Luna's day.

Luna's day.

The time to say goodbye to Luna was here. The 25th of June. I’ve tried to be as honest and open as possible about our journey so far, so this post won’t be any different. For some it may be too much and there may be emotional triggers for others- so please only read if you feel you really want to/feel you can. It’s about TFMR, about ending Luna’s precious life in order to save her from suffering. I’m writing all this because it feels good for me to write it down, like therapy almost, to remember the details (not sure I’ll ever forget), to remember the feelings, and to share Luna’s story for those who wish to know it. There are not many nice parts to this post, but I still wanted to write it.

Our appointment was 9am which I was grateful for- waiting all day would’ve been too hard. The walk from the car to the hospital was surreal. One of those walks where you can’t quite believe where your legs are taking you, voluntarily walking towards something that is going to hurt so much it would break you forever. Break you in a way that you could never be fixed, and yet one foot went willingly in front of the other all the way to the bad news room. We waited only briefly there (thank goodness), the usual box of tissues ready for duty. We were both on the verge of tears, both trying desperately to hold it together- Wade doing a much better job of it! They called us in, another surreal walk only this time my legs felt like tingly jelly. They had started to rebel, they no longer wanted to take me where I knew I had to go. My mind was racing ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ ‘Can I go through with this?’ ‘Why am I even here?!’. Wade was holding my hand, sending silent messages of reassurance to my panicking mind. Without him I would’ve crumbled. The consultant’s voice was calming- such a reassuring voice- ‘just have a quick lay down, I just need to check the babies first’. Another scan- I get to see her again! I watched the screen as he moved and clicked seeing glimpses of heads and legs and spines. I think Wade and I were silent during this- no words brought comfort at this stage, and if I was to talk I would’ve opened the floodgates. Silence was all we could manage. He told us both babies were ‘fine’- a bizarre thing to hear when you know that one of your babies’ hearts is so ‘not fine’ that it would soon be stopped.

We were asked then to go back to the bad news room while they ‘prepared the room’. ‘Shit, I’m going to have to do that walk again!’. We stayed in that god-awful room for what felt like eternity but was probably just 10mins. I decided in that moment to sing quietly ‘What a wonderful world’ to my girls, my Grandy’s favourite. It was a familiar song for them. They’d heard it from birth as it was a bedtime song for Senna. I wanted her to hear it one last time, I wanted it to make her feel safe and loved and to try to ensure they were both calm- and it helped take my mind off what was about to happen. I must be calm, I must be calm. I hoped I could finish the song before we were asked back through and just moments after the last word a quiet knock at the door and a ‘We’re ready’ from the midwife - I’m not though!

Some deep, slow breathing accompanied the 3rd surreal walk back to the consultation room. This was the worst walk of them all. This was it, I was going in with two heartbeats in my tummy and coming out with one. It was all very clinical in the room, midwife and consultant with long gloves and face masks on, apparatus all laid out, plastic sheets on the bed. And breathe. I was trying my best not to be thrown off my trance-like state. Every measure had been taken to limit infection. After all this was an invasive procedure, it was an injection through my tummy into my womb and into Luna’s heart. They scanned throughout the procedure, this was the consultant’s navigation tool. I didn’t look at the screen this time, I didn’t want to see. I didn’t want to see any of it, I didn’t look at my tummy when he put on the disinfectant, I didn’t look at the midwife passing him the implements, and I definitely didn’t look at the needle. I‘m so glad I don’t have that memory. I looked at the ceiling and then closed my eyes. I’d made a playlist so Wade put on my earphones for me and I tried to zone out. The consultant then told us he was going to start. I was calm and took a deep breath. He started, tears streamed out of my closed eyes and that’s when the shakes came, involuntary belly shakes driven by my need to burst into tears. If anyone has any doubt about how much I loved and wanted Luna (and there will be those people), that doubt would’ve been dissolved in a second if you had seen me on that bed. I was so annoyed at myself for not being strong enough to hold it in. I was making it harder for the consultant and worse for Luna. I had to get a grip, I had to be the best mummy to Luna in this moment and that didn’t involve me uncontrollably sobbing. This was not about me. The consultant paused while I took some deep breaths and had a strong word with myself, Wade held my hand tightly and then he continued. It was meant to be a 5 minute procedure. Pain relief first for Luna and then the main injection, a simpler procedure they said. Luna had other plans, of course, up to her usual tricks. She was particularly active, I could feel her wriggling around. She didn’t make it easy for the consultant. In the end it took just over 30 minute. The worst half an hour of my life. I felt the moment my daughter died and was still, at rest. I didn’t know how to feel at this moment, again I was numb. We left the room and went back to the bad news room. We played ‘Fly’ by Celine Dion and just cried into each other.

We had to return in an hour or so for one last scan. The worst scan ever. Basically, excruciatingly, to check that the procedure had worked. It has been known for baby’s hearts to restart themselves- which would’ve been a Luna-type trick! I think it must be a legal thing, but the consultant had to ask us to look at the screen and pointed out Luna’s still heart. That’s an image and a feeling I’ll never forget. She was gone and we had to confirm it.

We had freed our baby girl from suffering, we had chosen for her not to feel any pain, we had chosen to keep her safe inside for Halle‘s sake, we had done the right thing, but ultimately we lost our baby girl that day and my god it hurt, and still does. When we walked out the world was different, never to be the same again. A different beat, a different rhythm, a different me. Forever.

Share this article
One comment
  • Tommy Anderson
    Posted on August 11, 2019 at 14:59 pm

    A remarkable story, extremely brave to share and break the silence around TFMR.

Leave a comment

**Comments are only published upon review**

The Blog

That's Why I Love The Moon