I thought it would be appropriate to write about what I’m going through right now and delve into the back story as and when I feel emotionally ready. You can however check out my personal instagram @rainbow_and_angel_mummy to get most of the story so far. This weekend was a tough part of our journey with Silver as we went to collect her from RVI Newcastle, two hours from home.
Anyone else who has lost a baby or been told their baby wont survive will have most likely thought the same thing that me and my husband thought at times, that they’ll never get to bring their baby home. That is something that haunted me throughout my pregnancy after we were told how poor the prognosis was for Silver. It broke me to even consider I wouldn’t bring a baby home after enduring a difficult pregnancy, one where I had been planning a beautiful home birth and looking forward to the future with a healthy baby.
Throughout the pregnancy Silver’s scans kept showing changes which was pure torture. One week it would look slightly brighter and we would be very positive and hopeful, the next it would have worsened and we would go back to feeling very lost, confused and doubtful.
When she was born however she far exceeded expectations of both ourselves and the doctors. She coped a lot better than expected with her tiny lungs and despite having kidney problems was able to wee! She loved to show off and on many occasions was on “room air”, which is the same amount of oxygen you and me breathe. She had gone from being on a “wobble” ventilation and nitric gas to having the wobble and nitric both completely turned off. This is why it hurts so much. She was doing amazingly! The day before she passed away I had my first cuddle with her and on the nighttime ward round with the night staff the consultant discussed with me about changing her ventilation again because she was coping so well, she was going to have the pipe taken out of her throat and a mask instead. Not only that but Silver had her nappy changed every 6 hours, so my husband Fabian went to do her midnight change and left her just gone 1am. By 3am however we got “the call”.
I wont go into detail of that night in this post as I simply want to talk about bringing her home. After Silver passed away the consultant actually made the suggestion that after her post mortem we could bring her home ourselves. This is something I really want to share because I think despite it being really upsetting, I am so glad I can say I sat in the back seat of our car and brought our baby home. I actually got to see her “feel” the sunshine on her face for the first time. From a logistical point of view we simply had to inform the funeral director, the hospital and the police. The police of course need to know why if they pulled our car over that a body is within it! We had the green form from the registrar with us to collect and then this went to the funeral director.
I know this wont be for everyone, it can be hard to look at a lifeless body. To be honest part of me did this just so I could say I had. But it didn’t look like my baby girl, her eyes were sunken in slightly, she was ivory white with bruising from the night she passed and her mouth had opened since we last saw her. It was her body but not her beautiful soul and feisty spirit, the things I’ll always remember. I guess you need to decide what feels best for you, my parents didn’t want to see her again because they wanted to remember what she looked like alive and I completely understand. But I needed to be able to say I brought her and and I am so glad I was even told that this was an option.
Not only did we get to bring her home but we actually got to have her overnight too. Another first that we got to still experience. It was a strange thing to experience but one I am truly grateful for. To know she slept next to me in our new home, as she should have done. There is however logistically issues with doing this part. Lets just say I never thought in my life I’d have to worry about trying to keep a deceased body cold in my house…! In the end with the funeral directors advice we lay her on a hot water bottle filled with icy water and slept with the windows open!
I hope this blog helps other parents to realize their is options out there that perhaps you wouldn’t expect. I know it doesn’t take away the pain but it may help the grieving process, I’m hoping it does for me and I feel I have been allowed to honor her life compared to how I’ve been told she would have been treated a few years ago.
Until next time,