Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Saying hello and goodbye - part 2

An hour had passed when the midwife returned to the room pushing the hospital's bassinet/cot. I could see a tiny baby in it and she introduced us to our angel. I couldn't have cried if I tried when I laid eyes on him, he was so small and precious. I felt so much love and pride the moment I saw him I just had to smile and "oooh" and "ahhh". 

Sebastian weighed a tiny 140g, and even though the midwife advised not to hold him as he is very fragile, I picked him up and he fit perfectly in my hands (he was the same length as a Samsung Galaxy due to his shortened limbs). His eyes were closed and he had the tiniest little ears and nose you could ever imagine. But my favourite part was his mouth. It was open and his tongue could be seen. The sides of his lips had not completely joined so he had a gorgeous, open mouthed cheeky smile. This was the same reassuringly smile I saw in the ultrasounds a week earlier; this smile was what got me through our anniversary weekend and this smile I knew would get me through the rest of my life. I had never seen anything look so peaceful, cheekily happy and beautiful in such a small package. 

His skin was a little translucent, and bloodshot in some areas, it was soft but sticky (for lack of a better word) and under the gorgeous blankets was his little body wrapped in plastic (to prevent the blankets from sticking to him and peeling skin).   His arms were very short, and his hands faced backwards with his fore arms bent in the middle. It looked so incredibly painful and his legs were not any better. They were short and also bent in places that wouldn't normally bend. They were constricted and curled up as if he was crossing his legs - I was Informed that this is why I never felt him kick when he was inside me as it was likely both his arms and legs were restrained by his muscles and ill formed bones and permanently were in this position. Just like his left hip bone, his left leg was broken and his bone protruded the skin - I prayed he felt no pain and that this occurred after he passed. 

He had gorgeous little hands and feet with the tiniest of nails on the end of each finger and toe. His fingers were an identical shape to his dad's, which we all loved and were fascinated by. The midwife was not able to get a handprint due to his wrists forcing his hands backwards and being too awkward to Manoeuvre without breaking. However we got one foot print, you can see it here: 

His chest was tiny and his abdomen was very large and round. We could see his tiny ribs through his skin as they sat tightly against the bulging abdomen. 

His head was covered with a tiny blue beanie that was donated to the hospital, and underneath we were Warned that his head had been damaged. The lack of ossification of his skull meant that his head was not protected and the skin had split during delivery. I did not take his beanie completely off as based on the mucus and particles on the inside of his beanie we were sure that his brain would be exposed - something we weren't prepared to look at. 

We spent nearly 8 hours with him that night, we sat mostly alone in the room talking to him, taking photos of him, holding him, kissing him and insisting he knew he was loved. We sang him a song, apologised to him and even explained to him about what would happen to his body in the next few days at his autopsy. We begged him to be not afraid. 

James and I were both provided with dinner and we sat next to Sebastian's lifeless body and had what we referred to as our first and last family dinner. We couldn't really stomach any food, but it was important to us that we still showed him what our family would be like with him. We talked to him about our hopes and dreams, and who in heaven he could trust.

The weight of the whole situation had really hit James, and as I sat stroking Sebastian's body, smiling at him and thanking him for making me a better person, James couldn't articulate any words, he sat crying and shaking his head, the only thing he could say was "this is my little boy, he is my little guy...". We hugged each other and cried over Sebastian's body. 

My family later came in to meet Sebastian. They each said hello as they fought back tears. They each tried to be strong but they were all hurting. My brother and his wife also came to the hospital and were just as sad over the loss as all of us. 

They all spoke to Sebastian and took photos of us holding him. We each told him again how much we loved him and how special he was, especially being the first grandchild and nephew in the family. 

My dad gave him a tiny bunny rabbit and we sat it next to the bear James had previously bought. We explained to dad why a rabbit was the perfect toy given our trip to the beach 2 days prior.
(The third bear was donated to us by another family, you can read about it in the next post).

One by one our family left, they each said their goodbyes and wished him well on his journey to heaven. 

We organised the hospital's priest to come and visit, he arrived at about 10.30pm that night. It was just as I had started to breakdown and sob as the reality hit me that this was my little boy and i will never see him again. The priest blessed Sebastian and we each stood around the cot and said a prayer, blessing his little forehead with our fingers whilst cuddling each other for comfort. The priest asked for God to give James and I strength as moving forward we would need it.. 

Time had gone so quickly that evening and before we knew it, it was nearing midnight. I couldn't believe my time with Sebastian was nearly over, I felt like it was too soon. James and I tried to fight our tiredness as we were determined to stay with him for as long as possible, but we eventually pressed the buzzer to inform the midwife she could now take him away. We wanted to stay with him longer but we could barely keep our eyes open. I had spent that whole evening sitting with my chin against the edge of the cot and admiring and remembering every little bit about him  , I would never be ready to say goodbye. But as the midwife took him away, I realised he was gone. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I struggled to breathe as I whispered for the last time "I'm sorry Sebastian, I love you" as I clutched James in my arms and not taking my eyes off Sebastian as he was wheeled out of the room. 

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