small brilliant smiles

‘A bumblebee.
I’m seeing it with my eyes’
That’s what my not yet
three-year-old just told me.
No need to overthink
what ought to be written
when life delivers every day
All I need to do is listen-

-M. Taggart

Sent from my iPhone

One Strong Megan

I almost lost my wife. Last Tuesday Megan stayed home from work. Just before noon I heard my name 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.

Gavin

photo (71)

 

summer maine

Megan and I

 

 

 

 

Parenting

I sit my two year old son, Gavin, on my lap just after he bumps his head on the coffee table in the living room. I tell him, ‘Gavin, you need to be careful of your head. You need what’s inside your skull. You don’t yet understand just how important it is to protect what you have. Love you buddy.’

Gavin then jumps from my lap, grabs a Dino, and makes a loud roaring sound. And off he goes. I know that Gavin doesn’t fully understand what I’m telling him. But what I believe he feels is a caring tone. We’ve (Megan and I) repeated this hundreds of times. If not thousands. We’re teaching him to care for himself. We’re teaching him to love himself. Something I didn’t learn to do until my mid thirties.

I made a decision before Gavin was born to forgo the growth of my career to be the care giver to my son during the week. A decision I know to be the correct one for myself and my family. The best parenting advice in the world comes down to two words. Be there. My career, which I built, can be built again. The one chance I have to be the best father possible, is now.

As I continue to observe Gavin’s growth and development I often think of children who do not have a guardian that’s acting in their best interest. I think of guardians who hit. Who scream. Who sexual and mentally abuse children. I hope you bump into these words if you are among that ilk. It’s you. It’s not the child. It’s you and you need help. Stop hitting. Stop screaming. Stop abusing and turn yourself in. You won’t. You’re too weak. It’s your weakness that owns you and you aren’t intelligent enough to know what to do with it.

If you are a child that somehow reads these words. It’s not your fault. It never was. It never will be. This isn’t a promise for you to keep- to protect them any longer. Turn them in. They are killing you.

If you are a parent or guardian that suspects something has affected your child, ask them. Right now. Do not wait. If you don’t ask, no one will. NO ONE.

Abuse of a child runs rampant in all countries. All societies. If you are an adult that witnesses abuse, step in. That very moment. That child may never have another chance.

It’s 4:30 AM and I’m shivering while writing this. My son just woke up, upset, and needing attention. Megan or myself is always there for him. With endless, us. I wish every child had this. Unfortunately I know this to not be the case.

Enjoy your coffee.

Matt