In February of 2016, my life was shattered. I found myself in a place where no parent should ever be, holding my son who had just passed away, stillborn. What got me through this life altering moment in time? How did I come out stronger? And how did I transform this into a story of positive hope? Below I share all of that.
Two months earlier, my wife and I celebrated our marriage. We went on our honeymoon to the warm, sandy beaches of Aruba. We met in high school and got married on our 10-year anniversary. We were overjoyed that we had a baby on the way. Not long after, our lives were changed forever.
It was early February. Snow covered the ground, and it was bitter cold. My wife woke up in the middle of the night screaming because of a pain in her stomach. We rushed to the hospital and were told that she had to stay; something was wrong. We were told that our baby was too early for delivery; he was only 23 weeks, just shy of his lungs being developed. I remember going home to grab some essential items, toothbrushes, a pillow, some toothpaste, when I received the message from my wife, “My water just broke.”
As I stood there in the delivery room, helpless to what was happening, the doctor said the words no parent ever wants to hear, “He’s not going to make it.” My soul was crushed hearing those words. I felt helpless. As a parent, my duty was to protect my children, and here I was, standing in a room completely unable to do anything. That’s when I asked the questions that turned that moment into a force for positive change.
As I stood there in the labour and delivery room, holding my son, Scott, in my arms, I asked myself three questions:
What good is here that I’m not seeing?
What can I give?
What can I celebrate?
These questions re-directed my mind to those of finding the positive in the negative. What good was here that I’m not seeing? My wife was still alive and recovering. What can I give? All I could give in that moment was my strength, love, and compassion for my wife. What could I celebrate? An odd question to ask in a time of loss, but I searched for the answer. I could celebrate that my son had been my best man at the wedding.
My mission now is to empower people around the world to turn negative experiences into positive outcomes by having authentic, real, and inspiring conversations, by asking the empowering questions, and by making each day matter. I’m happy to say that now, after 8 miscarriages, my wife and I have a beautiful daughter who would not be here if my son had not gone through what he did. He paved the way for her to come into this world, as any big brother would.