Ivy would have been 18 months yesterday.
I still think about her every day.
Eddie, my ‘rainbow’ baby, is now 4 months old, and if his weight is anything to go by he’s thriving! I have so much love for him 🙂 His delivery was less than perfect, but at least I had a living baby this time. One of the most memorable moments from his hospital stay was the day of his release, but not because it was a moment full of joy and happiness as I can honestly say it wasn’t. It was a day that, in part, reminded me so much of what I had lost just over a year before. I was required to room in with baby the night before his discharge so stayed in a designated room on the other side of the postnatal ward wing. Whilst waiting for the paperwork to be completed I noticed the room opposite looked oddly familiar.
When you’re in the midst of trauma some details stand out, usually its the odd ones. I can almost hear the student midwife holding my hand telling me not to panic, not all that odd I suppose given the gravity of the situation. The location of the oxygen hookup in an ambulance. The digital clock that timed our journey from Birth Centre to Hospital. Making a ridiculously relaxed comment in the theatre room as they were prepping me for the general anesthetic, because that’s what I do in an emergency. I make casual comments. It’s my coping mechanism I suppose. It’s laughable really – my daughter was dying and there I was making remarks about the theatre assistant’s glasses! But back to my point, I can vividly remember the butterflies on the wall of the room where my daughter struggled to take her last breaths.
I’d been across from this room for over a day and hadn’t noticed it. I was carrying Eddie at the time I saw the butterflies so we went in together. I cried. Held him a little bit tighter. Thanked my lucky stars that he was alive. I cried again because she wasn’t. I could picture the NICU nurse sat in the corner crying along with us in her last moments. I could remember the hideous pink, scratchy acrylic blankets that she put on Ivy after she had died and how quickly I pulled them off her. I could remember leaving that room in a wheelchair holding my baby and just crying. It’s a horrible memory really, but then a part of me thinks that actually, no, its not as it was time spent with her.
And that’s what life is like after losing a child. At least for me. It’s hideously complex.