11 March 2011
A life without Grace.
It's been 37 days.
37 days since my whole world came crashing down around me.
It was just over five weeks ago that life was close to perfect. We were super excited about our 4000km road trip across the country and couldn't wait to set up house in a new city. But most importantly, we were over the moon to be finally, finally pregnant with baby number two (after almost 2 years of trying to conceive and several miscarriages).
I spent the first few months of the pregnancy so worried about having another miscarriage. I had one at 8 weeks and another at 16 weeks, so even after my 12 week scan I was still nervous. But I had just had my 20 week scan and everything was perfect so I decided it was time to relax.
How wrong I was.
It still feels like some kind of horrible nightmare.
It all happened so fast. One moment I was out buying baby clothes and the next moment I was in hospital being told that my cervix was 4cm dilated and I would go into labour in the next 24 hours. We were then told that our little girl had no chance of survival. If she did survive the birth, she would die within moments of being born and we would have to watch her suffocate to death. There was nothing anyone could do.
Our whole world came crashing down around us. Tom and I cried more that night than we have in our entire lives.
We spent the next 48 hours in a tiny hospital room just waiting.. waiting for our little girl to be born. And die.
The labour was horrific. It was long and painful. It was the complete opposite of the labour I had with Sophie (a beautiful, drug free, 3 hour birth).
I screamed and cried. I was given (way too much) morphine for the pain which made me pass out in the middle of labour. I woke up a few minutes later and had no idea where I was or who I was. The pain was unbearable and the morphine made it 100 times worse. (I was told after the labour that "that can happen sometimes"!?) I begged them to make it stop and then at the end of it all I delivered a dead baby.
The room was silent.
We spent the next 2 days with our little girl. She was the most perfect little thing, just so tiny. We called her Grace.
She looked exactly like her big sister. I hugged her and kissed her. I wanted to take her home with me and hold onto her forever.
As the days went by, her little body grew cold and stiff. I have never felt anything so cold in my life. It broke my heart.
I wrapped her in blankets. I tried to keep her warm.
When the time came to say goodbye I felt like I would die.
Leaving her at the hospital and walking away empty handed was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
I got home and cried for days. I cried because every single part of my body longed for my little baby.
I wanted her back so badly. I didn't think I could live without her.
And then just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, my milk came in. It was the cruelest part of all.
I felt so empty. Dead inside. I didn't know how the world could still go on and why everyone was still walking around like nothing had happened.
We organised her cremation. She had a little white coffin and Sophie asked "When will the baby come out of her box?"
I filled in her birth certificate. And her death certificate.
I am not sure how to describe the past few weeks. It has been a roller-coaster of devastation, disbelief, horror, denial, incomprehension, anger and sheer heartbreak. The number of times I have asked myself why? Why me? Why me again?
The number of times I have been over and over every little thing I did or didn't do in those last few weeks of pregnancy.
But I have been told over and over again that I must not blame myself, this is just "one of those things".
No one understands why this happens.
Tom and I are trying to focus of the fact that I have every chance of having a healthy full term baby in the future.
And of course, it is very difficult to be upset all day long when you have a happy, healthy 3 year old running around who still needs her mummy and daddy.
We are so lucky that we have little Sophie and we are trying to remain positive for her sake. There are times when I still feel overwhelmed with grief, like I can't actually go on living anymore. But most of the time I am okay. I get through one hour at a time and then suddenly another day has gone by and I survived.