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!!



he just had to tell me

My folks and I met at the restaurant after our victorious day in court.  I arrived after they had been seated, my mom was still crying and my dad wanted to know immediately what had been said in the hallway, he had little relief in his eyes.  I told him I made "NO deals" and it was simply him coming to reason and realizing he was not going to win soul/physical custody, he knew he had been caught lying to his attorney and his attorney was not representing him to his fullest of knowledge in the situation.  My dad understood this yet did not trust this man as far as he could throw him and he made sure I knew this, daily!  I was mentally exhausted and about to reach my limit for the day, I told my dad it was my turn to tell him everything would be o.k., he had to trust me and had to know that I have David's best interest at heart and that I was not slighting them ANY opportunity and I will always keep them in the loop and they will have a say-so...sigh...was I lying to appease him?  was I saying something to make him feel better about the fight we just won?  WHAT was I doing, did I EVEN know??
My folks asked if I was coming by the house, I didn't want to but I agreed to visit for a little while before I headed back home, my mom said she needed to be with him right now, I understood this, I needed him to!

I go to my friends house her twins nephews were over, they were about a month older than David, she had them all lying on the floor 'coo-ing' at one another, it was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen, David was in the middle as he was the smallest yet had the biggest smile on his face when I walked over to them.  I scooped him up and told her how court went, she cried, I cried and she told me how proud she was and how sorry she was for my dad giving me a harder time than needed to be especially at a time like this.  She knew my family and knew how strong willed my father was, how stern yet how passionate he was about protecting his family, it was definitely bitter-sweet.  I knew this was not going to be an easy transition with my folks and David's father, I only prayed I did not have to play both sides, being stuck smack dab in the middle, that would be NOT cool!!

I got to my folks house, my dad was waiting outside with the gates open for me, I pulled in and he actually came to the car, opened the door and got David out of his car seat for me, he waited for me and we walked into the house together.  My mom was anxiously awaiting our arrival and scooped David right up, I told her he was probably hungry and was going to be ready for a nap, I got a bottle ready and told her I would lay down with him when she was done feeding him, she smiled and thanked me.  My dad asked if he could talk to me on the patio as my mom was feeding the baby.  All I could think of was "here we go again"  I simply had nothing left in me, could he not see this by now??
It took him a few minutes to speak, he was fighting back tears, then he grabbed my hand and I lost it.  He told me "your mom and I can't thank you enough for what you have done, she has nothing left inside of her but the love of this little boy, I want you to know I DO trust you and I know you will and have done what is best for David with a broken heart" ... "I just don't want you to get hurt, I know this man, you don't and for that I can take little comfort!"  I tried to stop him and realized I needed to let him get this out, he continued and told me "this man will lie to you, this man will manipulate you, this man will make you feel like he has your or David's best interest at heart" he stopped and wiped away a tear, or two and said "this man has no heart!" I gasped, I was taken back by what my dad had said to me and knew there was NO response I was going to be able say, I had to take these words/advice and process them and be on guard.  This talk was a little more serious than others, I felt my dad's emotion and it wasn't a raw feeling of recent loss, it was from experience and I felt the hurt a father feels when someone hurts their daughter!

We composed ourselves and went back into the house to find my mom and David asleep on the couch, very peaceful, I had no heart to move either one of them, my dad I decided to go to our respective rooms, me the nursery and take a nap ourselves, this was a day that had surely worn on everyone, I could not help but to cry myself to sleep, this was the only thing that seemed to soothe me lately!




HAPPY NEW YEAR!  and man was I hoping and praying with every ounce it would be...

Statistics say it 'usually' takes the average person at least 12 months to grieve a major loss, they list those as Birth/Death/Divorce/Major Illness, etc...Other readings state because it can be SO wide spread and the relationship within the loss one has suffered can be one of extreme closeness or one with great distance, so the "norm" now for the "average" person is "AS LONG AS IT TAKES YOU TO COMPETE THE WHOLE GRIEVING PROCESS"
I've suffered, o.k., experienced 3 of those listed in a 1 1/2 time frame, am I average, normal, or just stuck in the middle??

 Our court date was in a week, I had made sure I organized all the notes/letters and text messages I had gotten from David's father as well as all his medical records and tests to present to the court on our/my behalf.  My folks and I met with our attorney one more time before our actual date to make sure there was nothing else that needed to be covered, no stone unturned.  We had to send out letters to all our family and relatives over 18 years old making sure they agreed and approved of the guardianship and that they had no interest in making a notion to gain guardianship over us.  We did not know his family history and did not elude to this process as his attorney made no mention, I was scared to death, this was a HUGE risk as it could defeat ALL the work we had done IF someone on his side came forward after this process was started/granted and say that they never got the chance to "fight" for fraternal {family} rights and the process could be stopped or more devastating overturned and if it was found on the basis of malice or integrity it would quite possibly take our rights away forever!   This was huge and something I was not comfortable at ALL in signing off on, but 3 against one, I had no choice, I signed and went along with the basis of  "at the time" we signed and sent our letters, had no "confirmation" of who the father was **sigh**.... Our attorney seemed to think this was no big deal and the fact he was NOT listed on the birth certificate was HUGE in this part of the guardianship appointment.

Today was the day, my friend would be keeping David again so I dropped him off and met my folks a the courthouse, our attorney came up shortly after we arrived and found our seats in the courtroom.  David's father came in shortly after and pulled me aside, we stepped outside where I was met with his attorney as well.  David's father and I had a good re pore, I was open to his ideas and suggestions and he understood I was ultimately going to do what 'I' wanted which in turn was the best for David.  He wanted a general 'say-so' and I understood this, it was fairly easy in the aspect I had NO intimate connection with this man, not to say that the entire thing was not difficult but it was what had to be done for David and that is all the matters.  David's father told his attorney he could go inside and he would join him shortly, I thought this was kind of odd and had me off guard, NOT a position I was prepared to be in at that very moment, I HAD to be on my A game this morning, there was NO other way I would get through this if I was not.  He told me "I'm letting my attorney go, I will agree to the guardianship as long as you keep David and your parents do not have him or have any say-so" I stopped him and said "they will not allow that, I've tried and for the fact they lost his mother so suddenly, they are afraid of losing him as well" I had to speak it in simple terms for him to understand, he agreed and said "then you have all the control and I will only deal with you and it will be whatever you and I want when it comes to David" this sucked, I felt like I was making a deal with the devil, it had already been written and presented what we wanted and what was going to happen and now at the 24th hour, it was all about to be changed....What the hell??
We went back into the room and took our respective seats when the judge then called us up, our attorney stood for the 3 of us and he sat alone as his attorney came up with him and as quick as he came up, excused himself from the case and left the courtroom.  My mom and dad looked at me in disbelief, they knew this was a good thing but had no idea what was said between us since we had NO time to talk before the judge came in.  Our attorney looked at me, I nodded an o.k. and then we proceeded. 
The judge was a little surprised and asked if we were prepared to continue, our attorney advised we were ready to present all our facts and continue forward with the granting of permanent guardianship of this said minor.  The judge heard our attorney and was presented with all the forms and letters, he then read over he mediators report and asked if there was anything further to be presented from either side before we took recess and he made his decision, David's father stood up and said to the judge "I agree with the papers and the report, I want David to remain with his aunt and I will deal with her and make all decisions for the good of David with her, I will also allow her parents to listed as guardians" my mom burst into tears, my dad looked at me as if I had made a deal with the devil, man was he spot on with what I was feeling...Our attorney looked at the judge and said "with that being said and co-counsel excusing himself, I would assume guardianship will be granted for my clients" the judge looked sternly at each one of us then said with the understanding you all have for one another and the understanding that this is about a young child and NOT about one another, past or present feelings then I will grant this guardianship which also places the maternal aunt as the main guardian and "the voice of reason" as the mediator report states and wish you all the best of luck!!

He needed no recess and as quick as it began, it was all over, we got what we wanted, my folks were too emotional to respond, I gave a quick nod to the judge and a smile of content to our attorney and then we were excused from the stand{s}. 


tis the season

One holiday down and one more to go before we can say hello to a new year and new beginnings!

