This week has been the most difficult week of my four year career.
It’s the main reason that I’ve not written anything in several days. I’ve needed the time to sleep, to organise my thoughts and to hold Squidge be so very thankful that he is a healthy, naughtly little boy with a cheeky smile, two new teeth and the newfound ability of emptying the wastepaper bin.
I’ve written this post as a list of numbers, which may seem quite cold and detatched but it’s what I need to be able to continue getting up in the morning and going to work.
I’ve worked three shifts.
I’ve done two end of life talks.
I’ve had three discussions with the consultant.
I’ve arranged one baptism and one blessing.
I’ve sourced two memory boxes.
I’ve sat with three mums.
I’ve disconnected two ventilators.
I’ve spoken with three Chaplins.
I’ve taken one set of hand and foot prints.
I’ve listened to four sobbing women.
I’ve removed one breathing tube.
I’ve watched two children die.
I’ve handed over dozens of tissues.
I’ve tried to answer so many questions that I don’t have the answers to.
I’ve given so many hugs.
I’ve been so privilaged to be part of these little lives but I haven’t got anything left.
I’ve cried so many tears that I don’t have any more.
But I’ve got up every morning and I’ve gone to work. I’ve put a smile on my face even though my body is tired and my heart is broken.
I’ve cared for all these babies and their families to the best of my ability.
I’ve given them everything that I have to give.
I’ve carried on because what I’m feeling is nothing compared to what they’re going through. I’ve seen their grief and maybe I’ve shared a tiny part of it but they’re living it.
They’ll never stop living it.
I will remember their children; their names and their faces and the days that they died but without the soul crushing, all consuming feeling of loss and emptiness that the parents will wake up to every day.
I have an ache in my heart but I don’t have a hole that only their baby can fill.
I still have my baby.