Hard year(s)

Starting this year in Janurary, a kid I mentored for 10 years died unexpectedly, my uncle was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, and died a few weeks later. I didn’t even make time to call him because I assumed I had time. My girlfriend and I were hoping our baby would stay in until her due date, as she’d started contractions twice and had to go in, as early as 7 months. We made it and then some, up to due date+a week, about to schedule induction. The night comes and I’m anxious but happy. We make it through to the early morning and contractions just started going nuts, up to 1 minute apart. They started giving her stuff to slow down the labor. A tense 2 hours go by, things calm down, and we settle in. The main event comes half an hour later, baby starts coming, they had a slew of extra doctors on hand due to the issues earlier, but things seem ok. Baby comes out and isn’t breathing for what felt like an eternity and looked grey, they take her over to the warming table, and she perks up and starts crying. I’m beginning to feel like things are looking normal. Then they mention my girlfriend is still bleeding, and are trying to get it under control. They hand me my daughter and I feel so, so happy, looking down at her, my girlfriend smiles and then mentions she’s feeling cold. They send for blood units, and begin pushing saline. They also call to prep the OR and my heart just sank. They whisk me and my daugher away to another room and move mom to the OR. Things seem ok, and the doctor checks in, saying they’re using a balloon to try and halt it. Worst case they might have to do a hysterectemy. They say it’ll be an hour. 3 hours go by, none of my family has gotten there yet, but they’re at least on the way. Doctor comes back stressed and says they need to do the hysterectemy, I told him to do whatever they have to. Two hours go by, and the surgeon comes in and says she’s stable. She then explains that she had gotten everything done, and when they xrayed after they found a sponge, and had to re-open her and grab it. Twice, two different sponges. Then they explain that she needs to be life flighted to another hospital- My family called and was outside, so I went to go greet them and finally lost my composure and just ugly cried my way over, explaning what was going on. I had to choose between staying behind with the baby until the next day when they could discharge us to follow her, or transfer the baby and I in an ambulance to follow her, so we could at least be in the same hospital (the other hospital is about an hour and a half away by car). When I got back inside they asked if I wanted to see her before the transfer, and I said yes. When I walked into the room there were about 12 nurses/doctors crying and working on various things. My girlfriend was sweating profusely, hooked up to a ventilater, unconcious. I held it together until I saw her. All I could think was to tell her there’s a healthy happy baby waiting for her when she comes back. When I spoke to her her eyes half opened but were rolled back.

I tried to compose myself and figure things out, I just went back to my room and prepared to get transerred, said goodbye to my family, and watched as paramedics came into the room we were in and packed my 6 hour old baby into a stretcher piled 3 feet tall full of equipment, and they put her in a little warmer box in the middle.
I couldn’t find any words the entire trip. I just stared blankly wondering how my girlfriend was. We finally arrived at the hospital, which just happened to be the same hospital I spent a week in when I was younger and tried to kill myself. The baby and I got settled and I finally got an opportunity to go see my girlfriend after an hour or two. I came around the corner into the ICU, and locked eyes with her, hooked up to a ventilator, gagging on fluids every few seconds, I just started bawling. She was at least awake. She was in so much pain… After all she had been through, she refused anything but tylenol because she wanted to be able to breast feed. It hurt so much to see her like that. All said and done, she ended up needing 18 units of blood, which has a horrendous effect on your body, it tries to shed the excess fluid, and you end up swelling up everywhere and risk kidney failure. After two nights, we were able to move into the same room together and my family (including my dad) finally got to meet my baby.
We recovered a week there, then went home and began a long road to recovery. I was hoping to take a month off because we have paid parental leave where I am, but my job exploded and I had to go back next week, leaving her alone, after all that. COVID really stepped up here, with the first US cases getting public the week we got home.
Things held together for a few weeks, but then I got a call that my dad had gotten sick. He ended up going to the hospital, and ultimately ended up in a coma and his organs failed due to being septic. I never got to see him after the hospital, or talk to him. He just faded away. My girlfriend has been struggling with PTSD through all this, and honestly I kind of feel like I am too. I still wake up in a panic thinking about all this, I just don’t know where to start getting help.

