just part of the routine...

I had to work the weekend so my folks would be watching David.  I would be taking him down before I went to work tonight, my daughter had plans and would be staying at her dad's this weekend. My folks offered for me to come and stay when I got off work, to work and drive to sleep fast and get up to drive all the way back was a bit much, I needed a little quiet and this gave me the perfect opportunity.  I missed David terribly but they enjoyed him more!

I didn't pack much but the clothes on his back, we maintained a "normal" set-up at their house, we agreed this made David feel comfortable to have a lot of his same 'stuff' when he was there, his home away from home.
I worried when David was away from me, our home, our safety, this whole experience has intensified my security and comfort zone from a 2 to an 11.  ..sigh
My folks still smoked which was NOT a good environment for David, the doctors have even been as bold to tell them when they would visit David in the hospital.  They claimed to {now} not smoke in the house when he was there, they only smoked outside, well, fine and dandy but you STILL carry it in with you and it transfers to him, sigh, this is a never ending battle! ): one that my energy or resources can over come, at least not at this moment.

David LIT up when he saw his papa and his papa just melts, this is DEFINITELY my dad's medicine if you will.  I had a few minutes to spare before I had to head back to town to get some grub and get to work, sooo I took a seat outside, it was a beautiful day and I loved the 'back porch'.  My dad had taken David in the house to my mom and he was coming back out to visit before I had to leave.  I miss my dad, I love him so much!! 
We chatted for a little while when my mom had come outside, said she had laid David down for a nap .. I gave my salutations then I headed to work. 


daily stuff...

I woke up feeling a little better, David's good mood helped me, that smile of his is electric & those eyes, you would have to see them to believe me!
I had a few hours before I needed to get my daughter so I took David for a walk, he loved being outside and it gave me a chance to breath some fresh air and not smelly diapers..:)

David was content when we came back to play in his walker and watch a little TV and follow me around the house while I picked up and did cooking. David was like a little puppy at this stage, always under feet and mouth open, wasn't too much he did not like or would at least try.  My girl's were always picky eaters, good eaters but none the less picky, it must have been a girl thing, not used to boys and I hear they eat you out of house and home, ohh, sooo, can't wait!

I got another call/text from David's father early afternoon asking if he could come down today and see David, I agreed although it would put a bind in my schedule, make it close as far as pick up for my daughter and me leaving for work, BUT felt I needed to accommodate him when he asked, sigh...
He replied he would be at my place about 2:00 p.m. and he would have money and some formula, not the full case that should have been ready at the pharmacy, I thought strange but I would call them after he left to see what was going on since I had not gotten a call from my mom either, they usually called her since she lived in the same town as well as being listed as "next of kin".
David's father arrived a few minutes late but I was learning this meant nothing as he would still be gone within the hour visit I/we had initially agreed on.  David was still too little to "know" and was just happy to have a play-mate, their attention span was about equal so it was all good for a few minutes of quiet for me.  The hour, or less always seemed to fly by, it was that time and he was gone.  He handed me some cash and didn't mention anything about the formula as he left. 
It was yet again less than what we had talked about/agreed on, but who was I to be picky, I was at least getting something, right??

I showered while David napped since my time was going to be tight.  David must have been super tired, he slept hard, I had to wake him up to go get 'sissy' from school.  It would definitely be a pizza or burger night before I had to go to work. 
I called my mom on my way to the school and inquired about the formula.  My mom said she did receive a call from the pharmacy and had not had a chance to call me yet today.  It was only a half of a case, now that David was getting older and the WIC program would be cutting off when he is a year old, his insurance was now being changed over to his father's employer so the benefit would not be available once he reached a year old in just a few months.  My mom asked if he has paid me anything lately since she was involved in what he and my sister had agreed on prior to David being born.  I told her he gave me some last month as well as today, but it was less than what he and I had even agreed on which was a little more than what he and my sister had discussed.  He was a man of control, I saw this early and ALWAYS had my dad in my ear {as a reminder} about the kind of man he was with my sister and how I needed to always "beware". 
This was a subject that repulsed me and hated having with my folks at any time, yet I needed to have it since they were also listed as guardians and reminded me often.  I knew they would not fight me on any decision I made, any plans I discussed with David's father OR any arrangements I made, they had to have their 'say-so', I get it, no really, I GET IT!!


what's a sperm worth anyway?

How freaking slow did that night drag?  Once I came home and FINALLY got to sleep it was time to get right back up again, this was not going to be pretty.  I came home from taking my daughter to the bus stop and had a phone call from David's father, requesting me to bring him down for a visit before he went to work this afternoon, that was NOT going to happen today what so ever!  I text that I was into my work week and if he wanted to visit then he was more than welcome to come down and see him, I was about due for formula, although he was not so dependent on it anymore and some support money was due as well.  I sent the message off and then regretted it, ALWAYS check your text before you send it off, rule of thumb, right?
I got a quick response actually which said he would NOT be able to come down before work, it would just be too hectic for him, REALLY? and it wouldn't be for me?  "buffoon" I thought to myself as I worried if this would be held against me in the courts eyes...sigh

I was still SO worried about all the legalities of this whole guardianship thing and how it worked and 'what' rights he really had, I was certain they would be "nil to none" but I also know with my current job and background knowledge he could be awarded it all if he showed good efforts and turned his life around, which I was certain was not gonna happen, but feared it all the same!
I could NOT fathom my life without this little guy in it, I think I would literally go insane if he was taken away, as much as I've told myself, he is 'not' yours, he was here, in my home, in my care, and I was his guardian, awarded by the courts and I took an oath to do everything in my power to raise him as my own child and keep him safe.

I had made a rule for myself from day one to document every single contact I had with is father and the notations were already a half binder thick, this is gonna be fun {insert sarcasm}!
My dad was still 'anti-sperm donor' and I had no "real" outlet to talk about all the stuff I was dealing with as far as his father was concerned, this was something very very foreign to me, I knew of NO ONE else who was going through nor had gone through something like this ever before-Family Birth/Sudden Sickness/Tragic Death/NICU Preemie/Baby Daddy/Court fight/DNA testing/Court granted Guardianship all within a time frame of 2 weeks??  Who does that, ever?!?!  Who even {wants} to understand it all?!?! 
Again, feeling very very alone & overwhelmed..any/each one of these "excitement/grief" scenarios carries at least a few months of adjustment minimum, right, what happens when they all come at once?  I mean what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?  I'm just trying to justify to myself why on any given day I get out of bed and attempt to function for the sake of ME!!  It is pure survival at this point and where it goes from here is in god's hands!

David's ready for a morning snack and nap and I think it best I take one too!!


doing the right thing?

Last day off, it is laundry and errand day, did I miss my day of rest?  sneaky little thing always seems to be hiding from me!
I need to start thinking about purging and packing, I know I will be all alone in this process, sigh, WHERE did all this crap come from anyway?

I had the opportunity to have a long talk with my bff later that night, he put a lot in perspective for me, he also offered to help me move and get me settled into my new place, it was an offer I could not refuse, I needed all the help I could get.
I went to bed this night counting my blessings, I often feel so very alone even in a room full of people!!

I woke up to David singing and talking to himself, he was, if I can say again, a very happy baby, very little bothered him at all, unless food ran short before HE was ready to be done.  I laid in bed as long as he let me, I often think he knew my schedule better than I did...
I walked over to the crib just as he was standing up and that smile seemed to have made the early hour much more acceptable.  We got up, got fed and then relaxed while I prepped the house and David for yet another work week, my daughter would be home right after work today, we would be able to have nice dinner before I had to scoot out. 

My daughter got home, finished her homework and actually had time to eat and visit before I had to leave.  My daughter asked if I had found a place to move to, I told her I had and I would be leaving at the end of the month..her response, look was not one of disappointment but one of sadness, this crushed me, made me angry, WHY was I having to deal with such a tragedy and new little, fragile life to make a difference and I felt like it was only making my daughters "sadder" and possibly even hateful towards me, I hoped & prayed this was never the case but it definitely hurt that bad!
Not much more was said after that, she tended to David who was a little fussier than normal this afternoon and I finished getting ready to leave.

My drive to work was a wet one, in my eyes anyway-how can one person feel like 2 completely different people at the same exact time??  I was excited to move closer to my folks, yet not back to the small town I grew up in, I was relieved the girl's would not be burdened anymore, they could have their freedom back and have a {somewhat} normal teen/early adult life that they deserved, what we had gained after my divorce and prior to David, which was only less then 1.5 at this point and be given the proper time to grieve & move forward in their lives, leaving me devastated that I was moving away to try and build a life I was completely uncertain of what lied ahead for us all...
Sometimes being an adult and {trying} to do the right thing just SUCKED!!


the search is on...

We got home in time for a much needed long nap for us BOTH!  I slept till it was time to go pick up my youngest from school, a couple of hours was better than nada...It was a relax night at home, after dinner we sat and talked while she did homework and my oldest came by after work for a visit.  We all knew what I was doing tomorrow and just didn't have the energy to talk anymore about it, I felt it would be beating a dead horse.
It was bath time for David, my youngest was already up in her room and I called it "stair time" for this mama!  I sat for over 2 hours and tried to think of what the future held, where exactly was I going in this journey, just what was going to happen, what would be the ultimate outcome?  REALLY, these questions were NOT going to be answered anytime soon, I was beginning to realize that they may NEVER be answered, I needed 'for sures' how many more days could I just go through the motions and whatever happens happens?  This was SO foreign to me, yet I had no choice in ANY of it...sigh
I was finally ready for bed, I needed to take a cry, I mean a hot shower to help me relax a little more and a decent sleep I would pray for.

