3 years.

My daughter Lily was born still.

That’s what would have been my statement had we waited any longer. She was born blue and was resuscitated; because of her beginning without oxygen she suffered brain stem damage, she was frozen for 3 days to help heal her brain damage, the first time I held my baby girl she was 4 days old. But she was alive so I was grateful.

Weeks passed with so many tests, all with a negative conclusion and after having a feeding tube surgically placed into her gastro intestine we were able to take her home. What gets me is that even though they did 3 MRI’s and multiple other scans, they missed what would eventually kill her. That was her trachea. They were so close too, they found the holes in her heart, they found the valve that pumped the wrong way, all of these would need surgeries to be fixed but she needed to be bigger and stronger to endure them, had they looked an inch higher they would have seen her abnormal trachea.

The night Lily stopped breathing and I performed CPR on her plays out as a nightmare in my memory, for the longest time I wanted to move because every time I looked at that spot on the  floor where she lay, my heart stopped, but then we replaced the carpets with hardwood and I was sad that that was now gone too, so I knew I couldn’t leave the one place she had been. When they found out about Lilys trachea, the doctor phoned and told me she would need a tracheotomy to live- that’s a hole in her throat to breathe, he said she would never have a good life, would never speak, would never taste anything and would have a shortened lifespan because of it. That surgery was on top of the other 4 heart surgeries she needed. This one would now be 1rst though. He said I will do it if you tell me to but even on a healthy baby the chance of survival is slim. What the fuck do you say to that!? We had company downstairs that day, I didn’t go back down.

We went back to the hospital 1rst thing the next day probably our 100th drive then. I suffered from ptsd every time I got into the car after she died. 4 days later we signed a do not resuscitate order, they took out her breathing tube and we held her until she died 30 minutes later at 4:55 pm on February 18 2012. I am forever haunted by this. What if we did the surgeries? Most likely she wouldn’t have died in our arms but on a table. What if we accepted the transfer to Canuck Place? We probably would have had a nicer end of her life together as a family. What if she was born still? None of these traumatizing experiences would have happened, we would have still grieved but differently I imagine. The hardest, what if she continued to breathe, what if she was that 5% that survived.

So as life goes on, as we try to understand the why’s of it all, we want to grow, we hope to learn, we try to accept, we continue to live. We chose to remember.

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4 thoughts on “3 years.

  1. Although everyone’s situation is different, good or bad, the past is written in stone. Putting one foot in front of the other and carrying on is truly the best therapy. I also suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. I used to get flashes of slime and blood all over my face and a nerve hanging out of what was my eye. It threw me down a very dark path on and off for several years after. I constantly thought of all the what ifs. I was filled with anger and sadness and regrets. It’s never easy to exept the past for the first while. It took me years to be able to love myself again and just when I thought I was on the right track old feelings would come up and my feelings of self worth would drop down to nothing again. It’s been 17 years now since I lost my eye. In that 17 years I have had numerous people pass away. Mostly suddenly and unexpected. When I think about it. Life is really short and deeply precious. Time flies by and life runs it’s full course in the blink of an eye. Grief and loss and emotional and physical trauma can become like a second lifestyle if not delt with properly. Days become months, then years, fast as fuck and the whole time I was stuck reliving and questioning and scrutinizing Nov 23 1997.
    Now I have a far more powerful purpose than just being a professional past reflector. I try to live for all the people that don’t have the chance to still be with us. I take my time and I look at the sunsets. I take my time and I’ll ask you how your day was and meen it. I’ll help you if you fall and I’ll love you when you don’t love yourself. In life’s terrible and sudden tragedies there is a message of gratitude hidden deep within by focusing on the people we love and by bettering our selves we honour our existence and those who have passed. Your daughter sure was a lil cutie and It sounds like although she came in to this world having a tough time, she was able to spend it with someone that loved her very, very much. Whether you live to 2 or 200 when you go, that’s the greatest gift you could ever receive in your life. So on that note fresh wounds hurt and scars never go away but everyday is precious and I’ll continue to have gratitude for what I have and honor those that have passed by having good life filled with love for others and most of all for myself.sty focused on family and positive things.
    It gets less raw over time, trust me. Keep your head up.😊

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