Sunday, 13 July 2014

Happy birthday, Isla

A hard day. Guess it always will be. I'll start from the beginning...

Friday 13th July 2012 - woke around 7am. Milled around until about 11am, when I suddenly panicked that I hadn't made anything for Isla. I had to make her something. A teddy. Perfect. So I cut it out of the fabric I had bought for the changing bag. Then sewed it all wrong in the hurry. Of course. So Mum unpicked it while I got ready. Then I sewed it correctly before Dan stuffed it. A real group effort! 
Then off to the hospital at noon. I'd not had any contractions or bleeding, but still had a huge bump. How could this baby not be alive? But I knew she wasn't. It felt like a solid brick attached to my front, not a living baby. We went straight back to the same room on the labour ward where we had been given that awful news two days ago. I won't go into all the medical gumf that went on but by 12:30 I was contracting slightly. The mood was ok I guess, certainly once I got a bit drugged up as time went on! I hated the gas as it made me so thirsty. I kept drinking and drinking. Two jugs of water later and I felt like I needed a wee. It was about 7pm. The midwives were about to change shifts. I was given a bedpan and sent Dan and mum outside. The relief I felt as something filled the bedpan was immense. But so was the pain. It was blood. Filled to the top. About 750ml. I asked if that was meant to happen and the midwife did the classic "erm, that's ok, don't worry... I'm just going to get someone to help... Just lie down..." 

And then I don't remember too much in order. I remember lots of canulas and injections and blood. Dan and mum say there was blood everywhere. All on me, the bed and the floor. I just kept bleeding. I remember being given an epidural by a hot anesthetist and a catheter by a not-so-hot doctor. Or was that before the haemorrhage? I don't know actually. But I was poorly for sure. My blood pressure just kept rising. It reached 235/140 at one point, which kind of scared most folks. That's when they grabbed the big red box for pre-eclampsia emergencies and wheeled me quickly into the high dependency room. All a blur. 

And then not long after that I felt that something was there. She was coming. And there she was. Mum saw her. Dan and I did not. They sort of put her beside my leg while they sorted me out. A placenta was coming that was unlike anything they'd seen before. It took a lot of effort and in the end weighed 300g more than Isla. That's not normal. It was a very diseased-looking placenta and clearly not something healthy for Isla to have lived off. Isla was born at 11:52pm and weighed 900g. (2lb1oz)

They worked on getting my oxygen levels stable and the bleeding stemmed for another couple of hours. I must have drifted off too. They brought our little girl to us at about 2:30am and we got to hold her. 
She was clearly very poorly - very bloated from water retention and red too. But my goodness, she was so beautiful I couldn't help but smile at her. 

I wouldn't be leaving the hospital for a further 7 days, with a couple more visits to the high dependency room too. We would have Isla with us as much as possible, free to hold her when we wanted. On the Saturday night, I sent Dan home and spent the night with her by my side in her little cold cot Moses basket. On the Monday she went to the mortuary. We saw her there on the Tuesday and Wednesday, then she was sent to Oxford for her post mortem. We would never see or hold her again after that. 
We left the hospital on Friday 20th July with heavy hearts and empty arms. 

Today I do not have empty arms. But I've struggled. We had such a lovely day yesterday up that mountain and were driving home from Wales today. I wanted to do something fun as a family. Like a zoo or farm. But we had Fudge with us, so couldn't really stop. So we bought some plants at Endsleigh and went to The Ship Inn for lunch. Caleigh was a pickle. Not eating at all, just crying and fussing. And I hate to admit that it was annoying me. I didn't need to hear whinging. I wanted smiles and joy but instead got upset at her. I just wanted to be able to smile. It makes no sense. I can't even put in into words. By the time we got to Isla's burial ground, I was sobbing as Caleigh was screaming. Dan calmed her down before we went to plant a flower for Isla. We spent very little time there, as Caleigh was still being grumpy, so just left. I need to go back in the right frame of mind I think. In my own space maybe. I can't grieve Isla properly when Caleigh is being like that. I feel so terrible saying that. I really do. It breaks my heart but as I sit here with my little monkey being her normal lovely self now, I know it was just the grief and I needed that scream and cry. 

So yeah, two bad days. Thank you to everyone who has messaged and thought of us this weekend. There's a couple more updates in the next few days, as more things came to light back then. But that's it for now, I guess. 

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