Monday, March 31, 2008

The most awful kind of torture

Waiting for SIX WEEKS for the results of your son's autopsy is the worst kind of drawn out torture. I have now come across another serious possibility of what was wrong with Caden. It fits far too well with the little that we know about Cadens problems. It fits better than Trisomy 18.
I had found peace thinking if it was T18 he had no chance. That he went peacefully.
But this new option means that an ultrasound and a blood transfusion would have saved him.
I feel like Im going to throw up.
And I still have nearly 2 weeks to wait to find out what it was.

This is killing me.
The fact it could have been prevented.
The not knowing what it was
The not having closure
Oh god, if it could have been prevented.
I dont know what I will do...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My speech from Caden's memorial today

Thank you so much for joining us today to celebrate the very short life of our son Caden. I suppose that normally at a memorial we would talk about all the wonderful things a person did in their life. Unfortunately we never got the chance to really know Caden. We never imagined we would have to say goodbye before we said hello.

So I wanted to have this opportunity for all of us to acknowledge Caden, your love and support contributed to his existence and I’m sure he knows how much he was and is loved. Thankyou to everyone who has been thinking of us and Caden over the past few weeks, and for the flowers and cards. They do mean a lot and it does make a difference knowing there are so many people thinking of him and grieving with us.

He had a short life but he was loved so immensely in that time. Although we never got to hear his sweet little voice, you can be assured he knew the voice of every person here who used to talk to my belly before they would talk to me.

I didn't have to look into your eyes
to fall in love with you.
I didn't have to hear your cry
to know you loved me too.
I didn't need to hold your hand
to cherish you always.
Within my womb, we shared our hearts.
You touched my soul.
You sweetened my spirit.
You gave me memories I'll always hold dear.
Yes, my heart aches since you departed too soon.
But A MOTHER'S LOVE does not end with death.
For you are my child
Forever my love is yours.

We still have no answers for what caused his death and we may never know. We were told that he passed away on the Tuesday and he was born at 2:41pm on the Wednesday the 27th February. We got to spend many precious hours with him to make memories. He has dark, dark little eyes, and light eyebrows. His hair is fluffy and longer and darker on the sides. It’s almost strawberry blonde on top and dark brown on the sides. He has the brightest red lips and tiny ears, practically paper thin. He has Rory’s nose with tiny milk spots. His tiny hands still point with his index finger like in the ultrasound and he has such long feet! His big toes are shorter than his second toes!

All that we have left now are our memories. We know that you all have memories, hopes and dreams, thoughts of the future that involved Caden. We are putting together a memory book and have paper on the table that we would love each of you to write something to be included. Whatever you feel is good, be it a message to Caden, to us, about the hopes and dreams you had for him or anything you feel.

Please don’t ever be afraid to mention Caden’s name. We love him and love to talk about him. We may cry a bit but don’t be afraid.

The mention of my child's name
May bring tears to my eyes,
But it never fails to bring music to my ears.
If you are really my friend,
Let me hear the beautiful music of their name.
It soothes my broken heart, and sings to my soul.

We will always celebrate Caden’s birthday, and would always welcome you to celebrate it with us. Although our baby is not with us, he is our son and we love him.

Little one, little one
Where have you gone?
Your going has darkened
The brightest dawn
Why did you leave us
So soon, so soon?
Where can we look for you?
Over the moon?
On butterflies' wings
In the heart of a rose?
Who knows,
who knows
Where a little one goes?
Where I have gone,
I am not so small
My soul is as wide
As the world is tall.
Wherever you look,
You will find me there~
In the heart of a rose,
In the heart of a prayer.
On butterflies' wings,
On wings of my own,
To you, I'm gone,
But I'm never alone~
I'm over the moon.
I am home.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

neither here nor there

On Tuesday I had a breakthrough! I realized that I have been shutting my senses off by driving everywhere – by walking around the corner to the shop to buy an iced coffee I felt like I was reconnecting. I found the positive. The sky is blue. There is a strong breeze. I liked feeling the cold concrete on my bare feet. I liked the sounds of my neighbourhood. Life is okay. Life is good. Life will be good again. I’ve missed my neighbourhood. We live in the nicest place on earth. We can walk to a beautiful beach any time we like. We live in a quiet, nice neighbourhood. I love the little Malaysian man that runs the shop around the corner. I’ve missed him. He is so cheerful, the way he greets every person like a long lost friend, even if he is in the middle of serving a customer - it is catching.