GOOD morning was the next thing I heard, my daughter was standing over David's crib and he was having a morning conversation with his sissy, this was the sweetest thing, it was definitely the mood booster I needed this morning! 
We got up and took my daughter to the bus stop then David and I headed to Madera where I would be on the hunt for our new residence, sigh...I arrived and was greeted by my dad at the gates, he, they were SO happy to see David, it had been a couple of weeks since they actually saw him last.  I was off on my adventure, I went by one complex and had a tour, I wanted to at least check out one more before I made my decision, it was a little closer to my folks and on the right side of town, it was a small town and the pickings were slim :)
The 2nd complex was a larger and only a mile, if that from my folks house and they offered as well as had available 3 bedroom units and upstairs like I had wanted.  It was all pretty much a done deal by the time the tour was done and the paperwork filled out. With my 30 day notice turned into my condo and the 2 week wait for this unit I would quite possibly have to stay with my folks for a week or so. 
On  my way back to pick up David I had called my guy bff, HE would know what to do, he would listen and give his advice and ALWAYS make me feel tons better about what I thought was NOT going to happen, I know, confusing, right?  He assured me it would all work out, what is meant to be will be and it always works out in the end!  I knew but needed to know at the same time.  I thanked him for the pep talk and we would talk later tonight if he was available, his reply, ALWAYS!!

David was napping when I got back to my folks, so I stuck around and sat outside with my dad while he and my mom slept and enjoyed the company.  I loved being at 'home' and was actually looking forward to being a lot closer and spending more time with my folks, I think we ALL needed to be closer to one another for more reasons than just the obvious, David!
It was time to get my daughter from the farm and drop her off at her dad's for the night, I woke David up and off we went.


my thoughts exactly..

David stayed awake after we took my daughter to the bus stop so I was praying our outing to the center would be uneventful this afternoon, I would totally be pushing for a late morning nappy pooh!
David was good with eating and lounging, he was always good about that when mama needed a little re-charge since there was NO such thing as {solid} sleep in our household anymore.  David had slept for about an hour more and that was the extent of sleep for the time being "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit"  a saying my girl's and I had :)

I had called a few complexes this morning and had told my dad I would be down tomorrow to look at some if they could watch David for me, of course they were more than accommodating which will relieve me of having to take him in and out of the car.  I had not heard from David's dad or I would have tried to make a visit all in one, but I had NO time or patience to deal with that on these days off if I didn't have to...

I loaded a bag & David and off we went, I was a tad nervous for some reason, I'm guessing the unknown of the whole program and site location.  I had heard about it, well, actually lived across the street from the school many, many years prior and knew it was a facility for delayed children so it will be interesting to see the services they offer and the children they accommodate. 
We arrived and were greeted outside by David's worker, he helped me in with David and got us signed in, release forms in hand and off we went into the "play" room.  It was a padded room filled with all sorts of obstacles, age appropriate for David of course, for children whom were not quite walkers yet not full crawlers, if that makes sense at all!  David seemed to be happy and when he was set down, he was really wanting to explore, hence, the purpose of the room.  We were in this room for about 25 minutes then it was activity time in the "infant" room, we walked over the other side of the school into a classroom type setting with little wooden tables and little wooden high chairs, everything was even smaller than what you would see in a kindergarten classroom.
We were invited to eat lunch with the class after some basic floor activities.  David roamed around and liked all the blocks and loose toys.  There were 4 other infants in the room with us, they gathered them all up and placed them all in the high chairs as lunch was on it's way.  David was anxious, he was NO stranger to lunch or snack times.  It was kind of strange for me to NOT be involved in feeding or taking care of him, but I was asked to fill out some more paperwork while David was eating and was assured the staff would keep a watchful eye on him, plus I'm certain they wanted to see how he reacted without me by his side for their observation {reports} etc...
David was 10 months old now and he was very active, he had NO lack of energy, that is for sure.  I was there ALL the time and was very afraid to leave his side, a protective thing, a fear thing, I really don't know but to leave his side without my "safety"/comfort people with him, was foreign and a bad feeling for me.

Our time at the center was over, we loaded up and prepared to leave, we set another appointment time for 2 weeks from now, I would give the program a few more tries and see how David reacted on a second visit and with me observing from another room. This was a free service provided to us so it could only be a benefit David at this point was my reasoning.
I had called my oldest daughter to tell her about our appointment and she requested to go with me the next time to see what it was about, she was certain David did NOT need this service and feared he would be adversely affected by the 'other' children at the center.  David was too young to know there was even a difference, it was a social thing for him I believe at this age although I had thought the same thing to myself. 


pull em' up

I pondered all day and most of the night about my decision to move closer to my folks so I could relieve the girl's and have the {steady} help I needed with David.  My oldest was already out and the youngest was spending a lot more time at her dad's, this broke my heart and I knew the toll this was taking on them, I worried it was coming between us, felt it already had and before the damage was irreversible I needed to make things easier for them.  This SUCKED!

I would tell my daughter today that I had made my decision and give my 30 day notice.  My folks were happy I was moving closer and David's father seemed to be happy but gave nothing further. 
My daughter had farm duty after school so when I picked her up I would tell her on our drive home, it was pizza night since as soon as we got home, I would drop them off and head straight to work, it was Friday, I'm looking forward to having some quiet days off.

My daughter seemed sad with a look of relief in her eyes when I told her I had decided that moving was going to be my best option for David at this stage, I told her I would be looking for a 3 bedroom apartment and would love her to move with me but understood at the same time I could not ask her to change schools this late in the game.  I told her I wanted no bad feelings and made sure she understood why I needed to move, she said she knew and understood with the look that said "please don't go mom!" which killed me and put me in a bad place for the entire night.  My oldest was upset but was kind of out of the game anyway at this point, she was in full grief mode, which we all should have been, along with her busy teenage/pre-adult life!

My night seemed to creep by at work, it's not like I had NOTHING on my mind, right??  I had forgotten about David's meeting at the center tomorrow afternoon.  His worker had asked us to come to the center so we could get a feel for or see just how David would respond to some mild social interaction as well as access to more resources for his "play" activities. 
I am tired, feeling physically and mentally worn out and it was looking like there was NO relief in site, so I knew it was going to be a set of days off I would need to pull out my big girl panties and pull them up HIGH and just forge on!


cry baby

I checked in as always, my daughter seemed a little bit flustered and said David was fussier than usual and wasn't settling down as easily as he usually does.  I questioned if he was breathing o.k., if he had eaten, been changed and then suggested she give him a warm bath, water always seemed to calm him down for some reason.
I know she was a little more annoyed than usual with my questions/suggestions and took it that she did not have the ability to take care of him in actuality it was me feeling WAY guilty that I was leaving her alone to have to deal with the situation while I was at work, it was an extremely difficult thing for me and at most times like this, I needed to block it out and just move forward.

I worried so much when I was away from the house, away from him and worried even more about the girls and how this has taken it's toll on them. WHAT was I going to do?  I thought more about moving back to town with my folks, well, not WITH them, but in the same town so I could give the girls their freedom back and have the relief I needed in the same town and not be away from him for 3 days at a time BUT means I would be away from my girls all the time and the time I DID not have with them would be cut even more, I wanted to scream, so instead I cried, at work and had to re-focus..fast!

Besides Jules and Amanda I had a great bff, a guy bff no less, it was the safest guy friend I could have asked for, we were peas in a pod, he was married hence the 'safe' part and the most faithful man I was convinced NEVER existed.  I needed some help with the decision, Jules & Amanda were with me on the "help" part and didn't really give to much insight on my daughters, it was more on what "I" needed and what was best for David, sigh...HE on the other hand was there to listen and give great pep talks when I would cry about missing my girls. We worked together so he would check in frequently and we would have some nice "hall" talks as he would try to straighten out my bad attitude, I felt safe to have one with him and he totally understood!  There was not a whole lot of ME time now-a-days so when it came to relationships, there was just NO time that was just the way it had to be, it was WAY to complicated and I could not devote my "soul" time to anyone other than my girls, especially now with David, a newborn with some pretty complicated circumstances!

Needless to say when I came home my daughter was asleep on the couch with David on her chest, I started to cry, I knew she had a rough night and her sleep was not the best nor was David's.  I put my stuff away, carefully moved him to his bed upstairs where he didn't even flinch and covered her up and left her be, her alarm would be going off in 3 hours anyway. 

David slept all the way till my daughter came in to get me up to take her to the bus, he was starving by the time we got back from the 5 minute round trip drop off and was NOT a happy camper.  His eating schedule was a little off but luckily he ate and went back down for almost another 2 hours which 'really' screwed up the afternoon naptime...sigh...



is there any other way

Coffee was brewing and I put David in his chair, he loved his vibrating bouncy chair and the dancing fishies, he laughed and bounced and laughed some more, I LOVED the sound of his little laugh{s} thus proving, again, just how happy he was!

