vacation's over

Back to reality it is...We got in late so I could not get David until the next morning, a little extra sleep helped since I got as sick as I have EVER been while we were in New York, figures I would be down for 2 solid days out of 5!   It was still a fun trip and we saw a lot of sights including "Ground Zero", it was extremely moving.

I made my way to Madera where I was SO excited to see my little angel, my parents were sad to see him go, it did them good to have him there even though my mom cried the whole time, per my dad, and he, well, he held up like a rock, he is my strength, he is why I am doing what I'm doing now, my dad is the most amazing soul I know.  I made my visit a quick one, took a few more items I needed for David at my house and told them I would be in touch the first of the week when I got confirmation from the Dr about when they had set the appointments for David. 

When I got home, both of the girls were there and anxiously awaiting our arrival, I think they were even more excited then I was to see David, they held him, hugged him and didn't let him go until the absolute last minute possible when they laid him down in is bed.  I laid awake most of the night, jet-lag, maybe, stress and worry, quite possible.  The only thing I could think about was the 'what-ifs', I mean what if he was as sick as his mom, then it all came back to me, it flooded me, I was not able to make to it to the shower for this one, I barely made it downstairs, I didn't want to wake up the kids, I locked myself in the bathroom downstairs, sat on the floor, balled up in the corner and balled!

The weekend ended with a little relaxation, a few visitors and a lot of laundry.  I called the Dr's office first thing Monday morning and they confirmed they had made the referral to Valley Children's Hospital to the Infectious Disease clinic where they will now follow-up on David's care since he was exposed to Valley Fever in the womb.  It was going to be very important what strain he was exposed to, if it was bacterial then we would be ok with treatment, treatment for several months and it still held a positive outlook, if it was the viral strain then we would have to reevaluate the whole treatment regimen as well as his health as it would be in danger.  I would now have to wait a week for this appointment and pray for the best, I mean what else could go wrong, why would he have even made it this far, what would the purpose of that have been?

I was set to go back to work this next week bringing a new challenge to this journey, a challenge I was not sure how it would exactly play out, challenge I had no idea what the rules were or even what the prize was if I was able to even complete this 'challenge'.


New York or bust

Today was the day, drop-offs went well and our arrival at the airport was in plenty of time to enjoy some "girlie" beverages while we waited to board what would be our home for the next 5 hours. 
We were excited and no one looking at us would have ever known what had just happened in our lives, we were having some good laughs and feeling relaxed as they called our seats and we boarded the plane.
I was counting the hours and praying I did not get the phone call mid flight when I would NOT be able to answer the call from the doctor's office.  There was nothing I could do as I looked at my phone one last time and turned it off, it felt like I was turning off my life, I was disconnecting with any life form for the next 5 hours and it scared the hell out of me.  Normally it is a relief to not be SO dependent on a cell phone but my life has totally revolved around mine the last few weeks and to be without it, well, was like being without air, silly I know but it hopefully puts a little more perspective on the whole ordeal.

We were off and flying, I tried to journal and could not keep my mind straight to save my life.  It seemed with a little nap and some food we were arrived at our destination and ready to begin our BIG CITY adventure!
We got off the plane, grabbed our luggage and hailed a taxi, THAT was an experience in it's own. We had about a 30 minute drive and of course we had to go through Harlem which scared us girl's as we were certain if we had made it this far then we would be just fine.  I was just praying we made it to the hotel and our much awaited carriage ride in Central park tonight which we would be viewing Tavern on the Green. 
ARRIVED!!   we made it, and we were alive (:  we were about to get out of the cab when my phone rang, it was about 5 p.m. back home and nearly 8 p.m. in New York time.  I stopped and sat back in my seat in the taxi, Julie had to tell the driver to wait as he was ready for his next fare, with or without me in the taxi. 

The Dr. asked if I had made my trip ok and asked if I was siting down, I nearly passed out, I was about ready to throw up, I told him, "yes I was, what are the results?"  He replied that they had come back negative for any strain of bacterial or viral infection of the Valley Fever BUT they wanted to start him on a regimen as soon as possible to make sure that NOTHING was missed.  He assured me that I can wait until I return at the end of the week to bring him back the hospital and he would make the appointment for me with the Infectious Disease Dr at Valley Children's Hospital. 
By the end of the phone conversation we DEFINITELY had the attention of the driver now and he was more than patient which was very much appreciated, he was tipped well for his time.
I was a mess when the phone call ended, this was a little step in a positive direction and if this was how things were turning around then I was opening BOTH arms an embracing it at ANY pace or way it needed to come around!  I made a few phone calls and was greeted with tears and positive support and wished an amazing week away to regain ME!

