nice to meet you

With much anxiety in the 40 minute drive we took, we arrived and all piled out as fast as we piled in.  We headed up to the NICU where David was and my parents went in, as they were on the `list` and had a card with the code that my sister had given my mom after the baby was transported, we got to stand at the window outside right where David's islet was, we waited for the nurse to appear and open the blinds so we could see him.  My dad came out and said that there was some issues and the nurse was having to call in her supervisor since my sister and I were not on the list and that the only one who had access to see, be with the baby was the mother & father, they then had told us that David's father
had come to see him just yesterday bringing his parents whom were only allowed at the window as well.  My mom was still in the NICU with the nurses trying to sort it all out, I was less than happy as was my sister, my dad offered us a walk which we both declined.  My mom popped out and called my dad into the unit where the nurse then opened the blinds for us as she left the unit for 3 minutes, that was the max time she gave my parents to be alone and have a private moment with their only grandson whom had just lost his mother.
My mom held him close and cried, my dad held my mom and cried, my sister and I were arm and arm when the nurse came up to us and apologized for our family's tragic loss and that she was sorry there was a delay in seeing David.  The nurse explained that she had to get permission especially due to the circumstances to have family other than the biological parents come and visit and care for this newborn child that had been in the NICU for a week now with no regular visits or care.  We told her we understood and thanked her for caring for him this past week when we obviously could not, she obliged and said that since the father was not as involved we would be allowed to come and visit and care for the child, my parents were eligible automatically since they were listed as her 'next of kin'.

Our parents took just a short amount of time with David and then came back out to the hallway were my sister and I had been admiring him through the nursery window wondering what the future held for this teeny tiny baby boy and what on earth were our parents thinking about, I a mother, can not even imagine!  My sister and I had talked about it briefly but I think it was a given at this point that I would be the one to take David in and care for him as my sister simply put it that I was the unselfish one, she had a 3 1/2 year old she wanted/needed to give her undivided attention to and spoil her as I had already gotten to do for my girl's who were nearly 18 and 15 years old coming up in July, both still at home with me. I was recently divorced and had a good paying, secure job at the same time becoming set in my {new} ways.  I Married young, right out of high school, ALWAYS had to be the responsible one and quite frankly didn't have a whole lot of fun, I was in a new phase of my life, being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and I surely in love with my 10-12 hours of sleep I got on a daily basis!

It was finally our turn to go in and see him, I was so nervous I think I almost puked.  We had to wait 30 minutes to allow the other NICU parents to come and see their children and then the nurses would be able to give us the same private time they gave our parents.  I remember walking in, the nurse pulling the islet away from the wall, pushing over another big comfy chair and saying "god bless you both" as she left the room, we both stood there watching over him as he slept like an angel, I swear he was lying there so peaceful it took my breath away, I had to sit down before I fell down as my sister scooped him up and sat next to me holding him out right so we could both take a good look at him.  He was a whooping 4 lb, 5oz dark complected full of hair, trust me on this one, head to toe.  He had a feeding tube coming from the side of his mouth which didn't seem to bother him at all as we passed him back and forth, only once a piece until I ended up with him and at that very moment I was connected and I promised myself I was never going to let him go, THIS is the moment I knew what she meant when she said 'take care of the baby.'  Now that I think about it, she didn't say "my" baby, it was "the" baby, interesting you may think but to me, yes now 5 years later, I'm convinced it was her ultimate gift to me.

The nurse came in, knelt by us on the floor and gave us instructions on feeding David as it was that time and of course we wanted to be involved.  My sister had gone out and asked my mom if she wanted to feed him and she was too emotional so my sister and I would be administering the feeding on this day, our first date as I like to call it!  The nurse prepped the food/bottle and showed us how it worked with the tube and the cleaning procedure when we were done.  She stood by us, wanting to ask, then she would walk away and then came right back "ok I have to ask, I have to know, who will care for David, what will happen to him?"  My sister and I looked at one another, we cried, I held David even closer as he ate, still never opening his eyes and my sister told the nurse, "she will, I'm too selfish and have a daughter to raise, Trisha will care for David and do so in honor of our sister Tanya" the nurse started to cry, hugged us both and went on about her rounds in the small NICU room we were all contained to at this time. 

Lunch time was over, he started to stir and then it happened, he opened his eyes, he looked at me with those huge brown eyes and locked in his target.  The nurse came over and was like "ok here is the game plan" it was like a football coach and we were on this field about to win the championship title, she told me you should come down everyday so he can bond with you and you can feed him at least his 3 p.m. feeding. I shook my head, agreed and told her I would be here, god willing with all this other stuff we had to take care of now as she gave me the card and code and her personal number as well as number to her station.  My sister laid David carefully back in his islet and we went to the hall to meet our parents who went back in to say good bye to David, we had a lot we needed to get started so we needed to get back home. 
Talk about feeling torn, I wanted to snatch him up and take him home right there, he did not need to lay in that bed alone for another day!

The drive home was a silent one, an emotional one, a heart wrenching one~but we did it and we did it together. Iit felt as if we were the fabulous 4 and nothing was going to stop us now, we were on a mission to make sure my mom's child, my dad's daughter and our sister was given all our attention in preparing for her final journey, her journey that would lead her to peace, a well deserved farewell.

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