Christmas was fast approaching and I just could not get into the ‘spirit’ I also had NO intentions on decorating, I mean David would not remember anyway, right?  My daughter was not going to be home a lot over the winter break, I guess I just didn’t have the spirit in me.  I was aware of my blessing and didn’t need to be reminded how joyful I needed to be.  No one really said anything,  it was a given, it is not like people walked on egg shells around me, most knew the situation or basic information, my sister had died and I had her son, either way, I was not very vocal about the whole happenings. 
My main focus was on our court date and keeping peace between my folks and David’s father, this needed to work, we had several years to come with this man and he was David’s father no matter how they looked at it and it was not going to go away no matter how hard they tried to get rid of the thoughts, it was reality and a reality that they needed to understood.  Their daughter choose this man and now she is gone and although it is apparent they did not agree with her choice{s}, it is not ours to dictate her right/wrongs.  Just as we are left with this little angel, we are also left with her wishes; we must uphold and honor them for her, for this little boy!
To my surprise the sun still came up every day just as it set each night, this meant time WAS moving forward, then why did it feel as if it just happened hours ago??  I can’t shake the feeling of loss and the thoughts of death, the visual is something that keeps me from sleeping each night, I wish it was the newborn that kept me awake, but it was not, he was good at sleeping ALREADY, I’m certain the medication helped…maybe this was a small blessing I need to embrace and let the grieving process begin! 
We had our scheduled appointment at the infectious disease clinic in between the holidays. David was given a clean bill of health along with news we didn’t have to come every 2 weeks now, we could come in monthly since he was doing/responding so well to the antibiotics, this was a very good thing, I considered this my Christmas gift (:   Christmas was here and of course I had to work so the drill would be the same as it was for Thanksgiving, this time my sister would be coming down to spend the night as well.  She wanted to be there on Christmas morning.  My mom had hung all our childhood stockings and that was about the extent of the decorations this year. There were presents stacked neatly in a corner and a small red poinsettia plant at the shrine.  My folks had a corner table they had placed her sunglasses on, her last picture taken along with an angel votive that they burned daily for her, my mom also wrote a little note and it remained untouched.  My mom asked my sister I and to write a note to put in her stocking, she wanted this to be a yearly ritual, we were hesitant but agreed. 
My oldest daughter called when I was on my way to work, it was dusk and she was crying and I was scared something had happened to her.  She told me she was fine, she was sitting at the graveside and had just taken a poinsettia plant to my grandmother as well as her aunt.  I had to pull over, I started to cry and could not stop, I asked if she was o.k. and what had happened, she said “nothing mom, I wanted to bring grandma a plant like aunt Tanya did every year and of course I left one for her now too!”  I could not form a word if I wanted to at this very moment, she told me “I just wanted to call and tell you I miss her horribly mom and I want her back here with us, this is just not fair mom”  I mustered up a few words “I know baby, I know”  she knew there was nothing else that could be said or done and we ended the phone call with “I love yous” & as many tears” which was not so out of the ordinary, it just seemed to happen at more random times and places! 
I got to work and checked in on David and my youngest daughter and told her I would see her tomorrow afternoon when she came out to see us, she was having a bad day soooo I soothed her the best I could through the phone and hung up with a very heavy heart. 
I made my way back to my folks when work was over, and it could not have been over 1 minute sooner!   My sister was waiting up for me and greeted me with a hug and you guessed it, tears and a lot of them.  She did not know how difficult it would be to stay the night in the house since she had been gone, especially since she was here the last time, I agreed and told her it just doesn’t even seem real anymore, it is like a HUGE nightmare, she asked me “how do you do it” I questioned her “do what?” she said   “this, come here, see them, see him every day, he looks identical to her??” I said I don’t feel anything, I just simply go through the {automatic} motions” I mean he needs to eat, be changed, bathed and held, it just comes natural I guess”  she broke down and said “I can hardly get myself up every day, I can hardly dress and take care of my daughter it hurts that bad!” I cried with her as we curled up on the couch in one of her favorite blankets.  Santa, err, our dad woke up and sat with us on the couch, all he could say was “I’m sorry you girls are having to go through this” then he got up to make coffee and head back to bed. 
My sister and I composed ourselves and wrote our separate notes so our mom would be happy when she woke up.  David was awake now, it was nearly 6 a.m. and I had not been to sleep, I told my sister to get some rest and I would feed him, we both knew the rest of the house would be up in a couple hours anyway. 
His little face was the sweetest thing when he woke up, he was hungry, not crying just waiting patiently for me to prepare his bottle, he stared at me the entire time I was feeding him as if he knew I was upset, he knew I had been crying.  I made it a point to not be upset or cry when I held him; I didn’t want that to EVER come across to him, ever!  I sat and I thought about what my sister had said, I felt so bad for her yet on the other hand I wished I had that options of not being able to ‘function’ I mean not having to get out of bed if you didn’t want to or claim I couldn’t?!?!  Have I shorted myself this option,  what have I done?
MERRY CHRISTMAS!  The entire house was up now, coffee was on and the kids were having fun opening their gifts, my mom had a smile on her face and my dad was content to have everyone in the house with them as they woke up.  We had a decent day, our dad had surprised us all and got us all small gifts, it was the most heartfelt thing I had experienced in a long time, if ever!  We had a nice meal, family came and went, my daughters came and went and my sister left with her daughter to be with her husband’s family and before I knew it, it was the 4 of us left in the house. 
I took a nap and headed back to work, I would come back and spend one more night with my folks since the girls would not be home and it was finally my last night of work, then hooray for days off! 
I drove to work praying that this night would go by fast and I would be able to one day find my way!



David was doing well with his Asthma and breathing issues & his antibiotics but has now developed "colic" what the heck is all this crying about? 
David was nearly 3 months old now and Thanksgiving was right around the corner, a holiday to be thankful for all you have, I am going to pass on making comments on this holiday and say I am thankful I have to work.  David will be staying the night with my folks, me when I get off work so I will be there when our feast is ready.  My sister will be coming down as well, my aunt and her family will be over as well as the girl's when they finish with their dad's family.
I had less than a week to prepare for this holiday and we had our appointment with infectious disease in a couple days.

I went back to work and I was actually happy and looking for a little {mind} rest, that was a sad statement especially since my job is one of the most stressful listed in America's job census. 
David was at home with my daughter, she was scared he would have another episode since he had been in the hospital twice now, we talked and she knew what to look for, we were both certain he had enough meds in him now to be good till he was 2, but we still both worried ourselves sick.
I prayed he slept so she could sleep, I know how draining it had become and what a toll it takes and she was still in school, I felt so guilty I had to mentally block the thoughts and just go through the motions!

I had called and changed David's appointment to my first day off, they were aware of my work schedule and the office was more than accommodating. 
I hardly ever sleep anymore so it was nothing to be up it seemed as soon as I had laid my head on the pillow when I came home from work.  I took my daughter to school and came back to get David and I ready for his appointment.
David napped the way down so when we arrived he was bright eyed and in a great mood, this made the girl's in the office as well as the doctor very happy.  David was a happy and loving little baby, he always seemed to have a smile on his face, I claimed to see it everyday!
The doctor gave us a clean bill on this visit, said all of David's tests looked good from his last stay and he would see us in 3 weeks due to the holiday.  I thanked him for all he has done for us, he winked and patted my back and said "of course" as we left the office.

I packed our bag and took David to my folks, only to return when I got off work in the wee morning hours.  Work was busy, time seemed to fly bye, this was a good thing. 
I slept for a few hours then it was rise and shine, they had a smaller house and it was NOT as insulated so the moment I heard David stirring I felt I had to be up.  I knew my mom had to cook and I wasn't sure what time my sister was coming down, so I begged for some coffee and off to the shower I went. 
I went into the kitchen to get my fuel, err coffee, I absolutely hated the stuff growing up and, well, now it was a main staple, kind of funny I think.  My mom greeted me and said my dad was outside with David on the patio so that is where I was headed, I told her I would be back to help her in a few.
David was sleep in his carrier and my dad was focused in his thoughts, I sat down and he asked how I slept, I just smiled and he knew.  My mom had a bed for me in my sister's room, I ended up on the couch, there was NO way I could have slept in her bed, let alone her room, I made my pallet on the couch, it was comfy and when your exhausted I think a round rock would have been just as comfy!!