I had some laundry to catch up on and some house cleaning to do and hopefully sneak a little nap in before I had to go to work.  David's father had called and wanted to know if he could come by and drop off some formula, I had forgotten it was about that time again.  I told him it would be fine and that it would be much appreciated if he could also drop off a check as well, I was needing more diapers and supplies, he agreed and said he would be there right after lunch, I agreed since David's nap was closer to 10:30 and he woke up at lunchtime. 
I was not at the comfy level with him hanging around while David slept, I was just still feeling the water, I was not scared, just again knew NOTHING about this man and had only been given some 'bad ju-ju'.

David's father showed up right on cue, David was waking up, I let him sleep downstairs on the couch while I cleaned and did some laundry, David's father was happy to see him and came bearing formula, diapers and a small check.  I HATED this part of it and was SO not into asking for things, EVER!  We had agreed on $250 since that is what he was giving my sister, or what they had agreed upon after she moved out of his home. They tried to live together for 1 short, very short month when she was about 7 months along, needless to say she was soon back with our folks and he was buying baby furniture for their house and had agreed with her assistance that he would pay her $250 a month for support and supplies that the aide would not provide. 
The check was $100 short, I think he could tell by the look on my face, he immediately interjected "I bought some diapers, formula and food I know you will need" I mustered a reply, "thank you" and left it be, HOW could I not possibly argue this fact when I knew damn well I should have!!  I SO would have if it was my own child's father....sigh
David was sitting playing with his father on the floor as I stacked the case of formula, put the food away and took the diapers upstairs.  I rarely left them in the room alone but felt safe in my own home, I dared him to try ANYthing in my safe places.  I needed a few seconds to decompress, I wanted to yell to him, the formula is FREE, the food is $.25 a jar and 1 case of diapers is $24.99, but I did it in my head and became grateful realizing I only had 6 diapers left.  I self-talked that this was extra help and I was really NOT spending a lot out of my pocket at this point, all the services we received were free and/or no cost out of pocket to me...STILL, a deal is a deal!  I remember thinking as I walked back downstairs, is this an indication of what is to come?
He stayed nearly 45 minutes and said he would look forward to seeing us in 2 weeks, I thought to myself, your regular scheduled visit is this coming Saturday, but I had NO energy to say anything more and would just make note of this visit and mark my calendar for next Saturday, of course keeping the dates I/we had {originally} already agreed upon marked and just keep my records in order, 18years of notation, this will be one helluva Guinness record :)

On a positive note, I have to say that since it might not be, I will get no nap today before I go in, I will have to drive all the way to the farm to pick up my daughter and by the time we return I will need to fix dinner, shower and head to work.
I sat at the computer and notated the visit today and summarized the doctor's appointments/phone calls, etc then headed out the door, here we go, off and running, FULL speed ahead!



having writer's block sucks! 

it is not that fact I have NOTHING to write, it is the fact I need to mentally prepare myself to continue the Journey!!


run around

Our in home visit was bright and early, this time it was 9 a.m. and they were always "johnny on the spot".  We were up and ready barely, but with coffee in hand I was happy to see David having another good interaction with the his worker and his assistant. Their hour had seemed to have gone by quick this visit but non the less they were soon gone and I found myself sitting on the stairs not realizing David was on the floor, playing as content as can be and obviously not missing me at that particular moment, he was in his own little happy world!

I finally got moving, I had a few phone calls yet to make, one being to the Audiology department and the other to David's pediatrician, David was still not breathing like I would have like him to, no distress per-say, just not 'right'. 
The Audiology department didn't have a whole lot of information, they told me he had some hearing loss in the right ear {knew that!}the test reading showed it seemed to have been blocked with fluid so they would need to re-test in 3 months when he was a little older and some of the fluid drained away o.k.??  Uhhhh, how did it get there and how do I get rid of it was my first question..I was given that it could have been caused by him being on his side for a long period of time and it will just dissipate..o.k.??  I left it at that, I ran out of energy for that battle rather quickly!
I moved on to task #2, I as getting good at lists and checking things off.  I spoke with the nurse and told her my concerns with David's breathing, I asked if he was too young for an inhaler and she said she thought he may be but she would ask the doctor and she would call me back.
I really loved this new doctor, within the half hour I received a call back and not just from the nurse but from the doctor himself.  He was {way} old, quite possibly could have been MY pediatrician if it applied, he had the bedside manner of an angel, our very first appointment to his office was right after their lunch, I arrived a few minutes early and he was the one who greeted us at the door, and grabbed a file and took us back, I was won over from day one!
The doctor said he thought {also} David was still too small/young for an inhaler, especially on the heels of being weened off the high dose antibiotics for the Valley Fever exposure.  He suggested we do the warm, sultry, steamy showers and give him Tylenol for the fever and the cough will just have to work itself out and if needed I could bring him in to the office for an oxygen level check or take him to the hospital, that was always viable option..."viable option" since when did taking your child to the hospital seem like a viable option, a general topic of conversation?  It just seemed WAY to bizarre for me but on the same note, it was something that made total sense.

Dinner time was approaching and it seemed like I had been on the phone all day.  My daughter came home followed by my oldest and they kept David busy while I threw something together for dinner.  We had a nice conversation as always, baths soon followed with bedtime rituals and before I knew it, the house was quiet and I was, of course, wide awake, dammit! 
I could hear David breathing from my 'stair chair' and went to check on him, he seemed restless so I picked him up and laid down on my bed with him, that always seemed to calm him down, the skin to skin contact and I know the sound of my heartbeat, it built up from our bonding time that I'm still SO thankful for the nurses suggestion and forced hand at making it happen when he was in NICU.

I was apparently a little more tired than I had thought I was, I woke up to David stirring because he was hungry, my initial thought was OMG, this will be a long night until I looked over at the clock it said it was nearly 5 a.m. WHAT??  where the heck did the last 7 hours go?  NO complaints here, he was fed, we took my daughter to the bus stop when she was up and ready and we came home for a quick nap before I started my day and mentally prepared for going back to work tonight.



Julie left after a couple of hours, my oldest had gone back to her dad's and my youngest had fallen asleep with David on the couch, this was a site that made my heart smile, it was very heavy and needed this little lift.

I had David's infectious disease appointment tomorrow so I would for sure ask him about the coughing and maybe they could suggest an over the counter medication for him if they cleared us from the antibiotic.  David seemed to be doing a little better but when I moved him to his own bed it seemed he was still uneasy, so of course I got no sleep listening to and worrying about him. 
I got up about 3 a.m. and went for some water, it was about time for a feeding so I prepared a bottle while I was down stairs, I came back up and forced a feeding so we could get back to sleep.  David was responsive, ate and fell right back asleep in my arms, I left him there and just slid down onto my pillows and we seemed to have slept for the rest of the night without interruption.

I got up bright and early, to take my daughter to the bus stop then came home to shower for the appointment, I was hopeful he would give me the news I wanted to hear this morning.  David was in a good mood and seemed to be breathing better, of course he was, kids always got better it seemed when you were taking them to be seen for their aliments :)
I got David bathed and ready in between my time, he sat in his chair and watched me until I was done, he had to be close to me if not at my feet lately no matter where I was in the house.  I was finally ready and off we went, we got to the hospital just a few minutes before our appointment and as always the front girls were SO excited to see David and scooped him right up.  We went to our room and waited patiently for the doctor to come in, he was really good about his timing.  David was ALL smiles and he was happy to see that. He did a quick exam with David, he heard the chest/breathing and although it concerned him he still let me know that we were FREE to stop using the antibiotic and he felt certain David was Valley Fever free and what exposure he did have in the womb was out of his system and should lead a healthy life from here on out. THIS was what I was waiting to hear for the last 9 months, man was this music to my ears {and heart}. I thanked him SO much for all his care and concern and that I appreciated everything he did for us and the special care he gave to David, he put a stern hand on my shoulder and said your very welcome and BIG kudos to you to kiddo!  awww now he was going to make me cry, this time good tears..
After our brief exchange I asked what he thought about the breathing and he said it sounded a little tight to him but said follow-up with his pediatrician for an over the counter or possibly even an inhaler at this point since it seems to be a normal thing and most likely inherited thing for this little guy. 
I again thanked him and we were free to go, the girls up front were sad they would not be seeing us anymore but much happier he was all better, we had a little tearful farewell with them as well.

We came home and I laid David down for his nap, he was pooped.  I made some phone calls and let my folks, my sister and my daughter know he was clear and free, he responded well to the antibiotics and was free of any form of the Valley Fever he had been exposed to in her womb, it was bittersweet that is for sure.  My youngest daughter called to say she was staying after school so I took this opportunity and snuck a little nap as well.
We had another first five home visit tomorrow, I was also able to call and get into the pediatrician's office as well, another busy day to look forward to {insert sarcasm}.

My daughter got a ride home and was happy about the news we got from the doctor visit today.  We ate some dinner and had a 'relax' night, she finished up some homework and David and I played on the front room floor for a few hours until it was time to go to bed.  I wasn't tired so I came back down after I put David to bed, I was a little restless for some reason, I couldn't quite pin-point it, so I flipped channels, sat on the patio, sat on the stairs, ate some ice-cream then I was ready for bed, ice-cream always helps melt the bad thoughts away!



My mom made the comment that David is such a good eater, it was hard to tell he was a preemie at one time. Time continues to move forward, I can hardly believe David is nearly 9 months old, how can that be possible? He is sitting up strong, wants to rock on his knees and hates his swing, he is still a little peanut and weighs nothing at all yet eats me out of house and home.