Over the next few months I figured things out slowly. Work sucked, I had people who work for me call me a sheep for believing my dad died from COVID to my face, dealt with all sorts of anti-covid, anti-mask bs… Fast forward to September, and we went out for a walk on labor day, had a good time. We felt normal, at least as normal as we could. We got home from the walk put the baby down for a nap, and heard this ungodly sound outside of a tree breaking. I screamed at my girlfriend and step daughter to run for the door and ran towards the baby, but before any of us got far, a tree came down through the roof and completely destroyed the house. We were all ok, but homeless. We spent the next month in hotels, moving from room to room night to night, trying to figure all this out, moving our stuff into storage lockers in the middle of the horrendous wildfire smoke that hit the west US in late 2020. We’re finally in a rental, which has had its’ own stress. The landlord shared the internet with the neighbor and after the neighbor told us the landlord wanted him to cut down a tree that could hit a power pole, the landlord didn’t in fact want that, and cancelled the internet without saying anything to us. The neighbor set up a lawn chair on his property line facing us, staring waiting for an opportunity to talk, apparently? He finally came over and talked to my mom, and said he’d just continue paying us $30 a month and share it with us. I didn’t feel like doing this with a complete stranger, and so we told him as such. Guy says “mighty neighborly of you” and goes to pound 4 fence posts into the ground in line with our front door, but on his property, puts metal targets on them (the same number as there are people in the house). Stares down my mom and girlfriend, then turns around and shoots two magazines into the targets, then storms back inside. I texted the guy and told him not to come over to our property anymore, etc., and that he was incredibly rude to my mother on her anniversary, the year my father died, he freaks out saying “HELL OF A WAY TO TREAT A VET ON VETERANS DAY” (which I wouldn’t know, because I literally have never talked to the guy). I called the landlord that night, and have a conversation about the neighbor. The landlord basically says the guy isn’t all there, he went to Afghanistan and never really came back, and said multiple times “just do what you have to do, protect your family”, and “if he starts blasting the house, just get out of there”. I called the cops who said he didn’t break any laws, and typically when they hear about it it’s too late in situations like that. I have multiple weapons ready, but I live in anxiety. This dude is crazy and I fear one night I’m just going to hear breaking glass and worry for the safety of my family.

On top of all of this, because the insurance company didn’t switch the policy when my mom informed them of my fathers passing, they will only issue checks to him, which we can’t use. They told us they’ll only pay housing until april, even though they won’t issue any checks we can use to do anything… We’re running out of money and I just don’t know what the heck to do. I feel like the universe just decided to end my entire existence, and there’s nothing I can do but give in. I’m trying to hard to be the rock for my family, but I’m a total mess. I feel so much anxiety right now I feel sick all the time. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been alone in quarantine for the last 8 days, and I just need to get all this off my chest because I feel like it’s just going to crush me right now. Sorry for the wall of text.


Welcome to the community @integrityfailure, I read through this post last night and I was heart broken for you. 2020 was extremely hard and I didn’t realize just how difficult it was for some people. I’m not really sure what to say exactly but thank you for sharing and opening up. I know it’s not a good answer when the walls are closing in and everything seems against you but keep trying your best. You’ve made it this far, despite everything you are here, you are surviving. I am glad to hear you’re not alone though, that you do have people in your life to be there for you, such as your mom, your girlfriend and children. Is there anything that we can do for you as a community? Do you have a GoFundMe or something? Stay strong, integrity.

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Welcome to Heart Support! You came to the right place.

Are you religious at all? Facing all that, I’m sure the last thing you want to hear is that God has a plan for you. It was heartbreaking to read through all that. Call it God’s will, or call it karma, but I don’t think it’s fair for one person to endure all that loss without one hell of a rebound on the other side. I don’t know when that is or what it will look like, but I refuse to accept that the universe is unfair enough to put you through all that for no reason, even if that reason isn’t immediately apparent.

When I read your post, I heard a strong man who is fighting like hell to hold it together. You don’t sound like you’ve lost hope, you sound frantic and desperate. You sound like you’re still fighting. None of this will end you. You need and deserve rest, but haven’t and will not lose the war. Your journey isn’t over, and it’s not just beginning; you’re on your journey. I hear that you are tired and could use a break, but right now you can’t quit. Just survive any way you can. You’ve got this man.

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Hey there integrity,

Thank you for posting about this here. I echo the sentiments of Amaya and SheetMetalHead when they say that you’re a strong person for making it through all this.

Often times when a slew of bad things happen, we get in this mindset that something is out to get us, but that’s not exactly the case. These things just happen, and as unfortunate as it is, it sounds like you’re doing your best. At every point in your story, you were THERE, you were PRESENT in your families lives. You did your best, juggling everything you had to, and I think that’s absolutely incredible. You say you’re trying to be a rock for your family, I think you’re succeeding.

I know when I was in a place where everything started going wrong, where it felt like everything was piling up and when I’d thought I’d hit rock bottom, it just got lower somehow, I found a lot of hope in making a plan to get away from it all. It sounds like you’re making progress, you keep going, and are keeping your family safe, so I think those are great things to hold on to. Sometimes just making it to the next day is a great achievement, and in those moments, focusing on the small things can really help IMO. Look at it each day at a time, and look at all the good you do at each moment, those things add up, and will build that momentum that gets you back on your feet.

We’re here for you friend. You are showing incredible strength through all this, and it’s honestly amazing to see. If you and your girlfriend have feelings of PTSD, a therapist can absolutely help with that, though I understand that may not be in the cards right now.

Stick through this friend, these things wont last forever, and when you look back on these days you can think of all the strength you had, and how reliable you’ve been throughout this.

Take care


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