Friday, 20 May 2011

Cate eight years ago.

Her impending birthday is making me nostalgic.

Cate came into this world at 6.12am on a Sunday morning. I had spent the day before, against my doctors orders, carrying around my cousins newborn daughter. I was on strict bed rest. Not to leave the hospital or walk further than to the elevator and back in case I went into labour. My waters had broken weeks earlier and it was only a matter of time!

It was routine that Dean would finish work each night and come and sit with me for a few hours before going back home alone, but on this particular night, he was going to a birthday celebration for one of his friends. I called him at about 9pm to tell him I'd been feeling funny for a few hours and that the midwives were concerned. They had medicated me to try and stop the contractions. At 1pm I called him in to meet me in the labour ward. Our parents were called and came straight away.

I was terrified. The funny thing was that I was in a maternity hospital, my membranes had ruptured, and nobody thought to give me any anti-natal classes! So screaming it was! I'd had a fever, so there was no epidural allowed. So screaming it was! I do remember being given the gas and Dean constantly saying to me, "suck - don't blow into the tube!".

My parents and Dean's mum arrived to come in and see me screaming. Mum remembers walking out at 6.10 and the twins were born at 6.12am. Cate had Evie in her arms and then it was quiet. No more screaming, no more people. I was left in the room, alone. Cate was taken to the intensive care unit with Dean and I was left to cradle my baby who kicked me and lived off me for 6 months. Who died in my womb and will be forever in my heart. She looked exactly like Cate, but smaller.

Leaving the hospital was extremely difficult, we hadn't even had our first cuddle. I was expressing milk every three hours alone in the cold and dark. I had been through birth, life, death and now I was separated from the only thing I had left to show for it. We had to learn how to look after a premature baby. By the time she came home, I joked that we could have almost given her a blood test ourselves.

Cate was not a normal premmie. She improved in leaps and bounds. She was to be monitored for 5 years regularly by paediatricians but after a year, was told she didn't need to come back. There were moments though. I remember one day, walking out of the nursery and refusing to go back after she turned blue in my arms. I was devastated that she would stop breathing while I was holding her. I was her mum.

We decided that we would always talk about Evie and that we would blow out a candle on Cate's birthday cakes every year for her too. She is mentioned by the girls constantly. She is included in their family drawings. Over the years she had gone from being another girl lined up next to us, to being an angel in the sky, to being a cross in the sun. They have never asked for details, but know that she died in mummy's tummy and that she looks just like Cate. One day when they have children of their own, we might show them photos of her. She wore a dress made specially for her. Cate wore an identical dress, cut and wrapped around all of the cords attached to her and her tiny body.

These are very sad memories, but to me they are also, beautiful ones. I don't know where we got the strength. I don't know what would have happened had we decided not to have the laser surgery. We might have ended up with two beautiful girls instead of one. We could have lost them both. Would we have still had a second, third or fourth child? We will never know. I am grateful for my beautiful children but feel that I will always feel a twinge of sadness for one I don't have. I do, however, have an angel to wake up to every day that shared her face and brings joy and delight to our lives every day.

2 comments:

  1. It's hard to explain how beautiful it is to hear Cate and the girls talk about Evie. And her friends know about her and know how important Evie is, Jazz often points out Evie's star to me. Lots of love to you all xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an incredibly sad/happy tale. Such joy and such loss all in one post. Am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Evie, but so happy that Cate is now eight!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

    ReplyDelete

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