Haven’t got much to say these days. Im feeling just fine at the moment and not really thinking about Caden much. I feel awful for that though. I'm sick. Got a cold from Rory I think. I have so much to organize for Caden’s memorial party though. And still no motivation to do it.

Kim said last night that she gets angry and jealous when she looks at babies that are healthy when Caden isn’t. She then agrees with me and says that she’s glad they are healthy because no one deserves this.

My mind is completely gone. I have NO memory whatsoever. I realized tonight, at about 7pm, that I had not gone in to pay for the hall for the memorial on Sunday - or picked up the keys. Cue frantic mess of trying to find a phone number to contact Nathan to try and get the keys so we can at least get into the hall. Kim drove out to see whether there was an after hours number on the door, and I called the council to see if they could contact someone. About an hour later, I got a phone call from Nathan himself telling me that he will come to let me in on Sunday personally. Oh bless him.

Things are starting to come together - we are going to buy some balloons and stuff tomorrow. Ooh and we have appointments for a full body massage tomorrow morning. Bless Amy for getting us those!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

three and seven

I realized the other day that Caden was born at 37 weeks weighing 3lb7oz and was 37cm long
I was returning the books to the library on Sunday and read in the astrological baby name book that the numbers associated with Pisces babies are 3 and 7.

Then I was booking the hall for his memorial service. I was going to have it on the Saturday but then thought Sunday would be okay too. Turns out that Amy can make it the sun and not sat. Good. So I ring up and book. Was going to say 2pm like the baby shower was supposed to be, but changed my mind last second and said 3pm.

Then I worked out that that means the memorial is on the 30th of the 3rd month at 3pm. Freaky huh?

I need to start planning it too. Write what I want to say. I think Kim won’t say anything, but Amy likely will. I want to have a memorial book there for people to write in, and candles for Caden – a table of candles for people to light and talk to him. I can’t think of what else I want to do. I need to get helium balloons for a balloon release and some other decorations. I want it to be like a party. I also need to do up his birth announcements and have them laminated to give out on the day as well.

I need to get a move on to get all this done...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Sunday


Yesterday sucked. I spent most of the day upset. We went down to Marion Bay to see the Goldings. Everyone acted completely normally. I was very quiet. K asked what was wrong. I said “Everything” and he hugged me. But other than that everyone acted like nothing happened.

When we got home I cried on the bed a little and just lay there. I think Kim and I had a few little talks. About how I know that life has to go on but I hated that everyone acted like nothing happened. She had come in and asked “what’s wrong” my answer was “my baby’s dead”.

I feel like I just need that acknowledged.

It was my first outing to people outside of immediate family. And I guess this is how it will be. Kim says we can’t force people to talk about it or expect them too. And I know that, but it still sucked.

Kim and I stayed up and watched a movie. I was happy, laughing, smiling, talking, I love that movie. Then it ended and I went into the bathroom and it just hit me. My baby is dead. That awful reality had an impact for the first time. I went from being ok to that sinking bad feeling, knowing this is my reality now.

I felt really disconnected again though. The same feeling I have had off and on since I was about 5 or 6 years old. Feeling like “what is the point to all of this?” and “why are we really here” and feeling really outside of myself. I feel like that a lot at the moment.

This morning was hard. I didn’t put out Rory’s presents last night – left that to Kim. I kept thinking about how we should have been doing that for two boys not one. This morning sucked equally. I got up, reluctantly, but I didn’t take any photos. Just couldn’t bring myself to. I’m glad there are people here to get Rory in that happy mood because god knows I couldn’t. I received my gifts with barely a smile and didn’t really talk. I was sorry to be in a mood but I feel they should all understand and make allowances for me. I want some special treatment I guess. I should be allowed to be in a shit mood. Ended up sleeping until after lunch. I eventually got up and ate some lunch, now Kim has gone for a nap and I sit here trying to write all the thoughts I have had over the past few days.

