We Remember with Love the Babies who do not Live to Grow up Amongst us

In memory ofPart 4: Deja vu

We found out we were pregnant with our second child  5 months after losing our first one.  I was as scared as I was excited. Elijah’s autopsy results hadn’t given us any conclusive answers which meant there was no reason for us to be fearful but we were. We hoped that the whole vomiting thing was something that was exclusive to the first pregnancy but when I vomited in the middle of a major road near our house at exactly 6 weeks along I almost cried. I thought ‘here we go again’.

At the time I was working for a major insurance company in Australia. Money was a bit tight because John was studying to become a lawyer and was only working one day a week. I had used up all my sick leave on the previous pregnancy and as soon as I accrued a day I would take it immediately. I was just so tired, sick and weak. When we surpassed the gestation period of Elijah (15 weeks) I started to relax a little. I was used to feeling terrible but there was this one day when I felt so yucky that I used up one of my precious days of sick leave and stayed home. I felt this huge pressure down between my legs. We lived 2 blocks away from the Mercy Hospital in East Melbourne so I decided to walk myself to the Emergency Room. In hindsight it was a foolish decision. I didn’t drive because we didn’t have a car and no one lived close enough to us to drive me. I also didn’t want to be a drama queen and phone an ambulance.

While I was walking to the hospital I had this feeling that the baby was going to fall out of my body and when I told that to the triage nurse she looked at me like I was stupid. I must admit I downplayed it because I felt like I was being a bit overly cautious because of our first experience. Anyway I sat in the emergency room for three hours waiting to be seen by a doctor. I remember a lady coming in an hour later with a headache being ‘triaged’ before me. I think they were hoping I would give up and go home. The pressure seemed to get worse and worse. Finally I got taken in. I repeated to another nurse that I felt like the baby was falling out of my body and she told me that was impossible. No one had actually done a physical examination of my nether regions. I begged the nurse to ‘just take a look.’ I was told a doctor would be around to see me soon. By this time John had arrived. When the doctor came I felt so stupid repeating my whole ‘I feel like the baby is falling out of my body’. I could see the doubt on his face. When he finally took a look, I saw his ‘doctor composure’ swan dive. He told us that the baby was hanging out my body still in the amniotic sac and that would have to try to push the baby back in and then I would have to have emergency surgery to sew my cervix up. I felt relieved I was right but sad that they were wrong. The doctor said that there was a danger that the waters could break very easily at this point because of the over exposure the sac had experienced to the air, as this weakens the integrity of the sac. I wanted to punch the nurse in Emergency who made me wait 3 hours without doing an internal exam.

They managed to push the baby back into my uterus and I was rushed into surgery. The surgery went well but immediately following I had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic and I started to vomit violently. The pressure on the already weak amniotic sac was too much and my waters broke. I was taken to a small room and the cervical suture that had just been put in was removed so I could deliver the baby. While I am not a catholic we chose a catholic hospital as they are bound by their beliefs to support the sanctity of life and they will only end the life of a baby if the mother’s like is at risk. I carried this baby for two more weeks coming into the hospital everyday to get a blood test to see if my uterus had become infected. At the first sign of infection they would induce labour. As per the first pregnancy my body went back into labour. I knew I had to be admitted to hospital when I could grab a hold of his tiny little foot. I delivered my second son Max Douglas Warren with just John in the room. I lost so much blood that I almost had to have a transfusion.

We had a memorial service for him and so many people came that there was not enough seats in the chapel for them all. It was the saddest thing I have ever attended. This is an excerpt from the memorial service pamphlet:

 Words of Reflection

Our time together was short,

but our touch enduring.

The love you gave me

was sufficient for a lifetime,

such is our bond.

Your special gift to me,

Mum and Dad,

was my birth.

My special gift to you

is the strengthening of

your love for each other.

The tears you now cry

are meant to flow.

I am still yours.

When you feel alone

remember my look and be joyful.

When you feel despair

look for my star

and I will be there.

I am yours, your little one.

Max Douglas Warren

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxo

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