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Belly Report 8 – 34 Weeks and standing

By Cybele

It’s just over three weeks until B-Day! I’m like a one-woman Laurel and Hardy show, where I find myself bumping into things and getting stuck in places, because I just can’t seem to get used to my new size.
As I described in my last Belly Report, when Heckle was the same age as the baby inside me, we entered a kind of Groundhog Day. We waited while he inched his way to strength. However, in that time I met another beautiful boy and his mother who changed my life. I’ll call him Jonathon to maintain his privacy.
I had seen a few babies pass away – that’s what happens when you hang out in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 96 days. As amazing as the will to live and all the medical technology is, some do not make it.
Jonathon was born at 26 weeks, a beautiful, lithe boy. His humidicrib was next to ours. A few days after his birth, I told his mother how gorgeous he was and she beamed. She looked at Heckle and said, ‘He’s so big.’ I smiled and explained he had been the same size as her boy when he was born. We laughed about how strange it was to end up there, in the NICU and the similarities of our road there.
Over the next couple of days, Jonathon’s monitors beeped more often and extra equipment gathered around his humidicrib. His mother told me the doctors had given her and her husband a choice of when to turn off the life support. I don’t know any more details as she was unable to speak the words, they caught in her throat. All I know is that there would have been a very substantial reason for her to be faced with such a hideous decision.
Over the next four days, I saw her wrestle with the biggest decision of her life and her courage floored me. Her husband came to the decision that it might be best to turn off the life support and still she wrestled. She cried, she sobbed, she asked, she talked, she rallied, she argued.
On the seventh day, the nurses set up the white, cloth screen around Jonathon’s humidicrib and pushed the big armchair in close. I had seen this set up several times before and knew what it meant, the first and last cuddle.
I gave Heckle an extra squeeze and kiss and whispered my goodbyes to Jonathon and left.
Jonathon’s humidicrib was empty the next morning.
I said to the Nursing Manager what an amazing and courageous woman Jonathon’s mother was. The nurse nodded and said the mother had sat and held Jonathon for six hours until  he took his last breath. They lived a lifetime together in those six hours, and previous seven days, and she will carry him in that embrace for the rest of her days.

 

I’m doing these fortnightly Belly Reports to remind everyone who can donate blood to do so. Wherever you are, your country needs your blood!
Heckle and I would not be here today without the generosity of the people who donate blood and we are not alone. One in three people will need a blood product some time in their life.
This is the Australian blood bank link, but every country has one.

About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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7 comments

  1. That was a really tough post to read my darling, remember it all too well…I can’t imagine how difficult it was to write. Just grateful every single day for how lucky we were :-)) Too many odds and slim margins to count and yet somehow we were one of the very fortunate ones xoxo

  2. A heartbreaking but wonderful read. It’s a situation that lurks around in your mind and to think of that mother meeting that fear with such grace is really overwhelming. I hope, somehow, she gets to read this xx

  3. Hi Bel,

    Great post.
    Must go away and count blessings.

    Ant

  4. Hi Cybele
    Thankyou for telling Jonathan’s story. I lost my baby boy 2 years ago – I was stunned because I never knew the world could be so cruel. There is a blanket of silence surrounding miscarriage, still birth and theirs shouldn’t be. The women like yourself who throw this blanket off share their stories are courageous life warriors.
    Thank you again.

    • Lovely lady,
      I’m so sorry.
      There does seem to be a silence around it. Maybe people are afraid.Hopefully, we can learn to be less afraid.
      Thank you for your kind words,
      Lots of love,
      Bele

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