I can’t even remember all of them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter for Caden

Today was Caden's due date, and it wasnt as hard as I thought it might be.
We went to the memorial park to ‘see’ Caden and pick up the papers for his plaque. I wasn’t sad at all being there. There is a new child buried next to Caden now. And I think there are two more that have just been buried (no marker yet). Caden has a little white nametag thing now – but they misspelt Richards! I want to make another tag to stick over the top to look nicer. It’ll take up to another 6 weeks to get the plaque and before they even order it I have to do the order, they do up a proof, I have to approve the proof and then they send it off and from then it takes 4-6weeks to get the plaque.

I arranged his little pastel chickens around his marker, and sat his little bunny up against it. I was only doing it to take photos because it’s going to rain tomorrow, and I wanted to put the bunny in his memory box. But after I’d taken the photos I just couldn’t picture taking it away from him!

So when we left we went to 4 different stores trying to track down another one to make sure I have one for his memory box. We couldn’t find either the pastel chicks or the bunnies anywhere! I believe he sent them to me on purpose. It was the only bunny there when I bought it in a pile of big ducks. So we couldn’t find any but Im hoping it will still be okay when I go to get it, when I replace it with something else. I also put a butterfly sticker on his marker to pretty it up a little (lucky we had bought that pony today and it had stickers in it!). Kim put a yellow chick in the tree as well - a daredevil chicky out on a branch!

I attached some photos of the children’s garden where he is buried. It’s the prettiest place in the whole cemetery. The memorial park (cemetery) is a lawn cemetery. It was the first of its kind in Australia. Its so peaceful, just like a park. There are plaques set into the ground on each site but when you look across the rolling hills all you see is grass, trees, and flowers. No headstones etc. The children’s garden is enclosed in a circle of plum trees and has a rose garden in the middle. Its all protected and lovely. We can put any toys or windchimes, windmills etc in the trees and gardens. I love it. He couldn’t be in a better place.

Friday, March 14, 2008

an epiphany

It was my first thought. Trisomy 18. It all fits. Clenched fists with a characteristic 'point' of the index fingers, tiny size (3 pounds at 37 weeks), too much amniotic fluid, under developed fingernails, kidney problems, strawberry shaped head, wide fontanel, low malformed ears, fluid on his kidney and in his lungs, and the choroid plexus cyst that isn’t a problem on its own, but in combination with everything else is a marker. I knew it! I first researched it after our 20 week ultrasound showed the cyst in his brain. I disregarded it because he had no heart problems...but something made it stick in my mind. I knew it! (we dont get the results from the autopsy and tests until 10th april, this is just my own research and opinion)

Since I worked this out yesterday I have felt a new peace. I read a few stories of parents who had Trisomy 18 babies. It sounds like me. One was saying how she didn’t feel hiccups and kicks like with her other pregnancies. How the baby’s movements were slight and faint. Something like 95% are miscarried and of the ones who survive, less than 10% of those make it to one year. Very, very few survive their childhood and if they do they have severe mental and physical problems. It is called “incompatible with life”.

Once I worked it out I felt such peace. I got up, actually put in my contact lenses for the first time in a week and a half, had a shower and got dressed. I’ve worn the same thing every day (when I’ve actually got out of my pyjamas) but I wore something different. I tidied up a little and actually put away the single bed I’ve been laying around on in the lounge room. Then I went and got Rory from After School Care. When I picked Kim up from the train station I excitedly told her about the Trisomy 18.

Sounds stupid to be excited but we both are. It means that with proper genetic tests we can prevent this ever happening again. It is rarely genetic, usually a fluke. Even if it is hereditary there is only a 25% chance of having a Trisomy baby again…meaning 75% of any of our embryos will be acceptable and pass the pre-implantation genetic testing.

When we got home I showed Kim the webpages I had found. Reading more and more of the ‘symptoms’ of Trisomy 18 it all makes sense to us. I actually think I will be disappointed if its NOT the answer we get.
If it was Trisomy 18 he never would have lived. And we had the best possible outcome. Had we been told at 18 weeks I would have had to choose to either terminate and deliver the baby, or carry him to term, knowing he would die shortly before or after birth. I would not have enjoyed the months of pregnancy. And I would not have terminated on the slight chance he might be okay. So in the end, he passed peacefully in the safest warmest place, we never had to make a choice and we got to enjoy every minute we had with him.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

20,639 minutes

Two weeks today since I gave birth. 343 hours 59 minutes. 20,639 minutes. One week since we laid him to rest. I slept through the actual anniversary time I think (2:41pm). Maybe I was awake. I think actually I had just woken up. I think.

