The doctors at the emergency ward rushed Emily to the labour and delivery room where they tried to find the baby’s heartbeat.
The silence was deafening.
Everything after that was like a nightmare for Emily. The nurses prepped her for an emergency cesarean section. Emily wished they wouldn’t give her the anaesthesia. She felt like she needed to feel the intense pain to cope. That she had to endure physical agony in preparation for that which was to come. It couldn’t have been very long after the surgery began, yet it felt like several agonizing hours had passed before a perfectly formed baby girl was placed on Emily’s chest.
Through tears, she said, “Hey there, Sunshine. Do you want to open those beautiful eyes for me? Mama loves you so much. I…I…I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do the one job I was supposed to do. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m…”
As she broke down into hysterical sobs, one of the nurses gently eased the sleeping baby away from her and the anaesthesiologist gave her a sedative. The last thing she remembered was watching the nurse take her baby away.
She never saw her child again.
The days that followed were no better than that early morning on which little Grace Mendonca said goodbye to this world before she had a chance to say hello. Emily tried to show courage and strength but it was beyond her to do so. In her hospital room where she spent three miserable nights in order to recover from her physical injuries, her eyes kept darting to the side of her bed where a baby crib should have been. Every time a nurse or a doctor or Ethan entered the room, she involuntarily glanced at their arms hoping that were carrying her little girl and they had decided to put an end to the cruel joke life seemed to be making at her expense. She couldn’t believe that her Grace was gone.
Reality hit her like a brick when the hospital administration staff handed her the baby’s death certificate as they were being discharged from the hospital. She collapsed into unstoppable tears and had to run out of the hospital to draw in some fresh air to breathe again. It didn’t help that when she got into their car, the blood stains were still visible on the car seat. She noticed that Ethan, or somebody, had tried to scrub them away and had been unsuccessful. The large brown patch brought back the horrors of their drive and Emily almost couldn’t breathe again. She slammed the front door shut and got into the back seat shivering. She began to hyperventilate and Ethan handed her a paper bag in which to breathe. He tried to put his arms around her to help calm her down. She pushed him away. Silently he got back into the driver’s seat and took her home.
Emily had hoped that when she got home, things would get better. They didn’t. When she walked into the bedroom, she was greeted by the baby crib she had ordered. It stood there fully assembled, waiting for a baby that would never lay in it. She felt irrationally angry at Ethan for being so insensitive to her feelings and leaving the crib there in full view. She crawled into bed, drew the covers over her head and cried until there were no more tears left. Then she fell asleep.
When she woke up the crib was gone and her family, as well as Ethan’s mother, had arrived. Emily, who could barely pull herself out of bed, found that she had lost the will to talk or eat and wanted to be alone, in the quiet dark world into which she had gone.
She would need time, and lots of it, to heal. Her world had been shattered and she felt as though she had been left there, alone among the million fragments. She would have to pick everything up and fix all of them together again. It had to all fit together if she was to go on. But, how could it when one of the biggest pieces of all had been lost forever?
You can read the earlier chapters here.
UBC: Post 22