Soooooooooooo, let the adventure begin, we checked in to our hotel an off to Central Park we went, we were staying right across the street and it was beautiful at night and the carriage ride was more amazing than I had, we had imagined.  This was going to be a good week, there was no way it couldn't be now with this news. New York Subway system and of course, Tiffany's here we come!!


Happy Birthday

Could these test results stress me out anymore?  WAIT, don't answer that!
I woke up with a list a mile long and would be happy if I got just half of it done.  I had packed David as best I could but had also left a lot of things at my parents house knowing he would be there for a week while I was gone in New York.

The girls had made me breakfast while I was upstairs and David was lying in my bed looking at me as  if he knew what was on my mind.  It was a great start to a day and I actually was looking forward to being out and about, feeling like a normal person, feeling like I had some little something to contribute to society today other than my hatred and tears.

I took David to my folks mid day so I could have the rest of the afternoon and night to #1 decompress and #2 pack like a mad woman!  My parents were anxiously awaiting my arrival, well, David's arrival and the moment they saw him I was certain he would all be just fine, my dad grabbed him and was not going to let go, I was sure I would find them in the same exact spot I was about to leave them when I would return a week later! 
I had a good talk with them and shared, once again my "huge" fears in leaving and the test results that were due tomorrow, what if they were bad, what if I was doing the wrong thing by leaving when we were waiting on such important results?  My dad quickly stopped me and my rant and told me two things I remember vividly to this day; "we raised 3 children, I think we can handle this one for a week" and "your going is not going to change the results, they will be what they will be and you will only cheat your daughter and yourself out of this once in a lifetime trip, go, have fun and create some happy memories!"  O.K., enough said, I needed to leave and had to convince myself David would not know/remember I was gone for so long and cried my entire drive back home.

I arrived back home to find Julie waiting for me, she had a key so she came and went as she pleased, it was nice to see her smiling face, she knew exactly what I needed and some 'retail therapy' we did!  The girls were with their dad and would be coming home for dinner later, I was looking forward to my birthday dinner with them.
Julie and I did some damage and then we came home to pack our treasures away for our journey across country.  The girls came home and we all headed out for dinner, our local Mexican restaurant was the winner and it was just what we all needed, some good food, great company and a lot of laughs!

We came home, I had made a few phone calls one in which included a call to my parents to see how they were, how David was and all was just as I expected, just fine.  I called my sister as well to check in and make sure she was doing well and let her know what was going on with the test results and I would be calling her as soon as I found anything out as well, she wished us a safe trip and gave her love.  I didn't stay up to late as we had an early flight and I was exhausted, the past few weeks were waring on me, I could tell but had NO time to fall to their demise, too many things going on for that non-sense. 
My youngest daughter slept with me, I would drop her off at the bus stop then we would head to the airport first thing in the morning, she was sad we were leaving and was missing David already, we all were, it was weird to not have him there even though he had only been in the home for 3 days and everything initially literally had happened overnight....

"sweet dreams my little angel I will return home soon" was my last prayer before I closed my eyes that night and sealed them shut with tears.


waking hours

I woke up, I think we all slept well, the girl's woke up and took David downstairs while I stayed upstairs for a little bit longer.  I was not excited at all to start my day, I didn't want to get up, I wanted to stay in bed and hide under the covers. 
I had a lot on my mind a heavy body and an even heavier heart.  I was worried about David and the impending test results, I had tons to do for our trip in now one more prep day and knew there was not going to be enough time to get it all done.  My youngest daughter would be staying with my aunt who lived across the street and David would be going {back} to my parents house tomorrow since we will be leaving first thing on Tuesday morning, I had NO idea if I was coming or going and that was enough to send me into a melt down as soon as my feet hit the ground this morning!

The girls and I had breakfast, David was fast asleep in his swing, he was a good boy, he woke up only every 4 hours last night so that means we all got to sleep for almost 10 hours with little interruption, we are nowhere NEAR catching up but this was one step closer. 
Julie came over and had coffee with me and we sat in the front room and just stared at David as he slept, she wanted to catch up on things and how yesterday 'really' went, since I didn't see her when I came home and the girls didn't talk much when they came home to relieve her.  We had a great talk and an even better cry, we were DEFINITELY ready for our trip, made some final plans and decided we would do some shopping tomorrow after I dropped David off and then attempt to celebrate my birthday which would be interesting in itself.

