Jeff’s Story – A father’s perspective on loss
Hi, my name is Jeff and I’m a proud father and a husband.
Before I became a father, there were a lot of things I didn’t know. For instance, I didn’t know that the whole process took ten months. I thought it was nine. I also didn’t know how hard it can be to just get my wife pregnant. Most important, I didn’t know how many pregnancies result in miscarriage or premature birth. Unfortunately we experienced both.
After two years and three miscarriages my wife became pregnant with twin girls. Everything was going fine until around week twenty. My wife noticed a change in her discharge and suggested we go to the hospital just to be on the safe side. Within twenty minutes of being there, after a brief examination, we were told that my wife’s cervix had started to dilate.
Again, I didn’t know what that meant. It turns out it meant that my daughters didn’t stand a chance. Once dilation begins labor is usually close behind. One week later, at 21 weeks, (thanks to my wife’s toughness, determination and love) our first daughter Tierney Faith was delivered. She passed away sometime during the labor process and never got a chance to take a breath of life. Her sister, however still had a strong heartbeat and was about to stay in her mama’s belly. Two weeks went by before tragedy struck again.
We were in the 23rd week of pregnancy. We were back in labor, Our second daughter, Eden Hope, was coming into this world weather we were ready or not. The doctors told us they couldn’t hear a heartbeat and that they thought she passed. Upon delivery they were proven wrong. She was breathing. She was moving. She was alive!
Now comes the most important thing I didn’t know. Most hospitals won’t do anything to help a baby born before twenty-four weeks. They don’t consider them “viable”.
She was viable to me.
Over the next few hours I held her and tried to breath air into her lungs as the hospital wouldn’t even provide oxygen. They only offered morphine to help her pass painlessly. I refused. My wife was taken in the O.R. as she was experiencing heavy bleeding after delivery. While in the O.R. our daughter passed away quietly in my arms. My only consolation is that I got to spend every minute of her short life with her.
A year and a half later, after several mental and physical (for my wife anyway) hurdles my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Wyatt is now 19 months old and perfectly healthy. I can honestly say if he wasn’t here, I might not be either. He has brought life and joy back to our family. I thank God for Wyatt everyday and am pleased to say that I am a proud father of a baby boy and two beautiful angels.
Jeff is a 6th generation San Francisco native and has worked in the construction industry for the last sixteen years. Jeff is a step-father to three children, Alex, Chiara and Amber and father to Wyatt and his angel babies Tierney & Eden.