Sydney Eve’s Story

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As told by her mother, Katy.

Seeing the faint little pink line that we had wished so long and hard for was a dream come true.. A miracle, a blessing, a dream? Whatever you want to call it, it was a completeness. For you see our little pink line of miracle was just that.¬†After my husband had a testicular cancer scare and had a testicle removed we found out after years of trying that the other (after surgery in the early years) was completely blocked and was told the dreaded words “I’m sorry. It’s not possible.” There was no solution, explanation or resolution. How can “Life “be so cruel twice in a row? Give us a break.

After slowly accepting this for a year and coming to terms with never being a mummy or daddy, we suddenly out of the blue received an appointment with a private fertility consultant. Quizzically we wondered who and how but went anyway. There in the room we were then told we had every possible chance with a small surgical procedure. There was our blessed break after all! Hidden in the form of this lovely red cheeked and stoutly jolly man. Our saviour. We still have no idea how we came to meet with him or how we ended up with an appointment letter. There’s probably a rational explanation but I prefer to think someone is watching over us, so I’m leaving it at that. We drove home with content grins.

Fast forward 3 months later, every step we treated dubiously always in the back of our minds “don’t be daft, that won’t work” but each step we mentally ticked off as a success. After an operation, IVF, ICSI we suddenly had our pink little line! An impossibility they said… Take that, Life!

As my belly grew, my love grew. A love that I’d never felt before. I would talk to her everyday, rubbed her little head and felt her wriggle which made me so complete. I would dream of what she looked like. I daydreamed of us sitting at a table, drawing and teaching her all about art and painting. Red curly locks just like her dad and big brown eyes. It never dawned on me once that those dreams would be stolen like a cruel joke. All I did was dream of the future and what it held and smiled inside gratefully each time. When you lose a child you don’t just lose your baby… you lose your future too. Everything you had dreamed of and envisaged. I wrote to her every night so that one day she could read how much she was loved and always remember it. To carry it with her. We called her Sydney Eve. Life was being good.

Then one day Life decided it had had enough of all this happiness going on and ripped it all away. I talk about this entity called “Life” as you may have noticed and that’s how I envisage it. Completely paranoid there’s something’s looking down and laughing at our demise. It may seem a little nutty but that is what happens when you’ve been dealt a raw deal. Bad luck is an entity.

At 36 weeks my little angel stopped wriggling. I woke up and where she normally wakes with me… Nothing. No movement, no wriggles, nothing. I knew then. We made our way to the hospital trying to stay hopeful the whole way, each installing positivity into the other but I knew deep down. A mother just knows. I felt empty. A nothingness. As we walked through the hospital doors there was a female duck and a male duck. The female duck was dead, bloodied and a mess (run over). The male duck was sat next to her, sadly. An omen/warning by something that cared or was it a cruel teaser from Life?

When the nurse couldn’t find her heartbeat she tried to pass it off as “maybe it’s just the machine… But I knew. The doctor came through. I stared at her face trying to read an answer in her expressions carefully as she was scanning… But I knew. Then she said it. Just two little words I’ll never forget… “I’m sorry.”

The room was stone silent except for a ticking clock which seemed at that moment in time to amplify a thousand times. My head was full of the noise and thumping of that ticking clock. To this day, ticking clocks are banned from my presence as they whisk me back in time to that awful moment.

We cried, held each other and become one. It sounds ridiculous but up until the time the doctors mentioned it it never dawned on me I would have to deliver Sydney. I dreamt of a peaceful water birth with happiness and baby cries and tears of joy… Not this. That was the most cruellest thing that ‘Life’ could have presented us. Or so I thought. Life had a few cards up its sleeve yet and was laughing at me. Amused by my devastation.

I was induced and 5 hours later contractions suddenly came on intensely. Then suddenly the most excruciating pain you could imagine. I remember screaming, lots of people rushing then blackness. I’d lost 5 pints of blood in one minute and was close to death (complete placental abruption). Thankfully most of my memory is wiped of this and I spent 6 days under critical care. I’m glad my memory was erased (possibly self defence?) but at the same time I was robbed of memories of meeting Sydney. Maybe they’ll be returned to me one day. At least I have my beautiful photos.

4 weeks later, we put to rest our baby daughter. We carried her tiny white coffin together (me and her daddy). Together we were strong and never left each other’s side. My husband read out her book to her just before we said our final goodbye. The book he read every night to her in my belly. I was so proud of him.

Obviously I physically recovered which took a long time and for that I’m grateful.

I’m grateful for my wonderful husband who never left my side. Who cared for me when I was ill, helped me to walk again and nursed me back to health. All at a time when he needed me but I wasn’t there. I’ve never met a stronger person.

I’m grateful there was an anesthetist and surgeon just casually walking past my room when it happened who saved my life – I believe my guardian angel stepped in at that point (of course, Sydney).

I’m grateful for everything… Does that sound bizarre?… Not really. After all, I’m ultimately grateful for meeting my beautiful angel and receiving the best 8 months of my life. For experiencing unconditional love at its most divine. So life… You may have thought you won this game, but actually you lost.

“If light is in your heart you will find your way home”. – Rumi.

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