The girls and I had a relaxed day, we had a few visitors throughout the day and took it for what it was, another day we had together, another day we would count our blessings and another day to give thanks that we were alive.


the services

I woke up bright and early, well, I honestly never went to bed, I was up most of the night either crying or listening for the baby, it's been 15 years since I had a baby in the house and I was in no way prepared for the over night arrival of a newborn, there was not 9 months to prepare, it was 9 days tops, I think that beats ANY record out there to date!

Today is the day we will bury my parents youngest of 3 girls, my little sister, my daughter's aunt and David's mother. It was also my middle sister's birthday today and I knew just how difficult this day would be for her, we both did, it had happened to us about 25 years prior.  Our grandfather had been diagnosed with bone cancer for several years and his passing would be our first experience with death, ever.  When he past, he was 'viewed' on her my sister's birthday and buried on mine, {our birthday's fall just 2 days apart} it was something that got us NO recognition as far as our birthday's after his services and still to this day by the rest of our family, our parents excluded.  I knew all to well what affect this day would {again} have on her and swore it would not allow any of us to forget her celebration today and for years to come.

The doorbell rang, it was Julie, she was teary eyed and ready for her angel duty, as I was sticking to my word and David was staying at home today.  Julie was scared as David was so tiny and fragile as I assured her he was perfect and would quite possible not even wake up while I was gone for a few hours.  My youngest daughter was ready and came downstairs to hold him while I finished getting ready to go.  I went upstairs to shower and my youngest daughter pleaded with me "mom don't cry to long in the shower please!" sigh, I will try not to sweetheart I replied. 

I have to be honest in saying I still don't remember to much about this day, I vaguely remember the drive down there, meeting my family at the cemetery, I was of course "right on time", I remember vaguely the service itself, my god mother read the perfect poem and the preacher had only kind words, it was short and sweet.  There were some tears, some sobs and a lot of silence and when it was over I found myself along with my sister standing at the dirt mound they tried to cover with the grass looking turf all below the beautiful coffin we had picked out for her. 
I was ok until I glanced harder at the dirt hole they would be putting her into when we all left, I refused to leave, I couldn't, not if it meant they would be lowering her into the cold, dark hole.  It all of the sudden became very real and very final, I honestly, again, don't remember what happened after that, my next memory was arriving at my parents house, a lot later than all the other people who joined us there for the reception, gathering, celebration if you will.
My sister went almost immediately to the bedroom and was stopped halfway by my mom and told the baby was not here, she was visibly upset and acted as if 'how dare me', I justified to her, that he did not need to be man-handled at his young age and weight, he did not need to be exposed to all the "germs" of being passed around, I felt bad, but knew it was in his best interest.

We had a lot of friends and family that had help set up food and kept us all occupied and towards the end of the day several of us ended up in my dad's shop and at one point we sang "happy birthday" to my sister which brought us all to tears.  My girl's left shortly after that and went to my house where they relieved Julie and waited for me to come home. 
I made my rounds saying good bye to friends & family, I was beyond exhausted at this point, it was late afternoon and I now had to somehow switch hats and prepare to leave in 3 days for my trip to New York, Julie seemed still excited as well as my oldest, I was dreading it the closer it came.

I drove home, the girl's were comfy on the couch with David, it was apparent they were going nowhere for the night, I retreated upstairs to change and make my way back downstairs to be with them.  I turned off all phones in the house and told them we would all sleep in my room, my bed tonight and told them how proud I was of them and that I could not have done this without their love and support!!


the viewing

I had spent the night at my parents after our visit to the hospital, we had a few visitors and I had talked to my sister for sometime and filled her in on the hospital visit and the information I had obtained, she obviously was worried and had more questions that I had answers for, I assured her, even though I was not, that it would all be fine and we would know more on Tuesday. 

I had a conversation with my parents this morning, this day of the viewing that I was not going to take David and I would be going home tonight and taking him with me as well as leaving him there tomorrow for the burial services with Julie, I did not think he needed to be "handled" with all the people we would have over afterwards, my dad got it, my mom did not, she let me know that it was not proper and that I had no reason to keep him away from friends and family who wanted to see him.  It was an argument I was standing firm yet one I was not going to continue to have with her, I got my dad's approval and that was all I needed.  I had my girl's bring me down clothes for the viewing and they came early of course to spend some time with David, they both sat in his room for the longest time with him and my oldest offered as the viewing was for the first hour for family and very close friends, then the last hour was for the "general public" as my dad referred to it, she would go to the viewing then come right back and sit with David while I went and also had the task of speaking to the preacher on what would be said and who would talk at the services the following day, oh joy!

