Officer Involved Critical Incident: Our Story, Part 4

{PART 4}

I keep sharing all of these different parts of our story because I really do believe it helps to humanize the badge. And today shifts from understanding the trauma that comes with these incidents…to understanding that every officer has a family life that involves stresses. And when these two collide….it compounds everything.

No officer is immune to NORMAL life stresses. They all have life circumstances out of work that are crippling and frustrating and debilitating at times. And our world was about to massively smash together with the two.

Let’s take it back to where we were.

We just got home and called it a night at around 3 am. The hubby and I made it into our room. We got him situated with pillows to prop his foot and make him as comfortable as possible with his face.

Then began the loop of repeating the day’s circumstances. Every time Greg closed his eyes, the attack was on repeat.

My brain was racing. What now? How did this happen? Greg was way too close to death for my nerves. What about our baby? Ugh. Just don’t think about that right now.

Greg fell asleep around 5:30 am. I just sat and listened to his breathing. Never before had I appreciated that sound as much as I did in that moment. He was alive. I came so close to having an empty bed. So that sound was heaven to my ears.

By 8 am we were both awake.

My head was POUNDING with a massive headache and my nausea was out of control. I came out of my room just crying. Everything seemed to really be hitting us that day. The fear and trauma seemed amplified.

We both laid on the couch as my mom managed everything for us. And slowly visitors appeared. Officers came by to check on Greg, bearing food and cash and gift cards.

They were messaging him nonstop. And it really helped us to get our minds out of the replay loop and have some connection. Those visits were the best thing that could have happened in that time.

It was almost a break from the heaviness and reality of what had happened.

I texted my midwife and told her we needed to reschedule her coming to look for our baby’s heartbeat and she agreed. We set it up for the next Tuesday, October 3rd.

That night wasn’t much better. Replay loop on repeat.

The next few days were the same. The hubby sat in a chair in our living room, I laid on the couch. My kids were entertained by Grandma.

Then Sunday night, while I couldn’t sleep I logged onto Facebook to see status updates from friends about the horrifying shooting in Vegas.

Freaking heck. Stinking triggers. My mind was racing again.

More not sleeping.

Monday morning I woke up and told Greg we were scheduling trauma counseling appts because I was done. I couldn’t live like this anymore. I needed sleep. I needed tools on how to manage this weirdness we were experiencing.

We got a visit scheduled for a few days later.

Then it was scheduling doctor appointments for Greg’s ankle. And scheduling appointments for the investigations interviews.

My mom has just left the night before and I had to buckle down and try to normalize our life as much as we could for our kids.

Thankfully our homeschool helper came everyday to keep that part of life normal. And it helped the kids to also have some lightheartedness and fun.

Tuesday came. And I still wasn’t sleeping. My stress was through the roof. I could tell I had high blood pressure. I literally didn’t drive anywhere at this point still. Because I didn’t feel safe enough to drive. That sounds weird but I literally couldn’t drive.

Around 1 pm, the hubs and I went to our front porch for some air. This had become a little tradition of his. To slightly get out of the house without actually leaving.

His eyes still said it all. There was some pain physically. But you could see in his eyes the mental and emotional pain he was still experiencing.

1:30 rolled around and my midwife knocked on our door. She immediately said “you aren’t sleeping, are you?”

Apparently I looked as awesome as I felt.

We sat down and she did all the normal tests. And my blood pressure was 140/95. NOT GOOD. She talked about how we needed to get this under control for me and the baby. It wasn’t safe.

Then the time came to check for the baby’s heartbeat. She searched. And she searched. And she searched. For 20 minutes.

Every minute that passed, my heart felt like it was being squeezed tighter and tighter. I could not imagine one more thing in my life right now.

We decided that I needed an ultrasound to get confirmation. I didn’t want to know but I needed to know. I needed to get crap over with so I could trudge forward.

