Four years ago today we had been told that William had critical aortic valve stenosis.
It was a discovery by accident.
The neonatologist had come to us and said his heart was not beating properly but that they would give him medication to fix it. We had experienced a wonderful day with William awake and responding. I was hopeful that things were going to be alright.
Not to be.
The medication closed his only way of getting blood to his heart.
A mistake of great magnitude. I will always wonder why they didn’t do a cardiac ultrasound before they gave the medication.
They resuscitated him, intubated him and told us the news.
Then they transferred him out and we made the scariest road trip of our lives down to the Children’s Hospital.
We arrived just as they were setting him up but to me, he looked different.
Not there. Not present.
We were ushered to a small room while they finished up with our boy. We were exhausted.
A neonatologist came in. As soon as he introduced himself, I knew there was no hope. I knew him, this doctor. He had written many books and done much research on the importance of dealing with a dead baby. I knew it was over before it began and I wept. I wept so hard as I listened to the words coma and die explode from his mouth. He said William would never open his eyes again.
Not my boy! Not my son, not me, not us! No. This. Is. Not. Happening.
We went to look upon our child, this miracle, this boy and I knew that he was going to die.
I accepted it in all of it’s horrible reality, it’s bleakness. I looked at him and my mind started to work through all we needed to do…
and I felt awful.
While David refused to believe that William was going to lose his life, I knew he had already given up.
My baby, my poor baby.
And so, we did what we needed to do.
We still had not held him, tended to him as parents were supposed to. We would not feel his weight until the day that he died but we had to organise things.
We called David’s parents, who came with our minister.
I called my Mum, who was angry and my father who brought the girls down to Sydney for us.
I called my friend Anita and our midwife Carolyn and others who would slowly make the journey to Sydney to farewell our son.
When Anita arrived I let it all out. I killed him! I killed him. It’s my fault!
They hugged me. They all did. They held me tight as I hated myself, hated the doctors, hated the universe.
We had William baptised and the nurse had dressed him in a gorgeous gown.
He was given his name and given to God and as David and I held his hand and told him how much we loved him and thanked him for his strength and told him it was okay, we understood he needed to go away, he gave us a final miracle.
He opened his eyes.
He looked straight at me and then to David.
For seconds he held us to his memory and then his eyes closed, never to see our world again.
That one moment in time.
David and I will treasure it always.
William knew too, this was his last full day on earth and he wanted to say goodbye.