Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Happy Birthday, Will


Seven years ago, my first sweet son was placed gently into my eager arms.
Seven years ago, this precious little bundle made me a mother for the first time.
Seven years ago, I was privileged to cradle this little man as soon as he entered the world.
Seven years ago, I was privileged to hold my baby boy and sing to him as, just fifteen minutes later, he quietly left this world for a better one.

Seven years.

I couldn't tell you what I was doing on September 9th, eight years ago.

But seven years ago - I remember every single detail of that day.

I remember what I wore as we drove to the hospital.
I remember sitting with Pete and Mum and Dad, doing puzzles, waiting to be called into theatre.
I remember walking towards the anaesthetic room in my dressing gown, acutely aware that this was the last time I'd walk anywhere with Will inside me.
I remember the feeling of panic as the spinal block took effect, and I could no longer feel Will's kicks - I had to keep my hand on my tummy until I was in theatre, so I could still feel him moving.
I remember a feeling of total peace as I was wheeled into theatre with Pete beside me.
I remember one of the staff holding Will up for me to see as they took him to the table to check him over and give him a blast of oxygen.
I remember calling over to them, asking 'Is he stillborn?' and hearing the answer back - 'No, he's ALIVE'.
I remember that moment when my boy was placed onto my chest, and he curled up in my arms and clung to my finger.
I remember the hushed silence in the operating room as I held him - I told him that we loved him so much, that we were so proud of him for coming so far, and that his Nanny and Grandpa were waiting just outside to meet him too.
I remember knowing that every single second counted, and must not be wasted.
I remember singing two little lullabies to Will - two songs my mum had sung to me when I was a child, and that I had sung to Will every night as he grew inside me.
I remember the peace and calm in that room. There was no panic, no fear, no shouting - just a quiet welcome for our boy.
I remember an anaesthetist, with tears in his eyes, gripping my shoulder and whispering: 'I'm not supposed to have an opinion about these things, but I just wanted to say I really feel that you've done the right thing'.
I remember the nurse listening to Will's chest a little while later, and telling us that she couldn't hear a heartbeat.
I remember telling her 'That's fine - we know.'
I remember holding my precious little boy, drinking him in - stroking his chubby, peach-fuzz cheeks and his soft strawberry blond hair.
I remember wiping his nose, and feeling like a 'proper' mum.
I remember feeling complete.

Some people asked me afterwards how I had managed to smile on the photographs... simple - it was one of the happiest days of my life.

We hadn't known whether Will would make it through birth alive - but he did. He even got an Apgar score of 3. I know in normal circumstances this would be BAD news, but for us it felt like such an achievement in the face of insurmountable odds.

Will was born at 1pm, and we had him with us for 12 hours afterwards.
I didn't cry at all that day, until we had to hand him over to the nurse and say goodbye.

I had to go to that same hospital this morning to return Charlie's holter monitor. It didn't occur to me until I was standing in the concourse that I was in the very place where Will was born, exactly seven years later.
It's funny - I guess some people might hate to return to the place where their baby died, but I don't. For me, it isn't the place where Will died - it's the place where he lived.

Happy Birthday darling boy. We love you.

Seven years?

It feels like yesterday.


Jamyama said...

happy birthday sweetheart, keep up the good work, you're the best guardian angel a little brother could ask for. lots and lots of love kelly xxxx

Greg and Heidi said...

Beautiful! Always thinking of you guys. You are so strong...

Verna said...

Belated Happy Birthday to Will, thanks to your Mommy and Daddy people like us have hope!

Abi said...

Birthday love being sent to Will xxx What a beautiful, personal moment you shared here. Lots of love abi x