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Neonatal loss awareness

Neonatal Loss Series – Marisa’s Story

12 Days – That Is All I Got

(By no means am I trying to discredit miscarriages or stillbirths.)

My loss matters too.

My son was not a miscarriage.

My son was not a stillbirth.

My son was a neonatal death.

My son lived for 12 days.

My son died in my arms.

My son should be here.

My son is gone due to medical error. I can’t believe I finally said it and wrote it.

Medical error.

Here is his story. Here is how my son became a statistic for neonatal death.

 

The year – 2010.

The emotions/ feelings – joy, happiness, love.

We were expecting our first child. A boy. A son we named Drake.

We did everything first time parents do; we enjoyed every moment of the pregnancy, we imagined which one of us he would look like, we had baby showers, we painted his room, we decorated his room, we went to every appointment together with our group of doctors, we told the doctors any concerns we had (such as my high pain tolerance and the chance of having fast labor – family history), we looked forward to seeing our son, holding our son, loving our son.

At 38 weeks pregnant that all that changed. At 38 weeks, I went in for my normal weekly appointment. At 38 weeks, we found out our son was in the Frank Breech position. At 38 weeks, I was scheduled for my C-section for 4 days before my due date. At 38 weeks I still trusted my group of doctors.

At 39 weeks, 2 days – I went into labor at home in the early morning hours. We timed my contractions for 20 minutes and upon realizing they were less than 5 minutes apart, we called the doctor’s office and spoke with the nurse who said she would have the doctor call me (the same doctor on-call was the one who was to be doing my C-section in 2 days’ time).

My biggest mistake.

The doctor called, listened to what we said and decided that we should continue to monitor my contractions for another hour. Well as new parents, we listened. The biggest mistake ever because you see – 45 minutes into that hour my water broke and my son’s feet came out. (During this time, we called the nurse to have the doctor call us and we never got a return call until several hours later.)

Naturally once his feet came out, our next call was to 911, by the time they arrived my contractions (with no help from me) had pushed him out to his ribcage. The EMTs decided to try and help us finish delivering him on our bathroom floor – so we got the rest of his chest and his shoulders out. We could not get my son’s head out, so we were loaded on a gurney with his head still inside and taken to the hospital where with the ER doctor we finally got my son’s head out – but by now he was no longer breathing.

One of the EMTs was able to resuscitate him long enough to be placed on a ventilator.

Neonatal Unit

Within a couple of hours, he was transported to another hospital where there was a NICU. I had to stay at the hospital I was at, they finally released me after 15 hours and we made the 45-minute trip to see him.

You know your son is truly hurt when you walk into your son’s NICU room, surrounded by other babies, and the night head nurse tells you:

“Out of all the babies here in the NICU, your son is the worst one.”

Drake spent the next 12 days in that room. I could go on about the tests he had, the meetings with doctors we had, the talks with the nurses, the meeting with a local organ donation company (my husband and I are organ donations and we wanted information in case Drake did not make it).

No matter the tests, the meetings, the discussion – the tears, the anger, the silent screams; the end result would never change.

You see our son was

BRAIN DEAD.

Goodbye

The lack of oxygen he endured while he was stuck inside me caused brain damage, he would never breathe on his own, the doctors gave us 2 options:

  • Allow him to stay on the ventilator and allow his body to deteriorate and die.
  • Pull him off life support and allow him to die in our arms surrounded by love.

My husband and I talked for many hours – we made our decision out of love. Love for our son. We had no idea what pain he may have been experiencing.

We chose to say goodbye, to allow him to go, to relieve him of pain.

At 12 days, 12 hours old, we pulled Drake from life support. He lived another 4 hours before he finally passed away in my arms.

This was 7 years ago and I think about him every day.

 

Thank you to Marisa of Life by the Dreams for sharing Drake’s story.

neonatal

Baby Drake

Capture Your Grief

Capture Your Grief 2017 – Meaningful Mantra

Life

Finding my Mantra. I haven’t been well mentally recently, life has felt quite overwhelming. I end up being in tears, and there hasn’t been a week recently where I have seen it through without a tear or two.

