In loving memory of Hayden
My partner and I have custody of our grandkids, and Hayden was one of them.
At 39 weeks, we took my daughter for a check-up as she wasn't feeling right and luckily, we did because the scan found that Hayden's bowel had died.
The doctors then quickly organised to induce my daughter into labour at 7 am, and our sweet boy Hayden was born at 1:30 pm.
But Hayden already had surgery scheduled the next day, and thankfully it all went well. We had a lot to learn in a very short amount of time. Basically, overnight we had to learn how to change a stoma bag.
Hayden ended up being in hospital for a month, although it felt a lot longer than that. Then he came home for about three weeks, but he couldn't keep his milk down, so back to the hospital we went.
I would do the day shifts, then swap with my partner, and he would do the night shifts and then go to work. It was like clockwork. We also had Hayden's brother, sister, and our twins to look after so you can imagine how exhausted we were.
It was a lot of back and forth. Hayden went for another surgery, but after two weeks, we got to take him home. We had another month with him, but again, you guessed it, we went back to the hospital with more problems.
It was exhausting, but we stuck to the routine of splitting the shifts. After a lot of waiting, we got a call from the doctors saying they were going to connect Hayden's bowel back together. We began to feel hopeful after that fateful call.
Hayden went for surgery at 1 pm. Five hours later, at 6pm I was still waiting, but then they finally let me in to see Hayden in ICU. I was meant to sleep there that night with him, but that wasn't going to be the case.
The doctors had a look on their faces and asked me to step out as if something was wrong. I immediately rang my partner. Cut to, he and my eldest son came down to the hospital, and then my brother joined.
After waiting around for a while, we were all allowed to go in, but only to say our heartfelt goodbyes... We found out our baby boy Hayden went septic after his surgery.
All I remember thinking was I couldn't say goodbye. I couldn't move. I wanted to believe anything other than the truth.
But the harsh reality was on the 4th of November 2017, at 2.30 am, our little man lost the fight. Even today, I still can't accept he is gone. It hurts too much. So, I go to the cemetery and talk to him because, in my mind, he is always with me. He will always be in my heart.
To assist us with our new journey of grief and loss, we were introduced to Red Nose through John Hunter hospital. Thanks to them, we were able to cherish Hayden even more than I thought possible. Through Red Nose, we now have hand and feet moulds of Hayden and a lock of his hair. This genuinely makes us feel as though he is everywhere we go, and it’s an unexplainable feeling of being able to touch the mould like I’m holding his hands. Red Nose means so much to us. The fact that we can talk to anyone from Red Nose at any time makes us feel like you really are by our sides on our journey.