We all got ready, waited for my sister then got the call she would meet us there, so we all left once my daughter got to the house from saying her final good-byes, she was very emotional and was not too talkative, I was not looking forward to this evening at all, I was numb and just going through the motions, for lack of better words.  We arrived and were greeted by family outside the mortuary, the director came out as well as the preacher and told us we would have as much time as needed to be with her before they allowed anyone else inside.  My dad grabbed my mom's arms and they walked in, I followed as well as my youngest daughter, my parents did not go all the way to the casket, they stopped short and sat on the front bench, I stopped for a moment and walked up shortly after my daughter did.  She started to cry and call her name, I went to grab for her and she ran out, I then looked inside the casket and I saw death, harsh I know, but I lived this with her, in the hospital, a part of me died the day she died and all I wanted to do was climb inside that casket with her and hold her, be with her and never leave her side again.  I lost it, I fell to my knees and my dad came over to me, my cousin helped me up and they stood with me while I had a break down, I asked, yelled WHY, I begged for her to wake up, I tried to look away, I couldn't I kept staring at her face, I was looking for some sign of life, some movement, I had seen this in the hospital, she would do this then respond to me when I called her name, my dad walked me over to the bench, my daughter came in and knelt at me feet and sobbed as I now held her, this was awful, I was a mess, plain and simple!

It took me several minutes to compose myself, I looked over at my mom, totally stone-faced and at this time my sister had arrived with her family and the room was starting to fill up with family and friends.  I jumped up and began to greet everyone and thank them all for coming, shortly after that my parents left, it was obviously too much for them to handle, they had been here 20 short minutes. 
I was summoned into the preachers office and we had a short chat on what we wanted said and who would be speaking tomorrow at the service, it was a short meeting and then I walked back out into the room, this time I took the route of the front entrance and looked at the pictures they had set-up and looked at the book to see whom had come and who had signed in, she was very loved and the support of family and friends was overwhelmingly apparent. The hour went by quickly and before I knew it, most of the family was gone and then as I tried to wrap things up, the general public started to arrive and there was a line out the door, including some very long time family friends and of course I acknowledged them as they gave me their sincerest condolences as they entered the viewing room.  I was trying to get home to my girl's and David, it took me literally almost an extra 30 minutes to do so.

I finally made it to my car, I was exhausted, mentally and physically, I'm not even sure how I made it back to my parents house clear across town.  There were a lot of people at the house when I got there and I made a straight line to the bedroom where I found my daughter sitting, holding the baby, she had not put him down since I had left, she looked at me and just cried, I grabbed him and sat next to her, I held him tight and I spoke to him in Portuguese and before I knew it his room was filled with my mom, my aunt, my youngest daughter and my sister, there was not a dry eye in the house. 
I visited for a little bit after that and then said my good-byes and headed home, tomorrow was going to be a difficult challenge and I was truly not looking forward to ANY part of it, well, like ANY of us were, it still seemed like a bad bad bad dream that could stop anytime now.


Dr's orders

We woke up early and to our surprise not by David, I woke on my own and met my mom in the hallway on the way to the restroom. I knew we had a full day ahead of us and was prepared, so I thought, it started with a confirmation phone call from the Dr making sure were would be at the hospital by 9am, I questioned the E.R. purpose and he said due to David's age and the severity of the disease, obviously since it took one life, I paused and had to ask, "is David in grave danger?" he calmly answered me, "I don't know, that is why when you register they will take you right back in, they are waiting your arrival."
I hung up the phone and was not going to tell my parents this as it was not even a possibility, we could not lose him to this awful disease.

My mom and I got ready, packed a bag and loaded David in the car for our little road trip to Valley Children's Hospital where the Dr was not kidding when he said they would be awaiting our arrival.  We were checked in and put in a room and greeted by a nurse who prepared us for what they would be doing today as far the spinal tap and blood tests, my mom was emotional and I was focused and quite frankly scared to death.  My girl's were in great health and had never had a hospital visit and to this day never a broken bone, this was definitely uncharted waters for me.

