We are just home from Edmonton. Ah, Edmonton, city of many triggers...
Not only are we just home from Edmonton we went to the cardiology clinic at the Stollery. We saw so many doctors, nurses, social workers who remembered Eva. Who remembered her eyes and her smile.
It was oh so painful to go there and also oh so healing. She is remembered.
We went to 4C where Eva stayed and I felt myself get carried away by magical thinking...like Eva was hiding in one of those rooms and, if I only looked hard enough, I could find her. But that wasn't to be.
We met with Eva's cardiologist, Dr. K. Dr. K went over Eva's autopsy report with us. Stab. He explained it to us and showed us photographs of Eva's heart and where the rupture is. Stab. We knew this already but he also confirmed to us that her death was a complication to surgery. Stab. How come my own heart has not broken from the pain, I cannot answer.
I'm home now with my own personal copy of Eva's chart and autopsy report, photos of her heart with the rupture (the size of a pencil tip) and official diagnoses (1. Idiopathic ventricular tachycardia. 2. Sudden death)
I never wanted to know the weight of my child's heart (49 grams). I never wanted to know the weight of her ovaries (0.7 grams each). Her ovaries. My grandchildren were already there. Her uterus. It will never be used to hold a baby within. I will never put my hand on her belly and feel a baby kick. There are so many losses with the loss of Eva.
Eva weighed 7kg when she died- 15 pounds. 15 pounds! She had gained a whole pound since she had last been weighed two weeks earlier. She was growing. She was improving. Until she died. Oh, child of my heart, daughter of my womb. I miss you so.
One of the most heart wrenching things for me in that autopsy report was the external report. The report of all that I have kissed, caressed, and loved. Cephalic hair is abundant, brown in color and measures 5cm in maximum length. Even her hair was growing. Oh, my sweet girl. The left foot measures 9.2 cm and the right foot measures 9.2 cm. There are five toes on each side and are of normal shape and size. And I kissed every single one of those toes. Every single one.
In some ways I envy the guy who performed the autopsy (what are they called anyway?). He was the last one to touch her whole body. When I got her, there was a cloth wrapped around her torso to hide the scar of the autopsy. I didn't get to caress her belly or her chest.
I wish we had stayed longer in the hospital room with her. I wish we were still there. No matter how long I had stayed, I would have wished to have stayed longer. I'm sure I'm not the only one to feel that way. Cause the truth is, it is never long enough. Never long enough.
It's just coming on two years since Eva was admitted to the hospital on Father's Day weekend. In another two months it will be two years since my precious girl died. It's a long time to wait on an autopsy report and we did try to meet with Dr. K earlier but the Stollery is a five hour drive away for us and whenever we were in town, he was not.
And now I'm glad we waited two years to get this report because, while it feels like yesterday, it wasn't yesterday that she died. I am way more functional than I was even one year ago. I can read and retain information. And, no small thing,I have a baby to hug and to hold. Toes to kiss and the weight of Eva's little brother in my arms. Nathan Evan helps the most of all.
And that little brother also went to the cardiology clinic this week. He got an EKG and an echo and a holter monitor done. Everything looks normal for him. Thank you God.
Nathan Evan also weighs almost 13 pounds at two months old. By the time he is three months old he will probably weigh more than Eva did on her 10 month birthday. Her heaven day. I wonder how much she weighs in heaven...does anyone weigh anything there?
As Nathan was wrapped up and lying on the table getting the echo done we put a little toot-sweet on his soother so he would suck it more and lie still. I did not like holding him there. I think there is a part of me that still magically thinks that if I have another sick kid that I will, somehow, have Eva back; but when I held little Nathan on the table I cried. I do not want another sick kid. I want a very specific sick kid. My little sick Eva, whom I miss so much. I want to hold her for yet another echo. I want to sit next to her bed in recovery. I want to see Dr. K on a regular basis and have the nurses exclaim how big Eva is getting. I want to be in Edmonton for cardiology appointments for her.
Because, truth is, I much prefer living at home and sleeping in my own bed with my children down the hall than living in the hospital and sleeping on a cot next to my child. I do not miss the hospital. I miss what the hospital used to contain.