Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bittersweet compliments

On the day that our doctor first told us about Aiden's Trisomy 18, he also asked me an odd question just before leaving the room. He wanted to know what I do for a living. I was mostly in shock and thought very little about the question at that time, but later became very curious as to why he would want to know.

Being the kind of person who can't just let things go, I asked him about it the next time we spoke. He said that he had never seen anyone respond so calmly to such devastating news, and he had figured that I worked in some high-stress job like law enforcement or active military duty. Now in case any of you are curious, I don't have a particularly high stress job... I'm a software developer. The most stressful thing I do on a typical day is fret over the fact that I'm still terrible at regular expressions. It's pretty safe to say that my job has very little to do with the way that I react to crisis.

At our most recent visit, the doctor delivered perhaps the most bittersweet compliment Cori or I have ever received. He said, "The two of you are handling this better than any couple I've ever seen, and I've sadly seen quite a lot of couples go through this."

What a strange feeling, sitting here watching the Oscars, having apparently been nominated "best couple in a tragic scene" ourselves. How I wish all of this were just a bad movie that I could pause, or better still, stop and eject. Sadly I don't have that power. I can't help Aiden as he fights to make it to his birth. I can't fix Trisomy 18... Nobody can. I can't stop this movie, I can't rewrite the ending, and I can't watch a different one instead. The only thing I actually control here is my response.

I've learned a lot about myself in the last month and a half, but I've learned far more about Cori. She would have you believe that I'm the strong one, but she carries a unique and painful burden in all of this that I can't possibly fully understand. She feels Aiden kick and remembers all the joy and hope for the future that used to accompany that sensation, then she has to try to reconcile those feelings with the overpowering heartache of knowing that we will probably bury our baby boy this year. I'm not the strong one, I assure you. Cori is, and whatever small strength I have is borrowed from her.

I gotta say, I don't like this movie very much, but I'm glad that I'm not watching it alone.


  1. I also think it's great--that dr noticed the power and supernatural peace of the HOLY SPIRIT in you guys. That's what's different about you and your reactions. Praying for you often.

  2. Thinking of you my brother!!! I think of you and your family EVERY day. Stay strong for each other. Much love!

  3. So thankful for both of are an inspiration. Love you,

  4. B J & Cori, It is the overwhelming Love of our Lord and Savior through the Power of the Holy Spirit that will continue to give you the wisdom, courage and strength you will need to get you through this. Our God is awesome. You are a powerful witness to why we need to choose life. I plan on listening to baby Aidens heartbeat everyday before I go to my 40 Day of Life vigil.
    Cousin Vicki