So, this blog will be as awkward and as awful as the title makes it sound. Deal with it.
I don’t regret my decision one bit. When I found out I was pregnant, it felt like a joke. I took one pregnancy test. Then another. Then another. And I laughed my ass off. Then freaked out silently. I considered my options. I had just been accepted to a great graduate program, and was given a very prestigious scholarship that paid for everything, plus gave me a monthly stipend for living expenses. I was given the BUDER scholarship for the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at WASHU. This program is specifically for Native Americans wanting to work in the social work field with Native populations. My plan was to get my masters from there and be a counselor to Native youth on reservations. I wanted to help them beat addiction, depression, etc. and go on to college.
Then I found out I was pregnant. Whoa. Bit of a game changer. The man I was seeing at the time was….not ideal. We had been working on things for some time. He managed to mess things up, every time. So my first thought was abortion. Then I decided against it. Then I told the man I was seeing at the time. He then panicked and cheated on me. Even told the girl he paid for my abortion, and she had nothing to worry about. HA. So, again. I panicked. He can’t be trusted! I’m going to grad school! This wasn’t supposed to happen!
Then I heard the baby’s heart beat. Ah. Ahhhhhhh. Instantly changed my mind. I would do it alone I thought. Then he came crawling back. Apologizing. Saying he would work on himself. That I made him a better person. That he wanted me and the baby. So, I thought, “There is no way this dude has changed.” But I chose to take him back anyway.
Weeks go by. I realize he isn’t worth it. So, I end it. Ask him to move out of my house. Bad decision. Never tell a dude with serious impulse and anger issues shit like that. I’ve never seen someone freak out like that. Threw me on the ground in my front yard. IN FRONT OF MY NEIGHBORS. The most embarrassing thing, ever. Barged into my home, pinned me against the wall, yelled in my face, punched the walls, screamed, etc. Basically threw a temper tantrum. So I called the police. Women. Never be afraid to call the police if you’re scared shitless.
Down the road I took him back. Idiot. Don’t do that.
At 19 weeks I went in to see if I was having a little boy or a little girl. That’s when I found out. Before my 19 week appointment I did feel that something was wrong. Just because, bad shit happens to me. All the time. I remember telling my aunt that something was wrong with him before I actually found out. And what do ya know. It was.
My doctor was very cold about it. She showed no emotion. Just basically told me, “the baby isn’t viable. I suggest you terminate.” I was so pissed. What I was most pissed about was the fact that in Oklahoma, I was past the abortion mark. So if I wanted to terminate, I had to travel and come up with the money in a matter of weeks. Which is infuriating. In Oklahoma, if the baby has a heart beat, you cannot have a legal abortion after 17 weeks. I think it’s 17 weeks. Correct me if I’m wrong. Personally, I think they need to change some laws around abortion, but I won’t get on that topic. Makes me very heated.
So, I took off of work the rest of the week. I cried all the time. I had just started to feel him kicking and squirming in there. So every time I felt him, it was like a slap in my face. “Hey mommy, I’m here!!”
I looked up the statistics. 100% fatal. But there were things being done to change those odds. That was when I found out about Dr. Haeri. I was advised to not get the injections by some, because statistically, he was screwed. But when you’re hormonal and have a little june bug kicking around in your tummy, you kinda throw statistics out the window. So I chose to fight.
The injections weren’t as bad as many think. Sure, they hurt and were uncomfortable, but I didn’t mind. A couple times I had crippling contractions and had to hold it together on the OR table so the needle wouldn’t hurt the baby. Those sucked. Contractions ain’t no joke man. Painful suckers. By then I was back with my ex and he was there to hold my hand when the pain was a bit much. Surprisingly, he was very protective of me towards the end.
Driving the seven hours down to Austin and back sucked, but I did what I needed to do. When my grandmother died, I freaked out a bit. She was like a mother to me. She prayed about Matthias all the time, and kept me in good spirits. I flew back to Kansas to be at her funeral, but low and behold, my freaking water broke and my dad had to drive me back to Austin. Haha. My luck. So no. I never said goodbye to her. Which killed me, but at the same time, I felt it was a blessing. I would have taken it very hard if I had seen her pass. So to this day, I’m okay with what happened.
I was on bed rest for 6 weeks in the hospital. They monitored the baby twice a day, and the nurses were very nice to me. My C-section was scheduled, and we were just waiting until I was almost full term.
The morning of my c-section I felt like I was going to vomit. I felt rigid and uncomfortable. It was very hard to move I was so frozen. Of course, this was really bad anxiety. I felt like I was a volcano. My whole body was rigid and tingly, and it was hard to breathe. Before going in, a nurse sat down and talked to me, and I sobbed. I was absolutely terrified. He was perfectly safe and comfortable in my womb, and I knew that would all change when he was out. I wanted to keep him inside for as long as possible. After I cried, I felt relief.
