Tuesday 27 December 2011

Nightmare After Christmas

Just to set the scene we are in Germany for Christmas. My husband and I are room sharing with Joseph. We tried various options, a toddler ready bed, a mattress on the floor and bed sharing, however the only thing that Joseph will settle in is a cot. It's a standard cot and he can climb out. It's positioned at the end of our bed so if he does climb out he has a soft landing.

Last night Joseph settled well. We had a nice evening with extended family, eating. For the record I had one glass of wine and a cup of tea. We went to bed at 11.

During the night I had a very vivid dream. This isn't unusual for me, but I don't usually have great recall. This dream was like a movie.

I was pregnant again but with Joseph. I had known him as a little boy, but found myself pregnant again but totally the same pregnancy.

I relived the whole thing from discovering the pre eclampsia to going to theatre. This is where it changed. When we got to theatre there were two other women waiting. An argument was taking place as to who should go first. One woman was at 39 weeks. She had had ten late miscarriages and stillbirths. No live babies. They wanted to deliver as they were concerned that this baby may not survive down the birth canal.

The second mother was also an elective section. She had tokophobia (fear of childbirth) due to previous trauma. This baby had downs syndrome and was to be given up for adoption at birth.

Then there was me. The discussion was taking the direction that these two babies were term and deserved priority over my tiny baby who may not live anyway. Whilst I was poorly death was not imminent and I could wait 90 minutes. The consultants were adamant my baby would be disabled anyway and another hour or so would make no difference.

I was distraught. I explained that Joseph would be small, would need hospital care for a couple of months but would make a full recovery. All the medical staff laughed. They made a complete mockery of me. I then explained I knew this child. He was 2 and a half, walking and talking. He is fine.

They then referred to my notes, and saw depression and anxiety. They said when the baby was delivered, if it survived, they would call social services to have my mental health assessed and decide whether I was a fit mother.

I began to sob. I could feel my toddler in my arms. He was crying out "Mummy,  mummy, mummy". He needed me to fight for him and nothing I could say or do made any difference to these people who had made their minds up that the life of the term babies was more important than the life of my premature baby.

I woke up, looked down, and there was Joseph, frightened, lying in my arms, asking for cuddles and kisses. I'm not sure whether I had been sleep talking, or called out, or whether it was just coincidence.

Most spooky indeed.

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