Today was a bad day. I cried in the middle of the day for the first time in awhile. I slept most of the day except when I had to deal with the swarm of police that turned up to deal with the psycho domestic disturbance next door.

I went out to get iced coffee tonight at 7:15pm and cried on the way home. I just feel so melancholy.

It has become really hard to read the updates on the 3rd trimester GLBT board. I was fine with it until just today or yesterday. I just read up on it and saw Marnie’s update. She was only one week behind me. To read about how the baby is sitting low, I don’t know it took my breath. Caden should still be where her baby is. No, actually, he would have been born by now. We should be in the hospital, or just got home. Not right. None of this is right. I feel like it will take us forever to have a baby. It will be a 2 year journey from the first pregnancy test to when we might have a baby. And that’s assuming that I get pregnant in the next few months. I’m starting to doubt even that.

I picked up the photos I had printed at Kmart. I am so sad that so many of them are blurry. I hate that my camera didn’t turn up in time. If they had sent me the payment slip when I asked for it, it would have arrived in time and we would have better photos of caden. We can never take any more. That’s what kills me. All the things we can’t go back and redo.

Kim just told me that I had night terrors again. Apparently I sat bolt upright screaming at 4:30am this morning. I have NO recollection of it. I didn’t go to bed until 3am. I know that much. But I thought I slept soundly. I wonder what I was dreaming about.

Im still getting the pregnancy weekly updates in my email. I delete them as I get them but it is so weird to still see “week 39” written there. Are you serious? I still wouldn’t be full full term yet? It feels like I gave birth months ago. I cant believe it has been only two weeks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ask my Mum how she is...

My Mum, she tells a lot of lies,
She never did before
But from now until she dies,
She'll tell a whole lot more.

Ask my Mum how she is
And because she can't explain,
She will tell a little lie
because she can't describe the pain.

Ask my Mum how she is,
She'll say"I'm alright."
If that's the truth, then tell me,
why does she cry each night ?

Ask my Mum how she is
She seems to cope so well,
She didn't have a choice you see,
Nor the strength to yell.

Ask my Mum how she is,
"I'm fine, I'm well, I'm coping."
For God's sake Mum, just tell the truth,
Just say your heart is broken

She'll love me all her life
I loved her all of mine.
But if you ask her how she is,
She'll lie and say she's fine.

I am here in Heaven
I cannot hug from here.
If she lies to you don't listen
Hug her and hold her near.

On the day we meet again,
We'll smile and I'll be bold.
I'll say,
"You're lucky to get in here, Mum,
With all the lies you told!"

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Big Brother

Rory is in a right state. He has been staying with mum. We took him to Kmart on Tuesday to buy Caden a present to go in his casket. The whole time all he could say was "I want I want" and sulking when he didn’t get his way. I think he isn’t dealing well but doesnt know how to cope with what he is feeling.

I asked him “would you like to get your baby brother a toy to take to heaven with him?” He wanted to know how it would get to heaven. I told him straight that Caden would be put in a box and buried in the ground in a special place. We could put the toy in with him to play with in heaven. He wanted to know how it would get to heaven. He wanted to see Caden. I explained that he was already in heaven.

His first response to my question of what kind of toy he might like to put in was “not a car because he might chew on it” I nearly burst right into tears. We walked around a bit looking at things. Asked whether he might like to get him a My Little Pony. Rory loves My Little Ponies. We looked at them but he wanted to keep looking. “Oh! Here’s the baby toys!” he said. I explained we couldn’t get anything big. It’s a little box. He eventually got to the soft toy aisle. “Maybe a teddy to cuddle when he goes to sleep” he said. I agreed that was a good idea. We found pastel coloured toys in just the right size. We picked a blue giraffe. It suits so well. Caden had lots of giraffes and a romper that says “silly little giraffe”. It’s perfect. We bought one for Rory to have as well.

