It’s 2am… December 2017… I am covered in sweat from head to toe and freezing under two fleece blankets. Only now realizing that these blankets don’t absorb fluid and neither does my leather couch.
This is the Story of how I die…
I never wanted anymore children. Looking back on that thought I have no Idea why I would ever think that. I was a very self centered child and young adult and was until I was 31 years old. My parent divorced when I was around 10 or 11. I didn’t take it well but my brother took it the hardest. I reseted my mother for not being able to make things work with my dad, for being a cheater, and for being an alcoholic. Well the apple didn’t fall to far from the tree for me at least.
In August 2012 I found out I was a father to be of my own biological child. I had a step son and for me that was a enough. Sadly I was like I said very self centered. In my mind if things went south I thought I could just walk away unattached. Start anew and never look back. Well not any more… but that never sank in for a very very long time.
Her name was Jennifer. She was a pulmonary nurse from Virginia Beach. A mother to Conner and a good one at that. She didn’t take no shit and was a wild firecracker. Normal was not her thing. Now she was my wife and Carrying my soon to be daughter; Elizabeth Lillian Stewart.
The news came in one ear and out the other. She was a complicated pregnancy for RH Disease yet I knew nothing and was so absorbed in my work that I really didn’t take the time to learn about how bad the conditions could get and what could go wrong. And wrong is a far understated word for all of this. Even after the botched blood transfusion and traumatic Cesarean Section little Elizabeth was born at 3:10pm and there began the instant downward spiral of her health. With in days of her birth there was a notice in the change in her skin color and she became very lethargic.
I was drug into a room in the pediatric surgery department of Seattle Children’s Hospital being told by a Dr. that my daughter was not going live. My brother was there and all I could hear over and over was that line, “Mr. Stewart, this is not a situation with the highly likely chance of survival.” I was so enraged. Ho do you tell a brand new father that?! How do you even think of saying such a thing… Why not something like, “Mr. Stewart we are going to do everything in our power to make sure that your daughter comes out alive…” But nonetheless it had to be said.
So now over the next couple days I will unfold the birth or my daughter, the down fall of my marriage and ultimately the chaos that ensued as she turned into a drug addict and left the children with me. A single dad in the Navy and father of two over night and trying to figure it all out.