This week me and Daddy went back to the emergency department where they took you and tried so very hard to bring you back. And it was hard.
Of course the hospital has good memories as well for us, it’s where your sisters and brother were born, its where we first saw you wriggling around, a black and white image. I was so excited that day. You were our third baby, a beautiful surprise. We didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl. We just wanted you here safe and well.
You came dramatically into our lives on your due date (9/5/15). We had previously been at the hospital for over five hours the night before but got reassured to go home and wait, but wait you didn’t want, and so you were born into the toilet. Daddy scooped you up, unwound your cord from your neck and did amazing at keeping us calm. We had four paramedics and a midwife here, all surprised at your speedy arrival. Little did we know in a few hours time we would have a further 6 paramedics here, at home fighting to save your life. I wish they had, I wish so so much we could bring you back.
You collapsed in my arms, lost consciousness whilst cuddled to me. You were rushed in the first ambulance with three paramedics and the midwife, all trying to bring you back. We got rushed in the second. That was awful, what was happening? What on earth had gone so wrong?
And so we arrived, rushed through the doors, rushed to a room. Daddy entered and saw so many people trying so so hard to help you. I couldn’t go in, I just knew you were gone. I knew when you were in my arms, when your cheeks went dusky, the colour draining before my eyes, and then seeing you look at me before your eyes rolled. I just knew I had lost you, my beautiful baby boy.
We got taken to a relatives room to wait, it was so quiet in there. Your consultant came to us and said you had been down for an hour, there was no heartbeat. We asked if they carried on what would your life be like? The answer was simple, you wouldn’t have the life we wanted, you had been down too long, your poor little body had had no oxygen, it was time to call it a day. We agreed it was best for you to stop.
Then we got told we would have to speak to police, there would need to be an inquest. It was too much sat in that quiet room, with nothing to do but wait.
We got told we would be able to see you again, and as I had no photos of you and me together we were told this could be done. We got led from the quiet room into the resuscitation bay. I will never ever forget walking in and seeing your tiny body, wrapped in your shawl and a blanket on such a huge bed. You were lying on a white sheet, but you were too small, you weren’t meant to be there. The nurse asked if I wanted to hold you, I did. You were so cold, I placed my cheek on your head with your soft fluffy hair, and I wrapped the blankets round a bit tighter trying to warm you up, I just wanted the warmth to wake you. But it didn’t.
We didn’t stay very long. We both gave you a kiss, and said sleep tight. We spent almost 7 hours at the hospital. The smell, I will never forget. It was busy, but I remember the sound being muffled as though my brain was trying to block it all out. The staff were amazing that day.
Daddy had to ID you, that was so hard for him, you were in a separate room now from where we had seen you. I wasn’t allowed to go, they only wanted Daddy. That was so so hard for him.
And then finally we were allowed to go home , the police had their statement, they had been to the house to take photos and temperature readings etc. We could go home with your memory box. We had to walk out the corridor we had rushed into hoping you were ok, we had to walk out and leave you behind.
It’s been nearly three years since we walked out those doors. Luckily for us we haven’t needed to go back, too many ghosts, too many smells and too many sad memories. However we decided now it was time to face those fears. We are so lucky that we have contact with your consultant, a lovely lady who has supported us so much. She came to your fundraiser last year, she pops in for coffee when she is able, she met Molly just after she was born and she has spent so much time answering all my weird and wonderful questions.
She met us to go through this journey of revisiting, along with a nurse who is working to improve bereavement services for parents in ED. After a chat, it was time. We went back to the corridor where you were rushed in. I’m surprised by some rooms along the corridor, I don’t remember them, I remember a long white corridor. The smell is the same, a clean hospital smell, but it takes me back, so much I have to breathe through my mouth to try and stop smelling it.
And then there is the room, turn to your right and it’s there, the bay where you were when Daddy rushed in, the bed where so many people fought for you. The bed where you lay when I came to see you. There’s pictures on the wall, I don’t remember these, I even ask if this is the right bed. Daddy says yes it is, but it looks different, simple things have changed like a whiteboard being removed, but the marks are still there where it hung. On that whiteboard was all the information about what you had had, your temperature, when and how much adrenaline you had had. I know it was there it’s in the photos I have of me and you. But like you, that too has gone. I remember the blue curtains and the floor. I hate that room. I hate that bed.
Next we go to the little room where daddy had to do your formal identification. Daddy has always said it was like a store room, I didn’t see it until this visit. We found out it’s called the decontamination room. The reason you were here was because the skin sample they had to take had to be done under sterile conditions, and in a licensed room. This is one of the rooms. Daddy said you were placed on the stretcher, it was black, not even made up. Staff apologised for that today and we talked about how it could be done better for others.
And then we are back out in the corridor. That long corridor where everything changed. We left there through the same doors we did almost three years ago.
The revisit was good. We needed to do it, to lay some ghosts to rest, and to prepare in case we ever need to go in there with your siblings. It helped having your consultant there, she was able to go through anything we needed her to. But most importantly she knew you, she had met you, you weren’t just a name on a piece of paper.
Some people think we are brave for going back, but in a weird way it’s comforting to be there, that’s where we last saw you, where I last cuddled you. If only I could go back in time, if only.
Instead you are wherever you are, and I’m here just waiting, waiting for the day I can cuddle you again.
I love you my beautiful baby boy,
Love mummy xxxxx