Friday, 22 January 2010

What a start to the year

We have had such an eventful start to the year. We spent the first 3 weeks of the year renovating our house for (hopefully) new tennants. What started as, "We're not going to paint this room,"  ended in "We have to completely renovate these two rooms."

Here's the story:

We were going to leave the sunroom unpainted but I decided the wall paper strip should come off which ended up taking paint off so we had to sand to paint the room. The guy who owned the house before us had used ply, plaster board and whatever else as the walls. He had also filled a crack in the ply with plaster so that when Kevin went to sand the wall the plaster fell out; then he took a chunk out of the plaster board wall too, not knowing it was there. So he had to take down those two panels. We decided then to turn the sunroom into the 4th bedroom. Where we put the hole in the wall for the door was written, "Was a door is no more." Kevin wanted to add "is once more". The two rooms were finished.

Half way through the renovation.

In amongst all this we went to the hospital to have our routine 13 week check up for the "new baby" as the kids call it. We spent half an hour doing all the paper work with the midwife then I got on the bed for the examination. She couldn't find the heart beat. She brought in a portable ultrasound machine (which was a bit dodgy) and still couldn't find it. So she booked us into have a proper ultrasound. Luckily they could see us straight away. We went through all of this with the 3 kids. Can you imagine how restless the kids were after all this time in the hospital? And they were so excited because we had told them we were going to hear the baby's heart beat. The sonographer couldn't find the heart beat either. Our baby had died at 10 weeks. As you can imagine it was devastating news.

We were told to come back in on Monday to have it sorted. Needless to say we were in a state of shock for the weekend. My Mum had already spent 2 days helping us paint but I called her and asked her to come again. The kids stayed at home with Pauline while we went to the hospital on Monday. We arrived at 9am and left after 8pm!!! What a day. They kept the remains to be cremated. I have no idea how they cremate something that doesn't have bones yet but anyway that's what they said they were doing with our baby.

All of our children were born in the same room of the birth suite except Jessica who was born in the operating theatre but we laboured in the same room before the C Section. Jessica and baby Kathryn were "born" in the same operating theatre and I recovered in the same maternity ward room with both of them too. We are glad we discovered Kathryn's death before we returned to Longreach. At least they were all born in the same hospital.

This is the photo taken of the 5 of us before we went to hospital to have Kathryn removed. We have taken a photo like this of the family before we have gone into hospital to have the next child. I thought I should do it again because I was actually going into hospital to have Kathryn and I didn't want to devalue her life even if it was only short.

We orgainised with our local parish priest to say Mass for our baby in our front yard the following day. We called her Kathryn Poppy Knight (she has the same initials as Kevin Paul Knight - who was going to be Kathrine had he not been Kevin.  Poppy is because all the girls (including me!) have flowers in their names) on the basis that we have 3 girls already we assumed this one would be a girl too. I guess we'll find out one day when we get to meet her. Maybe he will greet us and asked why we named him Kathryn instead of Kevin. We felt so much better after Mass. The act of a proper send off really helped us. It didn't help the kids but it did help us. What helped the kids was going to the memorial garden at the hospital. I'm such a chicken. I left all the hard stuff to Kevin. He did the explaining to the girls in the garden.

The house got finished (kind of) and we returned to Longreach. It is absolutely beautiful. So green and lush from the rains. The whole drive up here was green. The explorers must have come through at a time like this. Why else would you think it was a good place to run sheep and cattle?  The midges don't encourage anything!

1 comment:

Anthea said...

Amity - I am so sorry for your loss. I have you and all your family in my thoughts and prayers. I love that you had a mass said, that would of been lovely. And I love that you have a nice photo of you all before you went to the hospital. God bless you all.