I wouldn’t be able to get into a normal ultrasound tech appointment for a couple days. And I was over this. So I opted to go to the mall. Yep. The mall. I just needed a heartbeat verification.

I texted my mom. So frustrated. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t feel safe to drive. Greg couldn’t drive or go with me because of his injuries and intense paranoia.

I had several coach friends who knew what was going on offer to take me. One had a baby 5 days old. Seriously. Her baby was born the day of Greg’s incident. Yet, she offered to come take me and be with me.

My mom called me and said my sister was on her way. Bless my family and amazing friends.

My sister drove 1 1/2 hrs one way. Just to take me.

The wait for her to come and for my appointment time to come was awful.

My heart was pounding. I have never felt so much crushing stress in my life.

The drive was horrible. I had intense paranoia and anxiety being separated from Greg.

My kids were all oblivious to what was happening with the baby. And I wanted to keep it that way for a bit.

As we went in, time was as if it was slow motion. We briefly explained why I was there and a backstory of why I was a basket case. The poor guy didn’t know what was coming for him.

He put the wand on my belly. I did not want to know. But I did.

I held my breath.

And I saw my baby. Perfectly still. A solid white chest. No flutter.

“There isn’t a heartbeat is there.”
“No. I am so sorry”.

I absolutely lost it. Wailing would be an accurate word to describe the noises coming out of my body.

I was flailing AND wailing. It was as though I lost all control of myself and the stress of the last 5 days was physically letting itself out.

“You need to hold still so I can take some measurements.”

I tried but my belly just bounced as I silently sobbed.

He left us for a few minutes. I could not believe it.

I texted my mom and my midwife. And, in true momma fashion, my mom immediately got in her car and drove right back up to our house.

I just kept saying “I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this.”

And my amazing sister just kept rubbing me and telling me that she knows. She does know. Because she lost a baby too. So she knew the heartache I was experiencing.

When you miscarry and find out, it doesn’t just end there. You now have to pass the baby. You have to get that baby out of your body.

I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to have to experience this awful situation right now.

But I had no choice.

I briefly spoke with Greg on the phone. He felt so helpless. He was nowhere near me and was unable to do anything to comfort me.

I went home so heavy. Every single step felt like I had the heaviest weights in them. I have never felt more broken.

In one week our entire year ahead was shattered. In a way, our entire future was shattered. Life would be forever different.

We had a trip to London we had to cancel. We had a trip to Disneyland we had to cancel. We had a baby who now wouldn’t be born. We had injuries that we didn’t know when they would be healed.

Everything that we looked forward to was now gone.

I opened the front door, having a hard time even looking up. The kids ran up, happily, and asked me “did you see the baby?”

I couldn’t even answer them.

My homeschool helper quickly jumped in and distracted them with going outside so I could completely break down in the living room as Greg sat in his chair.

My sadness was mixed with pure anger.

Here I was surrounded by so many people who loved us and helped us in our time of need. But the one person who I needed comfort from was stuck in a damn chair, broken himself.

I just melted into the couch sobbing.

So so so alone.

Even though I had people around me, I felt so alone. And so empty.

I had to figure out what to do. Do I try and let the baby pass or go and get a D&C.

I opted to wait and let my body figure it out. I needed time to process the past 5 days. I needed time to come to terms with the fact that my baby was gone.

I escaped to my room as my hubby told the kids what had happened. These poor kids. I was barely functioning (if you can call it that) as an adult. How is a child supposed to cope with everything we were facing?

I slid into my bath. My happy place. I prayed so hard for some comfort.

I had the thought to turn on piano music.

The first song that came on was “god be with you til we meet again”.

This baby seemed to speak to me in songs. I had had several experiences in the 5 days since Greg’s attack where I felt him speaking to me through song lyrics.

It was the most comforting thing I could have had at that time.

I could feel the peace of my Savior, even though I was so broken. I knew there were blessing in this hell. I just wanted to know what they were.

And I would soon find out….

Stay tuned for part 5.

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