I remember a time, about seven years ago now, when Cindy sent me an email about a dream she had the night before. We had emailed each other almost daily for nearly a year in between meeting up again and becoming pregnant at virtually the same time. In this email, she wrote:
“I just had to write to you and tell you about the dream I had last night. I dreamed that you and I were riding a beautiful bay horse together! I hopped on first in the saddle and then I helped you to get up and we rode double! We went to a supermarket – as you do – and while I shopped you took the horse outside and gave all the little kiddies pony rides!!”
Little did we know, but the pregnancy with her baby boy was just around the corner. My little Lolly was soon to follow. A month after Kayne was born, I gave birth to the LGBB. I held Cindy’s boy for the first time and rested him on my 34-week bump. I almost swooned. I could not, would not, believe it was true. They are our special babes, our only surviving children. Healers and feelers, deep thinkers and joyous imps, they both are.
Here is Part 2 of Tiana’s story, as told by her mum, Cindy. If you need to catch up with Part 1 first, please read it here.
I was taken back to my room to my mum and sister, who had already been told before I even went in for the c/section that something was wrong. Our little baby girl was rigid and had constricted joints, so she was never going to be a natural birth. She was taken to Monash at 3am that morning, I would follow the next day. At this point we still had no idea what was wrong – no one did, not even the experts.
When I arrived at the Monash we went to see our darling in Bay 8 of the NICU. We were distraught, scared, overwhelmed. Our emotions were running riot. But still no answers. Our baby was on morphine and muscle relaxant medication. She was not aware of anything. She was in her own little world, hopefully one with no pain.
All the experts paid Tiana visits. They ran tests, eliminating certain things like genetics and so forth. Her internal organs were all fine, she had a little blood on the brain from the resuscitation but nothing that affected her brain function. The problem was she was not going to breathe on her own. She showed no signs of wanting to. They believed that her joints had been constricted for some time, as the bones had fused a little in some places. She also had a hip displacement.
We were on a roller coaster ride that would last six days. One moment gave us hope and in the next, we saw the reality for what it was. It was our doctor who finally gave us the truth when we went to see him. He told us that he did not think she would survive. In the meantime, the tests just kept dragging on until we had the most wonderful nurse start taking care of Tiana. She was very upfront with us about her progress. They were trying to wean her off some medication but as soon as they did, she started having little seizures.
This is when we stepped in. No way was she going to experience pain. Why, we thought, when she never had the joy of experiencing pleasure? How cruel would this be?
We simply had to protect our baby and not be selfish!!!
So a meeting was called for Friday 13th at 12 noon to discuss our baby’s future. My husband and I went there with our mothers. It was agreed that Tiana was not going to breathe on her own and they saw no solution to her problems. So it was agreed that she would come off life support at 4pm that afternoon. We left them for two hours while they performed a couple of final tests. We told her how much we loved her and that we would be back to set her free at 4pm.
We cried our tears on her and left.
At 2.30 that afternoon we were called to come back quickly as she had started changing colour; Tiana was showing signs of giving up on her own. I recall the nurse telling us how these little fighters hold on because their parents are not ready to let them go. How strange, when just one hour earlier we had told Tiana we were going to set her free from this pain. Now here she was, going on her own. What a special princess, she was letting us know that we had made the right decision, for it was what she wanted too.
For the very first time, we got to hold her. We all passed her around while she was still on the ventilator, then she was handed to me to be taken off life support. I still remember that moment like it was yesterday, holding her like that. Her presence will always stay with me. Then her little eyes popped open as she moved on to a better place.
This was not her time here. She passed away at 3.55pm on Friday the 13th August – her due date! To this day, even after performing an autopsy, they do not know what happened to our baby.
We have no answers at all, nothing.
How do you move on from this? Such pain, such sadness, our future gone. Well… you do, because you have to. Tiana has given us so many gifts. She touched our lives even if it was for such a short time. We think of her everyday and kiss her photos every night before bed. We were blessed, we know that. I would love to have seen her grow, have been able to hold her more, nurture her, but it was not to be.
So we go on. Each date, day, month, year discussing what she would have been like, how old she would have been, just remembering and honoring our little Angel… Tiana.
The future held a few more miscarriages, but it held a great gift also. We went on to have the most adorable, loving and beautiful son, Kayne, in 2006. He is the light of our lives, and together with him, we keep our darling Tiana’s memory alive every day.