Olive lived for 3 days. For 3 days I barely breathed. For 3 days I didn’t sleep. Every footstep that echoed down the corridor made my heart stop beating. I wanted it to be ok more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. I wanted to be that freaky face to a freaky miracle that finds it way into every trashy UK newspaper because it’s so unbelievable. I wanted my daughter to live. I wanted to tell this incredible story at her 21st, at her wedding with tears streaming down my face because it’s so unbelievable. I think I knew deep down it was too unbelievable. Deep down I really just wanted her to be OK.
After the birth Of Olive I ate a huge meal, and I felt lighter. My stomach felt lighter. There was more room. We left the specialists to work on Olive and we would go see her that afternoon. Family stopped by to see me and we all agreed she WAS going to be that miracle. As it got closer to visiting her I asked our midwife if this constant leaking was normal after childbirth? She had look and confirmed it was not normal.
Next moment the room was once again full of doctors poking and prodding. An ultrasound was performed and we found that it was amniotic fluid leaking out of me. Giving birth to Olive had put a hole in triplet C’s sack and it was slowly leaking away. My heart sank to the very pit of the earth. I was now completely paralysed with the fear.
While Olive had a sliver of a chance just for being female- female preemies do better than males because of the hormones females naturally produce (helps mature the lungs and other organs) I knew if the boys were born now at 22+6 weeks they had no chance, I would have to just ask to hold them and let them pass away in my arms. My triplet miracle was slowly becoming a nightmare that was beyond even my very wild imagination.
But the time came to visit Olive so there I was- upside down half naked leaking everywhere with my little sheet just covering my modesty and I got wheeled down to the neonatology intensive care unit or NICU. I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was baby after baby kept in these little incubators, hooked up to more wires than I thought possible. These huge screens monitored the babies with a chorus of terrifying beeps ringing across the unit. There was no privacy. There isn’t much room between the incubators. So there I am in all my glory jammed between my daughter and someone else’s baby. But I really didn’t care I was to paralysed in my fear. I only had eyes for Olive.
There she was. The tiniest being I have ever laid eyes on. So fragile and so unfinished like the tiniest little bird. She completely belonged in my stomach for another 4 months. But fuck I LOVED HER SO FIERCLY. She had the longest legs and the biggest feet just like my Nan. She was 100% my daughter. But she was also very black and blue from the birth; she had a lot of trauma from it all. I couldn’t touch her if I did her unfinished skin would peel away and she would bleed. I couldn’t open the little porthole to her incubator. I could just lie there upside down and hope she could hear me. Hope that she found comfort in my voice. I felt powerless to help her, to comfort her. I was just this big oaf directly in the way. She was constantly surrounded by doctor’s, by nurses. She was the smallest baby the unit had ever taken on. I asked to be wheeled away with the heart breaking knowledge that the only people who could help her now were the medical team surrounding her.
Late that afternoon the contractions started up for triplet C.
Olive’s feet day 2. Tiny Olive Louise.