When we got home he wrote on the card on the toy – it had a To: and From: and he wrote Caden and Rory on it. Then he wanted to write something else. He ended up writing I Love You on it too. He said "when I put the toy in"…
I said “mummy and Kim will put the toy in”
but Rory was firm, he wanted to see Caden. I told him it’s just his body; he has died and will be dead in the box. He still wanted to see him. He wanted to see him now. I explained we couldn’t see him now – I couldn’t see him today either, just tomorrow (the day of the burial).

I said “don’t you think you might be scared, or sad?” he didn’t know, but he was adamant that he wanted to see him. Who am I to deny him his little brother?

I finally felt up to him coming home yesterday. Kim and I picked him up from school. It was the longest we have ever been apart, the 9 nights we were apart. He is being a little challenging but mostly just really over-affectionate, hugging and kissing a lot.

Yesterday was actually a pretty good day. I got out of thehouse for a few hours, went shopping, and even managed to eat a meal for the first time in 3 days.

Let's call that progress shall we?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I didn’t say anything at the burial. I planned on writing something to say but I didn’t. And when I got there there wasn’t anything I could think to say. I didn’t cry much. Kim did. I felt so calm and together. Even the music didn’t make me lose it like I thought I would – like I did when I downloaded it.

We went to see him at the funeral home before the burial. In a strange twist of fate, the camera I was waiting for turned up in the morning. I took it with me and took a hundred photos of Caden in his casket. Rory ended up coming to see him, wanted to touch him, know what he felt like. So he did. Then he turned around and said "Can I go back to school now?". I'll write more about Rory later.

One of Cadens feet was covered in ink from his footprints - Kim looked at it and said "We all have inky feet!" We both had his name tattooed on the side of our right foot on tuesday night - so that he will always walk with us.

We wrote messages for him on the back of photos of each of us holding him and lined the sides with photos of us. My mum put in a little hat with a St Christopher medal stitched on, kims parents wanted a little guardian angel pin which i put on his gown (they live on an island and can only fly out once a year so they couldnt be there). Rory picked out a little blue giraffe to put in with him too (we thought it was tiny but it was half his size! I forgot how tiny he was) and Kim and I made origami cranes which we put in with his blocks that spell CADEN. There was just no room for his blanket. And the newborn socks were 50 times too big. We taped a photo of Kim, Caden and I on the inside of the lid so he can see us right there.

He was smaller than I remembered. His hands and feet werent in great shape. I wish I hadnt pulled his little hands out to look at them. There was a reason they were hidden under his gown. I wish I hadnt looked, I wish I had kept the only memory of them in the hospital, soft and almost chubby - if a 3lb baby can be chubby at all. He was really gone this time. There was no trace of him there. I wished that Amy and Mum and Rory could have seen him like he was in the hospital. He wasnt the same yesterday. I cant bring myself to look at the photos. They arent as nice. I am glad I took them, and that I got to kiss his tiny head again, but I dont think I will look at them again, at least not for awhile. I thought I would want to be there for hours, but I was ready to go pretty fast. I couldnt hold him, he was really gone, and I was ready for it all to be over.

We left and went to sit in a park. It was pretty hot. 40C (104F).

We got to the memorial park at 2:13pm.
Caden's burial was quiet and short, when we got there i had nothing to say, as someone said - i think it was kim - all our words are in there with him.
Chrissy was very upset so was Nanny Coral. I just sat there holding Kim, then we lowered him into the ground and placed two of our origami cranes on the casket. They had a blue ribbon wrapped around it to hold and lower him in with. The others threw some rose petals in.
We only had my mum, kims sister, her aunt and her grandmother at the burial. Friends wanted to be there but we kept it private. It was so peaceful and I was strangely calm. I thought I would lose it but I really didnt. We just sat in silence and listened to his songs - Over the rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole; Per Te by Jovanotti; and You are so Beautiful by Joe Cocker. Kim was more upset than me. she cried more than she has thus far. I just held her and then hugged everyone in turn. Kim whispered "he will never be forgotten". Nanny Coral said that our love for each other will get us through.

We both feel quite calm and at peace knowing that Caden is where we wanted. I am so grateful that ive been so calm and collected (if in denial) so that I could take care of all these things.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Having to say goodbye...

