Today’s challenge from Outmumbered is “vivid memory.”
And since it’s a month to the day since Georgie died I will try and brave my memories and go back to the day I took him to the hospital, knowing in my heart of hearts that something was terribly wrong.
My mum had left the previous Sunday(after being with us for three months) and he had seemed to do a bit better than he had done that week. He had been down with what we thought was a nasty diarrhea and mild fever. Waking up every two hours during the night with this weird sweat, only around his head. We had been shopping in Tesco’s like a normal wee family and took Emma to her drama class that Monday. And then, my precious boy stopped eating. Altogether.
I remember that evening. Alex kept telling me Georgie was ok. That babies do that sometimes. But I remember this dread I couldn’t shake. This overwhelming fear. This ominous feeling. I Facebooked with mummy friends asking advice. I researched online. And I worried, gosh, how I worried for my Baba…
The following morning I called the hospital. They weren’t happy. They asked me if I could drive myself there or if I needed an ambulance. I chose to drive….Our last drive together, my boy and me…
When we got there they started the tests. Read, poking at my baby boy with needles every two hours. They didn’t know what was wrong. They suspected leukaemia. From blood tests done the previous week. The local doctors were too cowardly to speak to me straight away. They sent this poor Romanian doctor who was working on contract in the hospital to say the word to me. “Prepare” me. She was the one who would do a lumbar puncture later that evening on my baby without putting him to sleep. Cruel practices, Romanian communist style. My poor baby boy…
By the end of that first evening, they had almost run out of places to poke. He looked like a sieve. And he had barely a few ounces of milk on his own. I felt lost. And helpless. And numb. And physically exhausted.
Fast forward 24 hours of hell, of restlessness and a half confirmed diagnosis of leukaemia. Of Alex holding my hand and our baby and looking lost, for the first time since we got married. Of plenty of cuddles with a feverish baby who wouldn’t get settled for more than half an hour at a time.
And then, the move. To the royal Hospital for Sick Children, CHU unit. Cancer and haematology.
The ride in the ambulance this time, with my sweet boy lying on a stretcher, looking around with his big and inquisitive eyes, looking so tiny on that big, long stretcher.
The arrival and wait in the unit. My refusal to believe my baby belonged there. Me addressing stupid questions to cancer consultants like: “How can you work here?” And my baby crying. Incessantly. Going in the theatre for more tests. This time under anaesthetic, thank goodness. The uncertainty of a diagnosis.
Another sleepless night. A clueless young doctor who wanted to put a second line into my baby’s other hand. So that I couldn’t even hold him. And me stepping into the role of my baby’s protector, at last. Me, telling her to bugger off. Along with the anaesthetist who was talking about inserting a line into my baby’s scalp. “Say what? I don’t think so.”
Finally, finally getting my baby into a restless sleep way past midnight. With the help of the wonderful CHU nurses. Charlene. Girls who had seen it all before. And who worried and stayed by my side until Georgie settled.
And then, the clueless doctor again. This time bringing the consultant in. Just to be told to let us be. As we were cuddled on my bed, mummy and son. Tight embrace. Restless sleep. But sleeping.
And then, the morning of that memorable day. The day when everything changed. The day when we were told the name of the disease. The same day when my baby would stop breathing for a brief few minutes to too many medical procedures. The same day, by the end of which, we sat sobbing into yet another waiting room, this time in the NICU, and we placed our baby into God’s hands. Supported by the comforting arms of our pastors. Loved.
I don’t think I will forget. Every time I relieve these memories I relieve the anguish and the pain. The helplessness. The sorrow. The indescribable pain of seeing my baby suffer.
But I don’t want to forget. Because my baby is there, in all these memories. And to forget would be to forget him.
A month in heaven, Baba Boo, Baby Blue. A month! I know somehow that for you all pain has been forgotten.
But I also know somehow that you haven’t forgotten us, your mummy and daddy.
We love you, sweet face. We miss you and nothing feels right without you.
But one day, one day, not too far away in Heaven’s time, I will hold you again.
In a forever sweet embrace, this time.