There’s a song I heard a lot when the baseball team I used to write about played games at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. When the home team ran out of the dugout and onto the field at the start of the game, Train’s “Calling all Angels” boomed over the PA system. I thought that was clever, and I liked the song, so it was in my head when I came back home from a long, mind-numbing road trip in the spring of 2005 to be with my wife as she underwent amniocentesis.
My wife’s prenatal blood work during our first pregnancy revealed the potential for Trisomy 18, or Edwards syndrome, which almost always results in miscarriage or in severe disorders of the internal organs. We wouldn’t know for sure without the amnio procedure. The day after we found out about the possibility that our first child might have this awful genetic disorder, I was scheduled to leave for a 10-day road trip to cover the baseball team.
I wanted to stay, but the amnio wasn’t going to take place until after I got back anyway, so my wife sent me on. It was the most difficult road trip of my career. I covered the games like a Mountain Dew-swilling zombie, then came home to be with my wife when they pushed that impossibly long needle into her abdomen.
We went to the OB-GYN office for the procedure, which went flawlessly. When we came back a few days later to learn the results, we were wrecks.
We sat in the lobby and held hands while we waited to find out if our child would be stricken with a potentially fatal genetic disorder. I couldn’t get “Calling All Angels” out of my head. Over and over, my ear-worm sang, “I need a sign … to let me know you’re here.” And so on.
Then, the song wasn’t only in my head. I hadn’t even noticed the soft music playing in the waiting room, but I openly sobbed when I heard, “I need a sign …”
My wife and I locked eyes, smiled through the tears, squeezed each other’s hands, and went in to get the good news about our healthy son.
A version of this story was published at the site formerly known as the Parent du Jour in 2012.
I decided to repurpose it here after two of my dad blogger friends suffered through some difficult times recently. If you can spare a moment, please read this moving piece by Life of Dad co-founder Tommy Riles, who lost his son Scotty through miscarriage last week. I share it here because Scotty should be remembered.
Then, please read the Daddy Files author Aaron Gouveia’s moving account of a medical scare he and his family endured last weekend. His experience hit close to home for us, coming as it did just a few months after our own medical scare.
This post is dedicated to Tommy and Aaron and their families, and all families who are hurting or afraid.
Finally, this video, in memory of my niece Brooke: