Still Standing

Can’t Look Away: The Days Before Her Birthday

Living February to April each year on repeat, much like Groundhog Day I live it again as if it was just last week. I always find the lead-up to her birthday worse than the day itself. It is almost like a car crash, I can see it is about to happen, yet no matter how hard I slam the brakes on or turn the steering wheel away; it still happens, there is nothing I can do to change the outcome.

Each year I can see it happening, each year the outer body experience happens, the car that is heading towards the tree or a telegraph pole, or the wrong side of the road. It’s our car crash, I watch it over and over again. Only there are no cars involved; she never got to ride in a car – unless you count her final journey.

The lead-up, as I said is difficult; I know exactly what is coming; I cannot change a thing or stop it. It plays over and over in my head.

This month should have been her 6th birthday. She was alive for her birthday, she was here and everything should have been different.

When I walked into the hospital a few days before, I was only going in for routine monitoring – I say routine, I was in to see if the early pre-eclampsia was getting worse. I was meant to be there for half a day, a full day at most. I was admitted with a plan to deliver in a maximum time of two weeks. Two weeks were our hope.

Four days later she was born after I developed HELLP syndrome. I remember her birth so well, the sea of blue which filled the tiny theatre, it was really busy but felt slow and gentle all at the same time. The atmosphere was indescribable.

We were expecting a silent birth, she wasn’t supposed to make a noise – but she did she squeaked and she made an entrance that surprised everyone.

Her journey of life begun, we just never expected it to be 5 weeks of life….

Everything changes.

Photo Credit: Author