Cadens burial is tomorrow. I am excited to see him again, but scared of how it will be to have that closure and have him in the ground. We went out to the memorial park yesterday, I felt I couldnt turn up for the burial and have that the first time I saw where he would be. It was truly a blessing that I did because I went into the office to see where exactly in the babies area he would be. I was told he wouldnt be in the perinatal section because it was full. He would be just adjacent to it. I broke down and firmly told them no, he would not be there. He had to be in the perinatal section. I was freaking out thinking I would have to find another place...They got someone to come out and talk to me, and he told me that there were a couple of places in the perinatal area and they would put him there if its what I wanted.We feel so lucky that we went out there - it would have been awful to turn up on the day and be faced with that.

Kims great grandparents and her grandfather are buried in the same park - it is a massive place, but we found that her great-grandparents are buried so close to the childrens garden and they overlook it, straight into it. Her Paha (grandfather) is up at the gates so we feel he is guarding the entrance. Nanny C (still living) who we are very close to, will be buried with Paha, so Loves entire family will be there with Caden. I feel more at peace with it now, even though stepping foot in that childrens garden felt so very very wrong.

We arent having a funeral, just my mum, Amy, Nanny C and Aunty C will be there. We are doing our own committal. We are playing 3 songs - Over the rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole; Per Te by Jovanotti; and You are so Beautiful by Joe Cocker.

We will have oriental white lilies for him. He will be buried in his orange and blue blanket, with bonds socks on his tiny kangaroo feet, his Caden name blocks, a teddy from R and origami cranes.

We are going in tonight to have his name tattooed on our feet. So he will always walk with us.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How it all happened...part 1

I was up really late on Monday night (like usual). I was on the computer signing up and emailing companies to receive free samples in the mail.

I went to bed at around 2am and something felt wrong all of a sudden. I realized I hadn’t felt Caden in possibly days. I hardly felt him move at all the entire pregnancy. I thought it was because my placenta was anterior – we know now that it was because I had an abnormally huge amount of amniotic fluid and a tiny tiny baby just floating around in there – he barely touched the sides. Anyway I was lying there begging him to move for me so I knew he was ok. I was poking and prodding. I could feel his back and was pushing down on him and I could push him around in there. I felt sick. I knew something was wrong. I thought “what if he has died in there?” I wanted to wake Kim up and go to the hospital but it was the middle of the night and I really didn’t want to drag us all in there, taking Rory in again, just for them to put the monitor on and have him wake up. That’s what happened the first time we went in. I hadn’t felt him in days and then when they put the monitor on he was rolling around and kicking like crazy.

So I didn’t go in. I lay there for awhile trying to feel him and feeling worse by the second. Somehow I fell asleep.

In the morning I tried to make an appt with my GP just to have her check the heartbeat. She wasn’t working and the first appt with any other available Dr wasn’t until 10:40am. I couldn’t wait that long so I rang the shared care midwife at the hospital. All I said was that I hadn’t felt him in a few days possibly. She said “come in straight away”.

I took Rory to school and drove straight into the hospital. I figured they would take me in straight away so I parked in a 2hr park thinking “I hope they’re done in 2 hours” but I figured they would be. All they were doing was sticking the CTG monitor on me right?

Like I thought, as soon as I said my name, they whisked me back into a room and set up the CTG machine. A young midwife called Bec came in and started trying to get the heartbeat. I was getting more worried by the second when after 5 minutes she couldn’t find it. They never had to look that long before. She called in a more senior midwife, but told me that she had seen a heartbeat briefly that should be the baby’s – it was in the 170’s so highly unlikely to be mine. The senior midwife came in and started looking. She found a heartbeat so fast that as soon as I heard it I just knew it was the baby’s and the baby was fine. She felt my pulse and looked worried, said “I’m going to get a scan on you, I can’t be sure that the heartbeat I’m picking up isn’t yours.”

I couldn’t believe it – it was just too damn fast – how could it be mine?

They wheeled in the ultrasound machine. Bec was holding my hand. The Dr Joseph came in and started. I was just trying to breathe. He said “There is baby’s head, okay…there’s a lot of fluid in there…” I figured it was okay and he was getting to the heart because why would he talk about his head if he was gone? Then he says “It does appear that for some reason your baby’s heart has stopped.”

I think my heart stopped too.

