a request; it’s definite. It’s all or nothing. So, off to the fertility doctor again. Same routine: temperature taking, and when it elevates you better donate for two day’s this time. Two days later, man I feel good. I did my part this time. I feel like a stud and am just thrilled cause I know I am on my wife’s “A” list. It’s the waiting that’s a killer.
The day finally arrives; boom you’re in shock. She isn’t pregnant. Disappointment set’s in all over again. The husband is getting worried. Will his whole life’s mission come down to giving the wife donations every month, and then disappointment control? I was sure hoping this wouldn’t happen. This could damage our relationship, severely.
Third try, and success. Man, it’s great in our home. I am the Stud! Yes, I am Man and I fulfilled my goals as far as my wife is concerned. Man as of this point, just sits back but this point is what we aren’t prepared for. Again we start worrying cause we have never went through all the changes of pregnancy causes women.
Be aware of eating habits, mood changes. What the wife says, and usually means, is totally different than what she did at one time. Their whole disposition is different. I’ve heard with some women it’s like, bang, you wake up one morning and it’s as if your in the wrong household, and the women you slept with is totally a different, changed person. Well, with my wife it wasn’t that bad. No morning sickness. Yes, she was a bit sick, but no throwing up or anything like that. Heartburn, oh yes. I think we kept Rolaids in business for several months. All is going along great. We are a happy married couple who is pregnant.
We are cautious and careful. We get a small scare, go to the emergency room and all is ok! It brings everything into perspective. Caution sets in know. We are a bit concerned and yet move ahead. We pick out a baby girl’s and boy’s name. This is a serious thing to the woman - to find the perfect name that will reflect the child’s entire life. Either your parents were considerate, or didn’t give crap and your name stinks. Isn’t that how we as a whole look at peoples names? And it better be a name that fits well with the last name. So we search everything, books, Internet, libraries. This is important to the wife. We men don’t actually worry about this cause we’re macho and the name will come to us when the time is right. But you’d better pay attention ’cause this can get you into trouble; she wants you as worried about it as she is and you’d better make this a priority in your life. Finally you arrive at a name you both except.
We are doing great in the pregnancy and we finally come out to our friends, family and just anyone. We’re pregnant. We go to stores and register for the all important baby shower. We let our friends know where we have registered. To men this doesn’t mean squat, but to the wife this is important. So beware, make it important even though it may not be. Make sure she sees its importance in your eyes.
It’s time to go to the doctor and have an ultrasound done. D-day has once more arrived. Will it be boy or girl? You and the wife anxiously wait while the selfish person doing the ultrasound does measurements and looks to see that all is going as planned. The whole time you want to just tell the person, whether they are an ultrasound tech or doctor, to get to the important stuff. Is it a Boy or Girl? Never thinking that what they are doing is important and more so then what you think at that time. They are thinking of the well being of the baby, and the mother and the husband are just wanting to know is it a boy or girl.
Finally the wait is over. It’s a boy. Yeah. There are times the couple doesn’t get the opportunity to see the gender of the child before hand. We were fortunate. We did. We had the perfect baby boy and we would name him Caleb William.
We walked out of there on cloud nine. I mean, we couldn’t feel the carpet. Excitement, joy, nervousness, anxiety and most of all just knowing that our baby was perfect. Can’t ask for anything better than that. Or can you?
Twenty-two weeks along and the unimaginable happens. My wife calls me from work and says she is feeling really bad. I tell her not to worry, just call the doctor and she can explain what’s going on. She says no. She doesn’t want to. She will tough it out; just like a man, she’ll tough it out. I smile and keep working. About two hours later, she is in distress. It’s there on the voice on the phone. The voice is different. There’s a pained sound. I tell her to come home and lay down. She comes home, uses the restroom, and hollers at me to call the doctor.
So here we are, men, driving the wife and staff crazy asking all types of stupid questions that we think are intelligent. Of course the staff realizes that we are nervous and being well trained in this sort of thing tries to help us relax and calm down. It works for a while, but then we men start up again. Finally, the wife tells us to shut up and sit. Just like our mom’s did when we were boys.
My wife’s in contractions, full-blown contractions. Even I know this isn’t good and is not what’s supposed to happen. I become even more worried and beside myself. At last the doctor comes in and tells us what’s up. She says my wife will be put on medicine that will help stop the contractions. She will be there for at least two to three days and maybe more. Time will tell. Here’s where the worrying and prayers come in. Support from friends and family sure helped us. Also, the staff at the hospital was great. I wish everyone could have had the nurses we had. God blessed us and they made this a little more bearable. I thank God for these sweet women who didn’t know us and we sure didn’t know them. They could have been rude, not so helpful and just systematic. Like robots. Understand, these nurses work usually 12-hour shifts and do this day in and out. Put yourself in their shoes. I wouldn’t want to. Yes, we say they chose this profession. We don’t think about how their day was before coming to work. Did they have a fight with the husband? is their child sick? or whatever goes wrong in daily life. All we want is someone who cares and will help. Yes, that is what they get paid for, but are we always service oriented towards our co-workers or boss? No. These nurses were great. They threw aside there own lives, stepped in, and took my wife under their wings of love, understanding and compassion. I know deep down that God had these women here for us and it was his way of showing his concern, love and hope for us and this baby boy my wife was carrying.
Three days later, it turned for the worse and on December 9th, at 1:01 AM, my wife delivered our little boy. It was the hardest thing my wife and I ever went through. Yes, I cried and do every day over that sweet, perfect little boy. I know in my heart that he is in heaven playing with all those other kids and is happy. I hope and pray I never have these feelings again. I sure was mad at God and didn’t understand, but I guess that’s not for me to understand except to keep my faith, and hopefully keep going day by day. As for my wife and I, we are making it. Each day is better, and each day we have our moments whether it’s outside seeing someone with a baby or pregnant or on T.V. We are survivors and will try again.
God bless our sweet little boy Caleb William and we love him!
Dad & Mom
By Bereaved Father Bernd Coxwegerbc1_@hotmail.com