have a new meaning for me since we lost Ariana.
When Matt and I decided to remove her life support, we asked everyone to come to the hospital to hold her and say goodbye. I spoke with the midwives, and asked them to organise with the NICU to move her into a private room. We wanted the privacy, to be able to cry and laugh and say goodbye, without worrying about upsetting other families who were visiting their sick children.
I also asked the midwives to make sure that all the staff who would be dealing with my care knew what was about to happen, to make sure they knew Matt would be staying the night with me (against hospital policy but he stayed almost every night anyway!), and just to make sure they went gentle with us.
I didn't notice it at first. Everyone who came into the room after Ariana was gone, was very very quiet. I expected that. They all said how sorry they were, and made sure to spend as little amount of time as possible. The door that they kept leaving open, now stayed closed. The curtains stayed closed. If i used the buzzer someone was there, almost immediately.
I thought the midwives had been very thorough in telling people. They hadn't. They hadn't said anything. The butterfly told the story.
Apparently, after we all went down to the NICU to say goodbye to our precious girl, they put a butterfly sticker on our door. The sticker tell's everyone that our baby has passed away, and that they should be careful, and compassionate with the people on the other side of the door. Our room was virtually soundproofed. We didn't have to hear babies crying. We didn't have to hear the hustle of the maternity ward. We weren't woken up for breakfast, they let us sleep. Everyone treated us like we were royalty, following our lead, being so kind, so careful and so lovely.
All because of a butterfly.
The NICU sent us a condolence card. I didn't expect it, but when i opened it, and saw the butterfly on the front of the card, I just smiled. Their amazing treatment of us, from day one to the end of our daughters short life, was recognised in a butterfly.
Butterflies dont stay long, but while they are here, they make me happy. They make me smile. And they help me remember my daughter. They encouraged compassion, love and kindness.
Who knew a butterfly could do so much?