Join me in welcoming Debby Myers back this week. The subject isn't an easy one, and I found myself grieving with her when I read it. That's a good reminder, too, that the weight of grief lightens when it is shared.
by Debby Myers
So, I’m sitting at my computer wondering what interesting topic I could write about to intrigue Liz enough to let me share it with all of you. Whenever I think about writing, I can come up with different stories that make up each chapter of my life.
With my multiple sclerosis comes the loss of short-term memory from lesions in my brain...as if I needed to forget anything else! What’s fascinating is that my long-term memory is almost all intact. I’ve already written for you about my disease, about being a flying trapeze artist, about losing my father-in-law and about directing community theater. So, what this time...
Let’s talk about 15 years ago. That’s when I really began to understand that there are very different kinds of love and tragedy. My oldest daughter was pregnant with her first child. After carrying him for five months, she went in alone for her monthly prenatal checkup, not expecting that the outcome of that appointment would change everything. When her OBGYN started the ultrasound, she asked if anyone had come with her and asked where the baby’s father was. My daughter said he was at work. The doctor stopped the ultrasound and told her she should call him. Something was wrong. There was no heartbeat. Her baby boy had died in vitro.
The next couple of weeks seemed like a blur. They had to induce labor for her to give birth to him. It was too late to abort the pregnancy. The baby’s father, my ex-husband, and I were all there. After several hours of labor, my ex was enraged. He went to the doctor and pleaded with him to do something to speed up the process. My daughter cried the entire time. My heart was breaking.
Finally, she gave birth to a 10-ounce baby boy. We all held him in our hands – fully formed, but very tiny. By law, he had to be named before he was cremated: Peyton Samuel.
My daughter slipped into depression. She quit beauty school. She wouldn’t eat or clean up. She cried and cried for two months. We all worried about her. If she ever came out of it, what would it take? They had given her a picture of him that she carried with her. Then about four months after she lost Peyton, she went back to her OBGYN for a checkup and learned she was expecting again. That’s when she began to see light at the end of the dark tunnel she’d been living in.
My daughter was very careful throughout this pregnancy. She blamed herself for losing Peyton. She was convinced it had been something she had done, although we all tried to convince her that it wasn’t. She was scared it might happen again. She got past that five-month mark and began to feel more at ease. It was then that she began to smile again, to look forward to her new baby.
Nearly 13 years ago, I became a grandmother for the second time. Yes, I say the second time because I held my tiny grandson in my arms first.
When my granddaughter was born, she literally saved her mother’s life. My daughter spent every waking minute with her. She’d get up in the night many times those first few months to see if she was still breathing. Now she is about to be a teenager and is the apple of our eye.
None of us will ever forget Peyton Samuel. My daughter keeps a small scrapbook just for him. I often wonder what he would have looked like and what he would have been like now. Yet I know he is forever an angel and is with many of our family members who have gone since.