When love just isn't enough- Saying goodbye to Beatrice.

(1000 Posts)

Well, here I am, back on the Bereavement boards, just 13 months after we given the news at birth that Beatrice Primrose was very poorly and would pass away soon. So I say 'only' 13 months, but my God we squeezed a lifetime into that time.

Beatrice passed away at 10.20am today- she was 1 year, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day old.

She eventually died of respiratory failure, as we always knew she would. She'd been suffering for about 2 weeks with pneumonia and it all came to a head last night. She was on 10 litres oxygen but thrashing around in pain. She even cried out, which was very unusual. She was given morphine, and an hour later her respiratory effort decreased. We were moved into a side room and dh was called. He arrived with Bea's sisters, and I inadvertently called my mum's mobile by mistake too, so she turned up as well. The girls said goodbye, then went to sleep whilst the adults all watched and waited as Beatrice's breathing became more sporadic and laboured.

However, before too long, in true Bea style, her sats rose enough to begin registering again and I realised her respiratory effort was increasing. We all breathed a huge sigh of relief and at 7am dh woke the girls to take them home for school, my mum left and Beatrice and I moved back into HDU with Beatrice on 15 litres o2 and her sats hovering around 80%. I closed my eyes and slept until 8.30. On waking, I noticed Beatrice was the same, but I was overcome with an urge to cuddle her. So, I lifted her out of the cot and cuddled her to me. As I did so, her sats went into free-fall.

I watched the monitor as her numbers decreased and called the nurse over. She looked worried as Beatrice didn't respond to suction. A male nurse came in and began to resuscitate Beatrice with a bag and mask as 2 doctors appeared and helped with a jaw lift. It was at this point that I was advised to call dh to come back to the hospital, which I did. We moved back into the side room and the team continued to bag Beatrice until dh arrived. At this point, we chose for resuscitation to be withdrawn and to just give Beatrice the 15 litres of o2 through a mask and allow her to slip away.

Her heartbeat was still strong, but her breathing effort was laboured. We removed all Bea's monitoring tabs and sats probe and gave her a lovely warm wash. We dressed her in a brand new babygrow and I put her hair up in a little top side knot. At this point a nurse came in to check her breathing and dh and I cried and cried and cried. Just as the gaps in her breathing were getting wider, Bea's lovely CCN who has supported her and us since week 1 came into the room. I know I was howling at this point and gripping Beatrice to me like the precious bundle she was. Finally, dh kissed her head, and Beatrice squeezed my finger in response. At this point, she made two gurgling noises, and she was gone.

I can't really explain that pain. I guess my chest was physically aching. But a weird twist of anxiety that had formed in the pit of my stomach over the previous weeks suddenly disappeared.

Then it was all go really. Phone calls made, mum and PIL came in and broke their hearts. Dh collected girls from school as the nurse checked Beatrice for 'leakages'. We made the decision to drive Beatrice to the hospice in our car so for this we needed a special letter and had to inform the police- who knew it is illegal to drive with a dead body in your car? The nurses took finger and foot prints, and we chose a curly lock of hair to cut off and keep, and the hospital gave us a lovely wooden box to keep her momentos in.

Then the girls arrived, and we took them into a side room to break the news. I did the talking, blabbermouth, and just reminded them of what I told them a year ago- Beatrice had become too poorly. The doctors tried to help her but they couldn't, so she had to go to heaven. I reminded them that she was very poorly, and normally healthy children like them don't just go to heaven so they didn't need to be scared for themselves. Then we sang This Little Light of Mine because there's a verse we always sang to Beatrice- "If you get to heaven before I doosy doosy, you get to heaven before I doosy doosy, tell those angels, I'm coming toosy toosy, children of the Lord". So we decided that Beatrice has gone to meet the angels, but warned them we're coming too one day! Then dd2 cried, but dd1 remained stoic.

We went back then to be with Beatrice and had our photos taken together. Then a couple of nurses came to say goodbye and we had to put Beatrice in her car seat (the law even when dead, again, who knew?)