Before I knew it my sister had arrived and my Aunt as well as my godmother had arrived also, it was nice to have some noise in the house, yet it reminded me, well, all of us, of the day we buried her.  This was the "first" gathering since her passing just barely 3 months ago now, it was just still SO raw & surreal.
My aunt and godmother had taken over the cooking, it took all my mom had to even start what she had started, I know having us all there was just what she had needed.  Since they were suddenly living alone and the constant company had stopped it was a huge reality check for both my folks, they were still just functioning above the level of the dead, I say this as she was still ALL over the house, her room and bathroom still untouched, her toothbrush still on the sink and her robe still hanging on the door. 

We had a great meal and I was ready for a nap, I grabbed David and made mention I hope he is ready for a nap, my sister stopped me and said "please let me rock him so you can get some good rest" I was more than willing to let her rock him, bond with him and I would in turn get some uninterrupted sleep, win-win :)
I slept till I had to go back to work, my sister was actually going to stay with my folks tonight so I would go home after I got off work and come back down tomorrow late morning, it would be my day off so I could sleep that night and they would have some quality time with David.

For this I was THANKFUL!



just one more...

I was awoken by the sound of a little fuss from the corner of the room, my daughter had woken up and was feeding David, he was hungry hungry and was looking at her with such content as she was rocking him, I had a smile from ear to ear.  We actually slept really well, they had only come in a couple times during the night and did their best as to not bother us, I was certain we would be going home today.
My oldest daughter called and I told her to just wait and see us when we came home, the same with my folks, although they came down anyway.
The nurse came in after shift change this time, she let us have/eat breakfast and change and hold David before they came in and stripped him and did a complete check-up, he was NOT happy BUT they took the I.V. out and this meant we were MACHINE FREE, yippee HUGE step closer to going home!  The nurse said the doctor would be in shortly and she saw no reason he would not discharge us this afternoon, David was up for one more steroid treatment and then we would be done with those as well.

I was able to shower and clean up the room before my folks showed up, my daughter was content on the couch holding David.  My folks came in and for a second stopped as his bed was stripped, housekeeping was in and out, they stopped and looked hard around the room and then saw him, unhooked and asleep in her arms, my mom cried and my dad hugged me and whispered to me "see he is going to be just fine" I know dad, I know!  I told them we were still waiting on the doctor to come in for rounds and that we would be going home today for sure, the nurse said he was doing really good.  They stuck around for a little while then they had to leave, the Dr had still not been on his rounds, typical `hap's` sigh...
It was early afternoon before the doctor even came into the room, his report was good and his signed discharge papers were even better!  We were checked out and on the road by dinner time and couldn't wait to get home.  

When we came home Julie had brought over dinner and ate with us, took care of David while we ate and I unpacked the car.  She gave David a bath and tucked him into bed then she went back home, it was nice to have her in the same complex.  My oldest daughter was at work and would be by tomorrow to see us, my youngest was tired and was heading to bed herself.  I tucked her in and went back downstairs to turn lights out and clean up a bit more even though tomorrow would be producing a "lazy" day for sure. 
I didn't make it all the way down, I made it to the 'landing' and this is where I sat until I looked at the clock and it was nearly 10 p.m., almost 2 hours later than when my intentions were to clean up and go to bed myself. 

I sat and cried, I sat and I wondered what this all meant, what was god trying to tell me, what lesson did I have to learn from all this, was this a gift or a curse, I mean was ANY of us in a right state of mind to make ANY life decisions for this little boy, WHAT was going to happen, WHAT did his future hold? 
I guess I had just a few things on my mind this night and there I sat, aching to talk to her one more time, just one more "I love you" just one more "I am proud of you" just one more stroke of her hair and a kiss on her forehead, just one more! 


happy heart

"Morning babe, how are you?"  I woke up to this text from my mom, I don't know why I remember this one so vividly but none the less I remember, it made me feel like yelling out the window at the top of my lungs "HOW DO YOU THINK I AM THIS MORNING, I FEEL LIKE I'M IN PRISON!" I know this would have not gone over very well, so I thought it simpler to just reply "I'm fine", it would be taken in the same context anyway. 
The nurse came in before shift change and asked if I needed anything, I thanked her and told her and wished her a good day of rest. I showered and cleaned up our cell, our room having hopes of possibly going home today, I knew it was a stretch but a positive attitude would send a good message, right??

I called my daughter as the doctor was coming in for rounds, I told her to call me when she came home from school to see if we would he staying another night or not.  The doctor told me David was improving and he wanted to scale back the treatments to every 2 hours and steroids down to once a day and see how his lungs and breathing scored.  I looked at him and he said "yes, I'm sorry at least one more night so we can monitor this little guy and make sure he continues to be the fighter he has shown us he is!" with a tear how could I dare refute that statement so with a hug and a pat on the back he was gone to sign the orders as our original night nurse came in all smiles.  I asked her what she was doing here, not that I minded at all, it was a nice surprise, she said she was doing a turn around shift and she asked for this floor and then told me to go get something to eat and take my time, she would sit with David and YES she already told her station where she would be!  I was SO ready for some fresh air, so I took advantage of her generous offer as David was awake now since the doctor woke him and he was ready to eat, I told her I would after he ate and she said no need, I've already got a warm bottle coming. 
I went down to the cafeteria and actually took my food outside, it was a cool, crisp morning and it felt SO good to be outside, it truly did feel like I was in prison, even though whatever I needed the nurses would get me but the fact I could not leave made me feel trapped and very much alone.  THIS was just what the doctor had ordered and although I tried to take my time, I felt the need to rush right back up in the room to be with David.

I found her rocking David when I came back to the room, she was all smiles and he was fast asleep.  I thanked her graciously with a few tears in my eyes and she left the room, I relaxed on the couch and watched a little T.V. before my parents came for their daily visit.  We actually had a decent visit and there were not a lot of tears, my dad actually picked up and held David for a short time, this made my heart happy!  I napped a little in the afternoon and then got the phone call from my daughter that Julie had picked her up and they were on there way, they asked if I wanted anything and I said "well, since your offering, I would LOVE some Taco Bell", they both laughed and she told me "mom, Julie is already in the drive-thru" I could not help but chuckle and gave her my order. They knew if I had not called then I was staying another night, it was very obvious I had people who cared and loved me as well as being supportive, I found that is was just as hard for them to ask and want to know what had/was happening rather just not say anything at all.
They arrived a half hour later and I was SO HAPPY to see my daughter as she was just as happy to see me and get to see and hold David again as well, this REALLY made my heart happy...Julie stayed for about a half and hour then she left, I thanked her for bringing my daughter and even more for being in my life during this most difficult time, it was a given, we were BFF's for a reason!

My daughter and I settled in for the night and hoped we would be going home tomorrow sometime so we could get back to being a whole family again, as she put it.  She was upset at seeing David hooked up to all the machines and the I.V. coming from his foot, I explained how tiny it was and how he didn't even know it was there, she cried and said "mom I miss her SO MUCH it hurts!"  I said "I know baby, so do I!!"Sweet Dreams sweetheart as I kissed her forehead and we shared a smaller then twin size pull out couch!




The last treatment was about 6am, right before shift change, the nurse totally saw the dis pare in my face, not knowing until that afternoon that she had advised the other nurses and put a note on the door that we were NOT TO BE DISTURBED, EVERYone had to check in at the desk before coming in.  I woke up and it was nearly 9am, it felt great to have slept almost 3 solid hours, David was stirring and was a little more active, he wanted to eat, I opened the door and the nurse rushed over asking if everything was o.k., I smiled and said just fine, can I feed him now please, they had not stocked up the room with formula since he was in the tent and still had the fever as of last night.  The nurse came in to check him and called the doctor and gave me the "go ahead" to feed him and she showed me how all the machines hooked & unhooked so I could hold and rock him, this was going to be a good day!!