I was glad to pick him up from my folks, I missed him and barely slept knowing as soon as I woke up I could go get him and bring him back home, we would sleep good tonight.  I was expecting my daughter home this evening as well, it definately put a little `pep` in my step.  I would be running again on my days off, we had our {hopeful} final appointment with the infectious disease dr as well as another first five in home meeting and then I would be hoping to hear from valley children's audiology department.
I got to my folks house and found David asleep in his crib, my mom said he had been asleep for almost 3 hours, seemed a little long for his afternoon schedule but if he was up coughing all night it made sense. I had urged them to make every effort to keep him on the schedule we had worked so hard to put him on with all our crazy comings and goings, they made a good effort...
My dad had wanted to talk to me since David was sleeping so him and I went to the back patio to sit and 'chat'.  My dad said he planned to put a mobile home on the back of their acres and he would like to know if this is something I would be up for, they were my main source of help with the girls SO busy with school, their farm responsibility and work and although I absolutely despized the thought of EVER moving back to this small town I grew up in, felt like a prisoner in, it would be something I just may have to consider in the near future..sigh..sooo I let my dad finish, it is what you just have to do, I would have to ponder the rest when I had more free time, yeah right!!

My mom came out with a little bundle of joy in her arms and I knew the moment I saw him what was happening.  David was having some difficulty breathing yet still had a smile on his little face, I think he was happy to see me.  I stayed for just a little bit longer and then gathered his things and I headed home, both girls would be there when I came home and dinner hopefully done :)
David seemd to have coughed a lot on the way home and now I was worried, is this reeally what my days off were going to consist of? we had WAY to much to do and the thought of even having a day off where I did nothing, well, that seemed to be a thing of the past.  I got home and the girls were very excited to see him and they noticed right away he was having some trouble breathing, they were not happy and of course feared we would end up right back in the hospital.  I assured them he would be fine once he had a nice warm bath and some of their love!

The girls had picked up dinner, as we ate David sat in his walker and seemed to have perked up a little and wasn't coughing nearly as much.  Dinner was done, the girls wanted to bath him and get him ready for playtime and bed so I cleaned the kitchen and let them have some time with David.  I, of course, was now in "think" mode and what my dad said 'did' make sense, but I don't think I was so convinced, I mean the commute was not that bad, I did miss David when he was there, but it did give us all a little break, was it going to be 'that' damaging to him to be around his  grandparents parital time and then us the other times? It scared me to death to have to think of the fact that my girls would NOT be with me, I would be moving alone with David, they had school, farm, college and work that there was NO way I could ask them to A-put on hold or B-expect that they would give up just to move away with me...they were already away from me once in the beginning of the divorce, I was not so sure I was up for this again and with even bigger stakes it seemed.
O.K. I was making myself sick and I had barely scratched the surface of this topic, I needed a long hot shower...my brain was going to explode!  I called Julie, she came right over, we sat on the patio and had a good chitty-chat..

I was definitely going to need some help and guidance with this decision, there was NO getting around that.


it's a job!

Work was work, if there wasn't a shooting or a stabbing then it was a slow night, you take phone call after phone call and keep your freedom of speech to yourself.  If by chance you happened to be on the radio when someone was fatally injured then you access their life as if there was not one to begin with and move on, your shift is over, you log off and you go home, simple as that, right?  right!
It is a stress you laugh about, there is NO way you can take it personal, ever, it would literally be the death of YOU if you thought too long and hard about any of it.  You learn to block out the 'mental' picture and find peace within your soul to know that you did everything you could to help the person on the other end, a person you will never see, a person you will never know and a person you may be standing next to in the gorcery store the next day, you have to know you did what you were trained to do at the end of the day. 
NOW, that is not to say you will have that call, hear that one voice that will stick with you from time to time or maybe even longer, but it is the job and you build, over time, a resistance to hearing such horrible things, imagining the worst possible scenarios and for me it makes me appreciate SO much what I have within my family and my own children.

I had checked in on David shortly before his bedtime and all was well.  I was looking forward to going home and crashing for lack of better terms, this was going to be an epic sleep and I was a litte excited..not much did that now a days so I was willing to take whatever I could get :)
The house was dark &quiet, it made for some GREAT {initial} sleep, 2 hours I think it was, I woke as if I had slept for 12 hours, looked at the clock and wanted to shot myself in the foot, no really, literally! I got up, went to the bathroom and laid back down begging for sleep until tears rolled down my eyes and then it hit me, I was alone, no one to get up and care for and my emotions were coming whether I liked it or not, it was bizarre, I could NOT stop crying. It seemed to have lasted, well, I don't know how long it lasted because the next thing I knew it was nearly 2 p.m. I had slept for almost 8 hours straight and woke up as if I had NO clue where I was.
This was crazy, could I not be alone anymore, was I afraid, had I forgotten, did I not know how to handle myself when there was nothing going on?  I felt really out of place and I was in my OWN home, I was not liking the way this made me feel, I needed a repreave not confinement!

I finally rolled out of bed and showered as it was that time again, at least it was my friday and I would be getting David back tomorrow night from my folks.  I packed my lunch, checked in with the girls and my folks and off to work I went. 
My mom had told me David was coughing a lot today and but seemed to be eating o.k. and slept the most of the day, I asked if he had a fever and she said he did not, so I was a little less worried but knew their smoking was not fairing to well for him.  They didn't smoke in the house but might as well had since it was ALL over their clothing and everything they touched including him ): as much as this worried and frustrated me I had no other alternative care so I would just prepare myself and make him better on my days off!


for the love of...

Just like clock work David was hungry and was ready to be fed once we arrived and I stopped the car.  While they all "coo'd" over him and cried I let his father take him out of his seat while I prepared his bottle.  David was overwhelmed and was focused on me and is bottle, that made me feel good at the same time making me feel bad, it was weird.  I gave the bottle to his father and he started the feeding while the others stood over him as if they didn't know what to do, the house was small and I was feeling a little cramped.  David's father was done with the feeding about half way through the bottle and turned him over to me, he got a little further this time and I wondered if it was a show for the present company, either way, it was a better attempt this go `round.
The visit was over, I stayed a little later since there were guests and I knew this was probably the one and only time they would see David, they were friends with my sister, they spent a lot of time with her and saw her through her entire pregnancy, so it was only fitting, I considered it my gift to them.

I had called my dad when I was headed out to their place, it was a whopping 4 minute drive if that but none the less he was waiting outside for me when I drove up.  I was tired, the lack of sleep and my emotions were creeping up on me. My folks were excited to see us and to have David for a couple of days, I was more exicted to be able to get some decent sleep.  I stayed for just a short time since I had to get back home and ready for work, I had two more days left on this sentence then I would be back to get him on my days off.

I made it home in time to make my lunch and out the door, I was cutting it REALLY close.  My daughter was not at home yet but would be staying at her dad's which she did more frequent when David was not at our house.  I missed her but know it was good time away for us all, there was just not nearly enough "alone" time for any of us since this whole mess started, mess I say because is just simple there is not any other nice word I could muster up to describe it!

Work was work and I was able to have a little time in the middle of the night, where NOW I did all my 'stuff' that needed to be done, I needed to put together that latest of my conversation's with David's father and fill in my calendar with the remaining dates I had scheduled for his visitations.  This was proving to be a book-keeper's nightmare, but for this OCD mama I needed to have some good proof, back-up if you will of exactly WHAT was said and done in regards to this little boy whom I have been entrusted to care for and raise as my own.
RAISE AS MY OWN?  for the love of god..did I just think that..he is SO not my flesh and blood or my DNA, he is my nephew I am raising in honor of my sister, he will and can never be thought of as mine, that would be a horrible dishonor to my sister..ok, ok, no more of that nonsense!



I came home just in time to hear the whimper from upstairs and my daughter confirming it was me so she could roll back over, "yes honey, it's me!"
I dropped my bag and headed to the kitchen to make a bottle and head upstairs where I found David with a huge smile on his face and he was rolling over and playing with his feet, he was hungry, I made it just in time :)
He was holding his bottles pretty well so I propped him up in my bed and got ready for bed so when he was done we would go right back to sleep for a few hours, he was always good about going back down.

Sleep was not going to happen today, I had a visit but knew since David was going to be with my folks I could sleep when I came home from work and sleep uninterrupted quite possibly until I had to go back in, ohhh the thought of that has me a little excited! I let David nap for his mid-morning nap while I got a small bag ready for our visit, when we got there it would be his  lunchtime.  I always made the visits around a feeding in case his father wanted to 'bond' or partake in any of the process, he gave a good effort but usually gave it right back, I felt like I needed to keep the option open so I could say "I tried"..this as ALL other processes and communication were well documented so I had proof if something was ever said in court, I had my own opinions on how things would continue to play out as well as the bigger seed my dad had planted.

