WARNING: This is a detailed account of the day our son died, with pictures of him in special care. Please do not read it if it might affect you.
Tuesday 17th October 2006 was the worst day of my life. Our son was dying and it was the day we decided we had to let him go.
The previous day i had woken up in the early hours with a massive haemorrhage and delivered Zane by crash c-section. He weighed 8lb 12oz, but had to be whisked away to special care and received blood transfusions right away. The haemorrhage wasn't my blood you see, it was his. I'd been sitting on a time bomb of a little-known condition called Vasa Praevia (www.vasaprevia.com / www.vasapraevia.co.uk). When i bled it wasn't my blood i was loosing, it was his. When my membranes broke, so did the fetal blood vessels that were running through the membranes just on the inside of my cervix. It was undiagnosed, so he didn't stand a chance. If i had been prenatally diagnosed he would have been delivered at 35 weeks and would still be here today.
Yesterday was his birthday. DH and i bought a cake and some candles and had a slice to eat before we went to bed. We never let the occasion pass without doing something symbolic to mark it, but to us his birthday is no more or less painful than any other day. Our little boy is not with us and we feel it every day, in many different ways.
At two years old he would be walking and talking and causing me to tear out my hair no doubt. He would be at that cute stage where everything is wonderful to him - the stage that dads in particular look forward to.
It's been 868 days since we started trying for a family and we had no idea it would be this hard to achieve. When we started we considered infertility and miscarriages, but we never dreamed that something like this would happen to us. You just never expect to be the one that everyone hears about and feels sorry for. It's a cliche, but sometimes it really does feel like a nightmare that you can't wake up from. Everyone has those dreams when they're pregnant - the ones where you loose the baby. Then you wake up and you still feel that pain inside, that deep hurt because your baby has gone. It takes a moment or two to realise that it was just a dream. Maybe your baby kicks you to remind you that s/he's still there and then the relief comes crashing in. A respite! You might feel so affected by the dream that you weep with thanks that it's not true. That doesn't happen for me. I wake up, knowing that it's not a dream. No relief is coming for us.
Two years ago today we made the heartbreaking decision to take our son off the life support machine and let him die. He had already been brought round from heart failure and we knew that with the amount of blood he had lost and the seizures he had suffered, even if he did survive his quality of life would be severely reduced. His organs were all failing and the heart failure was his body telling us that he couldn't go on.
We sat waiting as the special care staff removed the wires and tubes from Zanes body. They picked him up from the table and handed him to me. This was the first time i had held my son and it wasn't how i had imagined for those nine months. No wet screaming bundle to hold to my breast. Our boy, the fighter who couldn't fight any longer. We carried him to a special room set aside for grieving parents and spent time with him. We held him and cried for him and not long after we got there, as Scott was holding him, he made a little sound - the only sound we had ever heard him make - and we think that's when he passed.
Life is so precious. We miss you so so much little man.
Thank you for sharing in his life.