Flying Solo

For the past three weeks MJ and I have been living a nightmare. But the key word in the sentence is “we.”  We’ve gotten the news together, we’ve both been in the room for ultrasounds and we talk to the doctors as a team. We lean on each other and we support one another. Together.

But not anymore.

In the end this is a mother’s burden. This baby is ours, but it is dying and it is inside MJ. And it needs to come out of her. I’m not allowed in the operating room. I can’t hold her hand like I’ve done each and every time before this. I can’t tell her everything will be OK when she gets scared. I am, by definition, utterly fucking useless right now.

And I hate it.

I want to feel this pain for her. She doesn’t deserve this and she shouldn’t have to suffer this godawful shit. That doesn’t make me brave or admirable. Because to be honest, even if they let me in that room the primal fear of what I’d see and hear in there terrifies me to the core. But all of that doesn’t matter because the reality is I won’t be there. I don’t have to feel what it’s like to literally have the life ripped out of me. But MJ does. I’ll either be in a waiting room or arguing with the brain dead pro-life protesters outside (a forthcoming post for another time let me assure you). And yes I’ll be worrying and pacing and fearing…but MJ will be living it.

This is a degree of helplessness that is downright paralyzing.

Do you know that it’s law in this state to describe any potential medical procedures in detail so the patient is properly versed? The rational part of my brain understands that. You want people to know what they’re getting into. And doctors need to cover their own butts. I get it.

But perhaps, just maybe, when a woman is wailing and begging you not to describe the intricacies involving the removal of her unborn baby from her already swollen belly, you could listen. And abide. Believe me, I read through it all. Every word. And no mother (or father for that matter) should ever have to hear such things.

So I couldn’t ensure that my wife carried a healthy baby. I couldn’t protect her from fate’s fickle finger that pointed at us for a congenital defect that fused our baby’s legs together and eventually killed it, even at 1 in 100,000 odds. I couldn’t spare her the pain of having our hopes dashed again and again with each recurring ultrasound. I couldn’t spare her ears the gory details of what’s going to happen. And when she’s led away from me tomorrow by strangers to a lonely operating room where I’m not allowed, all I can do is kiss her goodbye and make half-hearted promises that everything will be OK. Which I’m no longer convinced is even true.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I hate you right now,” she said to me through tears. “I don’t wanna go. I wanna be the one in the waiting room.”

I know she doesn’t really hate me and I didn’t take it the wrong way. I would throw myself in front of a train for her, so needless to say I’d trade spots with her on that operating table in a heartbeat if I could. And my heart breaks for her because she is such a good person, far better than I. She doesn’t deserve this. Me maybe, but her? No. It’s not fair. Not fair at all.

That’s why the only thing I can do — the sole reason I exist for these next couple of days — is to absorb as much as her pain as possible. To literally be an emotional punching bag. You always hurt the ones you love. It’s not malicious. I release my pain through writing, so if MJ’s release is to hurl all her hurt, hate and bitterness at me then bring it on.

It’s the very least I can do.

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28 thoughts on “Flying Solo

  1. You’re a good husband to recognize all that she is going through and to take it like the way you do-but remember its okay for you to fall too. You seem to have many friends around you who will help you get back up.

  2. Hey, I don’t know you but I wanna tell you that there has hardly been a day since you shared this terrible news that I haven’t thought about you and your family. The words ‘hang in there’ have never sounded more idiotic, but I don’t have much else to offer you. May you find peace in all of the shit you and your wife have been burdened with over the past few weeks.


  3. You are a good man, and I so wish this wasnt true too. And you dont deserve it either.

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. And Aaron you are a GREAT man. I am so proud to say that I got to meet you. MJ is a lucky woman to have you. Nothing is worse (except for what she is going trough) than the feeling of helplessness for your loved ones.

  5. The measure of a good man is being willing to do whatever it takes – including stepping forward to take all the hits and absorb all the punishment (physical, emotional, whatever) without complaint – when things are at their worst.

    That that measure… hell, by any measure… you’re a good man.

  6. Praying for MJ, for you and for your baby. At times like this, and I have been through them, you realize what a miracle a healthy baby is. So many things can go wrong from conception to birth, and sadly often times do. You have a miracle already, and I pray you’ll have more. Thinking of you Aaron. Be strong. Mary

  7. I am sorry for all of you. This is the worst kind of pain. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. You are a good man and a good husband.

