Thursday, January 28, 2010


My dear, sweet baby.

Last time I wrote to you, I was still calling you Bean. Last time I wrote to you, I was still thinking you were likely a boy baby, and I was thinking that maybe, just maybe you could fight whatever was making you so sick. We'd had so many scans of you, looked into your private world so many times, that I could see, usually before the sonographer if it was going to go well, or not. I could pick out the tiny hole in your heart, I could see if the fluid was worse or better and I could tell if your anemia was within normal limits just by looking at the pulse on the screen, without the numerical analysis even being applied.

Effectively, last time I wrote to you, I was praying and believing that you'd make it. That you'd come home with us, after some hospital time and complete our family. I was praying more for Matt and Lucy, I think, that this might be possible because I never in a million years, thought i could stand to see them so upset, and hurt if you didn't.

Ariana, It's amazing how things can change in an instant. I still am slightly shocked at how quickly you were born, at how a routine check to make sure you were moving and reacting properly caused a flurry of activity, phone calls, forms to sign and then ultimately, the moment of your birth, where you were taken from my body, leaving me empty, and terrified that I'd never see you again.

Deep down, we all knew you were one very sick, little princess. I was so excited when they told me you weighed in at 1.2 kilos. That seemed amazing to me! Our scans had you sitting at 850 grams just two days earlier, we were hoping to wait until you weighed over 1 kilo before we delivered you - to give you the best possible chance we could. But then they found the fluid, sweetheart it was everywhere, under your skin, in your tummy, around your head.. you were so swollen. We quickly realised you did only weigh around 850 grams, that the rest was the fluid you were retaining. We were stunned, never on a single scan did you show any signs of skin oedema. Ever. We'd seen you just two days earlier, your amniotic fluid levels were non existent, which was scary but you were looking strong and healthy! There was no sign of fluid in your tummy, and the anemia was stable. Everything looked great, except for the AFI.

If we had known then, that it was your kidney function that caused it, I would have begged for a C-section immediately.I would have tied myself to the bed in the operating room, I swear princess, I would have done anything and everything to get you out, to start treatment, to try and save you.

But we didn't know. The doctor didn't tell us. He said to wait and watch. And we trusted him, like always, we trusted what he was telling us was the truth, and that he knew. There were never any guarantees with you baby girl, every single day with you was a blessing, an answered prayer, but that he probably knew, and thought it not as important as it turned out to be - well mummy has trouble with that sometimes.

Your Daddy and I are trying Ariana, we're trying so hard to be happy, to keep life moving onwards, to stay open and honest with each other about how we're feeling, and if we're struggling. But sweetheart, having had you and then lost you, things just feel strange. We'll never forget you, but some days its almost like you were never here. It seems terrible to say, and I hate to admit it, but it happens. The three of us have been a three for so long, that not having a fourth member of our family some days just seems normal. It's never going to be normal that you died. And I'll always miss you, miss the opportunities, the hopes for the future. Other days, you're all I can think about. I spend hours looking at your photos, wishing that you were still here, even for just one more minute so I could hold you, and tell you that I love you so deeply that I don't know what to do with the emotions when you aren't here to feel them.

I feel like we, you and I, cheated Lucy. Princess, I could never blame you for being sick. And I could never blame you for being in heaven, where you so clearly are meant to be. But Lucy misses you so desperately. She wanted a baby for so long. For so many months we were trying to have a baby, then for so many more we were trying to keep you. To have shipped her off to various family members, extra days at childcare and hospital appointments, only to come home empty handed, without the baby that we all cherished and dreamed of, seems cruel. She knows your in heaven. But she's still so proud of you. She tells old ladies that she's a big sister. And of course she is, she always will be, but you, her little sister are in heaven. It feels empty to be a big sister without a little sister to cuddle, to love and guide.

Baby girl, your death certificate came last week. We didn't expect it to come so soon, especially since we don't even have a copy of your birth certificate yet. Its all backwards, and It's a little hard to handle. We thought that the autopsy results would have to be back, before we got the death certificate. Apparently, a death certificate just shows what the doctors decide is wrong with you. Yours says that you died of high potassium levels due to acute renal failure, resulting in Hydrops and a massive brain bleed. My hands were shaking as i opened the envelope - I wasn't expecting the death certificate to come, but somehow I knew what it was. And I was scared of what it might say.

It's no secret Ariana, that we let you go. That your Daddy and I asked them to turn off the ventilator, to let you relax and go peacefully to heaven. We honestly believe that we did the right thing by you, but just lately, I've been wondering.

Did we do the right thing by God? Maybe you can ask him for us, and maybe you can ask him to let us know. Because in the past month I've been re-hashing everything in my head over and over, looking at symptoms online, trying to figure out what happened, what went so wrong, and why you had to leave us. You mummy is the kind of person who has to have all the information, all the details. So this waiting, and not knowing is quite frustrating.

Your daddy and i both really want to know what happened to you. We want to know for selfish reasons, we want to know why our baby died, what the underlying cause was. But not just because we want to know why you left. But because, as soon as we know, we want to have another baby.

You can't, and you won't ever be replaced. Sweetheart, I did every single thing I could think of to help you. Tablets, resting, excessive amounts of water. I stopped working and stayed home, I avoided cleaning products, I rested on my left side. I ate excessively to try and help you get bigger. You name it, I tried it. But nothing worked. Nothing saved you. I couldn't save you. I have to come to terms with what happened to you, I have to come to terms with being a family of Four, and then a family of three again.

We want another baby. You'll always be our second child. But we need a baby in our arms. To help us heal, to grow our family. The thought of coming up to your birthday without a baby in my arms is devastating to me. As soon as we're able, we want to try again. We promised you, we would go on, we would live, laugh and be happy. And this is how we can do that. Know we love you, we always will. But even though we love you, we have to move forward and live again. It's not too soon. It's the right time for us. You can't be replaced, but we need to do this for us.

Rest easy sweet princess, and say Hi to your brothers and sister for us. We miss all of you terribly.

Love Mummy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tam you are amazing and I am sure Arianna, is very proud of you and her daddy and big sister...I think she will always know she will forever be your 2nd child and forever remembered and loved...I hope one day soon you guys get a baby #3 to take home and complete your family...and that when they grow up they know all about their 2nd big sister who gave everyone hope and made everyone think how hard some peoples lives guys are amazing and hope all your dreams come true...hope this isnt worded wrong its suppose to be amaze me and I think its so brave you sharing your story! All the best!