David woke up and off we went, I had called my cousin mid drive to make sure she was going to be there for our visit and she anxiously said she would be.  My cousin was having a hard time with the death of my sister, we all were, but for her it went to a whole nother level, I know she feels responsible and for that fact she wishes it was her that had died and not my sister. I was always the one who could get her to talk, answer her phone when no one else knew where she was or what was going on. 
We had our children a month apart, my daughter then her son, they were cute little toe-heads and cute to see together, although we were not around a lot, they had a blast when we got them together.  She subsequently went through a divorce a lot sooner than I had and relied on me from time to time to watch her son when she had things to do or in most cases be gone for days on end ):  this went on for a couple months, her dad would always call me on the 2nd day and simply say "do you have the baby" my standard reply was "yes, he is with me" the phone would go silent and he would tell me if I needed ANYTHING to just call and of course thank you! 
I was having a baby shower for my then sister-in-law and I had the 'baby' {4 yrs old now} when I had made her promise to pick him up by the time the shower started, he had already been here 1 day too long as it was. The guests started to arrive and he was anxious for his mom, he was a child that was extremely hard to settle down, as if he was afraid to get comfortable in one spot, broke my heart in pieces to see such a young life being SO negatively affected. 
My house was full and the party was in full swing, food..done cake..done we were moving onto gifts when the doorbell rang, I looked at my guest of honor {she knew the story} and excused myself for a moment and went to the door, I opened it barely and stepped thru to the security screen door to find her sitting on my bench, "sorry I'm late" I said "me too".. I had not quite decided what I was going to do or what I would say for that fact as this had gone on long enough, it just came out when I saw her face/appearance, I told her "you can go back home, he is not leaving with you, I'm keeping him here tonight" she looked at me barely and said "o.k. with a long pause then thank you" she knew I knew and that is all that needed to be said.  As soon as I shut the door he came running with excitement from playing in the bedroom with the girl's and wanted to know "was that my mommy?"  I swollowed big, rubbed his little blonde head and said "no baby it wasn't, you get to spend one more night with us!"  I had to excuse myself from my guests {again} and compose myself.  I had called my uncle and told him what had happened in case she said something and he assured me she would not and he was in FULL agreeance with what I had said/done and was he proud of me, then why do I feel like complete SHIT?!?!?!?!

When my sister was first in the hospital she was not there, she appeared the 3rd into the 4th day and barely left my side, she was beside herself with NOT knowing what to do but whatever I needed she had it and was willing to do whatever I needed to be done.  When my sister past she was briefly in the room with me and my daughter, she disappeared shortly after and I mean literally, no one heard from her in nearly 5 days, I'm sure it was a 'binge' none of us wanted to know about.  On the one visit my folks and sister and I took to go up to see David my Aunt and Uncle both had called me asking If "I" had heard from her, I said no and felt bad I wasn't aware she had been MIA, they asked if I would call her to just make sure she was o.k., of course I would. 
I called her and left a message and before I could put my phone away she was calling me back.  I asked if she was o.k., I didn't want to know anything else, I was just worried about her, she said she was o.k. and she would come see me in a couple of days if I was still at my folks house, I told her I would LOVE to see her and I needed her with me, to get me through this, full on knowing I was the one SHE needed more!  I told her I loved her and I would let her go, she thanked me for calling and checking on her, extremely bittersweet!!  I made return phone calls to her parents and let them know she was o.k. and nothing more was said.

I arrived at David's father's house to find my cousin waiting outside to greet me, she was over come with tears, hugged me and then scooped David up in his car seat and we headed in the house.  She assured me it was only one other gal friend of theirs and her older cousin {I knew} that were here and no one else would be showing up, I felt a little better once I saw her and knew who the company consisted of.  


making it work

I got David bathed and dressed just in time, the doorbell rang, it was playtime, well, he thought that anyway. They could not get over just how social he was at 8 months now, always has a smile and is always playful. The visit was just shy of 45 minutes and today they did some basic signs for babies, I had expressed to them last visit that I had wanted to, prior to even knowing about the hearing loss, teach him sign language, so they thought this a perfect opportunity to engage in this skill, it was win-win for me also, I could be taught & learn at his level..David was doing well and was always attentive to his worker. We scheduled another meeting for 3 weeks, the worker eluded to the fact that he thought David would benefit greatly from their in house services at the learning program they provided in a school setting, this would be up for discussion when he turned a year old, it was something to think about and he invited us to come by anytime to visit the school.
Was David a special needs child?  OR could it truly be just his hearing loss?  Is it the fact he was initially signed up with WIC/Medi-Cal and the First Five program?  These services were appreciated but I was not so convinced they were needed, I guess since they are free and they are not harming him in any way at this point, I will comply and know it will look good on paper for me in the eyes of the court system.

David's father had text during the visit, I got/returned the message after I had laid David down for a nap.  He was wanting to know how our trip was an when he would be able to see David again, I text him I would be available this coming Saturday {our normal schedule visit anyway} as I would be bringing David to my folks house to spend the night with them since I worked this weekend.  He agreed and asked if I would please bring him by and asked if a few friends of his could also meet David, I asked what friends and all he replied was a few people that knew your sister. I was NOT keen on this at all, I knew better to NOT tell my folks and made darn sure before my visit that my cousin would be present, as much as she was the go between and caused some problems she was the only one I trusted as I knew she would let NOTHING happen to me or this little guy, EVER!!  She was a year older than I was but always had my back, in high school, not that I needed it but always made sure she said "hi" to me and all my friends knew her friends and her friends knew who I was, it was nice to have 'some' recognition when you are a puny freshman..

I laid down on the couch to rest while David was asleep, have I mentioned what a good sleeper he is?  He slept for almost 2 1/2 hours and this was music to my sleepy eyes, he woke up and it was time for me to get ready for work.  I made a quick dinner for him and my daughter and off I went, duty calls I always joked as I left the house and with a little peck for her and him, I was out the door.
I always checked on them once I got settled in at work and didn't hear to much from them the rest of the night, they were usually down just a few hours after I left anyway and David was sleeping through the night, well, until I came home then he was back down until about time to take my daughter to the bus stop, it was a pretty decent schedule we had and after the initial 'break-down' with my youngest daughter all was working well with school and homework. 
David was spending a day or two at my folks house when I worked weekends so that the girls could have some "free" time, teenage time I liked to call it, it seemed only fair and made them appreciate him more when they had him. I didn't like him being away from home, but knew my folks missed him as well and they had a room set up for him that was just like the one at our house, we were very fortunate, when we got duplicate/similar gifts it allowed us to keep each house supplied, it was a god send that we had been so blessed.  I missed him dearly when he was gone but missed my sleep more when he was here!



the agony

A mere 10 hours later & we were home, my goodness it took forever to get here it seems.  It was almost 10 p.m. and the girls were at their dads so it was just David and I, well, me since David was asleep and didn't flinch when I took him to bed and settled him in.  I went for a long hot shower and some "stair" time before I went to bed, I knew as soon as I laid my head down he would be awake to eat, so I thought it better to just have some quiet time and wait for my little guy to beckon me for some food!
I went to check on him close to midnight and he was still OUT, had hardly moved his position at all, crap, what to do now, I'm getting sleepy waiting up for him, off to bed I decided and it was not until 7 a.m. when he woke up, happy as a clam, as always.  I guess he was just as worn out as we were from the trip.

I had to go to work tonight but would be `staying` home to catch up sleep and some laundry {wink}, my youngest would be home after school and I hoped my oldest would come by for dinner as well. It was nice to take one extra day :)
The girls were both here for dinner and David was in a great mood, they missed him and played with him until he couldn't keep his eyes open any longer. They laid him down on the couch and I talked with them about their great-aunt and her news, they were sad, this was unexpected to all of us.  She was the oldest of the 5 children, there were 4 other boys, one past away as an infant and the 3 others were alive and well.  She had 2 boys, the oldest was 7 years older than I was and the other was about a month younger than me, we were close to them growing up, always going camping and staying in Pismo when our grandparents, they took us all over there for many weekends, I have very fond memories of those trips I still hold close to my heart!

My oldest stayed the night tonight and my youngest went to bed early, I took this time to talk to my oldest daughter as it had been several months since she had left and we hadn't really talked much more about it, although she had been over often and even stayed some nights I missed her dearly. I asked her how she was doing, how school and her job were, she answered "great" and that she missed being here with David, I told her to come back home then, and she she said she was doing fine and didn't know if she could come back for good, it was the "situation", her sister being here all the time and the responsibility of David. This hit me {hard} in the gut, she was quick to say that it wasn't that we took him in and she was sorry she was not here for more hands on with him, it's just that she missed her aunt terribly and it was horrible to see him without thinking of her, we both started to cry.  I have to remember she was in the delivery room with her when she had David and the only pictures we have are because of her, I have to let her deal with her grief on her terms and if this decision helps her then I have to support it, I can't be selfish and take her choice personally even if it puts me in a bind, it's just what a mother does!!

My youngest daughter had taken David to bed so of course when we were ready for bed after a good cry my oldest asked if she could sleep with me, DUH! of course you can sweetheart, I loved the fact that my kids at this age still wanted to be next to me even if it meant I had to STILL rub their backs :)

We slept good and when David woke up at 6 a.m. I stayed up and fixed the girls breakfast before they were out the door, my oldest offered to take the youngest to school, nice surprise.  
I had First Five coming over this morning and I DEF had to back to work tonight, it was going to be a busy day.



no good bye's..

The best part about Vegas is the cheap buffet's, so where else would you find us in the morning, duh!
It was good and plentiful grub!
We made it back out to my grandmother's house mid morning to find my Uncle had arrived as well as my cousins {my aunts son's} they were all excited to meet David and were happy to see us. They had all travelled down for my sister's services so it was a bittersweet visit.

