My heart is hurting this morning.
Back when I first found out I was pregnant and decided I should probably look into doing some research on being pregnant, my Rock Boat friend Stacy, who was also pregnant, told me about this website with a community forum where there were separate boards for women with similar due dates. She sent me to the one for the last week of September, telling me that the main September board wasn't really her thing - some snarky women who weren't always very supportive. I stayed on the weekly board for a while, but out of boredom one day went over to the main September board, and realized that I actually found the women she was talking about to be pretty funny, and brutally honest. I started lurking their chat thread, and eventually piped in. It took a little while for them to accept me, because they'd all been chatting for a good while already, but they did, and I enjoyed their company, and even became Facebook friends with several of them. I was among the oldest of the group, but whatever. It wasn't about that, it was about sharing experiences through our pregnancies and the births of our babies, and laughing a little at internet stupidity. It has been very comforting to be able to look to these women to reassure myself that my kid is normal, and there's nothing better than a Facebook feed full of cute babies.
Last Monday, we found out that the youngest of our group was in the ICU in a medical coma. She had some sort of a rare heart condition, and had basically suffered a heart attack at work. Her coworkers found her gasping for breath, and when the ambulance arrived they had to perform CPR. They weren't sure how long her brain went without oxygen, but it was long enough that by the time they got her to the hospital, she was showing very little brain activity, and they placed her in the coma.
There was a moment of positivity mid-week when she moved her arm slightly and was showing some brain activity, but by the next day it was gone, and it was time for her family to start making decisions. I woke up this morning to hear that she was gone. She was 21 years old. 21. The same age as my baby sister. How does that even happen??
My first thought through all of this was my god, that baby will never really know his mother. And then I go down the rabbit hole of what ifs. That could have been me. What if B never got to know me? What if my husband was left without me to raise our child on his own? Marisa wasn't married, but she spoke regularly about her baby's father and he sounded like a very loving and supportive partner and father. Who had to make that final decision? Did he have any say? Did he agree with the decisions her family made? What happens to her boy? Did she have a will? I need to find my will and advanced directive and get them updated - they're over 10 years old right now, and obviously a lot has changed since then. See? Rabbit holes.
But it all comes back to that beautiful child. What's next for her son? There's a tiny selfish part of me that is sad that I may never get to watch that baby grow up the way I will with my other internet friends who had babies near the same time. We've all kinda grown attached to each other's kids, I think, and all care for each other and our children's well being. But I know this is so much bigger than that. This baby now has no mama, and she was so proud to be his mama.
I hope that there is some way that we can keep up with how her son is doing. I hope that he eventually is able to know that he has a bunch of internet aunties out there that care about him and want to see him grow up into a happy healthy boy and man. I hope he will know how much his mother loved him, and how proud she was of him. I'd like to believe that she'll be watching over him from heaven, that she'll be his guardian angel.
I still can't believe it.