The nurses came in and offered us lunch, brought in what they thought we would have enjoyed as if we were the patients.  It was sometime later when the head nurse came in with tools in tow and a few assistants into the room, she looked around and asked where the patient was, we looked at one another and laughed and pointed to what she thought was a lonely blanket on the bed, he was teeny weeny, weighing in at 4 lbs 5 oz and barely 19 in at birth, to be honest he looked like a little furry baby monkey lying all wrapped up tight and sleeping as if wasn't even aware we had left the house. 
They began the spinal tap with 2 nurses holding him down, bending him literally in half while the head nurse performed the tap, I wondered what commotion he was going to cause with his size but in comparison to the needle and the delicacy of the procedure, they could not afford even the slightest move or he would be paralyzed. 
David was SO brave and barely made a peep the entire time, again, I don't even think he knew what was going on, this was little consolation, but at that it was. 

Several hours later, the procedure was over and the blood work was drawn and we were finally released to go home.  I had to make a follow up appointment with the lead Infectious Disease Dr the following week, when I was due home from New York.  I had to wait until Tuesday to get the results back from this tap which means I will be en route to New York as Monday is a holiday and in just 2 more days we would bury my sister. 

This `waiting` by far is going to be the ultimate test of my patience, my will and my faith!!


pick up and delivery

I slept like crap last night, my mind did not slow down no matter how hard I had tried, it sucked.  I woke up with a sleepy head and heavy heart yet I was so excited I could not stand still, so many emotions to deal with and today is the day my life changes for what I was not expecting to be the rest of my life! 
I knew I would take him, I knew I would raise him, I knew I would experience some life changing events yet at the same time I did not know it would be forever.

I sent the girls off, my youngest was disappointed she could not come along, but assured her she would be coming down to my parents house this afternoon when she got out of school, my oldest already said they would drive down after school.  I headed upstairs, I stopped mid way, I sat down and I cried, I held my face in my hands and I cried, good ole' fashion cry!  I composed myself, I got ready, packed a bag and headed out the door.  I had to stop by the bank and then I stopped by Starbucks for my fuel.

I got to my parents house mid-morning, there were few people there already and my dad met me at the gate and took me into the shop where he proceeded to ask me if I was ok, if I was prepared and that I would never know what this means to him or my mom, this task I am taking on when my girl's were growing/grown and I was a single mom and truly in my `prime`, I could not reply, I had tears I was fighting back, it is a "daddy" thing..to this day, my dad is the one who can do it for me, I hear his voice and it is over, a blubbering idiot!   
My mom came out and said she was ready, we loaded the car seat in my car and we hit the road, I don't recall to much of the conversation other than we were excited to have David home even if it was less than perfect timing but what really has been through this whole thing?!?!  We arrived at the hospital, I had called David's Dr's office and made sure he was going to be ok since we got a call yesterday and got confirmation that my sister had past from Valley Fever, unknown how she contracted it but had been fighting it for upwards of 2 years even unannounced to her and it was very likely he was exposed while in the womb but should be ok with the level of exposure but the Dr said he would consult with his fellow physician's and call us back if there was a concern.  He was born a month early and they described her pregnancy as literally "sucking the life out of her", she was frail and thin to begin with so they assured us she would have not survived, what an assurance THAT was.

We were required to stay in the NICU for 45 minutes with David strapped in the car seat and hooked up to monitors o make sure he would be ok on the ride home, his oxygen levels and breathing, OH, his breathing was FINE, he whaled the whole 45 minute and I was praying to god this was NOT an indication of what the car ride home was going to entail.  We signed our paperwork, the floor nurses came by to say farewell as my mom and I and the head nurse who had David this whole week hugged and cried, she wanted again to make sure us we needed anything to call and gave her sincerest of condolences and wished us the best of luck.  This was a bittersweet day, this is for sure, we made our journey home and awaited the call back from the Dr office to see if we needed to be seen in his office for a follow-up or keep the appointment we had in 2 weeks.

When we pulled up to my parents house there were a lot of people and they were all there to meet and greet the little angel we had on board, my dad, again, greeted me at the gate and opened it so we could pull in the driveway and I have to say the family and friends waited patiently for me to unload the precious cargo.  I got him out and made my way into the house, he was 2 weeks old, a preemie and he did NOT need to be exposed to multiple hands all at once, I felt like a warden an was warding them off as fast as they wanted to take a peek.  We ended up in his bedroom where he had fallen asleep so I laid him in his crib, sent everyone else on their way and sat on the bed, I watched him sleep, I felt completely empty, no thoughts, no emotion, no ambition to even move.  My girls were here and they came in the room and at by me, my mom then came back in as well as my aunt, we all stood in silence, it was a strange silence, one that should have been filled with joy and happiness, it was definitely a moment we all would never forget.