I screamed. I started having what felt like a seizure. I was screaming no. I couldn’t lie down, kept sitting up then lying down, just sobbing, hyperventilating. The midwives told me to listen to the doctor. What the fuck for? They couldn’t save him, what did I care what he had to say? He said he wanted to take me upstairs for a more detailed ultrasound. I was shaking and just asking Bec “how did this happen? How does a heart just STOP?” I got up and said “I need to call my partner. I need to call Kim” I pulled out my phone but there was no reception. I was shaking so hard. They took me into an office to a phone. I rang the factory. Kaeli answered. “I need to talk to Kim right now”

Kim got on the phone. I told her I was at the hospital. They couldn’t find a heartbeat. I was sobbing and she says that she couldn’t even understand what I was saying. She kept asking where I was and I said women’s assessment.

They took me up to the ultrasound. Asked if I wanted to see. I didn’t. I held my arm over my eyes and Bec had her hand on my arm holding it there for me. It took forever. He took so many measurements.

As we walked out Kim was arriving. I walked up crying and shook my head. Hugged her. “He’s gone”.

I don’t remember walking back down except that I held Kim’s hand and Bec’s hand. They put us back in the room at women’s assessment. We sat in the chairs in shock. “I’m so sorry baby. I’m so sorry. How does this happen? How does it happen? I can’t comprehend this. I can’t even understand this. Why is this happening?”

I really cried for the first time. I wailed. She held me and just had quiet tears.

Joseph came back in.

Told us that the baby was very small. He thought 2kg (he was really only 1.5kg). There was a lot of fluid on his lungs and I think his kidneys. He said “you would think that he would have showed up small on the ultrasounds”. Kim and I both said at the same time “HE DID”. Joseph looked concerned. My ultrasound reports weren’t even in the files. He looked at my first trimester screening and said there were levels of concern. He was concerned that the baby was 5 days small at 12 weeks, 10 days small by 18 weeks – he said the ultrasound reports weren’t done properly. If we had had them done at the hospital I would have been rescanned. They would have monitored me more closely. We have since come to the conclusion that there was a reason it was never picked up. We never would have terminated anyway.

He said we would know more if we agreed to an autopsy. We agreed without even needing to think about it. He said we need to know answers so that next time they can monitor me and might be able to give me medications to stop anything bad happening.

Then he had to talk about me delivering Caden. My knee-jerk reaction was to say “I don’t want to deliver him. I want a c-section.” Joseph was adamant that they would NEVER suggest that. He said “This is NOT your last baby.” We liked that. We like that he made it okay for us to have another baby. But his point was that c-sections are a major surgery, your physical recovery is far longer and the emotional recovery was going to be bad enough. He said there are more complications. There is damage to your uterus and any subsequent pregnancies would be worse. Plus the baby was small. It would be easy to deliver. He said he understood why I wanted the c-section but they would never advocate that. We had the choice to be admitted then and there, or come back in a day or so to be induced. I chose to go home and have a few hours, then come back that night.

We walked out in shock. Went and sat in the park across the road. It was my mother’s birthday. I was supposed to meet her in an hour for lunch. Kim needed to call Amy. So we walked to the car, Kim crying, and drove home.

I rang mum when we got home and told her that I couldn’t meet her for lunch. She asked why. I told her because the baby died and we needed to go into hospital. I was crying of course and I think she was too. She wanted to come right over but I didn’t want that. I told her I needed her to be with Rory. I said I would call her later. Kim rang her parents and Amy. Amy just heard “the baby died” and said “I’m on my way” and hung up.

Kim and I lay on the bed in shock. Crying, I wailed a little, sobbed, and asked a lot of ‘whys’. We were relieved by the fact that there were so many problems with Caden. They think there may have been a chromosomal problem there from the very start. He may never have lived. We decided that there was a reason no one ever picked anything up. The choice was taken from us. The control was taken out of our hands and we never had to make any hard decisions. We didn’t have to live for months knowing he was sick and might not make it. We didn’t have to switch off life support machines or watch him go through surgery after surgery. We didn’t have to watch him be born, be whisked off to the NICU and die alone. He was never alone.

We were highly rational and calm in between the tears. Amy arrived and we were calm. I started to cry at one point, Amy left the room quietly and I wailed a bit. She came back when I was calm again. We got up and packed our things for the hospital. I kept looking at my belly in the mirror hardly understanding that he was gone. We asked Amy to pack up Caden’s things from his room and pick up the layby from the store. She took it all to her house until we are ready to have it back.

