Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our World Comes Crashing Down (Kevin's Story, Part 7)

Today I sit down to write Kevin's story with an even heavier heart than usual.  Part of me can't bear to type these words but an even bigger part of me knows that it must be done.  The world needs to know that Kevin lived and his story needs to be told.

It was New Year's Eve and my 11 year old son Xander was spending the day with friends.  My mother in law agreed to watch the little ones so we could get some one on one time with our oldest son Anton.  He wanted to go to GameStop and get a new game with some of his Christmas money.  We also wanted to take him to get some new shoes before school started back up.  With everything we had going on we knew that we hadn't been spending time with our kids like we should.  This was an opportunity to begin turning that around.

The three of us loaded into the car and headed toward GameStop.  We had been driving for just a few minutes when Scott's phone rang through the van's hands free system.  Scott answered and we heard the caller announce that she was the genetic counselor and that the baby's results were back.  Scott quickly disconnected the hands free but it was too late to keep Anton from hearing who it was.

Even with hands free turned off I could hear snippets of their conversation.  She asked if he was driving. When he replied yes she asked him to pull over.  My heart sank.  It was in the parking lot of a drive thru restaurant that we got the news.  I couldn't hear everything but I managed to catch the words chromosomal abnormality, Pallister-Killian Mosaic Syndrome, and incompatible with life.  I pieced together enough to know that if by some chance our baby did survive he would be intellectually impaired.  Chances were he would never speak or walk.  He may not be able to hear. He could suffer from seizures or have skeletal abnormalities.  The list went on.  Anton was in the seat behind Scott and I was trying my hardest not to let my emotions get the best of me.  He couldn't find out now.  Not like this!  I couldn't do it.  I cried right there in the car.  I think I cried harder than I ever had in my life.  

After what felt like hours Scott finally got off the phone.  I told him we needed to go home.  The 5 minute drive from that parking lot to our house was the longest drive of my entire life.  At some point during the drive Anton dropped his change.  I can still hear those coins falling onto the van floor. Apart from my crying it was the only sound.

We pulled up in front of the house and I somehow managed to get inside.  Scott's mom was sitting in the living room and I know she knew it was bad from the expressions on our faces.  I tried to run up the stairs but collapsed a few steps up.  I remember wailing, "I can't do this!" and Scott helping me upstairs and into bed.  I lay there for hours trying to absorb it all, trying to process the fact that we were never bringing this baby home.  I felt awful about what Anton had just witnessed.  No one should ever get news that way.  Especially not a 15 year old boy regarding his baby brother.  Scott went to go explain things to him.  I couldn't bear to do it.

Scott came back into the room to let me know he had talked to Anton.  While he was gone I had decided that I wasn't going to let Anton's day end like this.  I got into the bath and got myself ready.  We were taking Anton out to get his new game come hell or high water.  To this day I don't know where I drew the strength to get up and do that.  I just knew that I still had other children I had to take care of.  I don't think my mind was ready to completely process it yet.  I was still in shock.

Scott, Anton, and I got back into the car and set off once again.  Anton got his new game and his new shoes and then we returned home to live the hell that was now our lives.  Xander arrived home and Scott had to break the news to him that his baby brother would not live.  I don't know how he was able to do it but I am grateful he was able to talk to our boys when I couldn't.  I couldn't have made it through the following days and weeks without him.

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