Saturday, May 25, 2013


If you know what that post title means, look away or grab a box of tissues.

I don't really know where to begin. I can tell you that I've been having the worst week of my life, bar none. Let me just put it out there, we lost our baby this week. My wife was 17 weeks pregnant. PPROM stands for Pre-term Premature Rupture Of the Membrane. Basically, her water broke and she lost all but a few teaspoons of amniotic fluid. At 17 weeks, the baby had fully developed many things, lungs were not one of them. With no amniotic fluid, the baby could not continue to breath in the fluid to continue to develop lungs inside the womb, and with no lungs, the baby would not be able to breath outside of the womb. We were told that the baby had a near zero chance to survive. We were also told that the baby had a strong, normal heartbeat. I don't expect anyone to really know what it feels like to be told your baby is perfect in every way except that it cannot survive inside or outside the womb. And to hear this happens frequently (at least once a week we are told) but science has not figured out a way to address it seems unreal and it makes a father to be pretty angry.

Needless to say, I've been a bit of a basket case this past week. Any hope we had been hanging onto was officially ripped away from us at 1:50 AM early Wednesday morning. My wife's body had naturally gone into labor, meaning there was absolutely nothing we could do. There was a 1 in a trillion shot that the baby might make it to 24 weeks where the lungs would have grown to the point where they could accept oxygen on their own, but that would have required several miracles. And even after that, it was another 1 in a trillion shot that the baby would grow up to be completely healthy.

When we first learned about what kind of a situation our baby was in, we were given two choices. 1. We could roll the dice on that 1 in a trillion shot while hoping that no infection occurred, putting my wife's life in danger, the baby's life in danger, and our future ability to have children at serious risk. Or 2. induce while everything was infection free, cut our losses and move on. Every doctor we spoke to told us that #2 was our only real option, but they also said it was our choice. I don't know how well you know me and my wife, but quitting is not in our blood, and every 12 hours, a strong heartbeat in the baby said they weren't quitting either. I would never judge someone else's decision, but I personally do not understand how you could choose anything other than option #1. Of course, every 12 hours, when they roll in the machine that listens for the baby's heartbeat, well, that's about the most gut wrenching feeling I think a person can ever experience.

To be perfectly honest with you, given our situation, we were lucky, if you can even call it that. We could not make the choice to quit, so nature intervened on our behalf. For two and a half days, I sat by my wife's side hoping for a miracle. It didn't come. But we were told that it could have gone on like this for weeks with the same outcome, only maybe my wife would have gotten an infection or worse, lost her life as well. We do not have to live with any decisions we regret and my wife still has her health.

What we have learned over the last couple of days has been somewhat encouraging. We have no shortage of friends and family that will do anything for us. For all the terrible things that can happen during a pregnancy, we won the shittiest lottery ever! PPROM happens in less than 2% of all pregnancies. Most couples go on to have successful, full term pregnancies after. There is often no cause for PPROM. While that may not sound great, it kind of is. See, in this type of a situation, guilt and blame are flying all over the place, but this means that it doesn't need to. Turns out, there's not a damn thing we could have done differently to prevent this. There's also a chance that there was something seriously wrong with the baby that had yet to manifest itself and this was nature's way of sparing us from a more painful future. Of course, that still doesn't make us feel any better.

One thing we are both sure of though, it has been wonderful to see our friends babies/kids. It makes us happy that there are lots of healthy kids out there. We do not need to be protected from them, they are not a reminder of what we lost, they are a reminder of what a true blessing it is to have children.

I feel like I'm kind of just rambling here. Not sure what my next few posts will look like. We both need time to recover from this, but that doesn't completely mean we need to be left alone. As we are both sadly finding out, we are not alone in losing our baby. We have friends and family who have experienced this as well. I don't want to be quiet about it. If you have questions, please ask them. Talking about it is oddly comforting to me. When they first told us the baby would not likely make it, they also asked us if we did/did not want to see/ hold the baby. At first I wasn't sure. I immediately remembered holding my pet hamster as a kid and watching him die in my arms. That ruined me for a week as a kid, there's no way this wouldn't damn near kill me. But in the end, we did see our baby and I did hold him/her (they weren't able to tell the sex yet, but they are doing a chromosome test, so we will know for sure eventually) for several hours. Saying goodbye for the last time hurt more than when the doctor first told us the baby would likely not make it. We had the baby cremated and when we are ready, we will spread the ashes somewhere special to us.

I'm still trying to get past the idea that on Sunday, I was having lunch with my 8 month old nephew and my cousin with her 6 month old son, getting advice on what to expect in the next few months, to Wednesday, where I'm being handed brochures for funeral homes and signing release forms for them to pick up the body...

Life, am I right guys?

Friday, May 03, 2013

New Strategy

We've been hard at work here in the Shuck N Jive R&D department. We've been carefully studying our readers and we've made a few shocking discoveries. First of all, we still have readers? Who reads these days? That just seems odd. Secondly, our readers hate us. They hate us for not posting. They hate us for posting. They hate us because we advocate wearing shoes and socks all the time and they hate us because it's totally the cool thing to do right now. Thirdly, and most shockingly, we discovered the hate is totally warranted and when we tried hating ourselves, we felt pretty hip and cool. It's not easy to give that up. So that's ok, we hate us too, so you can keep doing it and not feel bad.

All these discoveries have led to some interesting innovations from our crappy problem solving department. The theory is that things have gotten stale. The characters are all old and no one is interested any more. In order to liven things up a bit, my team has suggested that we bring in some new blood. To that end, my wife and I are currently in production of creating a whole new human being! To the lay people, that's the super smart way of saying we're having a baby! Of course, if you read her blog, you probably knew that already.

So yeah, that's happening. For the sake of the blog, we will produce, raise and educate a small human and eventually release them into the wild. This is kind of a long term project, so stay tuned.