We stopped at Subway on the way into the hospital to get something to eat when we got there because I didn’t know if we would get any food in there. I was okay but dreading someone asking when I was due or how far along I was. People always ask that. As we were leaving the girl said “Have a good night”. That seemed so ironic.

We got in there and went up to the room. They put us in room 1 – as far from any other rooms as possible so I didn’t have to be near any small babies. I was numb.

More thoughts

I cried yesterday because my belly button has sunk right back in. How stupid right? I sobbed over how it used to stick right out when I laughed.

I regret not taking photos of me and Kim with my belly.

I feel like I'm still waiting for Caden to arrive. The real Caden. Like the one on my computer screen isn’t the real Caden. Because the real Caden wasn’t supposed to even be born yet. The real Caden was supposed to get dressed up in cute little blue clothes. And grow into his volleys and his everlast shoes. The real Caden was supposed to go to Gaelic games with me and be fat and big and cute.

The real Caden isn’t supposed to be tiny and precious and beautiful and dead.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Random thoughts from the first days at home...


We are sleeping on the single mattress on the floor of the lounge room

I had to write to my online people and I cried every time someone wrote a message saying they were crying for him, or that he is beautiful.

We came home to a tidied house and a full fridge and freezer. Amy had even gone out to KFC and bought our favourite foods.

I cant stop smelling the gown, its how he smelled today.

Our house is already filled with flowers.

I feel numb. I cry every now and then but I can’t comprehend it all too well at the moment.

I love looking at his photos. They make me smile. I felt best when I had him in my arms looking at him. Olivia (our midwife) said “you two are different people when this little boy is in the room” with a smile.

It’s hard to remember I just gave birth yesterday

I’m already back down 6kg. Minus 1.5kg baby, 400g placenta, virtually no blood loss – I therefore had somewhere in the vicinity of 4kg of amniotic fluid. That’s not right.

He has dark, dark little eyes, and light eyebrows. His hair is fluffy and longer and darker on the sides. It’s almost strawberry blonde on top and dark brown on the sides. He has the brightest red lips and tiny flaps for ears, practically paper thin. He has Rory’s nose with tiny milk spots. His tiny hands still point with his index finger like in the ultrasound and he has such long feet! His big toes are shorter than his second toes!

Amy is the best. She even went through our mail while we were in hospital and took out anything baby related. I had spent the whole night he passed on the internet signing up for free stuff and samples – what shitty timing. So for the next few months there will be constant reminders coming.


I haven’t taken my hospital band off yet. Can’t bring myself to.

I don’t know what to feel. The tears burst out every now and then but that’s it.

I came home from telling R to find a package from Avent in the mail with samples. I was totally okay with it and put it aside for the next baby.

Everything along the way I have thought would be harder than it was. Telling R was hard but there were minimal tears from me and none from him. We think he understood but wasn’t as sad because he never met his baby brother. We know he will have a lot of questions though. The main one he kept asking was why did his heart stop? I cried a bit but just said to him “you know how we were going to have a baby? Well I had the baby the other day but he died. His little heart stopped beating and he died. So he will never be coming home with us. Do you want to see his pictures?”

I showed his photos, and rory just wanted to know why his heart stopped. I said he was very very tiny and his heart just stopped. And he died. We told him that we will be very sad for awhile and will probably cry a lot. And that we would like lots of hugs and kisses from him all the time to make us feel better because he is our only baby now.

He went in and told mum, and said "his head was tiny tiny like this" and cupped his hands together. Then he went and played with his cars in his room. It was better than I thought. Love said she was very proud of me and I explained it really well.

Talking to mum after a while I started having some anxiety and wanted to tell her to shut the hell up. Love sensed something was wrong with me and came inside (she was outside playing golf with R) I just couldn’t stand the sound of her voice any longer. I had anxiety all the way down the freeway then on South Terrace I asked Love whether she thought R understood and then it exploded out of me. It was a very brief sob and I felt so much better after. The knot in my chest and the anxiety was gone.

When we got home I spent lots of time looking at his photos. He is so beautiful and looking at the photos doesn’t make me sad at all.


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