Our infectious disease doctor came in with the floor doctor for routine rounds, he said he was sorry David was back and had to be admitted but was certain on his end things were well with the antibiotic treatment and David still seemed to be responding to his liking.  The floor doctor said he was doing well with the steroids and this is what probably boosted his appetite and he would scale the treatments to every 4 to 6 hours throughout this day and see how we looked tonight.  I was happy with the report but I was more elated to finally get to hold and cuddle with David, I fed him and rocked him back to sleep and didn't put him down for what seemed to be hours.
The rocking chair is exactly where my folks found us when they came, they had my aunt in tow and we all had a nice visit.  My dad and I took a walk to the cafeteria, since I was starving and left my mom and her sister in the room to look after David.  My girl's both called while I was eating and they were a little upset I had not called them first thing in the morning, I tried to explain to them I was a exhausted and got a little extra sleep with the help of the nurses and that I was eating for the first time since they had left last night, I think they understood but still seemed upset when we hung up.  I can only do what I can do, this was the most frustrating situation I have ever been in, there was not enough of me to go around and EVERYone needed me but no one more so than David, at least right at this very moment in this situation.

We didn't talk much over lunch, we just kind of "checked in" on one another and left the rest unsaid at least for now, there would be a different time and place for whatever else was on his mind.  We returned to the room and found my aunt gone and my mom asleep in the rocking chair with David tight in her arms.  My dad and I snuck in and sat on the couch and watched her for almost 20 minutes before she realized we were there and the nurse came in the check his vitals, she shifted and put him back in his crib so they could check his IV and give him some steroids since he had eaten very well. 
They stayed for a bit longer and then they were off, I was alone an sat staring out at the courtyard as our room faced the inside of the hospital.  I sat for over an hour while David slept, until my oldest daughter came in for a visit before she went to work, she was happy she was able to pick him up, we didn't speak much, she sat by his side rubbing his tiny arms until he opened his eyes then she scooped him up, he was still all attached so she couldn't go far, so the old rocking chair it was! 
She stayed for about 2 hours then she had to leave, I asked if she was bringing her sister down later and she said "no" she had the closing shift at the pizza parlor, I said "ok, maybe your dad will bring her down, I know she wants to see David and mentioned maybe staying with me", nothing more was said and she left for the night.  It was awful to be stuck in this room, I couldn't even leave to get a drink of water, I had to call the nursse or wait until someone came by and then say "hey do you mind"... **sigh** really how many more days of this? 

I had to call in each night to work as this was my normal work week and let them know what was going on, although understanding this was WAY out of the norm or me and made me very anxious, I was such a routine person and this was SO not a routine situation.  I had called me youngest daughter and asked if she was coming and she said her dad refused to bring her, she was balling which in turn made me very upset since I was in NO position to go get her and bring her to the hospital myself, talk about a horrid night! 
My best friend Julie said she would bring her tomorrow if we were still there when she came to visit, she called to check-in and all I could cry to her was PLEASE NOT ONE MORE NIGHT IN HERE!!


here we go again...

I made my phone calls when it was a more decent hour and we were settled in our room and so I wouldn't wake too many people.  My oldest daughter had already called me and was heading down so I could go home and shower and pack a bag for myself and some more things for David. My folks would be coming down as well as David's dad this morning sometime, all I hoped was I would miss them all, cruel, maybe, safety for me because I felt like I was in this alone and didn't want to hear any ones rendition of "oh I'm sorrys".
I had to go to work tonight so I obviously called in when I was at home packing for my stay at the hospital.  When I got back my folks were there and sitting with my oldest, they were all just watching David in his 'tent', he was tented again and this time would be able to come out by early afternoon, only 6 to 8 hours he would be in it I was told.  I questioned if this was "left over" from the last month stay and the doctor had no comment, I also asked if it was anything real ling from his exposure to the drugs or even the valley fever his mother ultimately died from, again this doctor had no comment, just kept saying he is a sick little boy and we will know more this afternoon when he is out of the tent on how well the breathing treatment{s} worked.  GREAT, no comfort there!!  My mom was crying by this point and my dad was so antsy he left the room to walk the halls, they did bend the rules on only 2 people in the room at one time for us, we had another awesome nurse, I took comfort in what I could at this point.

My folks stayed a bit longer this time than they did the last, they wanted to see David when he got out of the tent, which was actually earlier than I had expected, taking this as a good sign.  They had to place the IV in his tiny foot this time and had him only in his diaper to cool his fever.  The doctor came in when the nurses were done tearing down he tent, my mom got to hold him while they fixed his crib back up.  The doctor said his vitals were good but his breathing was still about the same, they needed to have him on the treatments every 3 hours and they would also be starting him on a steroid regimen to strengthen his tiny lungs.  If the treatments were not just like crack let's throw in some MORE crack by giving him steroids **sigh** but it was what needed to be done, so let's get this over with. 
I had followed the doctor out to the nurses station when we were done and situated and asked if he was released too soon from the NICU unit, he looked at me, straight in the face, about to cry and said "I am sorry for my bedside manner this morning, I did not know your entire story and I am sorry for your loss" I was WAY taken back and didn't know what to say, I simply thanked him and fought back the lump in my throat.  He and I were now on the same page and from that second on, the ENTIRE staff was very comforting and at our beck and call, I have to say it was a huge relief, we all knew what they thought with all the 'history' listed and, well, this one was certainly a very special case!

While My folks were in the room with David I walked with my oldest daughter to the infectious disease clinic, we had our scheduled appointment tomorrow, and well, I wanted to inform them we would not be making it, or as I joked with the girl's "we're early".  They gave their apologies & sad faces and said they would have the doctor come see us tomorrow and before they left tonight would check his chart for any updates, I thanked them and I left to get some food before we went back into the room. 
We got back to the room and my folks were ready to leave, my oldest stayed for a little longer and then she had to go to work.  David's dad came mid afternoon before he had to go to work, he stayed for just a short time & thanked me for all I was doing and most of all for calling him and keeping him in the 'loop'.
It was nap time, I was glad to see everyone leave so I could have a few moments to myself and rest as I knew they would be coming in at all hours at least tonight to make sure David was responding well to the steroids and continued breathing treatments and his vitals were normal.

Night came, a few more visitors came and went and then it was pitch dark in our room, it was just him and I, all alone and only one of us was awake. 
All I could think about was my job, was I putting it in jeopardy, I fell asleep with a LOT on my little brain this night and prepared myself for what I knew was going to be a long & sleepless night!!


the demands

The holidays were fast approaching and I was preparing for our return court date in January.  I was not in the mood for celebrations so for once in 5 years I was happy to be working the holidays. I had talked to my daughter and called my sister to bring them up to speed on our temporary appointment of guardianship and finally received the DNA results in the mail and as we thought there was no error David's father was who we knew he was. 
I had called my mom to let her know I got the results and she asked if I was going to allow him to see David at all before we go to court again.  I told her, with this result, I have to, I have to keep/show good faith with him or he can make it hell for us and although she agreed she was not happy.  I told her I had a phone conversation with him and he would be coming to my house to drop off a check and some formula, she sighed and started to cry.  My mom let me know in no uncertainty I was to NOT leave them alone, he was NOT to take him over night nor have other visitor's over when he was with the baby, I just listened, I had no energy to fight or reassure her I was NOT going to allow any of that to happen.  The court had given me/us the power to set the dates and times IF we so wished until our next court date, I choose to be keep it civil, be the voice of reason and let him visit on my terms and I of course took this on in whole!

