Her Dad phoned in as he always did. I don’t know why; but I never liked phoning in, he was far braver than me. She wasn’t feeling herself at 11pm the night before, but after the past week, it was kind of expected. They were going to wait and see for the Dr at 2am.
I was just waking up when he came into the room to wake me to say that Melody was feeling a little poorly over night – they were considering placing her on to ventilation. To me that wasn’t feeling a little poorly; this was something more.
I leapt from my bed and we tried to decide what we would do. We had my older two children; we had plans to visit just me and my eldest daughter. It was then we decided to get their Dad to have them while we went to see what was happening. We fully intended on returning to collect them to go and visit her.
We had a phone call asking if we were going to make our way over to the hospital, we said yes.
Dropping the children off as soon as we could, ensuring them that we’d be back soon, we would all get to see her later. Another phone call came; asked us how long we would be.
My husband and I talked on the way there, we were fully expecting them to tell us that they were going to transfer her to another hospital; they were just waiting for us to maybe sign forms. That is all we were expecting.
Reached the car park, where I placed a Facebook status, asking for positive vibes and wishes for this little girl, who we thought was going to be moved.
We buzzed ourselves in, the atmosphere was different; even before we had walked into the actual unit – something was off. We entered the room, saw boards around one bed; then headed the opposite direction to where she had been the day before. She wasn’t there. Where was she?
She was indeed in the bed space behind the boards. There were no other parents, there seemed minimal staff; we stood by the nurses’ station and was greeted by her paediatrician.
“Melody became very unwell overnight. It is expected that she won’t survive.”
What the actual fuck?!!
My legs turned to jelly, I hit the ground but I remained upright – somehow. She was still talking, I couldn’t quite tell what she was saying; I just looked towards the screens. She was in a bed space that she was never in, even when she was first born – she was now in the highest of point of intensive care.
I couldn’t stand the sound of her voice any longer, I wanted to slap her, grab her and scream in her face to tell her to stop – to stop lying, to just shut up. I needed us to be with Melody. We walked behind the screens, to find a nurse performing chest compressions. She’d had her heart restarted five times in the final hours.
“Do you want to hold her?”
Of course, I did – I didn’t want to let her go. How was I supposed to let her go? How exactly was my heart supposed to beat?
They gently lifted her from the incubator, leads and tubes covered her tiny little body; this tiny little ventilator up against her face. How were we supposed to do this?
Melody was gently placed in my arms. She was so peaceful, she didn’t look like she was dying.
I asked, begged, in fact, to be told that it would be some sick April Fool’s Joke. I looked around at each of the faces, none could make eye contact – none could tell me that they were lying; nobody could tell me that it was all going to be okay. Nobody. How was it ever going to be okay again?
I passed her to my husband, I couldn’t hold her; I am her Mum I was meant to protect her, I was supposed to do everything in my power to keep her safe; it was my one job. I couldn’t just sit and feel her life leave me, I couldn’t just watch helplessly as her restless body took its final breath.
The ventilator was removed, they were pressing the end, watching as we nodded to say stop. I didn’t want them to stop, how were we meant to say stop?! I knew I needed to hold her; I asked for her back, I whispered in her ears, desperately hoping it would help or that she would hear me. Begging her to stay, promising that I loved her, if I loved her more would she stay. Begged hard until I could no longer find the words.
They stopped, the little piece of plastic was removed; we held her together. We cried; they cried. She remained silent and peaceful. I could hear them whisper that she was gone – but she wasn’t she was still in our arms, she was STILL in our arms; she hadn’t gone anywhere.
Her heart stopped and everything changed.
She was meant to be our Rainbow Baby; our honeymoon baby. Instead, she became the baby who never grew up. Our missing note.
The start of something new.