Wonderful Life

It's been a whole year plus since I last published anything on this blog. A LOT has happened in that time, namely Ju and I have had our second child (Kai) and he is doing great, however for those of you who have read our blog in the past, you'll know that the birth with Alaise did not go so well, and indeed we had a very similar experience this time.

In many ways this birth was worse. I'm not going to go into the technicalities of what happened as I think Ju did a pretty thorough job of that here: http://krisandju.blogspot.com/2010/11/baby-life-death-love.html What I am going to do is just kind of vomit out everything that's been rattling around in my head since then.

November 22nd 2010 my son Kai was born. Knowing what had happened with Alaise the doctors and nurses took extraordinary measures to make sure this birth would be smoother. Despite their efforts we quite nearly lost my beloved wife and no matter how prepared you think you are, no amount of fore-knowledge can ever really prepare you for dealing with the cold hard reality that your wife is quite possibly going to die. At some point in the process it strips you of all the things that make up your world... faith, hope, none of these things actually exist in the white hot despair of those moments. At some point none of it is enough, and you react with the only thing you have left, because everything else has been taken away. For me, in the way I grew up, in the life I've lived, that one things is prayer. Twice I've been at this point, and twice the only thing I find at the bottom of that pit is prayer.

I said that faith is even gone in those moments, this is because my faith, that the situation will be resolved favorably is totally gone... not because my faith in my God is gone, but perhaps that my faith that he'll resolve the situation in the way I want is non-existent. Who am I to suppose how God intends for a situation to resolve? I see others who have lived awful horrible things and I know there are no guarantees in life, so when you see a future without your wife, raising your children as a single father, you respond, you react, you get up, and you ask for help, for healing, you ask for her to hold on long enough to say goodbye to her daughter.

I was spared so many things, both this time and last time I've walked out of the situation as a new father, and with a wife healthy enough to walk out of the hospital herself (not that they'll let you walk out, but the fact remains). This time things were... faster. The doctors have decided that Ju must have some sort of condition, but it's deceptive. Our doctor has said she's never seen or even heard of what we've experienced. Basically 3-5 hours after giving birth, Ju's clotting factor seems to disappear, so just about the time you start to breath easy and think all is going well, all hell breaks loose. With Alaise they ended up taking Ju into surgery and I got to wait for about 2 hours while they worked on her, and then ended up prayer over her for another hour or two after she came back as no one was sure that what had been done would be enough. Seeing what happened with Kai this time, we all realize just how much worse things could have been because the normal "life-saving" measures they would typically employ (hysterectomy) would probably have killed Ju, both this time and last time, and none of us (doctors included) had really "gotten" it last time. We all assumed this was a weird case of postpartum hemorrhage. As a quick aside, I was spared a lot of the waiting and wondering this time because things happened so quickly. Within 2 hours we had gone from "OMG" to "ok... we're probably in the clear"... but those were some of the most intense 120 minutes of my life.

I write this blog because I think it's part of the healing I need to do. The experience was, generally speaking, pretty traumatic. Ju and I did a lot of discussing about what had happened afterward. We did that with Alaise's birth as well, but Ju was pretty drugged up, so I was the only person experiencing it in the "raw". This time, Ju was awake and aware for virtually the entire thing. In a lot of ways I think the experience has drawn us closer together. Regardless, we've talked through a lot of it, and I think re-experiencing the trauma at a manageable pace, discussing it, analyzing it, and accepting it is a huge portion of the healing process. For about 3 weeks after the birth I was... "raw" is the only word I can use. I had very close to 0 patience, and found mustering the will to do anything at all VERY difficult. It's not that surprising I guess, though I do wish I had been able to react differently.

At the last doctor appointment Ju had, our OB actually offered to refer us to a therapist if we felt we needed it. Our OB mentioned how traumatic the situation had been for her as our doctor, and apologized that she hadn't offered earlier, we just seem "put together". Which I'll take as a compliment. I think had she offered within those first 3 weeks I would have been very likely to take her up on it. Ju and I have discussed it, and we both feel like we're in a pretty good place now. The grief of having a decision forced upon you (no more children) has passed, and we're learning to feel more positive in all of this, realizing one of the largest variables of our life has been reduced to a simple number: 2. Finding that we're blessed beyond all reason. We have two amazing children, who we'll get to raise and watch grow TOGETHER. And we still have each other.

I don't know why things are the way they are, I don't know what the purpose is in any of it, but I do know that God has promised that all things will work (ultimately) to the "good".


I'm going to end this post with the words of a song. This song helped prepare me for what I was afraid of, what I thought I might have to face and it helped me heal afterward by reminding me just how much worse things could have been.

Alter Bridge: Wonderful Life

Close your eyes, And just hear me sing, One last long goodbye, One last song before you spread your wings.

There's so much left to say, And before this moment slips away

What a wonderful life, For as long as you've been at my side, And I want you to know, I loved you so

Then the cold night calls, And the tears fall like rain, It's so hard letting go, Of the one thing I'll never replace

And soon you will be gone, But these words, they will live on

What a wonderful life, For as long as you've been at my side, And I want you to know, I'll miss you so, And though our days come to an end, No, I'll never love like this again, What a wonderful life my friend

And all that I am, You let me be, I will remember you, For all that you've done, And given to me

Love will remain, This I can see, Now and forever more Because of you, Now I believe I believe

What a wonderful life, For as long as you've been at my side, And I want you to know, I loved you so

What a wonderful life, For as long as you've been at my side, And I want you to know, I'll miss you so, And though our days come to an end, No, I'll never love like this again, What a wonderful life A wonderful life What a wonderful life What a wonderful life

And with one last embrace As the tears fall like rain you're gone And with one last goodbye, As you fade out tonight, you're gone.

Anonymous (not verified)

25 January 2011

so thankful that as you said, all is WELL-- and you have two beautiful children! I'm also encouraged that what overflowed in times of absolute stripping down was prayer and relyance on a Good Sovereign Father. That really is so encouraging to read!

If you do desire more children, there is also the miracle of adoption to consider!! With grants & tax credits available these days it is entirely affordable to every single family-- just something to keep in the back of your head if you ever do get that "want more kids" itch. :)


Elvis McNeely (not verified)

13 August 2012

Glad you shared that Kris. We all hit a point where we must call out to... a Higher Power. What amazes me is He not only wants us to call out to Him, but to do it as often...


How many times a day do your children ask you for something? I know mine does so much so, it is overwhelming...

Glad to hear all went well and your family is growing!

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