We drove to the hospice and I held Beatrice's hand the whole way, although she was getting colder and colder. On arriving at the hospice, I was delighted to see the allocated carer was the first to book Beatrice in on her first stay back in February. We carried her to the Little Room, a chilled room where Beatrice can stay for 7 days. I tucked her up in a Moses basket with a blanket then we went out for a cup of tea and to begin the next chapter in our lives.

We were so pleased to find a family we became friends with from Lourdes are staying here, so we had cuddles and shared Bea stories while the girls cheerfully played with a helper.

After tea, I put the girls to bed and returned to the Little Room. I wrapped myself in a duvet and gave Beatrice a beautiful, long cuddle. She is so cold now and pale. BUT, her hair smells the same! It still smells like Beatrice, so I buried my face in in her curls, drank in the gorgeous scent and howled until my throat hurt. I rocked her and sang all her lullabies, then placed her back in the moses basket and said goodnight.

We asked for her feeding tube to be removed, and when dh went back over to see her, he confirmed they'd done this and took some beautiful pictures. My God, my girl is so adorable. So completely beautiful and at peace. She looks like a sleeping doll.

I'm in bed now. I've not slept properly for 48 hours, but I'm not even tired. I had a lump in my throat and I'm dreading tomorrow, I guess that's when the real hell starts.

I love you Beatrice, good night sweetheart.

Four4me Mon 05-Nov-12 09:11:05

Massive hugs cup. You are grieving as an individual and will ready to do things at your own pace. Of course work will know you are not 'over it' as you say. Go if that's what you feel you need to do, come home if it isn't right. Feel your way my love.

People will say things that don't sit right with you. They are probably at a loss about what the hell to say, on here we have the benefit of time to compose the right words. We have all garbled out things that were so wrong in difficult situations. Xxxxxxxxx

eightytwenty Mon 05-Nov-12 09:34:08

Cup. Agree what others have said about grief being exhausting. And it is so important to sleep and eat well, to give your body time to mend, even if the mind and heart are broken.

I know it's tempting to want to find something else to think about, but I wonder if the pressure of work would be too much? If you do go in, will your head have a plan b incase you decide you're not ready? Maybe you could go in for an hour or so a day to start with?

Millais Mon 05-Nov-12 09:44:18

Can you just go into work to do some paperwork/ AFL or something? Being responsible for a class of children all day long plus coping with all the adults will be huge.

JugglingWithPossibilities Mon 05-Nov-12 10:04:31

Dear Cup, Thinking of you this morning x

If you are thinking of going into school later in the week then I agree more of a visit might be an idea this week, just to see people there. Then is there any chance of offering half days for a few weeks ? I think a whole day with a class of children is exhausting at the best of times ! Do try to negotiate what is going to be best for you. You are such a lovely person and everyone will be so touched by your incredible journey with Bea over the last year. Let other people be as generous as you have been, and taught us to become through the love you have all shared. thanks

Everlong Mon 05-Nov-12 10:42:04

It is so hard after the funeral, people go back to their lives, they carry on with their world while you can just about lift your head.

If there was a magic wand I would wave it for you. I wish there was. But there isn't and it's a long road ahead. What helps us is the love we have for our lost child, the love you have for Bea. It's not to sniffed at. It will carry you when you are at your lowest, I promise.

As for going back to work, give it a try. You must do what you think is the right thing, the thing that you think might help you. I'm sure your colleagues will just want to hug you and help you through this. Nobody will judge you.

Big hugs xxx

pannetone Mon 05-Nov-12 11:36:03

Cup - as all the previous posters have said, of course you will never be 'over it' - and you never want to be. Your life won't ever be the same again - Beatrice has changed it, and although it must be so raw to live that life right now, that change is part of Beatrice's legacy.

Like all the others I have no answers to the unfairness of losing Beatrice as she was making such miraculous progress. In her year, month, week and day Beatrice showed all of us what it is to hope and that is what I shall particularly remember. I'm glad you have such wonderful recent photos of her - and in time I hope they will also be a source of comfort (and pride) that with your love, care, strength and determination Beatrice achieved so much.

