There are times when inductions are truly the best thing that could happen. That a medical procedure to bring on contractions to have a baby early is a blessing. This is one of those times. Diane Aulger of The Colony, Texas, gave her dying husband one of the best last gifts anyone could every give -- the gift of life ... in the form of their newborn baby girl.
Mark Aulger, Diane's husband was only 52 years young. He had just gone through 8 months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer. It was believed that he was cancer-free. The Aulgers were happy. They celebrated Christmas with their four children -- five if you count the baby still growing in Diane's belly. But after the holidays on January 3rd, Mark had to be rushed to the hospital because he couldn't breathe.
He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis as a result of the chemo and given one week to live. Thirty-one-year-old Diane decided to induce labor so her dying husband could meet his child. And two days later, on January 18th, a special delivery room was created so Mark could rest comfortably in his own bed next to Diane who would bring their fifth child into this world. It sounds like they were in a wonderful hospital with very supportive doctors and nurses. The baby was just two weeks early, so the complications were minimal, and I believe many would do the same thing. The baby girl, who they name Savannah, was born early just so she could meet her dad and her dad could hold her at least once. Diane gushed how Mark was so excited for this baby. It must have been such a beacon of hope after his cancer diagnosis.
"The day she was born his oxygen levels were really high," Diane said. "He held her for 45 minutes. Him and I just cried that whole time."
Forty-five minutes. Savannah will come to cherish those 45 minutes.
The next day, Mark slipped into a coma. Diane said that if Savannah cried, Mark, even though comatose, would shake his head and moan. She also noticed that when she put the baby on his chest, his hand would move toward her. Mark passed away on January 23 with his whole family by his side.
It's hard to imagine this kind of pain. Of course we say how this isn't fair, how Savannah deserves more than 45 minutes with a father she will only truly know through the stories and photos from her mother and siblings. And she does. That's exactly why we have family. We have family for support. We have family to get us through the tough times because they are supposed to be the people who understand us the most. They are our support systems like the sisters who are surrogates for their other sister. Support systems like the Aulgers who were there through life and death. I'm going to hug my family extra tight today.
I wish the Aulgers much strength and love during this time. I have a feeling baby Savannah is one remarkable little girl.
Have you had to cope with loss around the same time as a happy moment as birth? Would you have induced early in a situation like this?
Image via makuneros/Flickr