David's dad came for a visit, well, dropped off a check for half of what he said he would and a case of formula he picked up at the pharmacy that I had ordered, you've got to love a small town, the pharmacist kept a standing order and got a shipment/case every 2 weeks for us.
I'm not sure what I was expecting as far as the visit went since I hardly knew this man and had only heard one side to the story, but it kind of set the tone and made me more confident for future visits that may be set. 
David had been sleeping all day and slept pretty much through the 30 minute or so visit, so when he left I laid down on the couch and tried to rest a bit before it was time to go pick up my daughter from the farm.

Daughter picked up, dinner done, kitchen cleaned and homework in the process.  David was a little fussy since he had woken up and was NOT wanting to be put down, at all...I held him on the couch then decided to give him a bath, that might calm him a little.  Bath time was quiet but as soon as he was out, he was crying, he felt a little warm, but I thought from the warm bath and told my daughter I would be going to bed with David. 
I woke up at midnight to a strange noise, I had put David in his crib and not with me for a change.  I walked over to the crib and found him breathing very heavy in his sleep, it scared me, I stared and I looked and I felt him and he was burning up.  I didn't want to wake my daughter so I took him downstairs and gave him some Tylenol and sat with him on the couch, it was nearly feeding time anyway, so I just got everything ready while I was awake.  We had his pediatrician appointment in the morning so I was not too worried and would tell them about his fussiness, I was hoping for some decent sleep for the rest of the night.

I loved our new doctor, it was in and out and he actually took the time to hear your concerns and have genuine feedback.  He let me know that all of David's tests had come back clear and the hospital stay was Asthma based and this was unfortunately inherited from his mother.  We discussed David's newborn screening test results which eluded to the fact that David had some hearing loss in his right ear, they were not sure what the extent at this time so further testing would need to be done in a few months to further diagnose.  I let him know David has seemed to not be feeling well the last couple of days, he said his breathing was a little 'off' but this could be due to the high dose of antibiotic he is on, hence why we need to be seen every 2 weeks at the infectious disease clinic.  He gave me some suggestions and symptoms to look for as far as the Asthma goes, I had known most of them since my sister was a chronic Asthma sufferer and I was up with her most of the time. 

We got home and I put David to bed since he fell asleep on the way home.  My daughter was home and my oldest was coming over to visit.  We had dinner and a nice visit and David slept through it all, it was kind of odd but considering the last few days, we let him sleep.  My oldest wanted to hold him so she went to wake him and brought him downstairs, he barely moved so she held him while he slept.  It was bed time for us all, my oldest left and my youngest was taking David back upstairs to bed while I cleaned up the house.
I fell asleep hard when I came upstairs, not waking up at all till I heard David fussing and moving around.  I had been asleep for almost 3 hours and then I panicked thinking he has not eaten for almost 8 hours now, I ran over to his crib, he was moving around and looked at me with his big brown eyes and I was suddenly worried, he had that distressed look just as he did nearly a month ago when I had taken him to the hospital.  It was a little after midnight, what was I going to do? 
I grabbed him out of bed and he then started to cry, I tried to feed him and he refused the bottle, he felt a little warm so I decided to call the doctors exchange for some advise.  My daughter heard me on the phone and woke up to see what was going on, she held David while I finished my phone call.  The nurse had the Doctor call me back within 10 minutes, this little 2 month old was a worry for him and it was apparent with the care he was giving him, us!  I gave him the symptoms now including the fever again and he said with what he heard/saw today and what I was describing he wanted me to take him to the E.R. just to be on the safe side, with tears in my eyes I thanked him an headed upstairs to pack his diaper bag.  My daughter offered to come but with school tomorrow I said no as I was certain they would make sure he was breathing o.k. and I would be back home before she got ready for school.

I loaded him in the car and off I went, alone and feeling way helpless.  David fussed the entire way there and at this point I was not even worried about him not eating.  I was checked in and seen within the hour, putting us at about 2am by now.  I had called my folks about midnight and let the know I was taking him in as a precaution, they wanted to come down and I told them the same thing, I would be home in no time and would call them in the morning with what had happened.
The nurse gave him some Tylenol to bring down the fever that was almost 103 by now, he was SO sleepy still.  The doctor had come in and ordered a chest x-ray and said he thought it was severe Asthma but wanted to also rule out Pneumonia at this stage, it could be very bad for a little one of his size and his pending health issues. 
We were carted away for the x-ray and no sooner we got back to the triage room the doctor came in and said you not going anywhere, anytime soon, this little guy is really sick and we are going to have to treat him for at least the next two days. 
His chest x-ray was positive for Pneumonia and it was causing his Asthma to flare up and this was not a good combination. I asked if it could be the antibiotics and he said "no, if it wasn't for them, it would be worse!"  CHRIST, really? is the only thing that I could think of and of course kept it to myself.  It was nearly 4am at this point, I called my folks and called my daughter to let her know I would NOT be home and I would be calling her when we got settled in a room.

There I sat, on the hospital bed holding him, he was hooked up to an I.V. and wearing an oxygen mask, I was holding back {my} tears.  This was the most terrifying thing I had ever had to go through and I have never felt so alone. 


It's time

Our court date was here and I was feeling very anxious, I needed all this to be in the past, have it all behind me/us and be able to focus on grieving, saying good-bye and move forward in this new life I have been given even if it was by default! 

I dropped David off at my girlfriend's, she was a godsend at this point and the only one I trusted, there were not a lot in this situation and the circumstances that surrounded this tragedy, there were some less than desirables in the equation.  I met my folks for breakfast at my uncle's restaurant before we headed over to the courthouse.  My uncle joined us at the table and I was glad he did, I could tell my dad was 'so not' in the mood for this, it was obvious he was in a bad state, we all were, this was a matter of if we get to keep the baby or we have to turn him over to his father, his drug abusing father, this HAD to be a positive in our favor. 
I was certain the mediator would paint the picture she told me in her report, but the "what-ifs" were gonna send me over the edge if this wasn't over today.  My mom said not 3 words and my dad maybe 4, I told him "we need to let our lawyer do all the talking and when we get our opportunity to speak we have to keep cool heads and not speak out of turn, he will show what kind of person he is and we have to let the judge do his job!"  my dad shook his head and I told him "I know you have ill feelings towards this man dad, and they go deep, I don't know and I don't want to know"...I could tell my dad was upset, so I stopped and said "dad, we have to let the judge do their job", he stopped me and said  "I am going to tell the son of a bitch what I think of him and he will know where I stand before we leave that court room", I looked at him and hit the table and said "THEN YOU BETTER KISS YOUR GRANDSON GOODBYE!"  I froze, what did I just do, I raised my voice at my father, my grieving father who had not said much at all during this whole tragedy, my mom looked at me then looked at my dad before he could speak and said  "STOP IT MARTIN, she is right, we need to be level headed and we can't speak our feelings right now, there will be another place and another time for all that!" my dad looked at her and then looked at me and said "I can't make any promises" and he got up from the table and went outside to smoke.  My uncle came back over and saw my mom crying and me visibly shaken and said "I will go talk to him" I told my mom we need to get going. 

I met my folks outside the courthouse, my dad walked one step ahead of me and my mom, I was physically ill and wanted to vomit. We ran into David's father in the hallway and all I could do was pray my dad would stay clear, why was I worrying about this when we had so much at stake, why was I the only one who saw this?  Was this is the voice of reason I have been cursed with?
We sat in the courtroom and waited for the judge to call our case, then it was time, we all approached the table and took our respective seats.  The judge read over the mediators report and asked if we had any further concerns or questions, David's father stood up and his lawyer spoke for him, he said he would agree to me being listed as soul guardian and did not want my folks listed as 2nd and 3rd guardians.  I thought I was going to die, my dad was going to go off, I felt it and I cringed as I looked at my dad sitting next to me, he touched my knee and I knew this was it. Our lawyer stood up and argued the fact that they needed to be listed if for nothing other than being the "next of kin" and if need be, we would take this to trial, trial?  what the hell is this a murder case?  this is a child who's mother just died, it was pretty obvious where he needed to be!
David's fathers lawyer spoke with him out of the room and then called and spoke with our lawyer out of the room all the while we sat up there staring at the judge, my dad was becoming anxious and my mom could not contain her tears. The lawyer's came back in the room and the judge called them up to the stand and then they sat back down.  The judge made sure we were all aware of the mediator's report and what it had contained, we all agreed we read and understood what was said and more important what her recommendation's were in the interest of the baby.
The judge took a short recess then came back into the room calling us all back to the floor, the judge advised us he issued my folks and myself temporary guardianship of David pending further review including the pending DNA test results {still not in} as well as drug testing/screening that was suggested as well in the mediators report.

