By Denny Mekus, Health Alliance
March is a special month for me because of St. Patrick’s Day. A day burned into my memory like no other. My beautiful wife and I were married nearly 10 years, and we wanted nothing more than to become first-time parents. Our prayers were finally answered, and we were headed to our doctor’s visit. I remember the excitement of it all. How my wife squeezed my hand walking in from the parking lot; how perfectly warm the exam room was; how I confidently smiled like I had been there many times before; and how I felt totally at peace as our kind and soft-spoken ultrasound technician began the process. The next three minutes of silence were deafening, until she quietly muttered, “Will you please excuse me?” She then left the room to find the doctor. The look on her face spoke 1,000 words…we had lost the baby.
The days that followed felt like an eternity. I promised myself I would not let that moment break me, but I became lost in my emotions and couldn’t stop questioning everything I knew. For all the times I had heard, “You’ll be an amazing father someday,” I wondered, “Are you sure?” “What did I do wrong?” “Maybe I wasn’t meant to have children.”
In the world of social media and the ability to share your feelings at will, my wife and I grieved in silence. It was with the help of our good friends who had gone through the same experience themselves that we were able to pull ourselves out of the darkness. They quickly became our health advocates—and were empathetic yet tenacious in their guidance. “Are you asking the doctors the right questions?” “Have you spoken to a fertility doctor?” To this day I still do not understand “unexplained infertility,” which is probably why it’s so perfectly named! That said, I’m forever grateful for my friends’ guidance and encouragement—and the advocacy they provided when we didn’t realize we needed it most.
Whether you need someone yourself, or see an opportunity to be a health advocate for a friend or loved one, I encourage you to find (or be) that person when the opportunity arises. At Health AllianceTM, we have care coordinators to help you through this journey.
I said before that March is a special month for me. Nearly two years after that fateful day in the doctor’s office, my wife and I welcomed our twins Max and Mia into the world on March 17th …St. Patrick’s Day.
Denny Mekus is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. He’s a husband, a father of twins, an avid golfer and a performing musician who lives in the Quad Cities.
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