Today is Harry's 1st Birthday. We have had a nice day but I will write about how we have remembered Harry over this important weekend in a separate piece, when it is over as I feel it deserves it's own space.
I wanted to write about recalling events. I have this week been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, which may or may not be shocking to you. I have been so consumed with my grief and have been dealing with whatever emotion or feeling hits me, as it happens. That being said, I have been reliving the moments of "trauma" again and again, to the point where it is happening on an almost hourly basis.
Today has been hard as I have been thinking "this time last year" over and over and recalling the events of the day and experiencing the emotions as if I were in that moment, again and again.
So, today at 5.30 I found myself remembering after having my epidural fitted, that at this time a year ago my forewaters went with a pop and we were all excited that things were starting after hours of being on a hormone drip.
I was left by my midwife from the time of my waters breaking at 5.30pm until 9.15pm when she asked to undertake a vaginal exam to see how dilation was coming along. It was at this time I lifted the blanket to discover the blood. I was told how common a bleed is during labour, it was probably after being catheterized after my waters broke she may have nicked me, and it looked worse than it is - cleaning up sheet after sheet of blood. In hindsight this is traumatic for me, now knowing that was dear Harry's blood she was cleaning up.
So here, I question how things may have been different if I had been more vigilantly checked and a bleed was discovered as it happened rather than hours later...................
She left the room with all the bloody sheets and returned with a matron who seemed to think that perhaps it was as bad as it looked, and had a look of stress on her face. At this time I was full of confidence in the medical staff. Not anymore - god forbid I ever see that look on someone's face again, I think I would lose the plot. Anyway, suddenly they were studying the heart trace and a clip was being put on Harry's head to check his heart rate as things didn't look right.
It also turns out the readings weren't being read correctly so that is even more disappointing to know that things could have been different if they were read properly, and it was clear Harry was in distress......
An hour after discovering the bleed I was being prepped for an emergency section. At no point was I told that this was going to have an impact on my baby, I had been made to believe that all the problems were with me, not my baby. I was nervous for myself but knew that it wouldn't be long til we met our new baby and the excitement of that was spurring me on as I signed the section consent form.
We were taken to theatre, and just as I was being moved on to the table it became obvious that something wasn't right with my baby, as the heartrate dropped so low that it was almost stopping. I was scared, and I was starting to panic. I was out of control. Recalling this moment makes me shakey and feel like I am suffocating. I can feel my pulse as I write this as I feel the stress of the moment over and over again.
As I was being operated on, the feeling of having the hands digging around my insides like someone was doing the dishes in my tummy was uncomfortable and strange but I was reassured "you're going to meet your baby soon"... and I couldn't wait. At 22:37 we were told "it's a boy" and the baby was whisked away and for the longest time Harry's Dad and I just sat looking at each other waiting to hear something, but there was nothing. Nothing. Nothing.... and more nothing. We were asking the staff to tell us what was happening and we were being told our baby was very poorly... We couldn't understand what was going on.
And this is what I go over, every single hour of every single day. From discovering the bleed until we were told by our Doctor that Harry had lost a considerable amount of blood and had suffered severe brain damage as a result. An insane two hours. A life changing two hours. Our baby that we had been so excited about meeting and holding and feeding and taking home, had made a complete u-turn in such a short space of time, and the shock of this and what was about to unfold has changed my life beyond recognition, and changed the future for Harry from being a healthy, happy baby to being so poorly that his little life lasted just 26 hours.
I am sure it is normal to relive traumatic events to some degree, but I hope that in time things start to get easier as right now, recalling these things as "what was happening a year ago" is stressful, painful and hellish.
Harry - I just wish that there was some way I could go back to before those two hours unfolded and change things so things could be different. I can't. I wish it were possible. But I do believe that we all have a plan, and as much as it pains me to think that Harry's life was only meant to be 26 hours long, if that tiny life can mean that a great deal of good can come from this horrendous time, then I will make it my lifes work to ensure that is what happens.