I was happy with the outcome and proud of my dad for holding it together, this time anyway, god help us if we have many more of these days!!   


being followed

My sister and I had a good visit, although it went by too fast, but I actually felt like I rested a bit more than I had in the past few weeks and had a little clearer head about me when I came home.  I stopped off at my folks house on my way home to visit with them since they had not seen either of us in almost a week.  It was a nice visit, I stayed for dinner but left shortly after, they wanted me to stay the night but I needed my own bed and to see my daughter. 

I got home in time for my daughter to be done with her homework.  She snuggled & played and then put David to sleep while I unpacked the car and took a long hot shower, YES and had a very good cry!  I came downstairs to find them both asleep on the couch, him on her chest, so peaceful I didn't want to bother her, but knew they would rest better in their own beds.  As I woke her up, she asked if David could sleep in her bed, I hesitated & agreed, I put his little 'barrier' if you will around him so she would not roll over on him, I don't even think he knew they moved...

Morning came and it was back to the grind/work for me, I was in full laundry mode and tried to keep David occupied while I was up and down the stairs.  My daughter came down after she showered and I made my way back upstairs for more laundry when I heard her screech, it was a "stop in your tracks" sound a mother dreads, I yelled to her "what is wrong" I was for sure she had dropped the baby but did not hear him crying and I had left him almost asleep in his swing, I got no answer, just heard her breathing heavy, I was almost all the way back downstairs and she stopped me on the landing and pointed "LOOK MOM", I finished coming down and came closer to her and she was frozen holding the baby tight in her arms, staring at the swing and backing up a little closer to the kitchen.  I asked her what was wrong, I was a little irritated at this point, she had scared me to death and had not said a word since her outburst.  She looked at me and said "mom, his bear was on the swing, I took him out of the swing to hold him, it moved!"  I stood in fear for one second then told her to not be afraid, I was certain it was her aunt Tanya, she broke down in tears and said "mom, I am afraid" I told her "don't be afraid, she is making sure WE are o.k., she needs to be here for him right now"  I hugged her tight and told her to talk to her, tell her you are o.k., you miss her and love her, it will be just fine...my daughter was a little more at ease but did NOT take her eyes off that swing the whole time she was sitting on the couch with David! 

I had talked a little to my oldest daughter but not as much as I would have liked and certainly not about what I had wanted to talk about, what I needed to get out in the open but the fact she wanted to come back around was what I had to accept for now, she wanted to come over and spend the night with my youngest and David since she had not seen him in almost a week, it would do her good and reassure her sister that she was safe tonight even though I told her and she agreed that his mother was always going to be here watching over her baby boy as well as us!

I did not tell them what their cousin had said when we were giving David his bath, it was all still surreal and we were all still very numb.  It is like things are moving forward full force and I'm stuck in the "WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED" mode, some days I forge through and other days I don't know how or when the sun came up or how or when it set...

I believe

I was going to my sister's today, I had to stop by the bank before leaving.  I went in and stood in line for the next teller.  I set the carrier on the ground as I got my 'stuff' ready, the ladies at the bank had heard and were very gracious when they saw me come in.  A lady came up behind me in line, looked at the carrier and complimented "how darn cute was he" she proceeded to look at me and told me "you look amazing for just having had a baby",  I looked at the teller as she called me by name as I was next in line and the look on her face was one of sincere apology, she had a tear in her eye as I walked up, she asked how I was doing, I smiled and said "I'm fine, thank you".  We both knew I was not, I finished my business and I left, I put the carrier in the car, I started the car and I lost it, I cried till I could not see. Finally I was able to compose myself then I got mad, how dare her compliment me, I looked good, I had lost almost 30 pounds in less than a month and this baby was not mine, he was my sister's and she was dead!  

I drove off and headed out of town, my daughter was staying at her dad's while I was gone, I was only staying 2 nights and then I would be home.  The drive did me good, it cleared my head of the bad thoughts I was having, David slept most of the way which was a blessing, he was more than ready to eat when we arrived.  My sister greeted us at the car and took David inside, it was just her and I at home for a few hours until her husband and daughter came home, I unloaded the car while she fed David.  I had situated our stuff in the downstairs room and found her on the couch sobbing with David asleep in her arm's.  I past her with a kiss on the forehead and went to the kitchen for some water, I brought her some back and joined her on the couch.
We sat on the couch for nearly an hour and not a word was said, she held David through his entire hour and a half nap, we spoke very little about how each of us was doing, she spoke a lot about how he looked just like his mother, a spitting image and we spoke in depth about the loss our parents had suffered and the impact it has had on our family and what the future held for this little baby boy.  We cried, we laughed and we cried some more, we were never at a loss for words just didn't have the right words to speak. 
Her husband had picked up her daughter and they were home from work and school.  I was in the kitchen cooking dinner & she had still not let go of David. 

We had a nice dinner, good conversation and some genuine laughs.  David sat with us then I fed him while my sister cleaned up, we played with her daughter and then it was bath time.  My niece had been a little quiet when she came home as well as at dinner, we chalked it up to jealousy and knew she would be fine. 
She took her bath first and wanted us to wait so she could help with David's bath in the kitchen sink, we were glad she was warming up and wanted to be a part of him after all.  I got everything ready and then my sister brought him over, smiles and all, we set him in the water and my niece climbed right up on the counter and was a superb "water pourer", she was very proud of herself, it really is the little things in life. 
We got done, wrapped him up and started to walk down the hall to the bedroom to dress David when my niece was still sitting on the counter, my sister told her to get down and come in the room with us, my niece hesitated and then said in a raised voice "WAIT" you have to wait for aunt Tanya to come too mom!"  My sister and I stopped dead in our tracks, no pun intended, and looked at one another, then looked back at her when my sister asked if she sees aunt Tanya, my nice hesitated, didn't say a word then jumped down and said "o.k. mom, now we can go in the room". 
I dressed him then my sister then took him into my niece's bedroom to tell her a story and put her to bed, I stayed in the room and stared out the window wondering what she had seen, not doubting it at all, not being afraid but simple wondering what she had seen.

My sister came in and asked if I was o.k., we shared a good cry and then she took David to the front room and finish rocking him to sleep.  I of course fell to my own demise & shortly after I felt a kiss on the cheek an a whisper of I love you & sweet dreams in my ear. 


I made a Dr cry

I was too busy to grieve, I didn't need to, I knew she was dead and had accepted it, I had a job to do, several jobs to do for that fact and I was the only one doing them, the only capable one, NO, but the only willing one.  How true is this?  How fair is this?  Can one really count or call "fair" with a tragedy such as this?
I had obviously forgotten how time consuming it was to have a newborn, how it slowed EVERYthing you did down to a snail's pace, it was hard to shower, cook, clean or even poop for goodness sakes.  Most of my time spent relaxing on the couch was with an added 10 lbs to my chest and often a little drool spot or two as an added bonus.

David's health was doing good, he was such a good boy when he had to take his daily antibiotic and seemed to settling into a good routine which was working for our schedules.  Work was work, there was not a lot of working overtime for me now a days although I needed the extra money I just simple didn't have the extra time.  We made due with what we had and carried the attitude that things "always" work out, my daughter would say, "how do you know mom" I would tell her, "I can't explain it, they just do!"

