Saturday, 3 January 2015

What Happens Next????

Readers of the Sands blog will remember Jess's story of the birth of her daughter Emma.  This blog, as the title suggests, describes Jess's own brush with death in the weeks after Emma's birth. It is a salutary reminder that, even in the 21st century, birth can (albeit rarely)  be risky for mothers as well as babies. 

After the death of a child, I think at any age, your life is transformed completely. In our case she was never home with us, we never got to experience her personality, never got to complain about lack of sleep or the amount of nappies we were changing and yet I still occasionally walk into the nursery and expect her to be there.

Once you arrive home from the hospital, devastated and empty handed you realise life must resume and you need to find your new ‘normal’.

For me, my re-entry into the real world wasn’t as straight forward as trying to cope with our loss. In the days after Emma’s birth I became increasingly ill. My husband had been suffering a chest infection so coupled with my grief I assumed it was just that and attempted to press on.

One week after discovering our beautiful little girl’s heart had stopped beating I found myself unable to breathe, unable to even get out of bed! My husband somehow managed to get me up, into the car and straight to Emergency.

Grieving for our Emma had to very abruptly take a backseat that night and it wasn’t until weeks later that we were able to begin processing our loss again.

My memory of that time is fuzzy at best but I’m told that after I was admitted that night I was simply too tired to breathe on my own so was placed in an induced coma and intubated until they could figure out why I was fading before them.

Emma’s birth had been particularly traumatic and I had come away with an impressive number of stitches. To avoid infection they’d put me on antibiotics immediately. Because of this, when I was admitted, they were unable to detect exactly what was wrong because the antibiotics were killing every sample they took as soon as they had taken it.

Though it’s never been 100% confirmed, it’s suspected that the bug that took our little girls life almost took mine as well. As well as an extraordinary case of pneumonia.

For me it was a week of blissful nothingness until they finally figured out what the problem was and woke me up. For my husband it was days of doctors, nurses, specialists and for a time, trying to face the reality that he had lost his beautiful daughter and now might lose his wife too.

So a week after stumbling almost incoherently into ED, two weeks after losing our daughter, I woke up in ICU with little recollection of how I got there….then I got better.

I’m not sure if having that time of ‘distraction’ was a good thing or a bad thing for our grieving process but I do know one thing, while this has been the most horrifying experience of my life, I am so very fortunate to have such a rock solid partner in my hubby. He is my hero, the father of my 2 perfect children and my best friend.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 
Sands on 13 000 72637

Jessica Lawless

Jessica lives in Victoria. She is the wife to Shane and a Mum to 2 beautiful kids - Adam, nearly 2 and Emma, born sleeping August 2014.
I like to practice yoga, cook, read and spend all my time being a SAHM with Adam. My family and friends are my whole world, there is barley a distinction between the two.
I hope by being so open and honest about my experiences I can help raise awareness and provide support for others.

1 comment:

  1. We're so grateful for every day that you're here. It's great to see you looking so well again :)