Part 1 HERE
Part 2 HERE
Part 3 HERE
Part 4 HERE
We waited for them to turn on the machine, that we thought, would take our baby's life. I was tense, almost vomiting. I looked at my husband and shook my head and mumbled.
"She's not going to make it, is she?"
He just shook his head and looked down.
My baby, my beautiful baby girl...oh Maddie, you haven't even smiled yet! You were nearly there. Maybe a couple more days and you would have been there. Now you'll never get to smile. What a loss of such a beautiful life. All the things you won't get to do. My body is about to explode.
I don't recall even breathing when the ventilator was turned on. Would it take seconds, minutes, hours?
After minutes her sats began to drop. Only one per cent at first, then another and another. I tried to remain hopeful...maybe they would go up. She may just be adjusting to the new machine. Her sats steadily dropped as the hours passed. Several emergencies occurred when her sats dropped down to the fifties (they should be %100). The doctors would race in and frantic drug episodes would follow. I really learnt to appreciate adrenalin that night, amongst other drugs, that would pull her through each time. At one stage, Maddie had 14 different drugs being pumped into her. I am generally apprehensive about any drug. What are the side effects...you know thw drill. But not this night. If there was a drug that could prolong her life, and gave us a glimmer of hope, I wanted her to have it.
The night becomes agony. I can barely breathe. She is not going to make it. I panic! Oh God! I don't even have a photo of all my 6 children together. No memory of our family with the eight of us. How can we afford a beautiful funeral for her? I should have joined that funeral fund.
Her oxygen levels were still dropping. I won't express my milk tonight..I have kept it up the whole time they have been sick. How will I tell the other kids their baby sister has died?
More hours of agony watching her die slowly pass...I don't think I can handle the pain of it any longer, and momentaril,y, it crosses my mind o tell the doctors to just let her go. Just turn off the machines and let her go in peace. ( A thought which I now suffer so much guilt over.)Then I tried to convince myself that she wasn't as bad as I thought. So I should let her fight. She's too beautiful to die.
Dr Anne appears. It's ten to three in the morning.
"Are you religious?"
"I don't know...why?"
"Would you like us to call someone so you can have Maddie christened?"
Oh God! I don't want to think of it!I looked at Raymond and started sobbing. I shook my head. That would mean defeat. That I've given up. I can't do that! I don't want to make it real...my baby girl dying...I couldn't do it..I couldn't face the reality of it yet...
"No thank you..." I spoke for both of us. I couldn't admit defeat yet. I wasn't ready for it.
"OK then...do you want anything...a cuppa?"
"Yes thanks..."..then I realise things must be bad if a dr is offering me a cuppa.
I want to call my sister and get her to bring the other kids up so they can see Maddie one more time...alive...so they can say goodbye to their little sister. I suddenly want all my family to come and say goodbye to Maddie before she dies. Don't be silly...it's too late..think medically...stay detached...be positive...
I ask," Will this prolonged low oxygen have an effect on her brain?"
"Let's just get through the night first."
More confirmation things are bad.
I need to sing to her. I love to sing lullabies to my babies..I might never get the chance to do it again. I'm anxious and slightly embarrassed. A nurse is close by typing her observations of Maddie into a computer. It's now or never. I walk up to her crib She looks terrible. I so gently touch her forearm and bend, so my lips are close to her ear. This is the closest I have been to her in a very long time...she looks terrible...I begin to sob..
" Rain drops on roses....and whiskers on kittens..." I'm barely breathing. My voice is raspy, and I suddenly can't believe I am going to lose her. The tears are teaming down my face. One falls on her shoulder. I hope it didn't hurt her.
"Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens..." I hum the next bit..I can't finish...I look at her...I am never taking my eyes off her....
my goodness...I remember so vividly...
what a painful time....
until next time
part 6 will follow tomorrow...the last part of the twins story....
lots of it