I checked in with my folks daily if not more.  My mom was about the same which means she is still somber, cries daily, doesn't eat and barely dresses herself.  My dad was quieter, he was out in his shop a lot and would just always appease me and say "I'm fine" just worry about your mom.  I know they were both worried about me and the girl's and they would always ask about David and want to know how he was doing.  I talked to my sister at least twice a week and was planning on making a trip up to her house to spend a few days with them, she could bond with David and I could get some extra help and a little fresh air away from the daily everyday.  It was a nice drive, the scenery heavenly and the mountains were serene.  I liked being up there, it made me feel at peace.

Today was our appointment at the hospital with the infectious disease doctor, it would be a routine check-up, one of many to follow. 
We were greeted by the receptionist and sent back, the doctor met me in the hallway and joined us in the room.  He always smiled when he saw David wrapped up so tiny in his carrier, he always joked that it looked like a doll because he was so small.  He laid him on the table and examined him from head to toe, he wanted to know a little more history, well, he wanted to hear from me what had happened since the first meeting we had was when he was admitted and we didn't have a chance to talk face to face.  I held him close and began the story, I of course cried and so did the doctor, I was impressed sadly enough.  He was very very in tune with what had happened and this made me feel so much more at ease and knew that everything from this point on would be just fine with this little guy. 
The doctor spent more than an hour with me and gave me his cell# as I left the office, he wanted me to be aware of the seriousness of this illness and medication.  I thanked him for his time and concern and we left the office.      


tests & paperwork & interviews

We had our mediation appointments coming up later in the week, I made the DNA test/appointment on the same day so I would not be travelling back and forth daily, although it was only a 25 minute drive north, all my seconds were counted, I had to squeeze as many of them in at once that I could.
I had already made an appointment with a new pediatrician and had our last appointment scheduled with the Medi-Cal doctor but would have to make two separate trips into town for these.

I was really missing my oldest daughter and talked to her almost daily.  I really wanted to sit down and talk to her about what had happened, leaving in hast and just backing out, giving up when I was counting on her.  The time would come, this I was certain as much as I wanted it to happen NOW!  I was a tad bit OCD, I was a if it is going to happen, it needs to happen now, I had a bit of a reckless nature, I didn't care what the outcome was, I was going to do it if I wanted to.  I blamed getting married right out of high school & having children, 2 before I was 21 years old, I didn't get a chance to 'live' life if you will. 
I had some new found freedom and I wanted/needed to truly find ME, what was I REALLY about, what kind of person was I?

David's day/appointment came to complete the DNA test, I headed down and met my mom at Child Services, we past David's father in the hall as he was completing portion of the test.  He stopped and touched the baby and then he left, it was a little unnerving but nothing that didn't pass quickly.  We sat in the room for sometime before the aide came in and explained what they would be doing, it was a simple 'swab' test inside the cheek and then we were free to go.  I could not start any additional paperwork of course, until the results were back, but we all KNEW he was the father, this was a technicality at this point.  I went to drop David off at my girlfriend's house, she was so gracious as to keep him {again} while we had our meeting with mediator, my folks were first then I had my turn alone.  This would be the report that would make or break our case in court for our guardianship.
When I was done with my portion of the interview, the social worker turned of the recorder and said I need to talk to you for a minute if that is o.k. with you, I said of course, the interview had been very emotional, even more so than I had anticipated.
She had a look of concern on her face, it scared me, my heart was beating so fast I thought I was going to throw up.  She looked at me and said "I'm listing you as the voice of reason" in my report, it is obvious the hatred your father has for the this babies father and that just has to be contained while you are in front of a judge, your mother is extremely emotional, which will not affect the judge per-say but her words can not be counted if it comes down to her word and his."  I shook my head and said "I know, I know what I have to do, I just have doubts in being able to do it alone."  She told me, "you have a straight head on your shoulders, you have your wits about you and all that needs to be done in this situation, for this family" she paused and all I could think was DO I HAVE MY WITS ABOUT ME because lately I feel like I'm losing my god damn mind over all this stuff!
We finished our conversation, I thanked her for her kind words and encouragement and I left her office.  We would have her report within 2 weeks, in time for our next court appearance/hearing where the judge would hear both sides and either grant or deny the guardianship. 

I left the office as my folks were about to leave, you could tell the interview had taken it's toll on them both, I kissed and hugged them and went to get David then headed back home.  It was full day, an emotional day and I wanted to just go back home. 
I got home in time to pick up my daughter from the school farm and we went home and had a nice relaxing evening. Bedtime was hard for me, I cried, I cried and I cried, I had to get out of bed and go to the downstatirs bathroom and gain myself so I would not wake up the kids, I guess today took more of a toll than I was thinking it had, I knew there were some built up emmotions still in me, I worried, were they just going to keep coming out like this, when my day has ended and it was time for me to relax and have one single {good/positive} thought without a tear??


1 down...

I have to admit it was kind of nice to be back at work, it made me feel normal again, if that makes ANY sense at all, it was a job that I liked doing and it made me feel good to be able to help people, I was good at my job and proud of what I did.  I had a ton of support and a lot of offers for help if only my stubborness would move aside I might have taken up a few more offers than I had, it was like one big family and even though they did not know my sister, they were there for me!

I came home and found my daughter downstairs making a bottle, I quickly swapped places with her and she headed back upstairs to go back to bed.  David was still up in his crib and was pretty worked up by this time and seemed happy to see me, he smiled really big and was asleep after two big gulps.  He finished his bottle and I laid him back in his crib then I sprawled out on my bed clothes and all.  I was still not caught up on my sleep and although I sat for 10 hours at work, it was a very mentally challenging 10 hours and took what energy I had built back up right out of me.

David had a follow-up doctor appointment today, this one I was not able to schedule around my work hours so this would be a long day but hey, what else was new?!?! 
My daughter woke me up, I dropped her off at the bus stop, came back home and David was ready to eat again, full, bathed and back down while I got ready for his appointment.  We headed to the hospital, found the office and were greeted by two very, very sweet receptionists as they had heard about David and were SO expecting us.  I completed more paperwork, put my temporary guardianship papers on file and we were taken back to the exam room where the Dr joined shortly after.  He checked David thouroughly as {again} this antibiotic was strong and now creeping up on 9 lbs could have some serious effects on David's little organs, he assured me this was all routine and the appointment was completed as we were given the 'green' light to continue the treatment and he would see us back in 2 weeks. **phew** good news was not what I was used to getting these last few weeks!

I called my folks on my way home as well as my oldest daughter, she was relieved we got a good bill of health beginning this treatment and I would find out more with the pediatrician appoinment later this week for the {full} results of our hospital stay.  My dad was grateful & my mom cried, I can't imagine what my folks are going through, to lose a child has to be something NO ONE would ever wish upon anyone.  They always say you should always out live your children, not bury them.
When I got home I had a very sleepy little boy and he slept pretty much the remainder of the afternoon, he was coming up on a month old now, 9 lbs and a {overnight} permanent fixture in our home, yet feeling like he had been here forever!

With one appointment under my belt, an {awful} unexpected hospital stay and one more follow-up to come, we should be good to go and focus on our court issues and be home free!!  There IS a light at the end of this tragic tunnel....


I lost her, or did I?

My youngest was ready for school, I bundled up David and off we went, I dropped her off at the bus stop and back home for COFFEE!  Our schedule was a little bizarre, on off days I had the liberty of going back home and relaxing, ok, who am I kidding, it would be back to bed for a nap with David, he was usually up by 10 a.m., he would get a bath, feeding and then some play time before he fell asleep again then it was my time to get ready and by that time it was time to get her from school, driving all the way out to the country since she was in FFA and had a steer she had to feed and groom daily.  We were usually home by 6 p.m. in time for some dinner, homework, baths again if needed then B E D! 
NOW, on a work day make this the same schedule, but I'm home at 0400 and up at 0645 back down till 10 a.m. and up for the day and running a 'tad' faster to be at work by 6:30 p.m., this occurs 4 nights a week, you get all that?  right! 
Oh and we must not forget Fair time that was coming up, this would be just insane to try and even keep up.

