Sometimes to lead you need to follow. -M. Taggart
Sharing a bit of my life with you.
Sometimes to lead you need to follow. -M. Taggart
Sharing a bit of my life with you.
I almost lost my wife. Last Tuesday Megan stayed home from work. Just before noon I heard my named called from upstairs. Followed by the sound of Megan landing on the bathroom floor. I was downstairs feeding Gavin his lunch.
Megan’s head was in between the toilet and the shower. She was just opening her eyes. Her breathing was highly elevated. She was perspiring heavily. I started asking basic questions. She wasn’t able to focus her eyes. From my point of view, Megan did not know who I was.
I flat lined emotionally. Everything slowed down. I had my cell phone in my hand while asking Megan, “Would you like an ambulance?” I was calling regardless of her answer. She was pregnant. We found out the previous Friday night that the pregnancy was ectopic. Monday morning she had a follow up with her doctor to confirm what the emergency room told her Friday night. Her doctor gave her two shots of metho, told her she might feel cramping, but that she’d be able to go to work on Tuesday.
There I squatted, on Tuesday, pushing the hair from my wife’s face. “Yes, she’s starting to come to. Yes, she know’s who she is. No her color seems alright. (I am color blind.) Hunni, they are telling me to tell you that help is on the way. Ma’am, I need to run downstairs and get my son out of his high chair. He’ll tip it over. Yes, I’ll be fast and I’ll come back up to be with Megan.” Thank God Megan is strong.
The doctor was wrong. The worst possible situation was happening. Megan had suffered a rupture and was bleeding internally.
“Be a good boy, Gavin.” I had just placed Gavin in his nursery area. I ran back upstairs.
“Ma’am I can hear the sirens, I’m going to let you go.”
“Megan, you’re going to be O.K. The ambulance is outside. I’ll be right back. I need to open the door for them. -Yes, please come in. She’s directly up the stairs and straight into the bathroom.- Gavin, Mommy is going to be OK. Please don’t cry. Please don’t cry.”
I called Megan’s sister while the ambulance drove away. ‘Get to the Hospital. Call me as soon as you know if she’ll need surgery.”
Megan was rushed into emergency surgery. She was bleeding so badly they were literally watching her stomach rise. Her blood pressure was becoming close to even. I arrived at the hospital too late. I stood in line to be told where she was. Her sister appeared and told me they couldn’t wait any longer. They didn’t know I was standing in line at the front desk. No cell reception.
The surgeon, Lillian, saved my wife’s life. Lillian was, and is amazing. “Mr. Taggart, she suffered internal damage. The pregnancy ruptured. She lost 1.3 liters of blood. She bled into her abdomen. There was other damage too. Would you like to see the pictures. We had no choice. We believe we did the right thing.”
My wife was dying on our bathroom floor. I am still flat-lined emotionally. Megan finally is home and resting. I am so thankful. I am so thankful. She has a long recovery in front of her. She won’t be returning to work until after Christmas. She can’t lift over ten pounds for six weeks. She can’t lift our son. She can’t rock our son. This has stolen a portion of her life. She has been afraid to sleep for fear of not waking up. When she does sleep she has nightmares. I love my wife. Seeing the hurt this has placed on my wife is something I may not forgive.
Her pregnancy hormones were 31k at her doctors office. The cut off for the medicine administered to my wife is 5k.
This never should have happened.
After Megan’s surgery Megan fainted in the bathroom. Two nurses held her in place until a team of nurses helped bring her back to her bed. I stood watching. Arms folded. Useless. Straight faced. Upset, for what my wife was being forced to endure. Megan was anemic and now needed a blood transfusion. After her surgery we were told they tried to remove all of the blood that had bled into her abdomen, but that it was impossible to do. The remaining blood would slowly be absorbed. However, the process would be painful. Blood is an irritant when placed where it ought not be. Megan struggled to move for a number days.
Family arrived from numerous states to help. Help support us. Help watch Gavin so I could sleep next to Megan at the hospital. This event surrendered us, placed us in a position of hope and sadness. It effected our entire family structure and friends.
Now though, as we near Christmas, we are thankful. I am focusing on the positive. Megan will be home with us. She can read to Gavin. She can sit with Gavin and play with dinosaurs. She can tell him she loves him and give him kisses. But please Gavin, no jumping on Mommy. Lets just be happy that you have your mother. The thought of Gavin growing up without Megan is too devastating for me to process.
