Since learning of the Trisomy diagnosis, many friends within St. Louis and outside of St. Louis reached out offering to help. “Anything you need,” was a common statement and was very appreciated. Two of my best friends were very persistent. “We need to go out,” they’d say. I’d say I was too busy which really meant I wanted to stay with Lauren, but I suspect to them it meant I was trying to isolate myself.

Friday afternoon I got a text from one of them. Busy after work? I called Lauren and asked if we had anything to do. She said no so we met out.

As I said, this is one of my best friends. We have the same view on many things. We met in college, are about the same age, had the same major, worked together for a while, both lost a parent too young, were in one another’s weddings, etc. The phrase “brother from a different mother” applies.

We started talking about all the usual stuff. Work, the Cardinals postseason, the Rams were off to another frustrating start, our kids, etc. Then the conversation switched to what I’d been going through. He asked how I was handling it. The reality was I was still trying to accept everything, but I also knew there were multiple decisions which we’d need to make in the near future. Things like:

  • Do we name her? What’s the point in taking the time and energy to name her?
  • If she’s stillborn, do we take pictures of her or with her? It seems really strange to take pictures of a baby that’s deceased. But if we don’t take pictures of her, there’s no real memory of her. Is that a bad thing? Do I want to remember this time in my life?
  • If Lauren’s health becomes at-risk as a part of this, then what? The word “terminate” wasn’t an option for us due to our beliefs, but could Lauren face challenges due to this? Is there any risk I could lose her as part of this?
  • What does a funeral look like? If Lauren goes full-term, do we bury the baby? Cremate her?
  • What do we tell Madeline?

We talked about and analyzed the above questions for hours. Sometimes we’d talk about the loss of our mom/dad to see if the answers to any of the above questions were in our past experiences. Eventually after we’d talked through everything it was time to go.

I told him I appreciated the talk and him and everything he did. We hugged and went our separate ways. Although many of the topics we discussed were depressing topics, it was nice to talk about them.

Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” If there was ever a time in which I desperately wanted to prove that quote wrong, it was now. However, the quote is spot on. Despite my desire to look forward, it wasn’t realistic. Over the coming days, weeks, and months, Lauren and I would need to put together a plan so we could one day look backwards and connect the dots.

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