Too Quick

This is a text I wrote a few weeks after loosing my forth child, in 2011. It moves me to tears every time I revisit the moments.

I am at the hospital for a check up. It was difficult to get to the hospital – I have been lying for about a week, I can’t move because of the pain caused by the pressure of the triple amount of amniotic fluid pressing against the walls of my uterus. I have been getting up twice a day to prepare food for the other children and to go to the toilet. But I manage to drive myself and the kids to the hospital.

The doctor takes one look at the ultrasound and tells me he wants to start giving corticosteroids to help the baby’s lungs mature – NOW… I only came for a check up, and to speak to the other doctors who would be treating Lily!

I need to go back home, get some essentials, and get myself back to the hospital. I am in a daze

Suddenly, there is a date for the cesarean in two days.

But I can take it! I don’t care about all the amniotic fluid building up inside me! I don’t mind the pain, the constant pressure from inside, I can deal with not being able to move! I have to keep my baby inside me!

Lily is being monitored 24/7 now, via CTG. All of a sudden, we are high risk patients…

A doctor I have never seen before comes into the room, takes a brief look at the graph and tells me that this baby does not have a chance…

Cry, it will do you good – this is what I hear from the bed next to mine. She has an idea of what I am in for, she lost her first child 2 years ago. I don’t know what I am in for, but I cry anyway.

Another ultrasound: We need to get her out of there as quickly as possible. Which means, as soon as the triplets have been taken care of and the operating theater is free.

They have got me ready and I am being pushed through the corridors of the hospital. I tell Lily that things are starting and that she will have to fight a little bit longer, until the doctors can take that monster off her – after that, everything will feel better every day

My hospital nighty keeps slipping down, revealing my breast. I say, it doesn’t matter. No, all this is bad enough, it does matter, says the midwife, and holds it up for me.

Everybody is getting ready, some are joking around and laughing.

The epidural feels good, I don’t feel so cold anymore. Mr Ex and the anaesthetist remind me to breath at regular intervals

Careful, there’s going to be a lot of fluid, I hear one of the doctors behind the screen saying

There is a gush of water, and I can breathe again

They get her out. She doesn’t make a sound.

She is rushed off into the next room where the paediatricians are waiting

I am relieved. Finally, she can get some help. Fight Lily! Fight for your Life! It’s good, Life is, You’ll See!

I am lying in the room on my own. She isn’t doing much by herself is the only information I have. I think, well, that is why both the senior doctors from the intensive care unit for children are will her, to help her so these things.

One of the doctors comes in and sits down. He says Lily is dying…

He leaves, he’s going to bring Lily to me to die. I scream.

I hold her – her body is being pumped up and down by the ventilator

The younger doctor is frustrated. He comes over and yanks the ventilation tube away

Too quick!

Come on Lily! Breathe! Show them how tough you are… No?

Lily, Lily, where are you? You are going blue… Lily… I will keep you warm…

Why is Lily not alive?… Can I touch her foot?… We’re going back to child care, mummy

See you later

I am holding my bundle, my Lily. I look at her, I try to take pictures, I am stroking her skin and talking to her

I am trying to remember her smell for ever. In between, I keep dropping off.

Now she’s wearing the little hat that I made for her

They have taken her away… I am so tired, I fall asleep…

I see her a few more times. She is cold now, frozen. I can’t hold her anymore. I can only hold the basket in which she has been placed

No she has been taken to the funeral home. She looks so beautiful, and she’s not kept quite as cold anymore.

I lay her into her little white coffin

The flowers look lovely, and so does she. Everyone is there to give their support

We have to say goodbye, we have to place the lid onto the coffin

I am standing in front of her tiny coffin which is waiting to slide into a huge ugly cremation furnace… The whole place smells burnt… the tiles on the walls and on the floor make it look like a slaughterhouse…

The man who will press the button, is crying. He also lost a child, he says.

Get help if the grief becomes too much, he says…

He doesn’t say anything else, he says he is afraid of saying too much.

He has lit a candle for Lily and for his own child, we see it on his desk

We wait. Suddenly, they have finished their days work, they want to close up – what do you mean, we  can’t take her with us today?

There I am, holding a tiny wooden urn

Dere Lily in? Yes, what is left of Lily is in here…

P.S. Never have I felt regret about going through this. I was offered termination, but it was never an option for me. I am very grateful for having had this pain to work through. It has let me heal from a number of things and has made me a better person – albeit with a huge scar which will never disappear.

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