In less than 48 hours we will lay our baby girl to rest.
I keep reliving her final moments and I don't want to. That's not how I want to remember her.
I'm hoping that after putting these words out into the universe, that I can focus on our happier times.
Our last day together was rough.
It wasn't pretty.
It wasn't gentle.
It was so far from what I wanted.
My first clue that something was wrong was that Dru slept through the night. I can probably count on one hand the number of times that happened in her whole life. She was so tired and her breathing was getting faster and more shallow.
Dr. Todd was worried too and was checking on her all night.
By the time morning came, I could see Dru's chest sink in with every breath. The decision was made to move her to PICU to help her breathe.
We got to ICU and there were so many people in the room. I stood to the side to be out of the way.
The respiratory therapist tried to put a mask on Dru's face and she screamed and fought it. So they decided to try a bigger canula for her nose that would force more air into her lungs. When they placed it in her nose, her nose started bleeding. I made my way to her to wipe the blood and it didn't seem to help.
About this time, Bill texted me to say he was at the hospital. He was planning on staying the night so I could go home. He wanted me to meet him in the cafeteria for lunch. I told him to come up to PICU because I didn't want to leave her. I remember feeling like this wasn't like the last time. This time I'm scared.
2 minutes later, I saw Bill outside her room. I went to him and cried. Still, the only worry at the moment was her breathing.
When Bill and I were still outside the room they decided to try to sedate her so they could intubate her.
Before they could even sedate her, we heard "I need a pulse check" and then the code blue.
We've been in the hospital for 40 days. We know what a code blue means.
We were pushed to the side as nurses and doctors came running.
Running to my baby's room. I've never been so scared in my life. What in the world is happening?!? We were only here to help her breathe easier.
One of the doctors would walk over every minute or so to keep us updated. Apparently Dru was bleeding from an unknown source and it was coming out of her mouth and nose. They were performing CPR on my baby. The mental image of that is too much to bear.
Our social worker, Barbie, and nurse coordinator, Holly, came running within 5 minutes after Dru coded. Barbie was by our side and Holly was right in the thick of it.
They gave her blood, they kept doing chest compressions, I kept thinking she'll pull through. Every 2 minutes they'd stop everything and do a pulse check. It was there, but weak.
After about 20 minutes, another doctor came over to update us. I heard the words "we're not getting her back"
I lost it.
Bill lost it.
It was our own personal hell.
I couldn't believe that she was gone. All of this fight? To have it end when we were so hopeful. I HATE this disease.
Dru's heart was still beating slowly when they wrapped her in her own blanket and placed her in my arms. I was blessed to be holding her when her heart beat its last. She was so calm and more comfortable than I'd seen her in weeks. She had her hand curled up against her cheek like she was sleeping.
Bill and I have never cried so hard in our whole lives.
We spent the next hour taking turns holding her. Inspecting her fingers and toes. Her curls.
Barbie was kind enough to call both our moms so we knew family, our boys, were coming soon. It was time to clean her up.
Bill and I, as painful as it was, bathed our baby girl and washed her hair. I could never forgive myself if I didn't do this for her. I wanted to wash away all evidence of the traumatic exit she experienced. I wanted so badly to make her pretty for her brothers.
While we were bathing and dressing her, different members of our liver team came to pay their respects.
She was so loved. Painful and beautiful all at once. I consider so many people at this hospital as members of our family.
My parents were the first to come, followed by Bill's mom and dad, who brought our boys. Ouch.
I told Brevin that Dru was gone to heaven and Trey broke down. He doesn't cry often, but my big strong boy broke down and I love him for it.
Never has a sister been more loved by her brothers. I ache for my boys.
We held Dru and loved on her for the next few hours. My sister and brothers came. All had their time to say goodbye.
It was painful.
It was awful.
I hated every minute of it.
I hated that I could feel her little body getting colder, and I knew it was time to leave her. I kissed her forehead one more time and Bill did the same. Then I laid her in Barbie's arms and we walked away.
Ouch again. So so painful. My heart literally aches. How can I go on?
How can I not?
I was blessed (am blessed) to be the mother to the brightest light I have ever witnessed. My girl's smile changed all who knew her. My girl changed Bill from a good man, to the best damn guy I know. My life and attitude are forever changed because of the love I give and the love I receive from this most magical angel. Fly high baby girl. Please come and visit me often ❤️❤️❤️