October of 2015 we went through a miscarriage. A few short months later we started fertility treatments and surgeries. June of 2018 we both agreed we needed a break because trying had overtaken our lives. June 13th I had just got to work and my phone started ringing. It was a FaceTime call from Jennifer, my wife. When I answered it the only thing I could see was a small piece of her face and 3 positive pregnancy tests. A full week early. Excited doesn’t describe the feelings we both had. July 2nd, my birthday, was the first ultrasound- by far the greatest gift I have ever received or will get. Not long after we discovered we were having a girl – Aurora Marie was to be her name.
Jennifer was having a very difficult pregnancy, morning sickness and headaches. But because Jennifer’s mother also had rough pregnancies nobody gave much thought that there was something more going on.
October 8th we went to the ER – straight to the birthing center. They tried giving Jennifer fluids to rehydrate her and small snacks to eat. Late that night they finally decided to give her a CAT scan because of her complaining of a headache for months – to the point that she was unable to do anything for days at a time.
They discovered an abnormality on her frontal lobe as well as a sinus infection. Emergency brain surgery was scheduled the following morning to remove what was believed to be an abscess as a result of the sinus infection. That afternoon I was told she had glioblastoma stage 4. I had absolutely no idea what that met. I was educated in the conference room that afternoon. I was told that she likely had around 18 months to live. Enough time for her to have our Daughter and possibly see a step or first word.
Roughly 35 hours later Jennifer had a seizure, damaging her brain stem beyond repair. She was given a 0% chance of survival. The focus shifted to our daughter and what to do to save her. Unfortunately we ran out of time and on the night of October 11th I was given a choice that I knew was coming but didn’t want to have to answer. Friends and family arrived from in and out of state and were able to say their goodbyes.
Jennifer and Aurora passed away just after 11pm on October 11th, 2018 – 31 years old and almost 24 weeks pregnant.
As a 36 year old now, and just celebrating Jennifer’s birthday (7/16/87) Glioblastoma has forever changed my life. I will, until a cure is found, be my wife and my daughters voice.