The phone rang and it was the Dr, he told us that we needed to be at VCH in Fresno at 9 am, he spoke with the leading infectious disease Dr at the hospital and he had shared some concerns and wanted to make sure David was completely without any traces of the Valley Fever.  The Dr said there was a great possibility it was passed through the cord and we needed to determine if it was the viral or bacterial strain of the disease.  I was staying the night with my parents tonight and only took this phone call as a precautionary one to ensure we had a healthy & happy baby boy.

My girls finally left, I sat on the couch and held this little bundle tight and could not stop staring at him, my parents went to bed and I soon followed, I slept with him by my side, on the bed, not letting go for the entire night, well, I knew I would be up every 2 hours for feeding anyway, right?  David woke only 2 times during the night, making only a `peep` when he was hungry and slept the rest of the night like the angel he was!    



My dad helped me load the bassinet and bags I had packed a few more things, there was no one there with my parents by the time I left, it almost seemed like a normal night, almost being the TOTAL operative word here!  I left and called my girls to see if they wanted to go shopping with me and of course they obliged.  I missed them and knew this was taking it's toll on them as well, they lost their aunt, one of their best friends, this though, I did not know the magnitude for years to come.
We had a good night and some fun shopping, we were NOT used to shopping for boys and had not had a baby around for many, many years.  When we got home Julie came over and had somethings for David also, it was nice to relax and even laugh at all this mess that now took over my home.  The girls went to bed, they had to get up early for school and were very excited also to see David once he came home, my oldest had not seen him since he was first born and my youngest only through a plate glass window in the nursery and Julie had only seen pictures.

Julie came upstairs with me to put together all his stuff, she was my right hand when mine stopped working, she had moved a few months prior into the same condo complex I was living in, she was like a sister to me.  Julie and I ended up on my bed and as I looked at my new decor, I started to cry, ok, I balled, Julie sat in shock and was speechless, she told me "I don't know what to say to make you feel better" I told her "there is nothing anyone can say, this is awful and I don't know anyone who has ever experienced anything like this" then we both then sat and cried. 

I stayed up or a few hours moving from my bed to the stairs and back again, I would go check on the girls and then go into my room and look in the crib and then the bassinet, I couldn't imagine how this had all happened, this is a life changing tragedy in more ways then one, does ANYONE GET THIS, ANYONE BUT ME AND I'M EVEN HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING IT?? 

We were not expecting this, THIS is unfair!


checking out

I was reminded by my dad last night that this morning my mom and I would be picking out the plot which she had wanted to be as close to my grandmother's as possible.  I spoke with my sister last night as she and her family were packing for their 'check-out' tomorrow morning and my dad was a little excited to be heading further up north to pick up his 1977 shovel head Harley Davidson motorcycle he had been saving for.  I was going to pick my mom up and we would go to the cemetery then get a bite to eat and I would be dropping her off back at home, my godmother said she would check in on her as well as my aunt, my dad would be back home by dark.

I had my cup of coffee, my hot shower, a heart wrenching cry and hit the road.  I was not sure lately if I was coming or going, I had no thoughts and was going on pure adrenaline, I was ready for this to all be over with, a bad nightmare that I was trying so hard to wake up from.  I hadn't spent a lot of time with my girl's, they were keeping busy at their dad's, I took very few phone calls and had not been to work now in 2 weeks.  I had a couple girlfriends who would call me and check on me daily and that was the extent of my human contact in this, my zombie state!  It was for sure beginning to take it's toll, but dammit I had NO time for such non-sense, I had more important things to do and places to be.

I picked up my mom and we headed over to the cemetery, we went into the office and looked at a large map of plots "what the hell are we doing here" is the only thought that went through my head and at that time we were greeted by the receptionist who asked if we needed anything and my initial response wanted to be "YEAH WE NEED HER BACK!"  I was obviously irritated I had to be here and be here alone with my mom, I just don't think I was emotionally available/capable of being her supporter today, that made me sad but it was the truth.  My mom's cell phone rang, she grabbed it and said oh that's your dad, he texts me, I said "dad texts?"  how cute was this...he sent her "I love you and I can't wait to come home to you"  I lost it...she replied "I love you to, be safe please come home soon" WoW, my parents text back and forth, how come I was not in this loop?  It was then that I `bucked up` and made myself available for my mom in my dad's absence, this is where I needed to be today.  We picked out her plot an my mom's phone rang as we were leaving the office, she carried on the conversation then handed the phone to me in tears.  I greeted the caller and it was the head nurse at the NICU, she advised me that they would not be able to keep David past today, he would be released on Wednesday, she tried but was unable to talk the Dr. into allowing him to stay, she apologized and knew this was not the best time for us, but I thanked her and told her I would more than likely be missing my feeding today to `rush` prepare for him to come home tomorrow, she understood and said he was doing perfect today and plan on being here 4-5 hours tomorrow for his release. 
My mom was exited and anxious and asked if she could make the trip with me tomorrow "of course you can!"
Now, so much for my `check out` day,  I need to get the last minute items I need and be ready to bring our little man home in less than 24 hours, tomorrow will be 2 weeks since he was born. 

