If there’s one thing Nyana’s early arrival has taught me over and over again (aside from patience) is that life isn’t fair. I’ve mourned the pregnancy that I didn’t get. I’ve moaned “why me?” as I tried to comprehend just how tiny and fragile 1,110 grams of human is. I’ve bitched about nurses and doctors and rooms with a view for three months now, all the while realizing that even though life isn’t fair, you have no choice but to play the hand you were dealt.
It was back in April when then this little man’s Mom came into my life. I’ve never met her and have never been to the town she lives in. There are enough differences between her and I that I’m fairly positive if I just randomly met her one day, I wouldn’t be her friend. And yet here I am after spending a good portion of my day thinking about her and her newborn son, and feeling like I’d just been punched in the gut.
I met Liz* on an online discussion forum for pregnant ladies. There are about 70 of us active in our birth club, members from all corners of the country, all of us due in December. We migrated to Facebook and used a private group to gossip and groan to each other throughout our pregnancies. No matter what the gripe was about, there was always a supportive ear on the other end offering up, “What me to slap a bitch for you?”
When things started to go wrong with my pregnancy, Liz and the other girls rallied around me and were more supportive than I think they know. Like nearly all of my Winter Babies mamas, Liz has been a vehement Nyana Army Warrior from the very beginning and has always been genuinely interested in our Chubchub’s progress. Although few of us have ever met each other, we all consider each other good friends at this point and hope the camaraderie lasts well beyond our pregnancies and into parenthood.
We all watched as Liz reached her due date and beyond. She’d had a perfect, healthy pregnancy, and when they induced her 10 days past her due date, they were expecting nothing short of a healthy—although perhaps a bit hefty—baby boy.
Unfortunately, this world has other plans for Baby Noah.
Some breathing issues at birth led to a NICU visit, which led to being airlifted to the city, where three days after he was born it was determined that Liz’s beautiful baby boy was, for a lack of better term, brain dead. He’ll likely never eat or walk or talk on his own. Liz and her partner were now faced with a decision no parent should ever, ever have to make: do we let the machines live for him?
I’ve spent many hours today contemplating how something like this can happen. How can my little one, born way too early and way too small, be on the fast track towards happytimes at home while just one province away, a healthy pregnancy yielded a full-term baby who has to fight an even greater fight than Nyana did? It’s just not fair.
My heart is broken today for Liz and her family, and just about everything about today has made me feel like an ass for complaining these past three months about the situation Don and I are in. Liz’s parents will be joining her at the hospital in the morning and Liz is hopeful Noah will survive the transport back to her hometown before they disconnect the ventilators and let nature take its course.
Please say a prayer for my dear friend that she and her partner can find peace in the decision they’ve made and that they’re able to find the love and happiness they did enjoy with their son during his short time here. And then go kiss someone you love.