I can't say what you should do about returning to work - but don't be afraid to change your mind just before or cut back on the hours. This is uniquely your life and your grief and no one else can tell you how you should be managing it. You fought for Beatrice's needs for so long, I hope you will get the support and understanding you need now.

Much love and a prayer x

My sincere condolences to your whole dear family, cup.

I lost my profoundly disabled brother aged 36 in August this year. It is only through the sheer determined will of my mother that he lived as long as he did.

Your posts and way of expressing yourself and the tenacity of your fighting love remind me of what my mum has been though over the years.

Bea was surely loved and so very blessed to have such a wonderful family around her.

chipmonkey Mon 05-Nov-12 13:04:21

cup, you won't get "over it" as such and I do hope people at work won't be so insensitive as to think you ever will be. I was very lucky in that my colleagues have all been amazing since I lost Sylvie-Rose.The only thing I found was that one colleague assumed I "wouldn't want to talk about it" when I did but I think she got the idea when I did talk about Sylvie-Rose.
And if it's too much, don't be afraid to tell them at work that it's too much and take more time off if you need it.
Also, some people really do say stupid things and it does help if you are prepared for that.You won't always have an answer but sometimes it helps if you have kind of practiced an answer in your head.

MorningPurples Mon 05-Nov-12 13:25:58

Still thinking of you too.

I hope going back to work helps, and that you have understanding colleagues and friends there.

pinkhousesarebest Mon 05-Nov-12 18:02:17

Cup my love, I think you should take as much time as you possibly can before going back to work. You need time to grieve and going back to something as draining as teaching will surely put that process on hold. Is pressure put on you to go back? If not, then give yourself time to heal a bit.

janey68 Mon 05-Nov-12 19:07:39

Just focus totally on what is right for you at the moment. For many people, returning to work after a personal tragedy is what is best for them. Of course you won't be 'over it'- you will never ever stop loving Beatrice and you will think about her every single day for the rest of your life. Please try not to worry about what anyone else may think, though I believe most people will simply feel compassion and will understand that carrying on with your life in no way diminishes what you are going through.

thewhistler Mon 05-Nov-12 19:33:24

Cup, just lots of love from here.

whatthewhatthebleep Mon 05-Nov-12 20:03:54

I don't have any words that could really be of help but wanted you to know my thoughts are with you so much ((((())))) x

desertgirl Mon 05-Nov-12 20:06:36

cup, thinking of you and all of your teaset.

Bubblenut Mon 05-Nov-12 21:42:11

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope you find the strength to get through this.

Lovethesea Mon 05-Nov-12 22:11:52

Thinking of you and praying as you head into another night.

The loss is so great because the love is so strong.

The love never ends though, yours for her, hers for you.

In time the love will overwhelm the loss again.

trumpton Tue 06-Nov-12 01:38:24

Awake at siily o'clock again and holding your hand and thinking of you x

gingergran Tue 06-Nov-12 05:57:18

Sending hugs cup xx

Thinking of you and yours every day, sending love and strength, cup.

Only you can decide when and if it is the right time to return to work. Don't feel pressured either way.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Tue 06-Nov-12 18:04:13

Thinking of you all often xxx

Missing you so much Beatrice come and journey with me here

MrsDeVere Tue 06-Nov-12 21:09:12

I hope you dont mind Cup
but I think of our girls together. Bea and Billie and Aillidh.
It comforts me to think of Billie with her friends. It can make me smile on even the darkest days
x

That's lovely MrsDV Beatrice loved being with older people who could hold her and talk to them. She drunk in everything they said and made such intense, non-wavering eye contact. She would have loved being talked to by Billie and Aillidh, I'm sure of it smile.

MrsDeVere Tue 06-Nov-12 21:14:53

I am sure too smile

She is in good company. So many special children to keep her happy x

Portofino Tue 06-Nov-12 21:26:44

I have said a little prayer and lit some candles and asked my mum to look after all your girls.

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