My Nephew Is Here!

Guys, my nephew is here!!! He was born at 8:48am this morning weighing 7lbs 5oz and measuring 21.5″ long! He is absolutely perfect and so incredibly beautiful. I cannot WAIT to meet him next month when I visit my sister during Spring Break!

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It’s been an emotional day. Mostly happy feelings, but a lot of other stuff as well. I was very anxious as I waited to hear how things were going with the baby and with my sister. I kept panicking over and over again on my commute to school this morning. I didn’t calm down until I got text messages saying that both baby AND Mom were doing well.

A little backstory (caution: may be triggering for mention of medical stuff and death):

Several years ago my cousin died from multi-system organ failure two days after her fourth child was born. She was nine months pregnant when she caught the H1N1 virus. She went to her ob-gyn group twice to tell them she didn’t feel well, but both times they sent her home (despite the fact that a new, dangerous flu strain was making rounds). When she finally got to the ER, she was so ill the doctors needed to induce a medical coma. They also wanted to keep the baby in utero for as long as possible (babies actually gestate for 10 months).

My cousin had this strange premonition when she was about six months pregnant. So she told her husband that if anything should go wrong and he had to choose between her and the baby, she wanted him to choose her. They both agreed that this was the best decision since they already had three children to take care of that needed a mother. So when things started to get very bad, my cousin’s husband asked them to deliver the baby in order to allow my cousin to have a better chance at survival. However, it was a Catholic-affiliated hospital, so they refused to deliver the baby earlier than absolutely necessary (which I guess by their standards meant once the baby was in distress). They waited too long. The end result was a dead mother and a child who now has severe cerebral palsy.

I was actually in a psychiatric hospital at the time for suicidal ideation. I was in bad shape. My Wife had the unfortunate job of telling me that my cousin had died, which was just as awful and traumatic as you’d imagine. The hospital staff told me that I could go to the funeral, but I’d have to be discharged. None of us thought that was a good (or safe) idea, so I did not go to the funeral. I wasn’t discharged until over three weeks later.

I don’t regret my decision, but I regret that the situation happened as it did. My grief has been a long and complicated process. It was such an unnecessary loss to this world…and to those children. Even now, over five years later, it’s difficult to talk about her without crying. I have this disc that has a slideshow someone put together to show at a benefit event they held for her children about a month after she died. I remember seeing the images flash on the screen out of the corner of my eye, but I never looked at them. I still can’t bring myself to watch that disc.

Luckily, my sister was quite healthy going into delivery this morning and is healthy (albeit exhausted) now.

But there’s still this underlying association between pregnancy and death for me that shakes me to my core. And I think that being reminded of what happened to my cousin also reminds me of the fragility of this world and how vulnerable we all truly are to the whims of…life, really. In a moment, everything can be totally different. Someone can go from being alive to being dead. Or a baby can enter the world and take its first breath.

Life can be so fleeting and unpredictable and messy. But damn if it isn’t absolutely beautiful and wonderful and awesome, too.

Happy Birth Day, Little Dude. I love you so much already!!

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14 thoughts on “My Nephew Is Here!

  1. Zoe says:

    Wait. Wait. Wait. Back up. So your cousin’s husband — who I assume had the right to choose her medical treatment / make other decisions regarding her health — asked them to deliver the baby, but they refused? What? *baffled* I know money can’t bring back a lost loved on but that hospital deserved to be sued to the moon. I cannot believe the bullshit of that moment. I’ve had so, so, so, so many bad experiences with hospitals that this isn’t shouldn’t be surprising… except it is. I can never get over how truly full of shit hospitals can be, especially toward the lives of their patients. >_>

    Words cannot describe how sorry I am that such a tragedy happened to her and your family. So wrong.

    BUT! So happy your sister and nephew are OKAY. I totally get the apprehension that comes with association one past, bad event with future ones. Every single time I step into a hospital I live the horrors all over again (like I physically feel pain and distress) so I can kind of see how nervous you were waiting for news.

    Happy birthday to your nephew and may his trip through this life be a prosperous one!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Andi says:

      *sigh* yes. They did sue – both the hospital and the ob-gyn clinic. And the family friend who passed away recently experienced a previous stroke for which she received compensatory damages from a malpractice suit. And I’ve had my own fair share of really shitty, unethical horror stories in hospitals. So I feel like I really relate to that very visceral reaction you describe.
      Thanks for the happy wishes for the new babe!!! 🙂

      Like

  2. Anxious Mom says:

    Congratulations on becoming an aunt (again)! I’m glad they’re both healthy ❤

    The situation with your cousin…that's so fucked up. Considering that babies born after 32 weeks have a 98% chance of survival, it's insane that they wouldn't deliver the baby sooner with a mom to three and wife at risk.

    Birth is such an exciting, yet scary experience. Even though I had no reason to think anything would happen to me, all I could focus on with baby girl was the small risk of death associated with a C-section.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. aniken5er says:

    Congrats on your new family member! I hope you have a great relationship with him. I have 2 nephews and a niece and I am batshit crazy about them. Can’t imagine life without them. Thus I am very excited for you!

    About your cousin – that is horrifying. But I have also had really bad experiences in hospitals, so I am not surprised. I just wonder why it is so hard to do the right thing, especially when it is so clear in your cousin’s case. Just seems blatantly unethical.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Yes! My nieces are my favorite people ever! I’m completely obsessed with them. I just said to my wife last night that I hope my nephew is just as cool and thinks I’m just as cool, LOL.

      Thank you. It’s sad that many people react with a similar “not surprising” response. There is something seriously wrong with the way medicine is practiced.

      Like

  4. Cat says:

    Congrats on becoming an Auntie, glad everything went well for sister and baby. That was a shocking story about your cousin and I was just about to go off on a rant about suing their sorry ass, but I then read the comments. It can never make up for anything, but it is a mater of principle and holding these morons accountable. Catholic or not, who are they to play God and go against, not only your cousins wishes, but also her husband…tut tut shame on them!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Andrea CH says:

    You know, I had read horror stories about the tragic consequences of the rigid, anti-choice policies in Catholic hospitals, but now that I know you were personally affected by them I’m even more angry on your behalf. I’m so sorry you lost your cousin in that way and it is perfectly understandable that it would leave some trauma and anxiety around birth (already scary as it is, or at least made to seem scary by the medical world!)

    At the same time, I’m so happy for the birth of your nephew. Yay for an awesome new baby in your life, and congratulations to your sister!

    Liked by 2 people

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