I had called my girl's on the way back to my mom's, my dad had called again also and I was unable to get a hold of my sister, hence, the meaning and purpose/idea for the `check out` day!
I went inside when I dropped my mom off and went to the nursery to get the bassinet and some other odds and ends I would need then I would stop by the store on my way home for the rest of the ensemble. I walked in and saw the baby blanket and bear I had bought for her shower lying over the crib, I had to have them, I grabbed them, sat on the bed and held it tight, I smelled it and swore I smelt her, I cried and laid down on the bed.
I felt a hand on my back, it startled me, I jumped up, it was my dad asking if I was ok, I sat up fast and said "I am, are you? what are you doing home? where is mom?" little did I know, I fell asleep and had been asleep for over 3 hours, it was getting dark and they were about to eat and wanted to make sure I had something before I went home. I ate a quick bite, we talked a little about a plan for tomorrow and my mom was begging me to spend the night with them, I told her that was most likely a possibility and I needed to go so I could get ready.


the set up

I woke up to an empty house, this was nothing unusual and something I had become quite used to, it was nice, it was a time I could have some coffee, sit on my middle stairs and `reflect` on whatever weighed heavy on my little brain. 
This day I planned on setting up the house for David, he would be joining me in my master bedroom as the girls shared the other bedroom in my 2 bedroom condo. My master was huge and I would be adding a crib, being delivered this morning by my cousin and her husband and the bassinet I would be bringing home from my parents tonight.  I had gone through the items that were at my mom's in the nursery and had a plan of what I would be taking to my house and leaving with my parents.  I had already taken a few items, little at a time, I did this as to not upset my mom even though she knew this is what was going to happen. 
I had set up a few things downstairs that were given to me last night including a swing and a bouncer chair, I found myself sitting, staring at them, wondering just what the future held for him, for me, for all of us, there was so much uncertainty I started to freak out a little, soooo I put my big girl panties on and began my day!

The crib was delivered and set up, I will go today after my feeding and get bedding and other little essentials, bury his mother, my little sister and then Sunday bring him home in time to fly across the United States on Tuesday "oh how is this all going to work?"  I was not wanting to go and my dad told me I WILL go if he has to pack a pair of panties and a bra in a wal-mart bag, I WAS going, so I guess that means I have to go, I guess it will be nice to get away but I will be hard to leave David after just bringing him home.

I got a phone call from my dad as I was getting ready to head up north for my date and he said there was a few things he needed to tie up with the mortuary and asked if I would meet him there, of course I agreed, told him I was on my way.  I arrived at the mortuary to see my dad out front, he looked so handsome it made me cry, he greeted me and we went inside.  I didn't really know what we/I was there for, he signed some papers and picked up a few items that were left at my sister's bedside from the hospital and my dad asked/volunteered me to speak/meet with the pastor on Friday before the family viewing to go over what would be said at the services on Saturday.  We left and as we got in our cars my dad asked if I would be coming by the house later and I said "sure on my way back I will come by for dinner and stay awhile" he shook his head and as I walked away and got in my car, he looked back, waved to me and mouthed "I love you", I waved back and pulled away crying halfway to my destination.  I was very worried about my dad, he was the strongest man I have ever known and I'd never seen him cry, he was a hard worker and was always there for us 3 girl's!

