Thursday, August 14, 2014

things i think of everyday

They are fragments, like shards of glass that seem to pierce my heart as they pass me, swirling around my mind and body.

My coat. I remember the coat, pants and shirt and the Converse All Stars I wore the day I went for That Scan.
It had my Baby On Board badge on it. It needed a dry clean, but I couldn’t be bothered to walk to the dry cleaners, as everything at that stage was a humungous effort.

Being at home before I left for the scan. Sitting propped up on my bed, lying flat would suffocate me; my back was constantly sore. Everything hurt. I hated being pregnant, it was hard with two.

Oh how I regret feeling that way so much.

How much I could wish to turn back the clock and enjoy my twin pregnancy. It was so special. How I wish I could’ve enjoyed it more, even though everything seemed to go wrong - from incessant itching, piles, not being able to breathe, an infection.

How I cried on the way to the scan on the bus. And I had no idea why I was crying, but it didn’t matter. I always cried; my emotions were everywhere.

How we were talking about the missing plane. Flight MH370 went missing that day. It was all over the news, headlining everything.

We sat in the waiting area waiting for the scan, talking about the news. Not our babies, the hospital, birth, because we had nothing to worry about, remember? I didn’t feel like anything was wrong.

How the lady who did our scan was a young American woman. With freckles.
She said the words that changed my life.

“I can’t find a heartbeat. I’m sorry.”

“I can’t find a heartbeat. I’m sorry.”

Minutes before this, we were laughing, hearing Sebastian’s heartbeat, joking about how they kicked each other all the time.

The room suddenly became very small, I started hyperventilating, everything was a blur, I was grasping onto the Brit for fear I’d fall off the bed, and I just started begging. Please no, please. No. PLEASE.
I felt like I was being asphyxiated.

The other scanner guy who had done all my scans previously came in for a second opinion. By now, I was hysterical.
People were talking to me. Lots of people, then no one for ages. Where was the fucking consultant? Hello, I need a third opinion here, I need to talk to someone with an actual medical degree, where the fuck were they?

Very slowly and very fast. I didn’t look at any faces. I looked at the floor, at the machines, bleeping. Was this hell?
I didn’t want to hear my choices, I wanted to freeze time; I wanted to black out.

I cried so much my face swelled up, so I could hardly open my eyes.

They attached me to a monitor machine. The reassuring sound of Sebastian's heartbeat, one little heartbeat pumping away.

Then someone told me that Sebastian wasn’t doing so well either. And that if his heartbeat didn’t increase within the next hour, they’d need to rush me to theatre.

Turns out he was sleeping.

Tons of that graph paper showing the squiggles, peaks and troughs of his heart.

They took me to a room. Millions of midwives, doctors, conversations, telling me things, I don’t remember.

I’d be in this room for a whole week. I’d be in another for another week.

I had no idea. They said I could go home if I really wanted to. Were they mad? I needed to know Sebastian would be alright, I needed to hear his heartbeat.

The Brit went home to get my hospital bag, that I’d packed two months prior.

There was a tall water bubble lamp in the room. One of those long tubes with bubbles and colourful lights. I stared at it for 4 hours without averting my eyes.

The weeping. It didn’t stop.

There was a chapel in the hospital.
I went in to talk to Molly. And God. An atheist talking to God. Asking that he look after my child.

A homeless guy was in there. I cried openly and then left.

A piano in the main area was open for anyone to play it. People would stop and play tunes. I’d hear it and cry. I didn’t want to let her go. The decision to wait a week until I would deliver them meant I had one week with Molly.

I am glad I didn’t deliver her straight away. I needed time with her. While I would constantly monitor Sebastian.

On that doppler machine, all day and night to ensure his heartbeat was regular. My brave little soldier, so strong, hanging in there, suddenly on his own.

The tussles with his sister suddenly coming to an end.

He is so strong and brave. And now too. He is such a strong little boy.

My husband sleeping in a chair, or on a thin mattress on the hospital floor, every night. Going to and from the hospital to our house twice a day to collect supplies and take a shower.

My mother arriving on an early flight from South Africa.

These moments are seared into my brain, They drift across my consciousness every day.

That lamp, my coat, my maternity jeans, my belly, the chapel, the heart monitor, the tissue box.

And then the day I knew I’d give birth, in the early morning. A flash of excitement, fear, knowing I’d meet my baby.

Crippling sadness knowing I’d need to say goodbye to my other baby. I’d mentally prepared for this day all week.

Being induced. How painful it was. Labour. The Brit leaving to grab a coffee while I was all fine and coming back an hour later to me mid-epidural as I howled and wailed from having full-on labour contractions.

How I still cannot believe this has all happened.

And how I look at my son with admiration. There are moments now, when he talks to himself in the early morning in his cot how I know he would be sitting there with his sister and they'd be talking to each other.


Flarkit said...


Unknown said...

My heart is so sore for you.

Unknown said...

Peas, my heart breaks for you. I'm so so sorry you lost Molly. xxx

Coffee and Books Cape Town said...

Sebastian is a miracle xx

Coffee and Books Cape Town said...

Sebastian is a miracle xx

Andrew said...

I've followed your blog for years with nothing but sheer admiration for the way in which you tackle this thoroughly confusing world, hard times and not. You're an inspiration.

Peas on Toast said...

Andrew that is such a nice thing to say. Thanks so much, it means so much.