Sunday, January 16, 2011

History (To my son Justin)

My name is Mike Porter and decided to blog just for fun. You might ask why, but I really don't have a solid answer for you other than I am just trying this out to see how it all works. 

Well, I am married to my wonderful wife Nathalie. I have 3 children: Abby (20), Kylie (4), and Nicklaus (2 1/2 months). I know you must be thinking....20 and 2 1/2 months?  Well, I was married before and divorced. Like every man out there, you think if you get divorced, your life ends Reality is, it doesn't. New opportunities open up and you end up being extremely happy.

I work full time in the criminal justice field. I also attend Law School part time evenings. I am currently in my second year and I love every minute of it. law School has many challenges, but the challenges of law school have been made moree difficult due to the loss of our son, the hospitalization of my wife for meningitis, and then, the recent birth of our son Nicklaus.  Everything happened during the fall semester of my first year, and then the fall semester of my second year.  Through it all, I prevailed with the help and guidance of my wife, family, and my fantastic law school friends and professors.

My wife is a working professional as well. She works for a health care facilitty.

My wife and I are blessed to have 3 amazing children who truly love us for who we are. We have suffered alot over the past couple of years, beginning with the loss of our son Justin in September 2009. He was born a stillbirth and this completely devastated us as a family.  While our youngest at the time, Kylie, did not understand, Abby, Nathalie and I were able to fully understand the reality of the situation. While the loss of Justin shook us to the core, we have been able to deal with our loss together. 
Often times, the loss of a child can tear a family apart. This is understandable. I remember many times feeling guilt or placing blame.  I learned, through counseling, that the guilt and blame is completely normal. I was able to focus on moving away from the guilt and blame feelings, to simply the feelings of the loss of my son. I never imagined how devastating the loss of a child can be until I personally experienced it.  Unfortunately, some people just never know what to say to us...and instead of keeping their comments to themselves, they say stupid things.  Here are some examples of things we heard:  "Well, it's time to get over it."  "Move on", "Well, it was God's plan" , "It wasn't meant to be".   Do people really think those words help? They don't.  Those words re-open a wound that we are trying to heal....then again, unless and until people experience this type of loss themselves, they can never truly understand the emotional toll you go through.

Then, 2 months later, my wife contracted meningitis. Wow.  A double whammy. I won't go into detail but she went from a serious medical condition to superb progress with the guidance of some spectacular neurologists.

Then, we decided to try one last time for a child. We always agreed that we would try for 2 children. In all honesty though, I was finished after the loss of Justin....but then I realized. Another child will not replace Justin. Another child will provide us with the fulfillment we seek. My biggest fear was having another son. I asked myself " Will I compare him to what Justin would have been?"   I was very torn.   So, my wife got pregnant...and my biggest fear came true.  We were having a boy.  I was so completely torn. I was afraid of how I would maybe compare him to Justin. Compare him to my visions of what Justin would have been.  I was torn.  As time went on, I began to learn how to control my feelings. I began to understand I will not compare our new baby to Justin.

On October 15, 2010, our lives came to a stand still.  My wife broke her water at 31 weeks. We immediately went to the hospital and expected she would return home on bed rest.  Weren't we surprised when the doctor informed us Nathalie has to stay in the hospital until she gives birth.  WHAT?????????????

So, my oldest is off at college, my youngest is home with me, and my wife is in the hospital. After 2 weeks in the hospital, my wife gave birth to our son Nicklaus at 33 weeks. Nick was born via emergency C-Section and was in very serious condition. When he was born he had a major infection. The NICU staff saved our sons life. My wife was released from the hospital and 2 days later, she was re-admitted to the hospital with a major infection as well. We were then informed that the NICU had to make attempts to place a PIC line in our son. The first 2 attempts failed. On the third attempt, the doctors and nurses were successful Thank goodness for that because the next alternative was a surgical procedure for the PIC Line.   After 5 days in the wife was once again released. Our son stayed in the NICU for a total of 24 days before being officially released.
WOW.  Another traumatic experience for us.   Now we have our son home. I finally have my wife home, my son home...and my family back together.  Now comes the tough part though.  I will explain this in my next post.

So, as of the day of this writing, my family is home. I have my wife and my 3 wonderful children all home. All the while, Justin sits in my heart and in my mind every single day.   Abby is returning to college from her break which now leaves a void in our home.  My wife returned back to work after her maternity leave ended and I am a stay at home dad for the next 2 months. I will return to work at the end of February 2011.

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