We started the day like any other weekday. I got up at 6:50, made tea & breakfast. I woke the boys and snuck a snuggle in with Lu. I packed lunches and helped Lu with his clothes. Isobel opted to stay home from school. After the boys were off, I went back to bed. Will & I had plans to run a few errands but we opted to stay indoors. I did not want to go in public. The thought of running into someone and having to talk about Alice was too much.
Not that I look like I just gave birth. My womb has shrunk down to nothing. My breasts are sore, trying to create milk but otherwise, I just look soft.
My labour was intense but I handled it. I rocked my way through contractions, trying to calm Alice from the squeezing. Three hours later, we heard her little cries. She was a dull blue colour. The staff took her away and started to work on her.
I was up on my feet ten minutes after I delivered my placenta. I went to the incubator to see my daughter. Her colour was already improving, but she was not moving or crying. Will followed them down to the neonatal unit. I stayed to get examined by the midwife.
They had her on a ventilator for all the 18 hours she was alive. We only got to hold her once she was taken off. I felt her heart stop beating about three minutes after I put her to my chest.
29 hours later, I am sitting in my living room with my family watching Ant-Man. They had frozen pizza for dinner. Jonas came home early from school. He got very sad and needed to cry. I held him in bed while he wept. I explained to him what had happened to his little sister. I made him some cocoa. He told me Alice was beautiful. We cried a bit more and then he played a game.
Lu came home from school feeling much better than he had the night before. His teacher called, Paul told her what had happened.
I told the kids they could stay home for the rest of the week if they needed to. It had not occurred to me that they had lost a sibling. I was so wrapped up in my own loss that I did not put that together. I was just trying to put everything back into its right place… minus the baby.
I was naïve to think it would be that easy. It is not just me that lost someone. They had been waiting on her as well. I may have carried her for nine months but they anticipated her.
I do not want to be sad. I want to feel the blessings I was given by having Alice in my life.
Tomorrow I will go to the doctor to get tablets to stop the milk from coming in. I have therapy before then. I do not want to do either. Tears.
One foot in front of the other.
One day at a time.