We spent most of the day at the house, I had gone back to the hotel for nap time, it was just too noisy at the house and I needed a break. David was on a schedule and was a baby that needed to be on his or the whole day was off, this didn't bother me, I was getting used to this nap thing and was quite fond of it myself :) I went back out in time for dinner, my folks had gone to the store to make sure there was enough for everyone, I helped my mom and aunt while the kids played with David and my dad talked it up with my uncle and cousins outside.
Dinner was good and the company was even better. Tonight would be an early night and to my surprise my dad treated me to the casino when we got back to the hotel, my mom was going to watch and put David to bed, score! We were gone for almost 2 hours then I returned and `tagged` my mom and she joined my dad on the casino floor, I took my little man to our room and we were off to la-la land..

I woke up early, well it was feeding time and I just stayed up since we were checking out today and per my dad, were hitting the road as soon as we hit the floor. WELL, I was up, ready, packed and off to eat breakfast and STILL nothing from my folks, hmmm, a little too much gambling I see when they FINALLY came to the buffet and found David and I nearly done. We all laughed as they sipped some coffee and past on eating :)
We stopped for a few things for the first leg of our trip back home and then out to my grandmother's for our good-bye's. My mom's phone had been ringing and she commented "why is my sister calling me?"  We had said our very sad farewell's, we don't say good bye as far as grandma is concerned, good byes are forever and farewell means we will see you again, soon!
WELL, her sister calling to tell her that her {oldest} daughter had told David's father we were in a {minor} car accident and that he was NOT happy and when we returned to the state that I would be forced to turn David over to him because I broke the court order!  ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW was the only response I could think of, well that was clean..my cousin was, well, close to the "crowd" that my sister and David's father hung around with, not saying a whole hell of a lot, but non-the-less I now had some damage control to do.

I called David's father on our next stop and asked him what the 'real' deal was and that my aunt was ill and wanted to see David possibly one last time, YES this visit my aunt broke down to us she is losing a battle to cancer she was diagnosed with a few months ago-GREAT-let's keep the hits coming! He had apologized and didn't say much until I called him on the fact he was angry I left the state without telling him, he kind of back tracked and said he didn't say he would take David away but did elude to the fact that I broke the court order, I told him I did not in fact breech the court order because it was up to me IF I wanted to divulge information to him about David and what I did with him since he had NOT complied with the order and given proof of his drug test. THIS was a win-win gamble for me, I lost money in Vegas but made a return on this "hand" I played with him **sigh**
REALLY... will it really be like this always, my dad was quick to say "I told you he is a manipulator and he will "do you wrong" ): 

The next several hundred miles were quiet and that was just fine with me!


Road Trip

My folks had made all the arrangements and we would headed to Vegas in the morning, they would be stopping off to pick me up along the way. 
I was excited to be getting away for a few days and even more excited to see my grandma, I had not seen her in almost a year now. We used to go to Vegas at least twice a year for family trips/visits. 
She was all we had left, she was my dad's mom, his dad died when I was a senior in high school and just shy of 30 after he past away my mom's mother died as well. She lived on our property and was the one who cared for us when out parents worked. I ended up moving in with her her last few months so I could care for her and provide her nightly treatments.  My aunt and my oldest cousin were just not suited for it, I prefer to say they simply could not handle it, it was a cop out of all cop outs if you ask me, afterall I was just a senior who stepped up to care for her dying grandmother. 
My mom's dad had past away when she was 17 so I never knew him, just knew of him by the stories my mom had told us, my grandmother spoke very little of him, we just always left it at that.
This was a tragic time for me, for us all and a crucial part of growing up {fast}, I had never lost anyone of significance to me and my grandparents were my world other then my parents so to lose two within such a short amount of time was just devastating!

I did laundry most of the night and packed like I was going to be gone for a month, TOTALLY forgot what it was like to take a baby on a road trip.  My oldest daughter would be staying at the house with her sister, I was only going to be gone for 4 days and 3 nights.
David was 7 months old now and had quite the personality, very happy and always smiling and those HUGE brown eyes sunk right into your heart!  He travelled well, so I was hoping this trip would be a good one. I was taking him out of state and didn't even think to tell/ask his father, I think he knew I was going to see my grandmother an that was the extent of it.  He had his {make-up} visit last week and everything seemed to be in good standings as far as I felt/knew them to be.
 We were on the road by 8 a.m. and made pretty good time, my dad was driving while I kept David company in the backseat.  We made stops when David was hungry or needed to be changed, it made for a longer trip but it was nice to be able to stretch often.  We were less than 2 miles from our destination and "boom", literally, we were side-swiped, ouch!  I've never had a broken bone {knock on wood} but can now add a black eye to my list of ailments...I grabbed the car seat and it came up and popped me in the eye, other than that no other injuries to either parties.
My Aunt and Grandmother greeted us when we 'finally' arrived and they were in "awe" at this little guy who teary-eyed they confirmed looked just like his mother. My aunt grabbed him up while my grandmother cried and spoke only in Portuguese, she was fluent of course and the older she got the more she spoke it and intermixed it into her English dialogue.  My grandmother was not able to make it to the services and it was obvious she was seeing her through him at this very moment! 
We went to the hotel to get checked in and freshen up a little, then went back out to my grandmothers house for a family bar-b-que, we had a great dinner and the visit was much needed. David was such a good little boy and was asleep by the time we got back to the hotel, him and I shared a room and by the time it was all over with, I was exhausted and couldn't wait to lay my head down.

We had one more full day of visiting and catching up so it was time to sleep fast!!



I had gone back to work and was struggling with the fact that David was home with my youngest daughter at night.  She had expressed to me that this was a lot for her with school and being woken up at night and all the homework she had every night **sigh** this was something I dreaded hearing, it simply hurt my heart! I felt bad and did my best to take him on in whole when I was off and NOT rely on her or ask her or anything when I was off/home, I don't think that had too much bearing on her feelings, it was simply just a lot for a 16 year old.  My worry was that she was not grieving or being allowed the time to be a 'kid' and do the things that teens did on weekend nights other than being stuck at home with a new baby & her mother working nights, weekends as well as most holidays.
Again I question "what have I done" "what a huge burden is being placed on my girl's" look what it did to one already?!?!

I strive to keep open communication with her and if there was ever a time she wanted to "give up"
 she needed to let me know, probably not the best choice of words at the time, but in retrospect I was still flying by the seat of my pants on this one too.  She assured me she was fine, it was just hard, I agreed and told her I would try harder to make things as easy as I could for her and that I would never be able to tell her how much she means to me, especially stepping up when I could not be here and just HOW proud her aunt is of her for taking care of her son!! We both sat on the stairs and cried till we woke up David, then we both laughed as she went to his crib to pick him up and bring him downstairs to me so he could eat and have some 'tummy time' :)

I had met with the First Five team, they had come to the house an assessed David and what his needs may be and what services they would be able to provide for him.  I agreed to let them come into the home twice a month for an in home visit and play time to build his coordination and socialization skills, I was not sure he was in need at this age but the fact he is eligible due to the hearing loss and they have the grant money to provide such services.
I also had the appointment with the Audiology department through Valley Children's Hospital, it was a long appointment as they had to have him asleep for half of it and him eating the other half {sucking from his bottle} yet they were NOT schedule friendly with his sleeping/eating times.  I was annoyed and they were not nice, it was at least a 2 hour appointment and when it was all said and done, I knew nothing more than I had when I first heard he was screened and diagnosed with right side hearing loss!

I'm feeling disconnected from my girl's and seemingly more frustrated with all this hospital/appointment business, it is proving to be NOT the business!!



Our follow-up appointment was this coming week, I planned it for my day off this time, I was FINALLY getting the hang of this scheduling appointments thing. 
I had been contacted through First Five of California that David was eligible for services due to his hearing loss determined in his newborn screening evaluation.  I had contacted them and advised them the circumstances and the antibiotic treatment he was currently undergoing, they wanted to come to the house and give me information on their program's and services and discuss just how beneficial it could be for him at this age. All I could think of was "he is just 6 months old" how can a program benefit him at this age, he does nothing but eat, sleep, poop and of course steal our hearts with his smile?!?!  BUT I was all about making sure he had all the resources available to him to thrive while maintaining/staying within the guidelines of the court system and holding true to my commitment to my sister.

I was hoping David's father would be coming in for a visit as I was heading out to our appointment at the infectious disease clinic but I got a text that said he got called into work early and he would not be making this scheduled visit, YES, I noted it and let him reschedule for the following week.
I was running low on formula and was hoping for this visit to replenish and some money since he had not been by due to us being in the hospital, I would have to get this supply and make sure he had the next one ordered.
I worried how this relationship would develop and just how it would play out as David got older..

Our appointment was good, it was emotional as the gals at the front desk were very happy to see David and said he looked better than ever.  Dr said he thought one more month on the antibiotic and we should be cleared with a clean bill of health, this is what I had been longing to hear, it was AWESOME news!  We were in and out of the office on about 30 minutes and headed home for a little nap before I went back to work tonight.
I called my folks and let them know what the dr had said, they were just as elated as I was, this was a huge step forward in getting this little angel back on track.

I had a message when I got home from the Audiology department at the hospital wanting to set-up/schedule an appointment to follow up on his newborn screening results so this can also be diagnosed and managed with more consistent results.  **sigh** let's call and make THIS appointment, OH, say in my spare time {insert sarcasm here} ------!!   I still had to call and schedule an in home visit wth the First Five team...

This is such a stressful/happy situation, there seems to be NO balance and no "norm" if you will, I've said it before but please allow me to "lather..rinse..repeat" I'm barely functioning on 'auto-pilot' mode!



