It was just the other day when I got that fateful phone call that my brother was murdered. My world as I knew it was no longer laying on its axis. Instead it was wobbling all over the place. Instantly I was angered. Left wondering what, who, why, and how. It wouldn’t be just a mere 24 hours later and I would learn the answer to many of the questions that I long. I knew the who and the how, but not the why. Unfortunately, my family will never know the answer to that simple question.
Now, fast forward five months and ask me how I am doing. The answer to that question is that I haven’t really had time nor the desire to settle all of my feelings with losing my brother. You sit there watching “48 Hours” on A&E and you have conversations of, “I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like to have that knock on the door or the phone call that those people just got.” When in reality, I know all to well what that feels like. You never imagine if you will be experience that. In fact, you probably think .. that will never happen to me. I know I did and it has happened to me.
There are times when it reality hits and I’m reminded of the pain. While I have a lot of really good days, there are those bad days too. Those moments in the day that I start to tear up. I’m left with knowing that it had been roughly five years since I last talked to him. Not for the lack of trying, I promise you that. I tried calling him. In fact, I had been calling and leaving messages for him the last 6 months of his life asking him to call me back. Waiting and hoping to see his number on my phone every time it rang, just to see it was someone else. I will never be able to call him up and ask him for brotherly advice, as he had given me many times before.
I get angry at my brother. I question if it is the right thing to do, seeing as how he is not here to make things right. Why did he have to be at that place, that moment in time? Why couldn’t he fix his relationship with his kids? Why hadn’t he reached out to his family? Why, oh why did he stay with that dreaded woman? Couldn’t he see that she was keeping him from his family? Couldn’t he see that he was allowing her to keep him from his kids, family, and life long friends? Why .. why couldn’t he see those things? I’ve been in an abusive relationship before, so I can relate to his situation. Even though I can relate, I don’t understand it. I would fight with every last fiber of my being to be an active participant in my child(ten)s life. I wouldn’t just go from being a kick ass parent to being no parent.
That day and the following week that will be forever embedded into my memory. The only solace that I am able to find is that following Saturday (the 20th of April, 2012). My entire family went out to eat at a restaurant called “Frisches”. We met up with my brother’s first wife. We hadn’t seen her in 24-ish years! It was unfortunate that this is how we all had to see each other again. We closed the joint. There were a lot of laughs at Paul’s expense and there were some tears. While I remember this week is forever etched in my memory, it was this night in particular that I can find some comfort. After we all walked outside with our jackets on (it was fricking cold as hell up there in April!), I was talking to his ex-wife. I lifted my hands up in the air and looked up and simply said: “Paul, what ever you do buddy …. just send me one child .. PLEASE!” I got this odd look from his ex. She had a perplexed look on her face and understandably so. What you do not know is that for as long as we all knew Paul, he was agnostic. He did not believe in what it was at that moment that I did, which is that he’s pulling some strings with the big guy upstairs.
Fast forward 33 days later and the axis that my world is trying to stabilize at is sent spinning again. We learned we were pregnant. I think this is what keeps me sane most days. Takes just some of the pain away. I firmly believe (and if you know me – you know I’m not religious, but more spiritual) that my son is Paul’s gift to us. It’s his way of saying it’s going to be ok and that I will find happiness in this world again. This is how I cope with the loss of my brother. I try to the focus on the wonderful gift that has been bestowed to me and my wife. I don’t want to be filled with anger and be bitter.
Fast forward to today. We are officially into our second trimester. We have learned that we are having a boy! It’s not just a speculation anymore, but it is official. The morning sickness is nowhere near what it was that first trimester. It’s slowly but surely coming to a complete stop. Thank heavens for that too. I didn’t know how much longer we could handle the vomiting!!
Before I start our little update on the little man from our prenatal visit, I thought I would share the results of the blood work from the 12 week NT Scan.
- Down Syndrome : 1:650
- Trisomy 13 : 1:10,000
For those of you who are not used to statistics, that means that 1 in out of 650 and 10,000 births a baby is born with those conditions. That being said, we were informed that we are in the low risk population for our age range. Another blood draw would be done at the follow-up exam.
We have a fetal doppler here at the house that we use often to listen to his heartbeat. We discovered something new last week when listening to him. We heard a sound that we had never heard before. We could hear his heart pumping and then all of a sudden a “thud” on the probe. We’re left wondering – “What the heck was that?” We both asked each other the same thing. Took the probe off her belly and then firmly planted it back down. There it is again! I had to grab my phone to capture this. I had to ask some friends if that was him or not. I showed them the video and let them listen to it. Yep, sure enough it is! We were able to capture him kicking the doppler! I hope you enjoy and can hear what we hear:
I keep asking Lynn if she can feel him moving around. She keeps telling me that she hasn’t yet. Or that she knows of. She said she feels something, but is not for sure if it is him or not. If she is not for sure yet, she’s about to be. We’re in that part of our pregnancy that we’re starting to feel movement. Lynn will obviously feel him move about sooner than I will. I have to admit, I am jealous that I can feel him when she does.
This past Monday, 13 August 2012, we had another ultrasound. It was a follow-up to NT scan that was done at 12 weeks. We got to see our little man! Getting to see how much growth he has had in 4 weeks is remarkable! I long to meet him, but yet don’t want to rush it either.
Here are the highlights of the ultrasound:
- Weighs : 5 oz.
- GA : 16w / measuring 16w4d (On Monday)
- Confirmed with 100% certainty that we’re having a boy!
- Heart rate : 135bpm
Finally, what you have been waiting for! Now, I will give a quick disclosure on this video. Our little man is a twerp. As a result, he was being stubborn and did not want to let us get a good look at him. He was having a bad day! With that being said, he does like to show off his little wanker! I hope you enjoy!!
Our perinatologist had ordered more blood work to compare to the last round of results. This would let us know if our odds increased or decreased for Trisomy 13, Down Syndrome. They also tested for spina bifida this time, as well. We got our results back yesterday!
- Spina Bifida : 1:6,000
- Down Syndrome : 1:4,000
- Trisomy 13 : 1:10,000
I am really happy with the results. We can breathe a little easier on this. I was excited to see that our odds of DS greatly improved!
After our appointment with the perinatologist we had to see our OB for our monthly check up. He said that everything was going along well and that we get to go until we’re 26 weeks before we have another vaginal exam! Lynn is thrilled about this, because having them done are not a lot of fun. We discussed with him what our options are in regards to delivery with the fact that we are 4 hours away. We have a had a lot of talks and we would like to have a vaginal birth – if we’re able too (hopefully nothing goes awry). So, as of right now with us planning on a vaginal birth we will be induced. We do not know when, but I will definitely let everyone know!