Not because of Melody, but because there have been times where I feel that I am failing everyone around me, making me feel less about myself. I want to achieve so much; I wanted to pay an interest in my children’s activities, so I became a committee member. The need to help people and raise awareness in memory of our daughter to make sure other people felt supported and less alone like we did.

As I fail to take care of myself I end up letting people upset me, in ridiculous ways, ways where I wanted to leave the job I have fallen in love with. Walk away from volunteering with the children’s activities, to the point of crying and not wanting to leave the house.

Why?

Then it takes me to get to this point and question; how can I get upset by these insignificant people, when I have managed to carry on breathing after our daughter died? That is what they are to me they’re insignificant; yet I still let them get to me. I have made mistakes in the past, and I am only human but I deserve to be happy and loved too. I certainly don’t deserve to be hurt the way people think it is acceptable to do so.

 

So, I need to choose to not give up. To take better care of me emotionally, step away from these people, but it is hard. I don’t want to change who I am and become rude or nasty; I swear a lot but I am not a fan of confrontation; but I do need to stop letting them make me feel this way, because let’s face it if they thought twice about how much they upset people they’d not do it. Much more about them than me.

My Meaningful Mantra

So, I guess my Mantra should be to breathe for me. Not to waste any more tears on anyone who doesn’t deserve them. Most definitely DO NOT GIVE UP

 

meaningful Mantra. Keep going

Keep Going.

Melody and Me.

Capture Your Grief 2017 – Sunrise

Capture Your Grief

 

cyg

Capture Your Grief Project 2017 By Carly Marie

 

Here we are again, with this annual Capture your grief project; once which I first joined back in 2012.

A project which helps bring the taboo of baby loss to the front of people’s minds, how many of us are effected by the loss of a baby or child.

My project is in memory of Melody, but I will also be mentioning my pregnancy losses too.

Sunrise

There isn’t much of a pretty Sunrise where I am today; there rarely ever is. It is grey and miserable looking out there.

The day she was born, back in February 2012 the sun shone, it was a beautiful spring day from what I could see from my bed. From that day onwards the sun remained until not long after her death; once her “celebration” had finished it rained for pretty much days afterwards.

When we spent days in the town in which her hospital was, we’d walk to the shops I would get sun burnt in March, I was wearing vest tops and flip flops. It seemed bizarre that we had this glorious weather so early on in the year.

 

Days

We have had 2009 sunrises without her, 2009 days where we haven’t kissed her warm face, touched her warm skin, given her a cuddle. Seeing it written down as days, it seems such a long time ago; today it is five years and six months since we walked into the hospital and left different people, yet we hadn’t had surgery or an accident. We had watched our daughter die.

Different

 

Nothing was going to be the same again. Though we didn’t expect how different we would be, how different people would be too. Meeting new friends, losing old friends, this tiny five week old baby had changed everything.

 

Capture Your Grief Sunrise

 

Melody and Me

 

Capture Your Grief 2017.

The Butterfly Awards, a shortlisting.

For the second year running I have been nominated and shortlisted for a Butterfly Award.

The Butterfly Awards are a prestigious evening to celebrate the work which individuals and groups do to support families of babies and infants who died.

I have been shortlisted in the blogger category.

It is strange to want to try and win such an award, because really it isn’t about winning this item, because my baby died; but for me it is to get her recognised as a person. To get her story told.

Awareness

During our time we hit many things, Hyperemesis, Antenatal Depression, Early Pre-Eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, premature birth, IUGR,  life in the NICU, her death the Sepsis, the protocols in which should have been in place, which weren’t All of these things I can raise awareness for.

So for me it isn’t the award itself, by her name coming to the surface, Neonatal Death and Post Neonatal death getting a mention.  My work as an author and her Mum; I can bring awareness to these things. To help support others going through any of the above and of course the loss of their precious babies.

Please find The Butterfly Awards section on my blog, to take a look at my profile and video.

Thank you

Melody’s Life mattered. She was here; she lived. She just couldn’t stay.

Melody and me logo, which is a heart with an adult and child hand,