When our 12 day old newborn baby boy suddenly died, our world fell apart completely. We thought nothing else could make us feel worse than we did… Except here is our reality of the things that followed in the days after losing our son. Because obviously your baby dying isn’t enough to tip you over the edge anyway….
Im not sure what time it actually happened, but it was around 5pm when he couldn’t fight any longer. We had been told probably half an hour earlier (maybe even less) that our son was extremely poorly and would be getting moved to another hospital for a lot of treatment and extra care. Within another 5 minutes or so, I watched the heart monitor go from a normal rate all the way down to just 30bpm. I physically couldn’t watch any longer and felt myself completely detach from my baby. How could I just leave him there knowing he was dying, he was my baby, he needed me. Minutes after that, we were rushed into a little room away from our baby, who was desperately fighting for his life in resuscitation. We were just left there, thinking the worst (I knew myself before he actually died that it was going to happen, call it mothers instinct I guess). After what felt like a lifetime, the consultant appeared in this tiny room we were stood in. He came back two times. The second time it was to tell us there was nothing else they could do. That the machines were keeping Lucas breathing, but he could never survive without them. So that was it, our baby was gone. I can’t even remember how I reacted now but all I knew is I needed to be with my baby. I felt awful for pulling away from him when he needed me so much, in those last minutes of his life and we weren’t there with him. We went back into resus and there he was, laid there wrapped in an orange blanket looking oh so peaceful, just like he was sleeping. They passed me my baby, lifeless and still. I think that’s when it hit me the most. I was holding my beautiful boy knowing I would never see his eyes again, or hear the cute noises he would make as he slept. He was just so still. An angel, literally.
Family started arriving, all crammed into this tiny room. I didn’t speak to anybody. I just held my Lucas for hours on end tracing my fingers over his eyebrows, then down his tiny button nose. Taking him all in as I knew that I would never get the chance again. Then that’s when the harsh reality started happening. The police turn up. They tell us they are sorry, but they have to take our sons clothes away from us for testing, along with checking our car and going through our house to see if we had done anything to contribute to his death. If I had any energy whatsoever, I would have just screamed at them to stop. But I didn’t have anything at all, so I said nothing.
Later that evening the nurse came to take Lucas away. Just to dress him for us because we didn’t feel strong enough to do it ourselves. She brought him back to us after what felt like forever. He just looked as beautiful as he did when we he was born. We chose the same sleepsuit what we first dressed him in which had a giraffe on (that’s where our love of giraffes came from) and he was perfect. The nurse brought us back a memory box. We didn’t look in it for a few weeks but it was beautiful. A card which had his handprints and footprints inside, a tiny box which holds some of his hair & a little poem too. Then the time had come where we had to leave Lucas. It was awful. We laid Lucas on Andy just as he did when he was alive, cuddled into his chest for the last time. That’s how we said our goodbyes. We got the nurse to come and take our baby away after that. I couldn’t have walked away from him myself, knowing we were leaving him and would never see him again was bad enough. That was it.
The following day was one which is carved into my memory for the rest of my life. We cried ourselves to sleep that first night. As I started to wake up, it hit me. Part of me thought could all that have been a nightmare, but as I opened my eyes I remembered it was our reality, Lucas had gone. We had lots of visitors that day, I didn’t speak a word to any of them. Infact I didn’t move from the sofa all day. The doctor turned up that morning and reality hit again. There he was offering me tablets to stop my milk supply. My baby had gone so i didn’t need it any more. Just another kick in the teeth completely!!! And then when you think it can’t get any worse the baby and child death review panel turn up. Now I understand it’s their job but seriously?! Our baby died less that 24 hours ago and they just waltzed in wanting to know Lucas’ life story from birth to death. Basically trying to see if we did anything to him which contributed to his death, just as the police were too. It all felt so unreal, but unfortunately for us it was the harsh reality…..
The first weeks after that day are such a blur. I couldn’t tell you what happened next until the funeral nearly 3 weeks later.
So yesterday when it was the second anniversary since we lost Lucas, I found myself feeling strong instead of sad. When I look back at all that hurt and anger we had and the way we can’t even remember what happened because we needed to block it out of our minds… It amazes me that here we are today, two years on, stronger than ever and so blessed to have a little rainbow by our side. It’s not often I say it to myself but I am so proud of us. How we have survived the worst pain in the world and come out the other side. I’m just so grateful for all the amazing people in our lives who helped us get to where we are today. And of course our beautiful little Lucas for being the reason we carry on living. It’s all for you angel. Always.