This blog is a 2-part series. If you have not read part 1, you can find it here.
The day I had to deliver, still, my third beautiful child is something that will haunt me forever. I woke feeling incredibly numb. The cocktail of emotions was becoming too much to bear. Each time I have jumped in the car to head to the hospital to give birth, I have always felt nervous. This time I felt sick. Sick to the core. It was a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. My body was trembling with fear. There was no baby bag ready, packed with clothes for Mumma and bub. Did I even need to pack a bag? There is no check list for heading to the hospital to deliver a still baby.
From the moment I walked through those hospital doors, it was all downhill from there. And not just for the obvious reasons. From not having my paperwork at entry, to the birthing, which was nothing short of the most horrifying and traumatic experience I have had.
My labor was short. All my pregnancies have been. However, when it came time to push, I simply could not. The realisation of her tiny body leaving mine was all too much. The nurse instead gave me a shot of morphine and left the room. I bled profusely and no more contractions came. 9.5 hours later, a Doctor finally came to examine me. My beautiful little girl’s body was stuck in the passage because I did not push. No one helped me push. At 9.30pm in the darkness of the room, Aria Rose was delivered still. They took her away. I still had the placenta stuck inside. At midnight I was ready for surgery to remove the placenta although with one last internal, they managed to deliver “most” of it…I fell asleep with pure physical and mental exhaustion.
I woke to babies crying and thinking for a moment, that might be her but the harsh realisation hit hard. This is not how it was meant to be. And all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there.
My husband spent some time with our little girl cradling her in his arms, placing her against his heart and tracing her tiny hands. When she was brought to me, I tried so hard to do the same. But I couldn’t. I just could not. They took her back to her resting place. I was discharged that next morning without examination or much conversation. And certainly, without next steps or 6-week check-up in place. Just a lonely walk past couples and their newborn babies taking a bath or walking the corridors. Me, empty handed with an empty heart.
The days and weeks that followed were full of raw and crazy emotion. Lost, alone, angry and consistently heart broken. During this time, I had to arrange my baby girl’s cremation. I met with Funeral Directors, picked her tiny coffin. We wrote letters to our angel to go in her coffin. Her big brother picked his softest teddy bear for her to take to heaven. I then had to collect her ashes from the crematorium. All these things, I struggle to explain how incredibly heartbreaking and difficult they were to do. The whole ordeal felt surreal, like a really, really, bad dream that I hoped I would wake from. Of course, I didn’t.
We have two little guys – 5 and nearly 3. They knew they had a little baby sister on the way. The excitement my eldest had when he was told was so beautiful. When it came time to tell him he would never meet his baby sister, I was nervous. We told him that she had a sick heart and had to go to heaven. But we wanted to give him something tangible so we told him that when he sees a butterfly it would be Aria trying to say hello.
Our world is full of butterflies now. And he always questions what colour butterfly Aria is or yells “there is Aria'' when he sees one flying by. It is hard for him, as he is still too young to understand life and death. We catch him deep in thought when he sees a butterfly or disappointment across his face when he chases one and it disappears. He often asks if she will come back into my tummy. It is hard. Hard for everyone.
It has been 2 months since we lost our beautiful little girl. There is not a day that goes by, where I don't wish she was still with me. I miss her every day. Some days the grief is all too much. Other days I get by. She never leaves my thoughts. Certain things trigger harder than others. What would have been her due date, is looming. The day after Mother’s Day this year. I am terrified. Absolutely terrified of that day, and beyond. People say time heals all wounds. At this point I am just not sure how it will heal this one. I think about down the track and how I will feel when she would have been turning 1 or 2 or 3 and so on. Never hearing her voice calling Mummy, never seeing her take her first steps. I just hope with the support of family, friends, and our grief counsellors, I get through it.
Thank you for taking time out to read both parts of this blog. An extra big heart filled thank you to anyone who purchased during our Summer Sale and contributed to the money raised for Foetal Heart Research.
In all of this I struggle to find the silver lining, so by writing the blog I am hoping to create my own. I hope through sharing my story that I can connect and help someone along the way who may be experiencing similar or have experienced similar.
I appreciate all the personal messages I have received so far from those who have read the blog. It means the absolute world to me.
In loving memory of our butterfly, Aria Rose.