A mom post tonight….
The pyjamas she was wearing are still in Jess’ drawer. I don’t remember when they came off – if Jess did it before I got to the room, or if I pulled them half off to stare at her chest. There are nights when I can’t close my eyes without seeing it – the newly sealed bones coming together to form a perfect, sharp, mountainous peak. My mind pulls me forward, feeling my fingers trace the line between her nipples and then pausing. Then tracing up the edge of her ribcage, placing my two fingers down and then stopping, thinking to myself that my fingers weren’t strong enough to push through this lump and get to her heart.
The memories of that day are so chaotic when they run through my mind – when I’m tossing at night, when I hear a siren drive by, when I’m sitting in a meeting talking about how we need to train our lifeguards to react. It always starts with my hands on her chest, and then I remember the scream – I can still hear it. Jess’ voice piercing through the sleep that I had just really settled into after being awake for so many hours – I have never jumped so fast – grabbing my phone and dialling for Jess, because I knew that it had to be me who stood beside her. Then the memory jumps and I just see her face, and not even her face, but her eyes, those beautiful, almond shaped eyes, that I am constantly losing myself in, rolled so far back that I’m haunted by the image of them. I can’t even picture them clearly, it’s just a flash and then my brain moves on. It moves on to the siren, knowing that “so much help is coming, I’m sending so much help”, as the EMS operator told Jess. I could hear it before I even registered what it was, knowing that it was coming for us. I heard the footsteps and Jess’ voice and then I watched them take her from me. I watched as they pulled out the defibrillator and began pulling the electrode pads off, and then I forget. There is this blank gap in my memory. I know that I went outside to guide the ambulance crew in, but I don’t remember getting there. Then the rest is like a montage – short clips of information – watching the paramedics run past me, holding Lily and running faster than I had seen anyone move; Jess and I speaking in code, deciding she would be the one to go with our baby, and then another gap and I’m back upstairs, trying to get dressed and find my phone and then walking back out the door only to be greeted by 3 officers telling me that they needed to search our home. I can see myself walking into the emergency room and there are just so many people but I couldn’t see Jess but I could see Lily and she was surrounded by bright lights and covered faces and machines. I still couldn’t find Jess but I saw the doctor – our hero doctor – the one who was with us on the very first night we had Lily home when we thought we had pulled the Ng tube – and in that moment I was calmed. I finally got a good look at Lily and saw that she was trying to fight the intubation and for the first time I realized that she was alive and I almost dropped to the ground. I was just cold and shaking and then I saw Jess and in that moment, we laughed….laughed…because she had my phone. I remember driving on the wrong side of Bloor Street, being transferred to Sick Kids and really, truly understanding how horrible it is to be following an ambulance and not have people pull to the right. But when we turned on to Bay Street and there were no cars, no other traffic except us and Lily in the ambulance ahead of us, that’s when I just kept thinking: if they closed Bay Street for us, then this is really bad.
There are times when I wish I could relive that day, which seems like an odd idea since it never leaves my brain. I want to see it from someone else’s perspective – watch it as though I’m watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Because maybe, if I could see it like that, something would click and I would finally be able to realize what happened. Right now it just feels like I’ve missed part of the story. The main points are there but I’m missing the details – a bad dream that you’re scared of, but don’t remember exactly why. It doesn’t make sense to me that I can’t remember every single detail of the day that I never stop thinking about. And maybe, if I could finally see how all of the pieces fit together, I could begin to let go.