A Year of Loss, A Wealth of Pride

A year ago we discovered something was wrong with our unborn baby. It was a roller coaster ordeal that culminated in a showdown with religious anti-abortion protesters on the worst day of our lives. The day we lost little Alexandra.

On an otherwise sunny and beautiful day in Brookline, my wife, MJ,  had the life sucked out of her. Literally and metaphorically. Hearing that our baby had Mermaid Syndrome was bad. Being told she was missing kidneys, a bladder and other vital organs was awful. Having to make the nightmarish decision between a stillbirth and abortion was unfathomable. But the completely unnecessary and unprovoked verbal attack from total strangers was the crushing and cruel blow that sent us over the edge.

I dealt with everything by writing it all down and turning to all of you for support, but MJ suffered in silence. And things didn’t really improve.

Severe financial troubles plagued us. MJ’s medical problems and certain conditions (which I won’t go into here) worsened. We thought things turned around in January when we discovered MJ was pregnant again, but fate is a fickle little tramp. Another miscarriage. MJ had to go in for a D&C, which is never a pleasant experience. Then, last month, we discovered there were leftover remnants which caused a hematoma. Lucky MJ, that meant yet ANOTHER procedure. Which, in turn, translates into a delay of at least three months until we can even think about trying for another baby.

In fact, when I thought about the last four years, I came up with a shocking fact I hadn’t really considered: MJ has been pregnant five times in four years, during which time we’ve lost four pregnancies requiring just as many D&C procedures.

That absolutely blows my mind.

Seriously, it’s enough to make even the strongest among us curl up in a ball and give up. Which MJ and I have both considered at various points. But as hard as it’s been for me, it’s been worse for MJ. Her medical conditions make it so damn hard to function on a daily basis, nevermind work at a demanding job and take care of Will, me and the house. She handles all the finances and anything that requires paperwork. She does everything, which can really take a toll.

Things bottomed out six weeks ago when MJ had to take a leave from her job. I have to admit, I was worried about her because at that point things really could’ve gone either way. The time off could’ve helped her or she could’ve gone insane and spiraled so deep into depression she wouldn’t be able to recover. And that scared the shit out of me because she’s been close to that point in the past.

But once again I was reminded to never count my wife out.

She fought back the only way she knows how: a little bit at a time. She is getting the help she needs and she scratches and claws on a daily basis just to have a fairly normal day. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s ridiculously difficult. Yet even during her own personal battle, she’s remained a fantastic mom to Will and I still hold the title of “World’s Luckiest Husband.”

During a year of awful loss and trying times, it would be easy—even understandable—to dwell on the bad times right now. But instead,  I want to tell my wife I love her. I think she’s incredible. And I’m constantly amazed by her strength and resiliency. As shitty as this year has been, the tough times can bring out the best in people. And my wife is, by far, the best.

I’m proud of you baby. So proud.

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12 thoughts on “A Year of Loss, A Wealth of Pride

  1. She is truly amazing and you are a lucky dude. On top of all she is going through MJ is selfless when others are in need as well.

  2. MJ and I knew each other a long time ago.She was my Maid of Honor when I got married, she was my back up labor coach when I had my first born.We have lost touch over the years due to miles and circumstance. I knew she married and had a baby through the grapevine.I am so sorry to hear of her struggles. I am sending well wishes and thoughts of possitivity and hope.Love that girl!

  3. I first got to reading your blog a year ago. Even from the far, far outside, I am so happy to know that you two are working through all of this and that you maintain your love and appreciation for each other. This post made me cry in sadness from what you all have faced and from your pride in MJ. Keep on lovin’ on each other, man. And thank you for sharing your journey so honestly.

  4. She is a truly amazing and very strong woman, and you are also a loving husband to her. I know that everything that happens in our life, good or bad has a reason. God knows are capabilities. And trials in life exist because we need to learn one thing, To have FAITH in God. Whatever you and wife is going through it will soon be over by the grace of God.
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  5. Cayla: Thank you for comment. And while I hope I don’t offend you, I do have to take issue with a few things you said.

    It’s great that you believe in God. But I don’t. Not at all. Because if there was a God, what reason would he have for giving a death sentence to an unborn baby. Or giving my friend’s 5-year-old cancer? Furthermore, why would he send trials and tribulations to an atheist who went to 12 years of bible school and made the informed decision that God is very much a fairytale?

    My wife and I will get through the ordeal because we love each other and because we work towards recovery. And if we get pregnant again, it will likely be because of science and technology. Not God and certainly not prayers.

    Again, this wasn’t meant to offend or try to change your mind. I just think sometimes the believers out there are a tad condescending in that they just assume everyone else has the same beliefs as they do. Which is not the case at all.
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  6. What a wonderful post. I started reading your blog about a year ago, and what you went through with your daughter was just awful. I’m so, so glad that you have both healed as much as you can. Things like losing a child can destroy families, and I’m so glad for all of you that it hasn’t done that to you. I really enjoy reading your blog, and I thank you for sharing you and MJ’s journey.

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