A year ago, an annual FB post was noticed by the DW. I’d not yet read Pam’s book but her request to share my story has scratched at the back of my brain ever since. After reading Death Becomes Us, I knew I could trust her and her audience with my story. As this is a particularly meaningful year for me, it felt like the time was right.
My son, Christopher, was born by emergency C-section 16 years ago, today. He was 4 weeks early. We found out later that I’d gotten a group B strep infection earlier than they tested for and it had killed the placenta. The entire experience was traumatic, in ways that have haunted my nightmares ever since, but I’m not going to relate that here. Suffice it to say that it was an abusive marriage and had been an equally brutal pregnancy. I was alone in every way that matters and everything went wrong. But in the end, Christopher was alive and recovering, or so we thought.
Preemies must prove that they are eating and growing at a certain rate before a hospital releases them so, for two weeks, we believed we had a normal kid that had just gotten a rough start. A midnight life-fight to Primary Children’s hospital changed all that. Did you know you have to promise that you won’t freak out if your kid flat-lines mid-flight to ride with them? With only minutes to absorb the situation, I had to admit that I didn’t know if I could stay calm. They flew off without me.
My husband (at the time) gathered our things from the hospital sleep-room (a temporary room provided to parents with children who’ve been hospitalized) and drove us the hour and a half to where our son had been taken. What followed was five and a half months of fighting for Christopher’s life.