It was nice to be settled back in at home and things running smoothly.  I was back to work and my oldest daughter was preparing for her high school graduation in a couple of months.  She has been coming around more often, not 'staying' with us but coming and "hanging out" as they liked to put it, I will take what I can at this point, I feel like my 'force' is out of line due to all the circumstances.
I was still there mother yet I felt more like a friend, a friend who was helping them through a rough time as they were me. I definitely needed them but I'm not so sure that they needed me, this I struggled with for the past few months.  I've had a lot of time lately to think about things, think about decisions that have been made, think about things I may have been able to control and think about things that I had no control over what-so-ever!  I like to think I have things under control but in all reality I/this was {still} a train wreck.

I was still taking David to see his father, I would have to text him to make sure he was available before I loaded him up and took the drive.  I got early on, from all I had heard and what little I had experienced thus far that I need to be diligent with my information and what I send out and definitely what is received.  THIS is where my type 'A' personality comes in, see it IS proving to be a good thing, I KNEW it!  :)
The visits were just under an hour and I made sure I was there about feeding time so he could have some bonding time with David, he seemed to be appreciative and the house was always in order when we arrived.  I didn't feel uncomfortable per-say, I felt more out of place, out of my eliminate and not like I was above his living style or his choices, it was simply because I had NO prior experience with him.  I was safe in the fact I knew he would not hurt me or the baby as I think that was my dad's main concern so I was very much in the habit of letting them know when I came down for a visit and the times I would be at his house.  This eased their minds and gave me a peace about mine!

My folks had been talking about a trip to Las Vegas to see my grandmother and aunt, they had been wanting to meet David.  My aunt was down for the funeral but my grandmother was not able to make the trip nearly 6 months ago now. We were planning a 3 day turn around trip, driving no less, this was going to be fun, not!  The girl's would not be going as they had school and work, my youngest will stay with her dad & sister while I was gone. I was not used to doing things without my girls, they went everywhere with us from birth, I was feeling very disconnected from them.


there is a god

To my surprise {again} the sun rose and it was going to be a good day I had already decided. 
David woke up in a great mood and was hungry, this was always a good sign. The nurses came in for morning rounds and had orders to take out his I.V., I was able to bathe and dress him up cute, we were FREE, we were going home today, YIPPEE!!
I called my folks as well as my girls and told them the good news.  My folks came down and waited with us as we sat and sat and sat waiting for the dr to come in for a final check up, the girls would be waiting at home for me and said they would have dinner ready as well..sigh of relief, I was in need a little breaky poo. 

It was almost 1 p.m. when the dr came in to see us, WHY WHY was it always this late when your ready to be OUT and not the 6 a.m. rounds when you want to sleep?  none-the-less, we were going home, so was I grateful, YES, thank you!
We got a good bill of health for Mr David and a follow up appointment with the infectious disease dr in 2 weeks, not for good, just for now then we can most likely assume the monthly check-ups for the next 2 or so months I think when the regimen ends, as long as David stays on track.  We thanked him for ALL he has done for us and the care he has shown with David and our situation, we packed our bags and David got the famous "BIG RED WAGON" ride down to the car.  It was funny, all we past thought it was a wagon full of the bags and balloons and missed seeing this little peanut of barely 15 pounds and 5 months old laying there also, couldn't miss the big ole' brown eyes though if they wanted too!

I was glad when I arrived home, it had been 3 days too long to be away and the girls were very excited to see David awake, alert and greeting them with a HUGE smile!  They had dinner ready when I got home as promised, it was SO nice to sit with them at the table and have a normal conversation and some well needed laughs.  I cleaned the kitchen as they tended to David then I went upstairs to take a shower and unpack my hospital bag and that moment decided I would keep one packed "just in case" because if I did this my reasoning was I would NEVER need it again, right??
The shower felt so good, I swear I stayed in for almost 30 minutes and YES, I had to shed a tear or two, they seemed to flow in unison with the water, it was hard to stop them, it was like I was on auto pilot it was truly {still} my safe haven. 
I had a ton of laundry to do so I started a load or two before we all went to bed for the night, my oldest would be staying with me and this made my heart full as I drifted off to sleep this night with NO issues at all.

I placed David's bassinet in the girls room, they wanted him in there with them tonight, he had woken up once during the night for his feeding, I jumped up as I heard a whimper and then nothing else.  My daughter had grabbed him up and placed him in bed with her, I was worried she would roll over on his tiny little body but she assured me she would put him back in his bed when she was done feeding him.  I went to get the bottle ready and left her to the feeding duties and went back to bed myself.
I had a harder time falling back asleep but just because I was deep in thought of what was going to happen in the future, what was this all happening for, what was I supposed to be taking from all this, how was my future going to play out with this little boy, what will the relationship be like with his father and he??
I MUST get some more rest, I'm thinking in circles at this point and it is SO not making sense.  Good Night world and Good Night sis, I love and miss you terribly!!


and the results are...

I slept well & David only woke one other time and just for normal check in purposes, the nurses did not bother us too terribly much this night either, I could get used to this, well, not REALLY, I missed my own bed something terrible!

The dr came in fairly early and said he had the results, he sat beside me on the couch and opened the chart.  I couldn't help feeling totally vulnerable at this very second, it was a feeling I could not control and one that made me want to run, run fast and far...
He proceeded to look over all the notes and said to me "I'm very pleased with the results, I'm sorry for scaring you, but these were all classic signs of body failure to this antibiotic and I could not take a chance that this was not for real" I looked puzzled "then why is/did he get this sick?" he said "it is his little body growing into his own, if you will, he was premature and still had some growing to do" he continued "now if these defects were going to appear on their own or if this medication helped them along, I don't know, I don't think we will ever know"..."his little organs are just fine and functioning within a normal range, his blood work is perfect and still no signs/traces of valley fever, so the antibiotic is doing what it is supposed to be doing!" I took a deep breath, "his heart?"  he said that the heart specialist team would be in later this morning but from what he saw it was also just a normal heart mur-mur. I thanked him again for being pro-active and that I forgave him for scaring me to death! We had a good laugh and he left the room, he had to finish his morning rounds, he said he would check in on us tonight and that we should be able to go home tomorrow as long as the heart doctor agreed.
It was nearly lunch time by the time the heart team came in, David had woken up, I fed and changed him and he was actually laying quietly in his bed about asleep when they came in.  The doctor examined David while the team read me the results. They said he was fine, his heart was functioning within the normal level and this heart mur-mur was in normal ranges.  They let me listen to it, it was weird to hear it off beat but they assured me it was just fine, his EKG had normal results and that they would like to re-test him in a year but there should be no need for any other tests or surgeries.  I asked if he would be able to do all the things normal kids would do and they assured me he was just fine and could do anything an everything he wanted to, HUGE relief!!  I thanked them as well for all their attention and concern and then they were gone.
I took a few seconds to sit and stare out the window, since I could not leave the room, I don't really remember my {exact} thoughts but I was NOT in the room and what seemed to be a few minutes turned into almost an hour.  My folks had come by an startled me, David was fast asleep in his prison crib and I was shocked at what time had actually gone by.  I filled my folks in on the results, they were pleased and relieved at such great news, it was about time we all agreed!

My folks stayed in the room while I took a walk to the cafeteria and left shortly after I returned.  I called my girl's to fill them in as well as my sister.  I ended the evening with a prayer that we would be going home tomorrow.  Sweet Dreams my little angel!!


testing 1..2..

I actually slept pretty good, David only woke up once for a feeding, our nurse came in and finished for me, changed him and then snuck back out of the room.  I was surprised when breakfast was brought in for me, I had declined the menu last night, our nurse had taken the liberty of ordering for me.  David was fussing and hungry but he could not eat anything this morning, he had to wait until after his series of tests this morning, it was gunna be a hard day at best.  David would be in and out of the room and I would not be able to go with him and there would be dr's in and out all day, god give me the strength!

I hadn't touched my food by the time they came for the tray, I let them take it, I was rocking David, I almost felt as if today was going to be the day when they told me I was going to lose him, that something was wrong and I had only a limited amount of time with him, I wanted to hold him till the last minute.  Our dr came in fairly early, he wanted to get started and he knew just how anxious we were as I sensed he was as well. David would be going for EKG's this morning then a CT Scan after that, the dr offered me to go but said there would also be little room in the testing area and they would get him in and out and back in my arms as soon as possible. I agreed to stay behind, I would shower and clean up the room a little and be right here when they returned, he half hugged and patted my shoulder and off he went and in came the "team" of specialist's who wheeled David away in his prison crib, I cried when the door shut and had to get in the shower in fear someone would hear me. 

My folks had called the room as well as my girl's, I told them he was gone and would not return for close to an hour, they would come down in the afternoon and the girl's when they were done with school and work.  I checked in with the nurses station and made sure they were still testing and took a walk to the cafeteria to get some coffee and a small snack, I was hungry now and fighting a bad headache.  I was able to sit outside for 15 minutes or so just for some fresh air then made my way back up to the room and as I rounded the corner I saw them at the nurses station checking him back into his room.  I was SO happy to see him, he was alseep and mildly sedated due to the heart tests they had preformed.  They got him all hooked back up to his monitors and I.V. pole and as quick as they came in, they were gone and it was again just him and I. They said I could feed him when he woke up if he wanted a bottle, I left him in the crib so he could rest and made some phone calls to assure my folks, girls, sister and his father he was back in the room and resting for now and I would have more information on the tests either tonight or tomorrow morning when the dr did his rounds, I was hoping for something tonight, as I knew they had a priority on all the results coming back.

