The End is our Beginning
My daughter Scarlett was and still is my everything. I loved and still love (although harder now) being a momma. From the first time I saw her face, I felt like I had found my purpose, now at this moment almost 2 weeks after she died I feel purposeless. I am floating in this dark pool of grief and the future feels empty, scary and meaningless. I don't know how to move forward and some days I don't want to. So I write.
Scarlett was born October, 18 2016. I was surround by loving family members as I pushed her into this world, and as the nurse placed her into my arms, I felt so whole and complete. During her short life of 15 months and 6 days, she was able to teach me more about myself than anyone I have ever met. She taught me how to love endlessly, how to cultivate patience from thin air, and how to hold space for not only a tiny human being but for myself as well. She herself loved so endlessly and so deeply. She was full to the brim with happiness and loved meeting new people and those people would fall in love right away. She was the most determined little human I have ever met and if she didn't want to do something she would absolutely not do it, but would return to her joyous, happy self when she got what she wanted. She loved books, animals, and other babies. I could write 100 pages of things, people and, activities she liked. I just love her so so much. She was the brightest part of my life.
On January 21st, at 5:00 am, my husband and I took her to the ER with a fever of 103.3. She woke up vomiting and we jumped into action thinking they would send us right home. That she was going to be fine. Well, her fever went up to 104.8 and we were admitted to the children's hospital in town. As soon as we walked into the Hospital the heaviest feeling of dread came over me. I was scared. She had stopped eating and nursing, so they started an IV for fluids, and her fever came down and we thought we were on the up's. Then Scarlett started having trouble breathing, and from there it was a quick slide down. They intubated her at bedside, placed and IO in front of us (sorry I am a nurse forgive the medical jargon) and the doctor called out to the 8 people in the room that just in the few minutes they were getting set up that Scarlett had gotten a lot sicker, her blood pressure tanked so bad they could not get a reading, and her O2 sats fell to 8%. As a nurse and as a mother watching this happen in front of my eyes devastated me.
We were transferred to the PICU, where they attempted to vent her, but they were unsuccessful. Her lungs were filled with fluid, they needed to put her on life support. It took 1 hour for them to do the surgery for life support, they came out to tell us that it was successful, however she had coded for 4 minuets during the surgery, her heart stopped for 4 minuets, they did CPR on my baby for 4 minuets. But she was alive.
More bad news, after bad news. They found a brain bleed and little to no brain function left. Then her life support started to fail, so another surgery to place new cannulas in her left ventricle was needed. They opened her chest cavity to place these, and because she was so small they could not close it up all of they way. No mother should ever have to see their babies open chest cavity. Then this method of life support started to fail, and the doctors told us they they did not think Scarlett was going to get better. They sat us down and told us step by step how they were going to turn off her life support so she could die, peacefully in our arms. The memory of her lips turning the darkest shade of blue, as I held her and wailed at the top of my lungs will never leave me.
So here I am. Almost 2 weeks later. I don't know what to do with my self or where to start. Where do you go from here? What do you do after your child dies? I have a wonderful therapist I am working with and my husband and I have been connected to Compassionate Friends. (just fyi, so the "advice" does not roll in)