That last hour

It’s 130 am. I can’t sleep. Every time I close my eyes, that last hour keeps replaying. Over and over. Like a song on the radio that you just can’t stand to hear one more time. I want to change the channel, because I’m tired. Physically, mentally and emotionally tired. But I can’t. There’s no dial to control this.

I wasn’t in the room when Killian’s heart rate started dropping that morning. I had been cleaning out his room upstairs, assuming that he would be downstairs in the critical care ward for at least a few more days. I had stopped and chatted with the nurses who were concerned about our boy. I had my phone in my pocket and didn’t feel the vibrations of Dean trying to get ahold of me. I was in the elevator, headed down to the underground parking, to put some of our personal things in the car. I checked my phone quickly. And saw 5 words from Dean; “You need to come now”. I finished reading those words, and I lost reception. I flung everything in the car and willed that elevator up; fast, fast, fast. Please faster. I didn’t wait for the main elevators. I just ran as fast as I could up the stairs. My heart was beating in my throat and head. There were so many people that I must have knocked or bumped. I don’t remember that. Just before the doors, that would take me to his room, I fell over my feet that couldn’t keep up and went down hard. I remember seeing a man on a floor cleaning cart and thinking how it looked like a mini zamboni. Everything was in sharp focus and slow motion. When I ran into the room, Dean was the first person I saw. There were a handful of nurses and techs working around Killians bed. Dean and I stood at the end of his bed, hoping this was just a big bump in this road. It was supposed to be a really long road, right? But this had happened so fast. He held me up because the panic was starting to rise. Then more people came in. And more. And more.

They let us move up closer, it was to make way for the crash cart, but I wanted to be closer so that’s ok. They tried to get us to sit, but we wouldn’t. They tried so many things on him, those details I can’t remember. I just watched his face and begged for him to be ok. Then they let us hold his soft hand and tiny foot. And then they started chest compressions. Two Doctors and our nurse practitioner. They took turns. One after another. And all I could think about was the Beegee’s. Ah ah ah ah stayin alive, staying alive. Please stay alive. Please. I need you to stay alive. It’s like what was happening was just too much for my brain to sort out, so it referenced a part of a comedy show to process it. When I saw the palliative care team come through the doors my heart broke. Because I knew that they were there for us. Not for him.

And they just kept taking turns. Pump pump pump pump. And I wanted to scream at everyone to Stop! Stop now and give him to me! Pump pump pump pump. Please don’t let him die on a cold table. This isn’t supposed to happen! What is happening!? Pump pump pump pump.

So when the most amazing doctor I’ve ever met came over to us and told us that there wasn’t anything else they could do. Our baby was going to die. Simultaneously I feel the most pain I’ve ever felt, and so much relief. I’m so thankful that he was warm and held by the arms that made him and loved him the most. He started his life with us, and he ended it with us.

I’m lucky. I could roll to my right and then wake Dean up. I could call my mom or my sister or my dad or my wonderful friends. But this grief has made me selfish. I’m too tired to talk about it out loud. I don’t want lots of lingering hugs and cautious words, because they make me sad, and I don’t want more sad. Just knowing that I have so much support from my people gives me so much comfort, and I can see how that’s hard to understand. But I don’t have the energy to try and make anyone else feel ok, and that’s selfish of me. 
So tonight I hold Killian’s stuffed elephant when I wish I could be holding my baby. I write, because writing it out comes easier to me than saying it. And I’m going to let myself cry for as long as I need. And then tomorrow I’ll wake up and I’ll try it again. One day at a time. Sometimes one minute at a time.

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