Friday, December 18, 2009

If I had only known...

...that this would be your last week alive, Josie, I would have maybe done some things differently.

I am now 36 weeks, 4 days pregnant with Isobella. I gave birth to Josie at 37 weeks, 4 days at about 7.56am under general anesthesia via cesarean. She'd probably passed at about 7.15 or so, I think. I thought I'd felt a last movement in the car, but that might have just been her relaxing once she'd gone... that was as we were approaching the last turning on the interstate before the exit to CR13... I remember the sunrise in the car, and that last movement, which was probably not what I thought it was because we'd lost the heart rate already. Though at the time, R felt sure she couls still hear it, faintly. I couldn't though...I could only hear that awful static...

Then at the hospital, more static... Then the ultrasound machine and nothing...then the internal exam...the catheter...the drips on both arms; the straps; the undressing by several people; the anesthesiologist (who came to see me afterward because he was so sorry about my baby...) and then being told to take deep breaths of oxygen because it was good for my baby... Good for my baby...who couldn't breathe...because she was trapped inside me in a river of blood...

God it's hard sometimes, it really is. I really miss her.

Now here I am at this stage of pregnancy again and, remembering everything I did. Let me lay out the time line of Josie's last week or so, alive:

10/4 - (Equivalent of tomorrow) - we had a midwife appointment, and took some pictures...

Josie, if I'd known, I would have taken more pictures...


10/5 - Sunday - I washed clothes - so many loads of laundry - and made sure all your things were ready for you.

Josie, if I'd known, I would have talked to you more and wouldn't have done all that laundry so frantically, instead choosing to rub my tummy and speak to you...

10/6 - Monday - I took pictures of all your things, so proudly, to show my family thousands of miles away your stuff!

Josie, if I'd known, I would have gone for a long walk in the Autumn colors and we would have been together in peace and quiet for a little while...


10/7 - Tuesday- Your Daddy and brother set up your crib at my behest because I knew it wouldn't be much longer until you came: I'd had signs for about a week and a half by then, that you were on your way. I took a few pictures and thought it looked like a lovely nest for you...

Josie, if I'd known, I would have lain in bed with you, in the light of your little lamp, and we would have been able to have a conversation...


10/8 - Wednesday - I got my laptop and went upstairs, to take a bath in the sunlit bathroom there. I knew it would be my last for a while because I'd have my hands full with you, so I was going to indulge... I had a contraction in the bath which in hindsight wasn't quite...right.

Josie, if I'd known, I would have taken more baths with you... If I'd known about the contraction pain being wrong, I would have gone to the hospital...

10/9 - Thursday - We watched movies for the night and chilled out.

Josie, if I'd known, I would have spent the night with you, talking to you, being in touch with my body and with you, and thinking so many loving thoughts every second...

10/10 - Friday and the day of your birth and death - I started being in pain about 2am or so, I think. I thought it was normal and labored through it, never making a sound, taking a bath for the pain, which helped. I didn't even wake your Daddy up until about 4.30am. We called R a little later on. Your heartbeat sounded great. I labored in the birth tub, with your Daddy. We have one picture (I put a box over the boobs in case of strange visitors...but I wasn't wearing a black box!). Your Daddy looked proud and apprehensive. There was light in his eyes. I haven't seen that light since you died. Not once. I used to see it all the time. I wonder if it will ever be back.


About 6.45 or so, I started feeling lightheaded in the birth tub. I got out, and almost passed out in the bathroom. Suddenly, your heart rate went to 80bpm. We got dressed for the hospital and had one last check on the way out of the door. Your heartbeat was back up and sounding wonderful again, so we decided it as simply a case of a strong contraction. We went back inside, I took a shower because I was hot. I got out, and R checked me. I was at 3cm, which was not right.

Then we couldn't find your heartbeat any more. Only some kind of echo. I only heard static. We were in the car to the hospital quick as a flash. It was just after 7. It was too late...

Josie, if I'd known, I would have given my life to save yours. I would have torn into myself without anesthesia with a spoon if that's all we had, to get you out.

But that's the thing. Nobody knew. And that's the greatest thing "they" never tell you: sometimes, nobody knows. Adults aren't all powerful. Mummys don't know everything, all the time, even though they will have you believe they have eyes in the back of their heads. Had we been in hospital already, it is likely (according to the doctors) that the outcome would have been the same... Doctors are powerful, but, they lose people still.

Had we been able to know, somehow, you'd still be here. I know you know that we would have given anything to save you. Had I known this week would be your last week, I would have enveloped you with as much love as I could possibly have mustered up.

So in honor of you, the rest of this pregnancy will be spent making sure Isobella is absolutely saturated with love, at the possible expense of most other normally important things around here...

I love you little Josie; I love your sister as well. You're my babies; my girls. My heart.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you! I hope all goes well with your Isabella. I'm deeply sorry for your loss, and your family is in my prayers!!

margaret said...

Sending my love to you, Josie and Isobella, and wishing with all my heart for you to be at peace.

Emerging Butterfly said...

All my love....in this moment...for you, for your daughters....praying for the light that shines within us all to keep your Bella safe.

Love you...

Fireflyforever said...

Oh Jay .... no words, just so much love for you and H and Josie and Isobella.

Anonymous said...

My love, I'm so sorry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Darling Josie will always be in our thoughts. She's looking down uopn Bella. God Bless Josie and Bella and you all.
Ali xxx

Lisa said...

I am absolutely positive she passed knowing nothing but love from the both of you.

Lachlan's Mum said...

I too think often about how I would do that last week differently. Sending you strength and peace during this last stretch of time before you meet Isobella.

Jeanette said...

Sending love, and strength for the coming days.

Joy said...

There are hardly words...
Sending you and yours love and peace and many prayers.

Inanna said...

Thinking of you and Josie and Isobela... lots and lots of love to you all.

Catherine W said...

This post is absolutely heart breaking. You couldn't have known. You simply couldn't have.

Your little Josie was so loved and so cherished. I'm sure she knew that, I'm sure she knows it still. I'm certain her little sister feels that same love surrounding her.

Thinking of you and your sweet girls.

Much love xo

The Willow said...

You don't know me. I just stumbled across your blog.

This post is the most amazing tribute to your little Josie. It is truly beautiful, and leaves a stranger sitting on her couch in tears for you, and her. I wish you the very best of luck with the upcoming birth of your daughter Isobella. I will be back to see all of your happy pictures, very soon.