The night we brought Megan home, I said to myself ‘my head closed today.’ And the repeating started. There’s ONE person who reads my writing who knows what that means. That was the closest I came. I’m flat emotionally and that’s where I need to be for just a bit longer. Until then we’ll drive after the sun goes down and enjoy showing Gavin the Christmas lights. We’ll drive on the dirt roads and look for dino’s in the forest. We’ll watch Christmas movies. We’ll place Gavin next to Mommy and let the cuddles begin. It’s time to build memories.
I said I almost lost my wife. Megan was too strong to let that happen.
My next post will be a short story I’ve been writing for a few days. Normally I sit and a story is written with a few minutes. I publish on here with very little editing. This is my messy playpen area. The stories I take most serious I do not publish on WordPress, though I very much enjoy this platform. I keep my best work hidden and I submit, when I can, to agents.
I haven’t had much time to devote to writing in a serious tone on here. I have a little shadow who I don’t permit myself to be rid of. He’s exactly anything I’d always hoped. And the reason I don’t sit for long periods of time. Whether for this platform, or for eating, or reading, or anything. I love it.
I’ve stopped posting about Gavin. One reason is because I think he might break the internet. He says hello and to keep an eye out for my next post. The story doesn’t have a name yet, but it may contain the word Christmas.
Gavin has a bit of charm to him, no?
We’ve just moved north. We’re in a town-house until our new home is built. Your grandmother Kathy and grandfather George visited while the builder sat at the kitchen table with your mother and I discussing building plans. You were comfortably sitting with your grandmother chewing your plastic flexible frog. You put the frog’s head in your mouth and chew the head as though it were a binky.
A great thing has happened. -We’ll be building our house on land that’s surrounded by Maine Forrest. Your back yard is an extension of hundreds of miles of trails. This is important. I have many great memories as a child while playing in a ravine tucked away in farmland. Now, you’ll have you’re own ravine on a much larger scale. As it should be. Parents should strive to give their children a better life than their own. All while remembering what humbled them, what developed them and what lead them to the moment of the birth of their children. I’ll not forget. We, your mother and I, along with your entire family, have many plans for you and we’ve much to show and teach you. It’ll all begin in your back yard.
You’ll be coming with us as we clear the land this spring. You’ll see the pouring of the foundation, the raising of the walls and you’ll be there as we all celebrate our first time opening the front door.
I’ve noticed an ability you’ve been given. Everyone who meets you wants to hold you. They hold you and smell the top of your head and nuzzle you with their noses. They smile. They all smile. Sometimes you wiggle and bend your way into gazing up at whomever holds you and you smile back. Your family is spread all through out New England. They travel to be with you.
You’ve just turned 7 months old. We consider you to be very sturdy. You roll over constantly. You sit up very well. You have large hands. You stand with help. You’re trying to crawl and I believe you’ll achieve this in two to three weeks. You come to attention when you hear classical music such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bach.
You vocalize when you see your two Maine Coon cats. And when in your jumper chair you hold your arms up when you wish to be held. This works well for you. Your first real food was avocado. You ate the entire portion.
When I raise my eyebrows, while wearing a grin, you smile. So, I walk around wearing a smile nearly all day. Thank you. I’m fortunate that my career is in technology. I’m able to not only work from our home office, but I’m also able to be with you every day. I no longer eat lunch alone. I brew my morning coffee knowing I’ll soon hear you waking. Which means I’ll soon be opening your bedroom door. Which means I’ll soon be hovering over your crib with my eyebrows raised.
I’m often told that we should put you in day care. Your mother and I think not. We think I’ll have you as long as I can. I view my time with you as a gift. The first piece of literature I read to you was Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and The Sea. I love to read and I had you to read it to. If I can better learn to balance my work, with life, than I believe I’ll be learning to become a better father. Putting you in day care has nothing to do with difficulty raising you, but rather with my own limitations as a parent and how I can further develop them. I write this so openly because I worry that our society too quickly passes on the opportunity to be with their children. That’ll not be me. You are my handsome companion whom helps me cherish moments. My little man. Just now you’re rolling around in the center of our king size bed with two pillows on either side of you. You roll to one and than the other. You have found the opening in the pillow case where the zipper connects the fabric. You’re talking to the zipper.
That’s it for now, Gavin. I see that you’ve decided the zipper ought to be chewed on and it’s clearly time to pick you up.
And remember- It is a gift to love. Your mother and I love you which clearly means you are the gift.
I’m standing on the deck with a cigar and it’s dark now. They say, ‘Don’t blink.’ I blinked taking snap shots because this is how I remember. The deck isn’t large and then there’s the sliding glass doors. These aren’t important. What’s inside is where my heart is.