David woke up at the same time my folks came by, my mom was wanting to hold and feed him, as anxious as I was I agreed, besides, I would have him all night.  David's father had also mentioned he was going to come down before he went to work and I prayed it was not when my folks were here, my dad had made it known he was not happy I called him each time we had been admitted, I let him rant and knew I was doing the right thing and for the right reasons.  It was late afternoon by now and my folks were ready to leave when David's father showed up, my dad made a very quick exit, my mom said a few kind words as she left. 
He stayed for almost 30 minutes and actually wanted to hold David, he had 'hinted' to the fact he would like to be alone and maybe I leave the room for a little bit, I told him I felt uncomfortable leaving as he had a lot of tests today and I would rather be able to watch him in case something happened, it wasn't entirely a "fib" but he bought it and was at least happy to be able to hold him. 
My girl's were on there way, the room had been busy all afternoon and part of the {early} night, I was emotionally exhausted and was looking forward to a quiet night with my girls. David woke up for one more feeding before the girls left so they were excited to feed and hold him, my oldest rocked him back to sleep and this made my heart very happy!  I missed them so much and felt like I was missing more and more of their day-to-day life as they became {amazing} young ladies.

They stayed for over 2 hours then they left as they had work and school the next day.  I called work and had a long, tearful talk with my close friend, now supervisor and broke down, I think it was a good release of anxiety, worry, fright and tension. I had NO trouble at all falling asleep tonight. 


what if

In all honesty I don't know how I made it to the room we had waiting for us, but I was there and it was very surreal, it felt like I was just here, not in the same room but here, admitted and confined to a hospital room with this god awful prison looking crib thing and a green so not comfortable couch.  I was greeted by the floor nurses, they were awaiting our arrival per the doctors phone call/orders, they got us settled into the room and did not mess with David too much, they said the doctor had ordered a spinal tap and they would be prepping him for that within the hour. I was in a tail spin at this point, just when my parents got to the room I realized I had to call my daughters, my sister and his father to let them know what was going on, I screamed in my head could I have just ONE second to breath please?!?!?
My daughters were as shocked as I was, my sister was in disbelief and his father I had to leave a message for, there, notified, done, I didn't care...I had to also place a call to work as I was scheduled to be in tonight and, well, I would not be there most likely for the rest of my week.

The room was quiet and David slept like there was nothing wrong in the world, even missed his afternoon bottle which I was worried about, but the nurses said they would start fluid I.V. when the `tap` was completed.  My folks and I spoke hardly 2 words to one another, there was nothing to say, we just waited and silence and prayed for the best.  The nurse came in and bundled him up tight and took him to another room where they would preform the spinal tap, they did not give me the option of going along and after the first one I was o.k. with not being present for this one...sigh
My dad had to leave the room and my mom sat with me until they returned with him, it was about 30 minutes from the time they had taken him and returned him to my arms, seemed like eternity! My mom then went outside to meet up with my dad, neither one of them returned for sometime, I actually thought they had left the hospital all together. David was more than awake now and he was not to happy with all this excitement, he was now hungry and the nurse said due to the amount of tests they had scheduled they would only be able to feed him via I.V. for the next 24 hours at least. They were able to find a good vein in his wrist this time, so that was a relief. 
It was nearly dinner time and my girl's had shown up at the hospital, my oldest would sit in the room with him while I took my youngest down to eat and meet up with folks to let them know we were settled in for the night, I was very unprepared so the girls at least brought me night clothes, I would hopefully be able to make a quick trip home tomorrow sometime for a bag.

Everyone had left and I was spent! I was holding David in the rocking chair when our night nurse came in, she had seen us on our first admission and had remembered us, remembered David. She came over and knelt down next to me and asked if I needed anything, I told her "no, I was fine" she said "I read his chart and I am so sorry", I started to cry, she patted my leg and said "I'm so sorry for your loss, I've been thinking about it since I first met you a few months back"  she started to cry and told me "I lost my sister 13 years ago and it still hurts just as bad today!" I looked at her and said "I don't want to hurt like this for 13 more years, this is more than I even thought was possible for one human being to endure" she said "I know honey, I know".. we sat and cried together for almost 15 minutes when I decided to put David in his crib and wash up and get ready for bed.  She told me, if you need ANYthing tonight please let me help, I will leave you be for the night, tomorrow is a big day, David will been seen by several doctors and have more tests, please get some rest and as she turned to leave the room I choked up and asked her "what if I lose him too?" She said "this seems routine and I'm sure he will be fine, he is a little fighter and he has a good life ahead of him!"


days turned into weeks

We all woke up about the same time, I heard my folks talking to David and made my way to the living room where I found them with actual smiles on their faces.  David was SO happy when he got up, it was for sure a moment you looked forward to!
My mom asked if I wanted to stay for dinner but I declined, I wanted to be home, see my daughter and just be 'unavailable'...they were disappointed but they understood, it had been a draining day.  I packed up David and we headed home. 
I had called my girl's of course after we got out of court, my sister as well and they were very happy we had come out ahead.  My oldest said she would be by tonight and bring my youngest home as they had been at their dad's, I needed to see them.

The days came and went, the fair was over for the girl's, they were back in school and it was a relief to have somewhat of a normal schedule back and things to be settling down, I can't hardly remember when things were "normal", heck for that fact I don't even think that is a valid word anymore.  David was nearly 5 months old now and I had been in contact with his father, he came to visit once since the court date then had asked if I would bring David to him, I was too worried about keeping peace to say no, he was paying little and bringing him formula when he visited. I was leery about him being alone with David since there was a mandatory "drug testing" that was ordered at the time of our guardianship appointment, so I was still waiting for him to provide results.  I am very naive to the fact he is still using, I mean I would have stopped with all the circumstances around the last few months, I was not privy to any of this style of living, I had NO idea how it all worked.
The weeks past quickly and all was well, I had made 2 visits to David's fathers home, well, an add on to the back of a small home, sigh, it had a roof and he was prepared for a baby to visit.  I kept the visits to an hour at a time every 2 weeks, he didn't seem to mind this schedule and was happy to see David each time we arrived.  I was very anxious about the first visit, it was not the ideal setting, I was very uneasy about being in a situation that made me feel uncomfortable, the only comfort I took in the whole thing was that my sister was obviously comfortable here, she was seeing this man and she would have brought David to the same house if she was still alive, this was ALL I had to go by, I would just have to rely on my "gut" and be on my game!

Work was work, I definitely looked forward to my days off.  David had his upcoming monthly {now} appointment at the clinic, I was anxious to have the doctor see him and just how good he had been doing.  He had been a little fussier than normal this past week and not been eating as much but I didn't think too much about it, I would just casually mention it at our appointment.
We arrived at the office and of course the girl's were "ga-ga" over David and took him back through the check in window and I joined them in the room as the doctor came in.  I knew the routine, we undressed him, took his diaper off an laid him on the weighing table, we would be out of here in less than 15 minutes.  The doctor picked him up, laid him on the examining table and began his usual check-up, he seemed to have done it twice, which was odd to me, but I didn't think too much of it until he left the room and didn't return for nearly 15 minutes or so, I was about to open the door when he came back in with one of the nurses.  I stood up, stared at him and I knew something was wrong, really wrong, he took David from my arms and said "I need to admit David for further testing" I almost fell over, the nurse sat me down, I now know why he took David from my arms.  I tried to keep it together but it was obvious I was completely taken off guard and there were a lot of questions I had at this point! I asked what was wrong, he is fine, he has been fine, a little fussy but he is FINE, what is happening?  The doctor, still holding David who was oblivious to the whole scene, told me that his intestines seemed to be enlarged and he has an irregular heart-beat and was running a low grade fever, all consistent as side-effects of this/his antibiotic, he was worried these effects may present themselves in such a small patient with such a high dose, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?"  AM I GOING TO LOSE HIM, DOES HE HAVE VALLEY FEVER?" the doctor looked at me and said frankly "I don't know, I think we are o.k. but can not be certain without several more tests and monitoring him for a few days". 
The nurse now took David and I sat with the doctor for a second longer, he patted my shoulder and said "I'm certain he will be fine, but I'm not willing to take ANY chances with this little guy!"  I understood and appreciated his honesty and most of all his concern. He suggested I call my folks as he had already made arrangements for a room, we were going to be admitted immediately, that is what he was doing when he was out of the room, making these arrangements.
I knew this was going to be one of the most difficult phone calls I've had to make in a few months, GREAT!  I called my dad's phone which was horrid because when I am upset just the sound of my dad's voice makes me cry but I KNEW there was no way I would be able to tell my mom this information and have her hear me let alone understand me.  My dad answered almost immediate, I said "dad" and it was like he knew something was wrong, he said "what is wrong, are you still at the doctor office?"  I started to sob, I told him everything was o.k. for now but I needed them to come to the hospital as soon as they could, my mom had caught wind something wasn't right and he put her on the phone, this is NOT what I needed right now.  I told her I had NO information other than rephrasing what the doctor had told me and that I would know more in a few hours when he met us in the room and gave us the run down of all the tests he had ordered.

The nurse came back into the room with my little angel and I held him tight and could not help but to cry while he was in my arms at this very moment!!