I recently had a thought that choices exist in absolutely everything we do in life. There are very few instances when one can truly say, “I had no choice.” You choose how to raise your kids. You choose how to treat your friends. You choose whether or not to go to work.
I have recently used my “I had no choice” card. Someone made the statement to me that she didn’t know how I managed to go to Dylan’s memorial. In my mind, I could not choose to skip it.
Don’t They Communicate?
Hospitals, I mean. In July (when Justin and I took a vacation, trying to escape the rest of the world), we got a call from a lady asking if Dylan had completed the vision and hearing testing required by the state. I responded back, “I’m sorry. He’s passed.” The lady said, “Oh, he passed. Do you have the results?” I reiterated, “Actually, he passed away.” She apologized profusely, but the poor lady couldn’t get off the phone fast enough.
Just last month, a lady from Northside (where Dylan was born) called to ask a similar question. I finally asked the lady to update us in her little computer, trying my best to avoid sounding the least bit irritated.
Then there was my first post-op trip back to my OB’s office. The nurse there (who’s as sweet as can be) asked me how the baby was. I told her that Dylan didn’t make it, and she was so sorry. She told me, “We had a feeling but were never told.” There should be some kind of alert system for the doctors and hospitals to be informed when something like this happens.
“How are we ever going to afford this?” I’m sure everyone thinks that when they’re getting ready to have a baby for the first time. We thought about it, especially when we found out that Dylan was going to need 3 surgeries on his heart after birth. We went ahead and doubled-up on insurance, getting coverage with both my and Justin’s employers. When we filled out the hospital forms, we made sure they knew we would have primary and secondary coverage. So when the bills roll in, I always dread opening them a little especially the ones that are multiple pages. When you have the word “Continued” in the amount due box that can’t be good. Imagine my relief when I flip the page and it’s only like $21. Ahh, insurance. I especially enjoy the letters from the insurance companies that are like a beacon, forewarning you of bills that will come.
I complain in jest, but I just wish, more than anything in the world, that Dylan was here with us regardless of whatever financial hardships we would face with his medical condition.
One of my favorite parts about working in the television industry is editing video. In every video editing program that I’ve ever worked on, everything is done on a timeline. Timelines are something that I can take real comfort in. You have control over everything, including where to put start and end points. It’s all very black and white.
Life, not so much. Start and end points are all grey. How is this relevant to anything at all? (I know, I digress.) Every time people ask Justin and I if we’re going to try [having kids] again, we both answer without hesitation, “Yes, of course!” We went into our pregnancy wanting kids, and now more than ever, we still want them. That desire didn’t just go away.
When’s the right time to start trying, though? That point isn’t defined on some kind of cosmic timeline for us. It’s hard because we struggle with making sure we’ve given ourselves adequate time to grieve. Then we realize that we’ll be grieving for the rest of our lives. And for me in particular, I don’t want people judging us and thinking it’s too soon for us to want to have kids again.
I was flipping through the newsletter from our support group, and there was a section in there with birth announcements. Each announcement was set up so you could see the date of their previous loss and then the new addition’s date of birth. I mentally calculated in my head how long each of the couples waited to see if I could get a definitive answer on this. But then, the more and more I think about it, the more and more I feel that timing is different for everyone. Some people waited years, others months. What’s right for you may not be right for us. Justin and I will have to figure that out for ourselves because, at the end of the day, we all do stuff in our own time.
Closing Thoughts of the Day
“Those that live long lives have much to learn, but those who die young are here to teach.” --Bhuddist saying
“If you lose a parent, you lose your past
If you lose a spouse, you lose your present
If you lose a child, you lose your future”