The day after…

…our daughter’s funeral.

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She was born on the 25th of July, and died just 3 days later after being on intense support in NICU. Placenta abruption during labour at 40+5 gestation meant that she was without oxygen for long enough to cause significant damage.

I was transferred from the birth centre to our local hospital, and had an emergency section under general anaesthetic. It took 17 minutes to resuscitate her and she was transferred straight to NICU.
I was shown photographs of her but it didn’t feel real – this couldn’t be my baby hooked up to that many wires and tubes..

Despite having almost zero brain activity, on day 2 she opened her eyes. It’s one of the most magical memories I possess of her. I told her how loved she was, sang her nursery rhymes that she would have heard me sing to her big brother every night, and she responded to my voice. Her eyes would open wider as I spoke.. She knew my voice.. It still makes me tear up that she knew I was with her until the very end.

The next day she had closed her eyes and her condition seemed to be deteriorating. The decision was made by all to withdraw life support and she took her final breathes in daddy’s arms.

We chose to bathe and dress her, and she spent the night in a cool cot with us before she went to the hospital morgue the following day. I always thought it was odd to spend time with a family member who had died, but because she was our baby it just felt right. Immediate family came to see and hold her, and we have some lovely photos to remind us of those moments.

She was 8lbs1oz of perfection. She had her daddy’s toes, my fingers, and her brother’s nose and mouth.
She is our second child, and to lose her has been devastating.

It’s exactly a week today since she was born, and I’m at peace with all that has happened. We aren’t a religious family so don’t have that to fall back on as part of the grieving process, but I have found peace knowing that I had her close to me for those 9 months, and she fought to stay with us for so long.

The waves of grief come and go, and with only being a week in to our ‘new normal’ those waves are quite intense. It’s comforting to know that the pain we feel now will fade, but that our love for her will remain forever.

The next year of our lives looks dramatically different than we had planned, but my son is a ray of light in moments of darkness and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

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