I tried not to care too much how today’s first meeting went as we took Lucas to the hospital to meet his new brother and sister. I exhausted myself this morning doing not very much but pottering around trying to reclaim the house as my own. Lucas follows me everywhere and I woke up last night to hear him calling for me. He asked me to read him a story and then said ‘Mummy, stay with me.’ It was hard to resist and I spent a disturbed night between beds.
We made the outing seem like a fun family trip out and he liked the fact that we were all going somewhere together. On the way he sang, ‘We’re going on holiday’ over and over, more a tribute to Peppa Pig I think but there was a bit of a holiday atmosphere. He pushed the buggy all the way to the hospital from the car and I was able to nip into a shop to get him a London Bus and black taxi toy to give as presents from the twins once he’d met them, a trick my mother tells me she used on my brother Justyn when I was born and that the clinical psychologist at St Mary’s had recommended.
I checked in with the nurse before we took him in and she completely threw me by telling me that they might transfer the babies to West Middlesex next week. I hadn’t been expecting this for about 5 weeks and am dubious as their special care is not on a par with St Mary’s. It would be very convenient but I don’t want it a the expense of their safety. She corrected herself and said that it was only because they were doing so well. No more cardiac episodes, no desaturation off the air, just feeding. But it can change in a moment. Still, we have to trust that they have their medical well being at heart and that it is not just a resources issue.
Lucas came in and we sat him on a stool next to Alexander’s cot. He was very quiet but very interested and squished his nose up against the glass. He looked concerned, delighted, fascinated. We were told we only had a few minutes as there was a new admission coming in which always means it’s about to get busy and children are a high risk of infection. So Lucas got a very quick look at Beatrix before he was whisked off. ‘Ohh’ he said disappointedly, at being parted so soon. A good sign. And then ‘Oooh!’ when he got his taxi and his bus outside. And that was him happy for the rest of the afternoon.
We had an interesting moment looking at some photos of Alexander on my chest after G had gone back in. He saw one of me holding him and said ‘Does Alexander love mummy?’. The first signs of a bit of jealousy? Or at least the realisation that there will be love to be shared. He’s definitely more disturbed by the prospect of a brother. I told him he was the original and that mummy would always love him.
Still, it went well I think and Lucas got spoilt rotten for the rest of the afternoon. As he went to sleep he kissed me and said ‘Mummy, I’m really happy.’ He constantly surprises me. How is it possible for a two year old who barely has language to be so emotionally articulate? It gives me great strength to have him around and makes me remember that these two little dots who I can do so little for in their plastic boxes will get there too. They looked at ease and comfortable today which helped me walk away again. That will be tough every day till they get home.
Tomorrow is the funeral for number three. I’m not sure how I feel about it. At just 16 weeks and five days when he passed I had not let myself get that attached, but the fact that he never had a chance and that just 12 weeks is the difference between a life and no life is hard tomgetmyour head round. Like all funerals you sort of wish you didn’t have to go but know you have to. I don’t want to lend it too much weight or let it throw me as we have live ones to think about, and yet our Little Plum, as I have come to call him in my head, deserves this. We need to honour his passing for ourselves to know that there was nothing left undone. We will scatter his ashes with the plum tree we planted in the garden and plant more fruit trees in the special places we visit. It’s most disturbing to look at Alexander and know that he would have been a mirror image. Still, I am practical and positive and grateful that we managed to save him at least. Many times it seemed we would lose both. Deep breath. One step closer to making things normal maybe.