I’ve never written about my boys’ deaths & subsequent birth. I feel like it’s something I should have done, even back when it was happening I knew I wouldn’t want to forget anything. But it was too hard to write about so I never did. As a result the memory is now slightly faded. Of course I’ve gone over the details a thousand times, trying to commit them to memory, but it seems each time I do another tiny detail slips away.
But here’s what I remember.
I remember the midwife searching for my boys’ heartbeats with the CTG machine. She thought she had found them a few times, but realised it was actually just my own – my heart was racing with anxiety, it was fast enough to be mistaken for theirs’, and got faster every second she couldn’t find them. I remember when she finally gave up, and called a doctor over instead.
I remember the doctor trying to tell me tactfully that he couldn’t find any hearts beating in there. He said they couldn’t be sure they were really gone until I’d had a scan, but he’d been using the Doppler his whole career and it hadn’t failed him yet, so there was little hope.
I remember the ultrasound technician. We’d seen him walking home from work on our way into the hospital – he’d clearly just been called back in. He was inexperienced, he’d scanned me once or twice before and been supervised because he was just learning. I’m not sure if we were the first lost he’d seen, but it sure seemed like it. He didn’t know what to say, he asked what the doctor had told us before sending us down here – ‘that they couldn’t find their heartbeats’ – and just responded with ‘I’m sorry,’.
I remember Matt calling his dad while we walked back to the maternity ward, and breaking down a little on the phone as he told him our boys were gone.
I remember the loneliness of lying in that hospital bed, even with Matt by my side. Before I guess I had never felt alone – I always had two little humans kicking me from the inside. Now they weren’t keeping me company any more.
I remember calling the nurse in and asking for Panadol because I was in pain; for some dumb reason in hadn’t occurred to me that that pain might actually be labour. I didn’t even need to be induced – my body was doing it all itself, just a day too late for my sweet boys.
I remember labour was much easier than I thought it would be. I have a terribly low pain threshold and was pleasantly surprised with every contraction.
I remember the room being so full – the midwives and doctors didn’t leave us alone for a second while I was giving birth. They were very hands-on. I guess they thought we needed that extra support.
Most of all I remember the silence. The silence that came after they entered the world was deafening. It enveloped everything and everyone and was only pierced by the cries of other babies being born just down the hall. But it didn’t stop once we left the hospital, it still hasn’t stopped. My boys’ names are always followed by silence, if they’re mentioned at all, and it breaks my heart.