I have so many things going on in my head right now, swirling round and round like a bit of a whirlpool. I'm finding it hard to focus on any one thing for a long time, without my mind jumping back to something else.
I attended the consultant appointment on Wednesday. All of my medical records were there, and I also managed to obtain a copy of the post mortem results.
My husband didn't go with me as I wasn't expecting it to be the type of appointment where we go over causes. I thought it would be more centered around me and the labour and the complications. But it turned into me being able to ask questions surrounding the cause of death and I really wish my husband had been there now.
The consultant advised that it wasn't Finley's cord being knotted that killed him. His cord gasses were completely normal at the time of delivery, which says that he had oxygen up to the point of the cord being cut. He couldn't tell why for sure Finley didn't manage to take a breath on his own after birth, but apparently around 10% of all babies need resuscitation at the time of delivery. He said it could be just the fact that it was a long and stressful labour and delivery and Finley was likely stressed out and tired.
He then said that when a baby is born and needs to be resuscitated, there is a 12 minute window in which to get oxygen into the baby where the baby will live without any issues. If a baby is resuscitated between 12 and 25 minutes, the baby can survive with a range of permanent complications. If it takes more than 25 minutes to resuscitate a baby, that baby has next to no chance of survival. Looking at the timeline of Finley's resuscitation, it took them 30 minutes to get him going. They didn't even attempt to intubate him until 5 minutes after he was born.
My husband and I can both clearly remember it being said that they couldn't get the tube in and that they didn't have one small enough for him. We remember one of the nurses being on the phone calling different doctors and staff to come into the hospital. She was crying and pleading with people to come.
After discussing several aspects of my prenatal care, the consultant advised that if a baby was determined to be small at an ultrasound (like Finley was at my 20 week scan), and a cord flow issue was noted, not only would monitoring continue throughout the pregnancy, but I would not have been able to deliver in a birth centre. I would need to deliver somewhere with emergency neonatal facilities.
Despite knowing that Finley was small, and knowing that there weren't facilities in the hospital I delivered in, they allowed me to deliver there. It seems to me that they didn't have the appropriate equipment on hand to resuscitate him or possibly staff experienced enough to deal with the situation. Because it was quite late at night, it was a limited number of staff who were there at the time of his birth, which is why people were needing to be called in.
I asked if the consultant thought that if Finley were born in the UK, if he would still be with us now, and his answer was: "I would like to think that we would have been able to resuscitate him quicker."
Looking through the notes and documents, Finley's acidocity when he reached the Italian hospital NICU, they were incompatable with life at that point. The damage was already done.
The post mortem didn't show any physical abnormalities with Finley. There is no indication of anything that shows why he would have been particularly hard to resuscitate. The consultant mentioned that if he survived the long difficult labour intact, and the fact that he was able to eventually be resuscitated, there is nothing to suggest that he shouldn't have been able to be resuscitated quickly.
Basically Finley died because he wasn't resuscitated quick enough. I have no idea how to deal with that information. I haven't cried. I think I'm in shock. As much as I've had a feeling all along that something didn't sit right with me, that was not the news I was expecting to hear.
My husband had made peace that it was one of those things, and that Finley had died of natural causes. Hearing what the consultant said has opened things up again for him. It is an entirely different situation to the one we have been coming to terms with for the past 5.5 months.
The consultant said he would be happy to meet with me again, and that my husband should come so he could talk things through with the both of us. I have called to start arranging that appointment.
We aren't really sure where we go with all of this now. Normally in the UK an inquest would be carried out by an external provider to look at everything that had happened, what had gone wrong, what could have been done differently, etc. We aren't entitled to this since we weren't in the UK, which frustrates me to no end. We need to find out if the military carries out a similar inquest.
The consultant appointment was Wednesday morning. It turned out that I ended up with a job interview on Wednesday afternoon. It went well and I was offered the job. I start on Monday.
Part of me is excited to go back to work. It seems like a wonderful company to work for, and I enjoyed the interview. I hope it gives me something to focus on.
The other half of me is still afraid that I won't cope. I'm still sad that I should be home with my boy. But this is my new life and I have to go with it as well as I can.
Last night my Sands group went to The Crockery and made items in remembrance of our babies. It was lovely, as I don't often get to spend time writing his name on things. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came with me as well.
I made a fridge magnet that has the little elephant that was on his nursery set. And I made the picture frame which has the same little elephant and a little hippo.
When the photos were taken, they hadn't been glazed or fired yet, so the finished product will be much brighter and shinier.
The jungle theme really stays with me. I can imagine him in his cot wrapped up in the fleece blanket with his stuffed monkey and crocodile. With the elephant and the hippo and the zebra.
My baby is dead. There was nothing wrong with him. I am starting my job on Monday. My son should be here, five and a half months old.
The thoughts swirl round and round and round.