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April 4, 2020

World’s Worst Checklist

My husband and I had been together for 7 years when we decided we wanted to start trying for a family. We learned that it may be a difficult road due to my PCOS.  We started trying and were very surprised to find out we were expecting in May of 2019.  Everything seemed to be going well until my asthma flared up and I was referred to a high risk doctor. In a blur of appointments Baby Boy (aka DavidLee Joseph) was growing and healthy that was until November.  I wasn’t feeling well, so I went to urgent care thinking it was a cold. I was wrong. I had discovered that I developed early preecamplsia at only 29 weeks and 3 days. I was then hospitalized and had to give birth via a C-section at exactly 30 weeks. This is where the journey begins.

Since everything has happened with DavidLee Joseph, I keep saying that I’m checking things off the world’s most f-ed up checklist. For me there isn’t any other way to put what we’ve had to endure and do since the moment we realized Baby Boy wouldn’t make it through the night.

We found out Baby Boy was diagnosed with NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis) at 9 am, and it was a whirlwind of crazy from that moment. It started with transferring him to a Level IV NICU. Then started the visits from the doctors explaining what the condition was and how/if Baby Boy survived what it would take for him to reach that point. Then it was time for his surgery, since his body stopped responding to antibiotics. ANNND this is where the “World’s Worst Checklist” begins. It starts with calling family members to let them know that your 14 day old newborn is going to have life-altering surgery.

Once his surgery was complete, comes the post-op visit from the doctor and the IF he makes it through the night speech. Well, here’s check mark two: checking in on Baby Boy only for doctors to tell you that you need to make phone calls because his kidneys have begun to shutdown and he wouldn’t make it through the night. So begins the phone calls to family to let them know their grand-baby isn’t going to make it. The third check: making the decision to stop life support on your 14 day old son. We allowed our family time with our son. Everyone was able to hold him and cherish their time with him. Then came the time for us to spend those few precious final moments with our son, thus beginning the next part of the checklist.

Now, this is where things begin to run into one another and just pile on things to this awful checklist. Number four: calling the funeral home to begin the funeral planning process. Number five: meeting with the funeral home to plan details, pick out a baby casket, flower arrangements, dates and times, cemetery and funeral outfits for your 15 day old son. Number six: going to the cemetery of choice and picking out your son’s eternal resting place. Number seven: survive the rosary and funeral and all the people Number eight: plan and attend a get together after the funeral for family to gather and make awkward conversations while you want to hide and crawl into your own skin. You would think this is the end of the checklist, but no the list just grows and grows.

Number nine: survive the loss of your son while dealing with an infected c-section scar and surviving people… Finally, number ten: order a headstone for your 15 day old son.

The only way I could process all the things, I’ve had to endure with my husband is dark humor. This “checklist” is all part of our dark humor, deflect until you can process all the emotions and thoughts running through your mind. If nothing else, this just helps me process and breakdown things into manageable chunks instead of everything coming at me at once. At the end of the day, the only thing I can even suggest is take it one day at a time, one minute or even on second at a time.

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