The c-section happened, my ex cried, I cried, the baby cried….softly. Which was a little scary. How loud the baby cries shows how strong the lungs are. They took him away, without me seeing him, and they stitched me up. My ex went with the baby, and I was sent to recovery. The nurses told me he was in almost perfect health, and looked like a full grown baby. My ex came in and told me he looked beautiful and that he was so proud of me. I wanted to see him. But I couldn’t walk for several hours due to the epidural. By the time it wore off, the nurses told me he had taken a drastic turn. They were all shocked, including my OBGYN. He just knew that Matthias’s lungs were strong enough. He was so sure of it. The baby was always practicing his breathing, and we had done TEN FREAKING INJECTIONS. I had done double what the other potters babies had done. So the lungs had to have been perfect right!? So why the hell did he take a turn?
They let me see him. I hadn’t had any pain meds, and my nurse pushed that I take them. I told her no. I wanted to see my baby completely clear headed. He was hooked to a bunch of machines, and the breathing machine shook his chest….badly. It was very hard to watch. Watch Grey’s Anatomy. There’s a baby on there named Thomas who was hooked to the same machines my baby was. And yes, it is that awful looking. To see your baby shaking like that. They told me it was to strengthen his lungs. He was drugged up and asleep when I saw him. I never saw his eyes. I don’t even know what they looked like. He was asleep the entire time I was with him.
During the night I stayed up and cried. I was so pissed. I had made the right decision. I didn’t abort him. I fought for him. Spent thousands trying to save him. God has to reward me right? RIGHT!? No. I was not rewarded. Dr. Haeri came to my room and told me I needed to see him. He looked very sad. That’s when I knew. I woke my ex up and told him we needed to see the baby. I tried to keep a straight face…but he saw it in my eyes. We both cried, then went to see him. We called our family and my friend Kathleen to tell them to come say their goodbyes.
The oxygenation in his blood went very low, and the machine kept beeping and lighting up, letting us know that he was slowly dying. His skin went from a flushed pink, to grey. My baby was grey. The doctor asked me if I wanted to take him off of the machines and let him pass peacefully, or keep going. I said to take him off. Someone came to baptize him and pray over him, then they took him off and wrapped him up. They kept a manual breather on him so he could live a little longer.
I told my ex’s family and mine that I wanted to be alone with him when he passed, and they understood. I still wasn’t on any pain meds at this time, but the pain wasn’t bad. I laid him on my chest and I talked to him. I didn’t cry much. It felt good to hold him. He was so limp though. It took about thirty minutes. He took a gasping breath every now and then. He even lifted his head a couple times. But he never opened his eyes. He was on many drugs to ease his passing. The doctors had to come in several times and check to see if there was a heart beat. Finally, there wasn’t.
I seriously looked asian all that week. My doctor came in my room and said, “Whoa. Are you having an allergic reaction?” Lol. That’s how swollen my eyes were. He apologized many times. He said he didn’t understand. He said all the nurses and doctors were rooting for me and Matthias. That everyone thought he was going to make it. He didn’t understand why the lungs weren’t stronger. And neither did I. My room was right by the freaking NICU. So I heard lots of crying babies. Another slap in the face. My doctor understood I wanted out of there ASAP, and he let me leave the next day.
I didn’t speak to my family and friends for a month. I had many texts and phone calls, but I never responded. I hated everyone. I deleted my facebook. My doctor told me to. Haha. He said anger and jealousy is normal. I was. I was so angry. Seeing people with multiple babies, getting pregnant with another one. I just thought to myself, “What the fuck. This was my first pregnancy. What. The. Fuck.”
My ex was pretty worried about me. I was very….out of it. Let’s just leave it at that. Dealing with the funeral parlor was awful too. Who knew cremation was so damn expensive. Even for a little 4 lb baby. The hospital paid for $250 of it. They were so helpful.
I can’t explain the grief I felt. There are no words. I wanted to die. Every day. I wished I was in an awful car accident that ended my life. I secretly wished it would happen. After a little bit, I thought, “How would I kill myself?” Then I decided. I would hang myself. I wanted to do it in the middle of the woods to make sure my family didn’t find me. I didn’t want them finding me. I talked to a couple people about it. They helped me think clearer.
I mean, the death of a baby is awful enough. But then the ONLY person who understood what I felt decided having sex with a 20 year old was more important than supporting me. Five weeks after my c-section. They plotted to get together over Christmas break. They were both so excited to see each other and be nasty with one another. Whew. You think you’ve been through the unimaginable. Then this.
I thought I wanted to die. I felt ancient. I feel ancient. The amount of grief and awful circumstances I have been through have made me feel old inside. I’m not going to act like the victim though. I chose to be in a relationship with an awful person. I chose to keep the baby. I chose to allow him back into my life. I chose all of those. Because deep down, I want to believe people are good, and that God will reward me.
But I am no different than anyone else. God will not reward me. I have to keep the faith that there are good people out there, and that I will be happy again. The thought of that keeps me going. My strength only grows with every terrible thing that happens to me. And I realize that these awful experiences will only help, help others. Above all. I want to help others. At this point I have enough experiences to help many, many people. And that makes me feel good inside.
(Also, even though I have broken both my legs when I flipped my car, I stay optimistic. I watch funny shows to keep me laughing, and I joke about my situation as much as I can. Laughing a lot does wonders!)
Although he is not in my arms, he will always be in my heart. Matthias Ryan Newcomb 11/2/15-11/3/15.