"the norm"

This day was going to bring much joy and sorrow as it has become 'the norm'.  We got the phone call from the funeral home,they had her body and they would be preforming the autopsy and we needed to come down to make proper burial arrangements.  The 4 of us got ready, greeted a few friends that had come by already to bring us more food and we piled in the car for another "road trip", this one was local, it just seemed the norm that we had been on the `go` over this past week.  We got the mortuary where we were greeted by the director and taken into her office, we all took a seat and she started with her condolences to our family, then we started the daunting task of picking a casket, wording her eulogy, what time we wanted services and where, etc... my mom broke down, my dad had been pacing the room and the director saw this was obviously not a normal planning, like they never generally are, its just this one came with more of a sudden tragedy than she has seen, YES, even being in her line of business.
We were making progress when the director was called out of the room, we were left to look at information cards to be given out at the services, I don't know what their proper name is, but non-the-less we picked the standard/general card and picked our verse when the director came back in the room, she sat down and said "good news, we may be able to have the services on Friday instead of Monday, they are back there now completing the autopsy now and I will know more this afternoon", my mom and dad seemed pleased we would not be waiting an additional week for the results or to have the burial services while my sister continued to looking at a catalog of caskets and I had a TOTAL freak out moment.  I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut and then holding me down, I could not move as much as I felt like I needed to run out of her office, I had to take several deep breaths to just catch one single breath!  The fact they had her in another room, in the same building we were sitting in and the fact they were dissecting her made me physically ill, I wanted to run and find her, sit with her through this awful procedure, hold her hand and tell her it would be ok, then as fast as it all came on, it went away, some water, tears and my dad's embrace later.  She was dead, she was not here with us, her body was but not her soul. I was not going to be able to hold her hand anymore, I was not going to be able to tell her it was going to be ok, I can only took comfort in knowing she is not struggling or no longer in such awful pain.
there was nothing normal about what we were having to do...

After a couple of extremely long hours we left the mortuary and headed back home, I was going to head straight to Merced and my parents and sister would be staying at the house.  My girls would not be coming down till evening so I headed up alone for what would now be my bonding time and daily feeding since my schedule only allowed me to fit in one feeding with everything else going on. The drive was nice and miss channel surfer listened to nothing the entire 40 minute drive to the hospital, stopping only when I got my destination only to sit in the parking lot and ball like I was 5 years old and had lost my favorite stuffed animal.  I finally composed myself and wondering what my issue was, why was I SO damn afraid to go in alone?  I put on my big girl panties and went on up to the NICU. There I was greeted by the head nurse who checked me in, I `suited up`, signed my proper visitation forms for the CPS worker and then she pointed in the dark corner and said "there he is, go ahead and wake him up and I will bring over his bottle, I'm preparing it for you now, tomorrow you get to do it yourself"  I thought man, she is a stickler, he's not even mine, what is the deal lady! 
I walked over to his islet and stared down at him sleeping so peaceful, he was SO tiny I was afraid to touch him let alone wake him when over came the nurse, the set his bottle on the counter, slid over a huge recliner chair and grabbed him with one hand, it seemed all at the same time.  She then unwrapped him swiftly, hello, THIS woke him up, he was now squirming and moving trying to open his little eyes and then gagged over the tube that was inside his throat/mouth, I jumped forward and she said "he is fine he needs to get it adjusted and then he will be able to eat for you" she motioned me to sit in the chair, so of course I did, she reached over to hand him to me and said "open the gown you put on please, I want you to hold him skin to skin"  he has not had human contact and he needs it, especially as a preemie.  I felt very odd, again, he is not my child, but then remembered at the same time my sister telling me he needed stimuli and has missed the mother bonding, SO with my back to the rest of the room, I opened {bra still on} the front facing gown and positioned him in my arms, he nestled right in, my heart was beating out of my chest and I began to tube feed him as I was instructed, this would take nearly 45 minutes as I had to push the formula through a syringe at a snails pace so he would not choke. 

The nurse came over to me and asked if another parent would be able to come into the room now, I looked at her funny and said of course, she replied "well, I was giving you some alone time with David and wanted to make sure you were comfortable"  OK OK she is a saint in my book now, I wasn't even aware there was NO one else in the room and I was floored when she told me it had been almost an two hours now since I had begun his feeding.  David had been done with his feeding and the bonding was I guess what we BOTH needed, I think I even closed my eyes for a second or two!  I changed his diaper, wrapped him back up and dressed myself when another mother came into the room to feed her baby at it's 2 hour mark.  She looked at me and just said "I'm sorry for your loss", I smiled, kissed David and whispered to him that I would see him tomorrow. 

Quiet as a mouse and not a peep heard, the nurse said "we don't even know he is here!"

No comments:

Post a Comment