TWO PINK LINES
In June, 2002, two pink lines announced unexpected news… a baby was on the way.
That was all I needed to go into full, healthy pregnancy mode. I checked off all the no no’s I could think of – wine, caffeine, hair color, and tuna fish. I took my pre-natal vitamins (when I could stomach them) and drank my orange juice to make sure I was getting my folic acid. I naïvely believed an unborn baby’s health was the sole creation of the mother. Not once did I consider (or Tom for that matter) how his lifestyle could impact our future baby’s health and development.
During my first trimester, Tom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We were devastated and shocked. How could this happen to an athletic 34-year-old? So many questions and thoughts swirled through our heads. For the first time in our adult lives, we were faced with life or death decisions. Mortality slapped us in the face.
Besides worrying about my husband’s health and comfort, I worried about the impact of exposing our unborn baby to chemo and radiation. Was it safe to sleep in the same bed after Tom received his treatments? The doctor tried to calm my fears and told me not to worry, but secretly I didn’t believe him. I knew Tom needed me, so I put my concerns on the back burner.
I was beyond stressed. The fear of losing my partner, friend, and father to my children was unbearable. Deep down I knew I had to put on a strong front. Not only for the family, but for the sake of our unborn child. Stress could not possibly be good for our developing baby.
Within weeks of Tom’s diagnosis, I began to spot. A new fear surfaced. It gripped my soul. Was I going to miscarry? I remember driving to the doctor’s office, tears uncontrollably escaping my eyes. Painful sobs racked my body. I pleaded to God. “Please not my baby and husband.”
I arrived and sat in the car for a moment, wiping away the evidence of my breakdown and began to prepare myself for the dreaded words- “There is no heart beat.”
To our relief, we never heard those heartbreaking words. Our baby was alive and I swore right then and there, no matter what, I would always be his protector.
Brody’s Story – Part 3 to come.