If I’m honest, I’ve started this blog 8 months later and a lot of what we went through has faded in my memory. Mainly because I have chosen to block out such a horrific time, and it’s not something I’ve thought about over again because truth be told, it’s horrific.
The Things I’ve witnessed, not only with my own child but others is just awful and even the atmosphere and the sights I would not wish upon any one.
That morning Steven and I travelled to London to see Ava after being told that she wasn’t going to make it. In our usual routine we called before we left to find out if Ava was out of theatre – no news is good news right?
Steven made the phone call and informed me they had found a hole in her bowel and milk had clotted inside of her. I really didn’t understand and didn’t get what they were telling us so just decided to ignore it and travel as fast as possible to find out exactly what was going on.
The train ride there were tough.
We’d glance up and down the carriages and there were people going about their daily business, happy, seemingly healthy children running and swinging on the poles, asking inquisitive questions…..
I’ll never forgot the moment we walked through the tunnel leading into PICU then waiting to be let in. The music/bell playing once you’ve pressed the buzzer and then the doors opening.
Entering a single room where by some of the sickest children in England lay fighting for life. After all, it’s intensive care.
We asked where Ava was and we were shown, nothing could have prepared me to see the amount of machines that were hovering by her bed. There were at least 7 infusion machines and each was labeled.
Antibiotics …. Others I didn’t even know what they were for. But it was clear. She was much sicker then what I’d first thought and this was the definition of “life support”.
When we went to Ava she didn’t look like my baby. She was so pale, her new baby hair had been shaved and she had cannulas coming out of every possible entry. Even in her head.
She had a catheter in – why put a catheter in a baby? To monitor her urine? Yes. But why?
Because he kidneys were failing.
She was swollen. Very swollen.
I wanted to pick her up and cuddle her. I wanted to kiss her. But I couldn’t.
All I could do was touch her, and when I touched her, her body was like stone. Her skin had no elasticity to it, no “squidge”.
I immediately asked her nurse, why?
It’s the infection. Her body is riddled with infection and it’s her body’s way of fighting it off.
The only thing I was grateful of at this time, was that she was in a coma, I knew at that particular moment she was not suffering. The machines were keeping her alive whilst her tiny body fought. And boy it was fighting hard.
The nurses in PICU deserve medals, they have a presence about them, they understand and they have the ability to make you see things how they are and give you an understanding on the situation, they don’t sugar coat it. Which I liked.
Her nursed whose name I’ve now forgotten, was lovely. She had 3 boys of her own and was going to be going on holiday to Devon very soon… See that’s the thing I felt not bitters towards this woman, in the fact that she was telling me all this knowing that at the end of her shift she could forgot and go and cuddled her three healthy children. It helped. It helped free my mind of the 100mph whirlwind of questions and feelings. It was normal.
Ava’s surgeon was called;he was the same man I had spoken to on the phone.
It became even more evident how sick she was when he explained how she needed time, and how long she needed would depend on her.
She had a perforation of her duodenum. In effect her bowel.
This had occurred with the insertion of her feeding tube.
Milk had collected out side the stomach and milk being milk is actually an irritant.
In turn this caused milk to clot inside of her seep into her bloody stream and turn her septic.
She was poisoned. She was dying and she was suffering multiple organ failure.
We didn’t take pictures for the first 2 days, she just looked too ill.