I got to the hospital, pulled myself together and went on up, I had the routine down pat now and today I was greeted with by the nurse saying "oh your in for it today, your a few minutes late and he's been letting us know!"  I paused and listened and she said "yeah, you hear that? that is David"  she said he woke up this morning and has been making noises all morning/afternoon and to my surprise he had pulled out his own tubing, she told me this was an amazing sign and that he would be ready to go home in a day or two, she was pleased with our bonding and at how well he was responding.
I walked over to the islet, changed him, dressed him and held him close, today I got to look him in the eyes as I fed him, he drank out of a normal bottle like it was nothing, I was SO proud of him and the nurse was short of amazed with his ability to do it and keep it down this very first time, good job my little man! 
I spent a full 2 hours with David today and then talked to the nurse and told her we would be all set-up and ready for him by Sunday, I told her we were having the viewing on Friday and then the services on Saturday, she was compassionate and said she would do the best she could but if he keeps up this progress then he may be released sooner.  I again thanked her for ALL that she has done for us as well as him and told her I would see her tomorrow.


short and sweet

I made a quick stop by my parents house before heading home, I was looking forward to a good night at home with my girl's, relaxing, quiet and possibly a little more sleep. 
My sister was gone and only a few close friends were at my parents house and my dad seemed a little relieved I had stopped by and was looking forward to be home alone tonight with my mom, I was worried but he said they would be just fine, he was ready!  I worried no more, YEAH RIGHT, kissed them both and told him I would see them tomorrow morning.

I made my way home, made a few phone calls and waited for my girls to come home from school and work.  I have some of the greatest friends and co-workers, they showered me and my family with meals, cards, love and now tons of things I would be needing to welcome home a new baby boy. The girls and I were anxious to get him home yet on the other hand knew we were in for a HUGE change, a change for all of us~not a lot more was thought or talked about, we just needed to get him home and that was it, nothing more, nothing less.

The girls had other plans for the night so I was home alone, well, not for long, I got a phone call and soon welcomed 2 close friends and they had brought over a 'baby shower' is what I like to call it, it was amazing, so much stuff, I was all of the sudden self sufficient and was very well prepared for this baby  have had NO time to prepare for, I mean my girls were teenagers, I had NO idea what the trends were now-a-days. 
I was overwhelmed and thankful, we laughed and we cried as I shared my sorrow as well as my fears, they listened and gave me a lot more than their support that night and for that I will be forever grateful!!

I went to bed with a weary head and a heavy heart, I don't remember much more about this nights end, I do remember, very vividly though I was thinking just how my life had changed in the past few years, months, weeks, days and now seemingly hourly. 

Good Night, sweet dreams!


breaking point

Today I would send my youngest back to school, my oldest daughter had school and then work, we had breakfast together and I headed back down to see my parents and then head back up north this afternoon for my 3pm date.  I tried to keep the girl's on their normal schedule, or what we thought was a normal schedule we had tried to maintain at this point in the game.

My sister had decided to stay another night so she was there when I arrived but was leaving today for sure, she would go home in time to come back in 2 or 3 days for the viewing and burial services.  We had what I called a 'lax' day today minus my trip to Merced, we stayed close to the house and enjoyed some well needed time with family and friends who were still plentiful and there was NO shortage of food.  We gathered at one point, the 4 of us on the patio in between hosting guests who kept popped in to talk about services and whether or not to have them public or private, this included the viewing as well.  NOW, this may seem like normal talk but was something that by the end of the conversation we were ALL in tears and nearly at odds with one another.  My sister and I were torn, my mom had no real opinion and my dad had made it perfectly clear it was family only and NO ONE else would be allowed to attend, not even some of our closest friends, our huge supporters, no one!  THIS is when the truce was called, we all decided that tomorrow would be a day where we would ALL take a day, we claimed it to be our 'check-out' day.  NO cell phones, NO contact with one another and NO having to talk or even think about ANYthing for 24 hours, this was what we all needed, that is a certainty!
My sister and her husband would be going to the beach, my dad had just purchased a Harley he had been saving for since his retirement a couple months prior, my mom and I had agreed to go pick out her plot first thing in the morning and then separate for the remainder of the day, she wanted to stay home and I was going to enjoy some "retail therapy!"  Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh this was going to be goo goo goooood.

I spent a little more time with my sister before I took off up north and she left for home, I said good-bye to my parents and headed out.  I was really excited about my visit today and the fact I was going to dress him and be a little more hands on with David, this made me step a little lighter, I needed a little ease after today, the last few days, shoot the last 10 days if we are counting! 
I arrived for my date, and caught myself almost running inside, upstairs to be with my `new` man.  I knew the drill and had it down pat, checked in, changed and made my way to the far corner, this time it looked a little different, it was a little more lit and the islet was moved a further forward.  I approached it and the nurse said "he sure is stirring and moving today" I said "I'm sure he knows what time it is" she smiled big and said she would prepare the formula while I changed and dressed him.  He woke right up and was really moving about, I picked him up and he snuggled right in, I almost forgot we had to eat. It was a great day and was just what I needed! 
I stayed my 2  hour limit and left with the hopes that 3pm tomorrow would already be here.