My anger is ever present. Dense and thickly layered, like a giant rubber band ball. Slamming it down, bouncing it about, threatens to break everyone and everything in its path. Dismantling it, shooting each band off on its own, target or no target, dulls (too much) the heft of the whole. So I hold the ball of anger, disgusted that I need to find a place for it amongst my many other unattractive grief adornments.
Would they have done nothing, if he were rather a grown man, groaning in pain, laying in their hospital bed? Why did it become acceptable for his heart rate to be significantly out of range? How could his constant, full day, awake state be blamed on caffeine, that had never before affected him this way?
Why did the last words of that afternoon, his nurse's words, have to be so condemning of my concerns about my son?
Gretchen, I can't wave a magic wand and make Zachary feel better.
Those words made me feel foolish, like I was overreacting, like I was a little nutty, like I needed to go home and please get some rest. Which I did. I didn't know what else I could do for Zachary. I was trying to live by "it's a marathon, not a sprint", trying to live my double life. I left my tiny baby to fend for himself in his isolette that night, his preemie whimpers only audible with open portholes. No red flag was placed on him. No doctor visited him at all, that night.
How could they, in good conscience, tell me It's good we've caught it early, the next morning, when a test could have, should have, been run the previous day? The sepsis was already doing its damage. Antibiotics administered even a couple of hours earlier might have made all the difference for Zachary. Why did a doctor try to tell me that in all likelihood, the source of the bacterial infection was the birth canal, my body? Impossible, given the timing of his clinical symptoms.
Delayed reactions. Twisted explanations. Scapegoating.
That hospital. Someone touched my baby, or his umbilical line, with E.coli on their hands. We will never know who. Zachary DIED. My otherwise healthy baby is dead, as a result.
I cannot begin to articulate how angry I am.