This story had to be shared today. To commemorate the birth day of the firstborn daughter of a gorgeous, big-hearted friend of mine.
In the beginning, Cindy was the girl I looked up to. Although I was a bit of a naive 18 year-old and she was several years older, I could sense she was a person who was decent and kind, generous and fun. We clubbed and pubbed together – she was a friend of someone I knew – and we really enjoyed one anothers’ company in the mid 1990′s.
There was nothing major about us losing touch. Because we were friends of a mutual acquaintance, the link was a tenuous one. But it’s the story of us reconnecting that is poignant. We did not cross paths from the time I saw her at my engagement party with Steve in 1997, until the day I happened to chance across a post she had made on a large forum of a parenting website – what were the chances, as if by some Universal fluke (and regular readers will know I don’t really believe in those…. everything is meticulously, beautifully orchestrated) – and, agog, we agreed to meet in a café sometime in late 2004.
That day we saw each other again, pounds heavier from having recently given birth (and with painfully heavy empty arms) is one I will always remember. It sealed our fate as firm confidantes, whatever the future may bring. We should have had prams overflowing with pink throws. We should have been sharing the joys and heartaches at being kept awake nights by our newborn daughters.
Instead, we reconnected over the fact that both of our precious babes had died in the same NICU in the same Melbourne hospital.
It is my deep honour to introduce you to Cindy, her husband Darren and their baby girl, Tiana, aged 6 days. One half of the pair of girls lost in 2004 that determined we should be reunited.
Part 2 to follow.
At the start of 2003, my husband and I decided we would like to have a baby. Like everyone else we just assumed it was that easy – little did we know the path we were about to go down.
We fell pregnant the first time within 6 months. Unfortunately, this pregnancy was not to be as we miscarried at 12 weeks. This was quite devastating. However, after the D&C we decided it was time to try again. Within two months we were pregnant and I can tell you, when we did the pregnancy test and it came back positive, there was not quite the enthusiasm there had been the first time. We were scared. Simple as that. So we made it to the ‘safe’ mark of 12 weeks and we relaxed from thereon in. We thought we were going all the way!!!
At the 20 week scan, everything was great, no problems at all. This was fantastic. I really had a very easy and enjoyable pregnancy. Our little angel was very active and I found my favorite time of the day was coming home from work and sitting on the couch. This was when she really became a gymnast. I had even said to my husband that this would be the one thing I would miss so much after she was born. I worked right up until two weeks before her due date (in August, Friday the 13th!).
At my 37 week check up the midwife realised that I had only had my 36 week check up with the midwives and not the Doctor and she arranged for me to see my Doctor at 38 weeks. So off I went to see my wonderful doctor. He was having a poke and a prod and decided that he could not feel her head, he assured me that, of course, she did have one! But we were sent off for an ultrasound as he was afraid she may be breech.
Obviously, we were extremely nervous heading off to the ultrasound, but all we were concerned about was that she may be breech and that at 38 weeks they would not be able to turn her. The thought of a breech birth or a c/section really didn’t sit well with me. Therefore, we were delighted when we where told she was not breech. Then came the BUT…..
“She is quite small and you have too much amniotic fluid”.
Well. The panic started. We were then sent off to have two further ultrasounds back at their main consulting rooms. They advised that they thought she was about 5lb. But going back over the 20 week ultrasound they could see nothing that would alarm them to believing anything was wrong, that perhaps she was just a small baby?? We were told to go home and call our doctor after they had spoken to him, and see if he wanted me to go in and be induced. Our doctor was happy for us to continue the pregnancy.
We had international guests staying with us and we threw a party for them on Friday the 6th August. I went to head off to bed at 1.30am in the morning (I still don’t know how I stayed up that late!). When I went to the toilet before bed, my waters broke. What bad timing! I had a tipsy husband and a house full of people. Luckily, I had a designated driver available.
I could not stop shaking and saying, “I am not ready for this.”
I wonder, why was I saying that? Did I know in my heart of hearts what was about to unfold??
We were told to go into the hospital for monitoring and we remained there for 2 hours before being sent home with pain killers and sleeping tablets which I was ordered to take. After sleeping for 2 hours while our phone kept ringing, we finally answered it. It was the hospital, telling us to come back to the hospital to be induced. Wow, did I go into a panic……. Why early??? I needed more time!!
I was put on the drip at 10am. Labor came on pretty quick and strong. They checked me at 5pm and discovered that I had not dilated at all so I was left for another 5 hours and checked at 10pm. Again, they discovered I had not dilated at all.
It was decided that I was to have a c/section – my worst fear! I remember insisting that they give me a general anesthetic, which they talked me out of, thank goodness… So off we went.
I have to ask myself to this day why I did not have the anticipation and excitement of a mother about to see her baby for the first time.
Why was I not even slightly joyous? Did I know?
At 11.29pm on Saturday 7th of August, our little angel, Tiana, was born weighing 5lb 2oz. When they held her up to show us, we knew something was terribly wrong. She did not cry and was whisked away for resuscitation. I kept yelling out, ‘What is wrong with our baby?’ All I could hear were comments fro them like, ‘It may be a genetic disorder’ and ‘The mother must not have felt much movement in the womb”. But I did. I did feel her.
They handed our little baby over to us and she lay by my side. She gave one glance toward me and one towards her Daddy. Had I been given a general anesthetic, I would never have seen our little doll open her eyes, for this was to be the first and last time we would see her beautiful loving eyes open.
Please check back next week when Cindy continues her heart-rending story here.