  8. You are a good guy. Sorry to hear about all this and even sorrier that you guys have to deal with it.

  9. Uggh. You guys are living a nightmare. I am so sorry. Also, I know my opinion doesn’t really matter, but I still want to share this with you. I am 100% pro-life. I think you already knew that – I had a huge debate on FB about it one time. I am not a relious nut (not even religious), so my opinons on the matter can not be lumped into that category. That being said, I firmly support your family’s decision – withouth hesitation. It isn’t even a “decision”, it is the horrific next step. When I read your posts about the protesters, I shiver. Just spit on them. Its all they deserve.

    I only share my opinion on this to let you know that even the most pro-life person can separate the situations. Not all pro-life people stand outside hosptials or clinics torturing heart-broken women. Seriously just spit on those that do.

    Are you guys not having the surgery done at hospital? I am only asking because I would imagine they could do this at the hospital (where I have never seen any protesters).

    Please tell MJ that your whole daddyfiles community supports her just as much as they have been supporting you. Please tell me they are going to make her unconscious before they perform the surgery.

  10. You should definitely have let me come get in on the pro-lifer mayhem. Pretty sure we could have posted bail and been back before MJ even knew you were gone.

  11. They can’t do it at the hospital for another 10 days. By that time MJ would probably have had to deliver a stillborn naturally, which is something we want to avoid at all costs. So this was the only alternative.

  12. George Steinbrenner died this morning. Perhaps that will provide a small modicum of balance to your universe.

  13. I came here intending to write about my opinion of the protesters…but Jules said it better than I ever could. Except they don’t even deserve the energy that spitting would take. And you certainly don’t need to engage them in debate, because it’s just like arguing with a tree. Except a tree could probably make a more rational debate partner. And MJ needs you there, in the waiting room, not trying to make bail. But hell, even though I don’t know you, I would SO post your bail.

    And no one deserves this. Not you, not MJ. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  14. I am so sorry all of this is happening to you and your family. As hard as it may be, try your very best to ignore any protesters. They have no right to assume they know why you are there or what you are going through at all, and they do not deserve an ounce of your energy durning this difficult time. You are all in my thougths and I know you have it in you to get through this, it won’t be easy, but you can do it.
    I thought that although it was in different context in the movie, this quote might be something that will help you realize that as hard as it may be, you can all be strong and be there for each other to get through this unfair nightmare. I am sure you will recognize where it is from.
    ~ The question is not how far. The question is do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith to go as far as needed?~

  15. Aaron, just watched your posted video-you gave my sisters and I goosebumps-good for you for speaking out not just for your wife but for the other women out there having to face the most difficult times in their lives. I heartily agree with your stand on stemming the problem where it begins.

  16. Just watched your video of telling off the pro-life assholes. Again, I’m so sorry your family is going through this and wish you hadn’t had to go to that clinic at all, but I’m thrilled that while you were there you called those losers out. You’re right, they are the lowest common denominator and they are truly despicable. I hope a zillion people see your video. ~G

  17. You know what I have to say about the shitstorm you’re in.
    Wanted to add that I just watched the video, and it’s stuff like that that makes me proud to be your friend. Fuck them.

  18. Congratulations on not swearing in the video. Lucky for them it was you that went after them and not MJ. I have to admit, you were more calm than I would have been.

    I’m proud of you both for the class, dignity and strength you’ve both shown. I know this isn’t over – it will never really be over – but I know you both will find a way to deal. I love you both.

  19. Your a good husband. I know you are doing all you can to help ease the pain. My thoughts are with you guys every day.

  20. “That’s why the only thing I can do — the sole reason I exist for these next couple of days — is to absorb as much as her pain as possible. To literally be an emotional punching bag. You always hurt the ones you love. It’s not malicious. I release my pain through writing, so if MJ’s release is to hurl all her hurt, hate and bitterness at me then bring it on.”

    Dude, you are so far from useless that if you’re going to use the term, it’ll have to be completely gutted and remodeled.

    Good for you for having the stones to post this difficult (rottenly sucky) leg of your life journey. Too many people go through similar happenings, and feel alone because you’re not supposed to talk about unpleasant personal things.


  21. I think that the worst possible thing that you can do to a woman is hurt her child, and the worst possible thing you can do to a man is hurt his partner. My heart is aching for you both.

  22. my heart aches for you and your family… a link for a school assignment brought me to your post; i am a L&D nurse and not everyday is a joyous day because these are some of the matters that need to be dealt with

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