“Look at me,” I remember those words clearly. My midwife kept repeating them to me as I was being prepped for an emergency c-section. I was being poked and prodded by at least 6 different people; one person putting a IV in, one doctor breaking my waters, a midwife undressing me, another midwife watching my stats, my normal doctor rushing from his practice next door to read to me and make me sign all the paperwork to go into surgery. All this and the main thing I remember is “Look at me.” All she was doing was holding my hand and telling me to look at her. You see all this fuss was happening because my son’s heart beat had dropped drastically.
I didn’t know at the time something horrible that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy was about to happen. I was rushed to the other side of the hospital (yet I have no recollection of this except little bits and pieces) and put under (general anaesthetic). I remember my anaesthesiologist telling me to just breathe and then it’s all nothing. My son was delivered not breathing. And all this took a mere 14 minutes.
My mother-in-laws where there with me as my partner was at work, they where the unfortunate ones that had to call my parent’s across the country to tell them that I had had an emergency c-section and that their Grandson did not make it. I’ve heard all the stories of how each of my family got told that Ryker never made it. My older sister was bathing her daughter (who is 3 months and 1 day older than my Ryker) and nearly dropped her. My younger sister was staying at my older sister’s house and had to take my niece off my other sister, and they cried together. My mum and dad didn’t answer the first phone calls from my mother-in-laws and I think they regret that nearly every day. My younger brother was so silent I think my mother was deeply worried about him (he is the loudest person in the room), and then my baby brother, his still so young only in primary school, my parents didn’t know how to tell him. They told him the day before my mum, older sister and niece flew across the country to be with me.
My partner doesn’t remember his trip to the hospital to this day. He has no recollection of it at all. He remembers seeing my doctor at the elevator waiting for him and him looking down. His told me that’s when he knew something was wrong. They rode the elevator up to where his mother’s where and my doctor told him what happened.
And then there was me. I was still drugged up, I don’t remember my doctors talking to me, but I remember them telling me he didn’t make it. I don’t remember holding my son for the first time. I don’t remember my family surrounding us, I don’t remember my brother-in-law making a joke that Ryker could be his (They have the same hair). All I remember is that they told me that my son didn’t make it, my partner told me they had to tell me more than once because I was not with it at all.
I may not remember the details, but I do remember the pain. I remember the pain because I feel the pain every day. I have felt the pain every day since my son hasn’t been here. But what did make it easier? My midwives, my doctors, my family and my strength, one midwife in particular made a difference. The one who was telling me to look at her; she became my main midwife for my 4 day stay at the hospital.
El* was a beautiful woman who comforted me when I needed it, who just sat there when I needed. Who treated my son with respect and dignity that he deserved. She bathed him for me when I couldn’t get out of bed, she bought him to me when I wanted him, and she let Ryker stay with me. She in some way was my life saviour, from “Look at me” to “Call me anytime you need me”. El* made all the difference.
I stayed at the hospital for 4 days. I spent 4 days with my son. It was not nearly enough time. My mum, sister and niece arrived on the 3rd day and spent the 4th with me, Ryker and our family. We said our goodbyes on that unforgiving day. I went home to plan a funeral, when I should have gone home with newborn baby.
We received flowers everywhere, but in a lot of ways I didn’t want the flowers. I didn’t want to be bent over in pain. I didn’t want my baby’s stuff in his room shut up. I wanted my baby; I wanted a happy beautiful baby. But I didn’t get what I wanted. I didn’t get what I needed. I got what I was given.
*El, my midwives nickname, not her real name for obvious reasons