It’s funny how time soothes our souls and slowly heals our wounds. I all most didn’t realize what today marked. A day that I would never forget. It was a day that women long for. I remember standing in my bathroom watching the hour-glass spin on the EPT. Part of me had hope and part of me was preparing for a “not pregnant” to pop up. It seemed like hours had passed, I didn’t want to look. To my surprise the test screen said “pregnant.” The test dropped to the floor, shaking I smiled slightly, and thought “finally my calm has come.” I showed the test to Scott, he was over joyed, his eyes filled with tears. Tears because we had just conquered the impossible. In that moment we were happy, the cheating and the lies they didn’t matter. Because now two had truly become one.
Calls were made to the doctor, since I got pregnant just months after my P.E. I was considered high risk. The doctor told us it was a long shot, and that time would tell if the warfarin sodium had done any damage to the baby. We had a 50/50 chance of bringing a baby into this world. To me those were good odds so I started the twice a day Lovenox injections and a crazy low vitamin K diet. I started showing right away, there was no hiding the fact that I was with child. My baby belly to me was a symbol of survival and my way of saying Fuck you nuva ring, I made it. Morning sickness never came, sleep was something I couldn’t get enough of, and cravings were plentiful.
The doctors said our child had a strong heart beat and that he was a fighter. The first time I saw him I fell in love, that was my child on the screen, and there was no greater gift. They talked about the odds of a blood clot forming, they told me the baby could be born Lovenox dependant, and that I could bleed to death during child-birth. Bleeding to death is not how I wanted to go, so a C-section was planned, and it was decided that our son would be born early. Being born early would be best for both baby and mommy.
While I was busy planning and dreaming of what was to come, my body was brewing up a different plan. It was the Tuesday after Mothers Day, I sat in the waiting room and looked around at all of the swollen bellies. My name was called and into the ultra sound room we went. The tech fumbled with the wand, minutes went by, and she just kept clicking on the key board. She sat their in silence adjusting the colors on the screen, soon she got up and walked out. That’s odd I thought, she came back with one of the doctors. He stared at the screen with her looking as the colors changed. He coldly said “there is no heart beat.” At first I couldn’t comprehend what he was saying. He explained to me that my son had died, that my baby was dead. He told me, “I’m so sorry for your loss. it’s probably for the best.” He asked if I wanted to talk about the options. I said no and stormed out of there.
Stormed off to the Prius as I put the key into the ignition the tears began to fall. I placed my hand on my belly and dared to ask why. I could barely dial the phone, when my Mom answered all I could muster was "Aloucious died." My Mom, she was trying to hold back her tears, she said "I'll call your Dad. I went home to an empty house, Scott was in Vegas, I tried calling him but he didn't answer. I barried myself in bed, I didn't want to face the world. I wasn't ready to lose my child. The door bell rang and standing at the door was my Father.
All I could do was cry as he wrapped his arms around me and held me tight. He said to me "I don't know why this happened. We just have to have faith." I stood there in his arms crying, my whole world shattered around me. He told me to get dressed and took me out for breakfast. I could barely eat and didn't want to face the world. The rain fell softly as we walked to the car I asked "Dad can we bury Aloucious under a birch tree?" Of course he said, yes we can, why don't we go look for one now. We strolled through the nursery lot for a few hours looking for the perfect tree to place my son under, a tree that would have deep roots and strong branches. We didn't find the perfect tree and now cold from the rain I just wanted to go home.
Home is where I was when Scott finally called. I had asked him to come home, to be with me. He told me "no." I was crushed the man I needed most had failed me and left me standing alone. Alone to make decisions about our son. After talking to a nurse about my options it was evident that I would not go into labor on my own. I needed surgery. Sherri she had left work early and sat by me in the waiting room. As I went back to surgery I gave her my wedding rings to hold on to, she had tears in her eyes as she said "see you in a bit." The nurses told her the procedure would take about 40 minutes. 40 minutes melted into an hour and that hour melted into two. Soon she was told that I was out and in recovery. My ordeal, my son was no longer a part of me. I was now a mother to a baby in heaven.
I was angry, sad, and frustrated. I went through the phase where I thought my son's death was my fault and often thought maybe I wasn't good enough to be a mom. That maybe this was God's way of showing me that he didn't have faith in me. I was angry and scared. No one I knew had gone through this before. Babies just don't up and die. There had to be a reason and we would have to wait two long months for the results.
As I waited the anger started to fade, grief slipped into every day life, and I slowly started to feel a live. One thing was certain something had to change. I needed to re-evaluate my marriage and the man I called my husband. It was hard for me to fathom that Scott didn't care enough about me to get on a plane. Vegas and Ultimate Electronics were more important than his grieving wife. This was my moment to reclaim myself and to fight for what I wanted in this world.
An that I did, in June I walked away. I was done and I had nothing left to give. Two months slowly passed and the answers I had been waiting for were ready. Just like before I walked into the doctor's office alone. The nurse asked if Scott would be coming. I told her no, I left him about two weeks ago. We are getting a divorce. Oh, she said. "Well some marriages can't survive the death of a child hun." I just looked at her and said "my son gave me the strength to walk away from a man who cheated on and lied to me. He had nothing to do with my leaving or our demise." She just looked at me. The doctor came in and told me "AJ, I wish I had more to tell you. Your son was chromosomally perfect and well, we have no idea why he died. His little heart just stopped. It happens hun." That's all I needed to hear. My son was perfect. My beautiful boy was perfect and I was proud of that.
Time heals the heart. At first I didn't want anything to do with babies. Swollen tummies made me retreat and I cried behind closed doors. Friends walked on egg shells as they announced their pregnancies and shot me half smiles. Half smiles turned into hugs. Babies are a beautiful part of this world and I have faith that one day I will get to say hello instead of goodbye to my child. Goodbyes are hard, yet it gave me more strength than I could ever imagine. Maybe I am lucky because now I have a little me in heaven. A son that is always with me. I can feel him in the breeze. Sometimes I let my mind wander and wonder what he would be like today. Would he have my curly hair, his dad's eyes, and I just hope he'd have my intelligence.
Shortly after Aloucious death I got a tattoo on my right foot. Because of the blog we nicknamed him little bear. So it was only fitting that I get a tattoo of four small bear paws. Two paws are red and black those were Scott's favorite colors. The other two are pink and orange which are my favorite colors. The tattoo artist thought it was a lovely tribute and as I told him my story his eyes filled with tears. He told me that he was glad to be in the presence of one hell of a fighter. I smiled and winced a little as the needles pushed into my skin. Now when I look down I am reminded that Aloucious is always with me and that I made it though hell. Hell because in 10 short months I survived a stroke/P.E. child loss, and had the strength to walk away from a man who would never love me. Strength that I gained when I carried my child and walked through his death alone.
May 12th will be the second anniversary of my son's death. Someone told me once: "You never get over the death of a child. You, you just learn how to live with it." That person was right. I will never be ok with Aloucious being gone. However I have learned to live with it. Maybe it's because I am getting older and a tad bit wiser that I can be at peace with his death. Indian people believe in cherishing the life and honoring the spirit that lived within. A birch tree was planted in Aloucious honor and one day Sophia will be old enough to play under its branches. She will feel the warmth of her cousin surround her and his story will seep into her heart. I just hope that this birch tree will be the only one I plant in the memory of a child. My heart can only handle one birch tree. Maybe one day I will get to sit under that birch with Aloucious' brother or sister in my arms.