My wife is in the shower. Our son is asleep. A child I wished to have and now do have. I blink and see a shelf through the sliding glass doors on the left. On the shelf are antique spice tins, small cast iron trays, greenery which I don’t like but she does and she’s best at making a home so they’re there. Blue jars and a metal fire truck which isn’t antique but looks like it is. Above the shelf hangs a large wooden American flag.
On the wall, near the shelf, there is a large wooden star and two wooden butterflies. Megan says we’ll not need the butterflies when we move and to toss them. Her father says to pack them and find a place for them to be.
In the middle of the room there’s an island which shines from multiple cleanings. It’s dark outside and the cigar smoke slips around my vision.
On the kitchen counter stand four empty beer bottles. On the kitchen sink there’s a brush standing upright because it has a suction cup bottom keeping it in place. We use the brush to clean Gavin’s bottles.
Also on the counter is dawn dish detergent and a blue sponge. The faucet is clean and also shining like the island. Then there’s a sugar container with my Boston Red Sox coffee mug sitting on top. I normally don’t leave it on top of the sugar container, but I did today. Then there’s the coffee maker and toaster oven. We leave the oven unplugged. After the toaster oven is a curve in the counter leading to the gas stove. The stove is black and it gleams. After the stove is the stainless steel refrigerator. This is where I once stood and prayed and let tears fall freely. Gavin’s ultra sound pictures were underneath magnets.
My cigar smoke rises. Megan walked from the hallway into the kitchen area with a towel wrapped around her body. She is just out of the shower. She’s turning the lights off. She know’s I’m on the deck smoking my cigar and wants to let me have my moment. She doesn’t know my moment is to never forget. The shelf, the star, the butterflies, the sugar container and her walking in her towel. The home she’s made and the child we have; the sliding glass door and the deck that doesn’t matter leading to me, where I stand and where I know my place.
I tell Gavin I have much to show him. I pick him up and tell him I’ll show him the world. I walk him out of his room and down the hallway into the kitchen, then the living room. I open the sliding glass door. I step onto the deck. I tell Gavin, ‘This is the beginning of the entire world.’
He’s bright and happy. No more fever and all is well.
I’m reading The Old Man and the Sea to Gavin. Generally I read to him when we put him down to sleep. Gavin enjoys talking at us with a few words only he truly understands. Megan and I feel we have learned five of them to the best of our ability. Either way, we talk back, and he makes funny faces and smiles often.
I’ve chosen an Ernest Hemingway book to be the first full book I read to him because I believe infants need to hear words. Many of them. Not just, cat, dog, and hi baby. I think they are able to stuff these brilliant sounds into their growing brains far better than we know. We humans, especially adults, love to think we know everything. Then, we look at blooming teenagers and remind them they don’t know everything. Scratch that, I will never tell a teenager they don’t know everything because it’s possible they do and it’s possible I know so little that maybe I ought not be like all the adults I believed I truly knew more than.
Anyway, we read to Gavin. The first time I opened the book I told him who Ernest Hemingway was and when he was born. I then told him he wrote many books, one of which is the book I was now going to read to him. Gavin feel asleep after the first paragraph. He’s rebounded nicely and seems to listen for much longer stretches of time before nodding off into his dream land.
Gavin- p.s. Three nurses came to visit you yesterday. Megan wanted to learn how to stretch your little body so you could grow perfectly well. We learned a few interesting things about you. The nurses did a number of tests. It turns out all of the fun facial expressions you’ve been making, and the number of words you’ve created and use are what’s considered to be advanced. I don’t care what tests say about a person. But, I thought you might like to know. One of the categories you were tested on was called expressive communication. Normal values were from 40-60. You scored a 73. They also said you’re very handsome and that we should send your picture to Gerber. So, now your mother is sending your picture to Gerber.
Isn’t it odd that our society is attaching test scores to you? You aren’t yet two months old. We’ll talk about test scores and society much more. Just remember, it’s important to be happy and to truly know yourself. Society hasn’t gotten there yet…so be careful when talking heads lean in closely to speak in your direction.
I’m rambling. I’m going to post this now and then go kiss your forehead. You’ll most likely grunt.
Here, let me check…
I’ll close the closet door..
Pictures of Gavin taken by me today 10/10/2015. Happy October!
Two babies cry, one is fed. -M. Taggart
It’s no secret that Ernest Hemingway is my favorite author. This is my first six word story. When I feed Gavin I find myself thinking of little ones going without. Their cries shredding the night, falling on ears without care.
My grandfather was orphaned as an infant. I’m proud to say I see a bit of him in Gavin.