Friday, 5 February 2010

And then you were gone

When Monkey was 15 months old, I fell pregnant as we'd hoped and we planned for baby number 2. We didn't really worry about the pregnancy as there was no reason for any complications and I was checked slightly more often then before. I stopped work 3 weeks before Pickle was born - it was a busy time. Monkey had a gastrostomy on the 15th October as I knew it wouldn't have been possible to feed both children at the same time and also I wanted feeding times for Monkey to be fun - rather than necessary. It was the best thing we ever did and I wish I hadn't resisted it so much previously. Pickle was born on the 3rd November 2006 by elective ceasarian (so I could be home in time for Monkey's second birthday). I struggled a little with how easy it was to have a c-section and how things could have been different - hindsight is cruel sometimes. Two weeks after Pickle's birth, we moved to Bedfordshire (I like a challenge).

The support in Bedfordhsire seemed really good - but it meant a ton of appointments - I think I counted 20 one month and that wasn't too exceptional. Pickle was an angel (until he was about 18mths old!). We got to know everyone and started working on Monkey's statement and we were feeling really positive about the future. My husband lost his job and was out of work for 5 months which was a little stressful but we were lucky, we managed without me having to return to work and we got some time together which we wouldn't have had. We were looking into some respite care for Monkey and Pickle was doing really well.

Monkey had a bout of pneumonia in June 2007 which had him in hospital for 12 days - my first wake up call I think. I could see that life would be like this sometimes and how hard it would be. I missed Pickle terribly whilst at the hospital and he became a Daddy's boy. I don't think I realised how poorly Monkey was until he started to get better which took an incredibly long time. He came home and my Mum arrived over for a visit from Australia. We had a fab 4 weeks. Although on the day she left (Thursday) Monkey went back to hospital for 2 nights with another chest infection, needing a quick burst of IV antibiotics to clear it. He came home on Saturday.

On Sunday morning I somehow managed to put my back out and couldn't lift either child. Typical, Mum had gone home only a few days earlier and my husband started his new job on the Monday! I had thought that Monday would be a sad day on our own but instead I enlisted friends to help and we had some fun.

Tuesday, my sister-in-law came and my back was a bit better. Wednesday we were on our own and I was sad. Pickle was becoming such an active little man and this was the first time in a long time I was trying to look after him, stop him hurting himself (and Monkey) whilst stimulating Monkey as well. It wasn't possible and I'm afraid it was Monkey that lost out. However, I knew I was returning to work in a few weeks time and had a nursery sorted for the boys where Monkey would get 1 to 1 care so things would be okay. Thursday we got out the house which I think was good - I managed to see a friend and felt better. Monkey was a bit uncomfortable and I couldn't work out why but it wasn't too bad and he settled at night.

Friday we were at home again and he still seemed uncomfortable (not that unusual) however I think he was tired as he went to sleep for a short time in the morning and again in the afternoon - after 2.5 hours I tried to wake him but he really didn't want to wake up. I knew I needed to wake him so he would sleep that night and I wanted to get out of the house so I put the boys in the buggy and we went to the park. Monkey was still a little grumpy but not bad and I realised it was food time for him anyway so we went home. He had his pump feed in the garden whilst Pickle and I played. It was lovely and my husband arrived home early so he put Pickle to bed and I gave Monkey my undivided attention. He stayed up a bit later and had cuddles with me because he'd had so much sleep earlier on. I put him down about 7.30 and read him a story (Mr Lazy). He slept on his side as he was most comfortable that way and it was safer if he was sick. He was still grumbling and kicking his legs a bit but I said I'd leave him and check on him later (normally he'd cry if he's uncomfortable or wants some help getting to sleep).

We had our best friends over and sat in the garden - outside Monkey's room - and didn't hear anything. About 9.30, I remarked that I was surprised that he hadn't grumbled and went to check on him. Monkey was face down and not breathing but still warm. My husband tried to resuscitate him until the paramedics and then ambulance arrived (they were quick). We got to hospital and they gave him some adrenaline but it was clear that nothing more could be done. That was the 10th of August 2007.


  1. Like I've said before I cant imagine what you've been through, you seem so strong and as someone who appears strong on the outside myself no doubt there are layers of you that arent. Reading that brought a tear to my eye, you and your family have been through so much!

  2. Me too, you write so eloquently and clearly about something that is so heartbreaking. I hope blogging about is helping you. You really are so brave.

  3. Thank you ladies. I'm loving blogging but I'm not brave. Just me - the same as you would probably be in my shoes.