David was a good baby, a great sleeper, well I'm sure the extra meds helped a little and over all very very happy, he was always smiling. 
Our house has definitely not been the same since this tragedy and as much as you wish things to be normal, they are not.  The girl's and I have been a little frayed, a little irritable and, well, a little quiet towards one another and I'm certain it is the grieving process and the time we have lost.  Lost not just with the death but with one another, I have even less time to be with them, take them places or even sit down and talk with them, if we do it is very rushed and begins with a "if you hurry" and ends with "ok, we will talk about this later" and well, later never comes. 
My oldest and I have been at odds and things turned worse.  It is always a feather that breaks the camel's back and for the life if me I can not remember what was exactly said or done, but the argument happened and she was gone, she left in a rage and moved out a few days after the argument.  I was crushed and thought how dare her leave me, after all we had been through, after she made this commitment with me, to help me, why was she being so stubborn and selfish?  This was NOT going to be a good sleep night and I went back to work tomorrow.

I tossed and turned and as hard as I tried I could not sleep, so on the stairs I sat, after a long hot shower and cry.  I toiled over what I had done wrong, if I had made a decision that had ultimately pushed my own flesh and blood away, what was I thinking, what was I going to do?
She was 18 years old with the mentality/maturity of a 21 year old, she was always my level headed one, the one with a plan, the one that had love for her aunt that even I had no idea the magnitude!  She was hurting and her decision to leave in hast was one that was not ideal but I know for the both of us, it was coming whether the timing was right or not.

Today I go back to work and my youngest daughter will be picked up from school and will be at home with David tonight.  She was a little worried she would not be able to get her homework done and her chores and I told her, he is good, he will sleep or sit in his swing {he loves} while she gets her work done.  He was only waking up once a night for feedings and we had it to where it was "about" the time I came home so IF she had to get up, I was home to finish the feeding for her and she could fall right back asleep, so no worries there.


someone? anyone?

Today was our 3rd day in the hospital and I was feeling a little anxious to go home.  We were woken up early at shift change and the nurses seemed to think we would be able to go home today.  David was doing much better and had responded well to the treatments and was on his {strong} antibiotic regimen, a regimen he would be on for at least the next six months.  They started it while we were in the hospital just in case he would have any side effects, he was barely at the 7 lb mark and on an antibiotic that was dangerous for his little system, it could do damage to his tiny organs but giving the fact he was subjected to a life threatening sepsis, it was something that needed to be done.  They had performed a spinal tap to make sure he was at least healthy enough to be on this medication, having to `fold` him in half and see them stick a needle in his spine that was WAY bigger than him was something that I was SO not prepared for ):  
This little boy was a fighter from day one, and in that, I mean a fighter from day one of conception.  He was subjected to drugs from both his parents, prior to from his mother and I know during from his father and his mother fighting a grave disease throughout the entire pregnancy and not knowing for one second there was anything wrong.  The doctors told us she had been sick for sometime, this is after her death, unknown for sure but at least 2 to 3 years worth.  My little sister was strong willed and never once complained, if we saw any signs at all, it was from her normal and usual asthma issues, she would then retreat to her room and it always seemed to "worked itself out".

I did a quick freshen up this morning, in hopes of going home and was waiting for the doctor to come for his rounds, WHY always on the day you anticipate leaving they come NOT SO bright and early?  My folks had come down as well as my daughters and we were all waiting, waiting AND waiting. 
It was almost lunch time by the time we saw the doctor and we were given the o.k. to go home today, this was AWESOME news to my ears, I missed my bed and I was glad this little guy was all better, there was NO time in my schedule for this down time! 
All the paperwork was completed, we were given meds and meds and more meds, we had made a few more standing doctors appointments with the infectious disease doctor who would be our main care provider at this point until David was able to be {weaned} off these super ubber antibiotics, other then his well baby check-ups we would be coming back to the hospital every 2 weeks for at least a month then we can move to once a month depending on David's progress.

Home~Sweet~Home..Julie was here to greet us and help me get settled in and then she went home, the girl's were here for a little bit then he oldest left and the youngest went to eat at her dad's since she knew I would be tired and David was resting.
O.K. can someone tell me what to do next?  I'm in forward mode and that pretty much says it all!!  I can't think, I don't eat, and I definitely DON'T sleep!  This is beginning to take it's toll on all of us.
I need help, although I'm too proud to ask for it, my girl's are finding themselves, it is just the ages plus their grief process is in HIGH gear, my folks are emotionally unavailable and my sister lives too far away. 
I'm home alone, David is resting, I'm watching him sleep right next to me and all I want to do is sleep and sleep for a long time! I start to cry, muffled as to not wake him and guess that is what I needed since I didn't wake up until the next morning.  


I prayed

Morning came and instead of the room lighting up with the sunshine from outside it lit up with nurses and doctors who were all very concerned over this little guy's health and condition, at a little under 7 lbs, having pneumonia and breathing problems adding in the factor of possible toxic exposure was something that needed to be very closely monitored.
The infectious disease Dr came in and assured me that he would be able to be taken out of the tent and given 4 hour treatments as soon as they finished their rounds and that we would be here at least another night or quite possibly two, this was a relief but at this point all I wanted to do was hold him in my arms and not change another diaper through this plastic tent.

The infectious disease Dr had joined the mornig rounds since we had missed our appointment in clinic at the hospital he came to us, it was a nice feeling with all the other factors in the equation.  The Dr and nurse then began to diassemble the plastic little tent that held his little being for the last 24 hours, you should have seen the stretch on this little guy, it was ALL arms and legs for a good 30 seconds, I went to move in as he opened his eyes and looked straight at me as to say "where have you been" I kissed and swooped him up then sat cuddled in the big wooden rocker, this is where my folks found us nearly 2 hours later, I was surprised that much time has passsed. 

My folks were elated to see he was out of his tent enclosure, my mom took my place in the chair as my dad and I went down for coffee.  My dad was not talkative, well till we got our coffee and headed back out of the cafeteria, he stopped me and said "let's sit in here for a little bit", I of course abliged.  He asked me how I was, I said, of course, "I'm fine dad", "are you guys ok?", he hesitated and he said "we are doing o.k., we are worried about David and you", I could not respond or the flood gates would have opened and I was not prepared this morning to 'go there' so soon in the day **sigh**
We went back up to the room after 20 minutes or so and found my mom in the same spot we had left her, it was a good feeling to see her smile.  I took a quick shower while they were there and before his treatments started, I was prepared for a busy day, I slept decent, but it was not home, that is for sure!

My folks left after 2 hours and that is pushing it, I know they have been throough hell and back the last couple weeks and this was way too much for them to handle, to see his little guy in distress and hooked up to machines and monitors.  The phone call and texts started coming in and my daughters came out a little before noon and stayed till at least dinner time. 
The treatments began and continued through the night.  The hospital staff was SO nice and accomodating to my needs as much as they were to David's, I had never EVER been in the hospital setting with either one of my girl's, this was something pretty foreign to me, but seemed par for the course with all the other cicumstances that surrounded this little heart beat that had now seemed to have finally fallen alseep in my arms. 

The Dr made his final rounds and night had fallen, I was exhausted, the lack of sleep was catching up to me, it was apparent to the nurse's so once the night shift came on and got settled they told me if I needed some help or some sleep just ask and they would take David to their station and feed him for me, I thanked her and thought to myself "no way in hell is he leaving my sight". 
David was responding well to the treatments every 4 hours and since he had had constant exposure for almost 24 hours they moved them to every 6 hours then as needed.  David was not sleep deprived as he had slept for almost 2 days/nights straight, I made th last feeding at 10pm, I rocked him to sleep and then fell onto the couch, I was 'toast'.

I vaguely remember the RT coming in at midnight to give a treatment, I was irritated and it was obvisous, they woke him and it took me almost an hour to get him back to sleep now that he was awake and the medication was now making him "hyper", it was taking a toll on his tiny body.  I was finally able to lay him back down, he was not able to lay with me which would have been SO MUCH easier but the hospital frowned on it since he was SO tiny and the couch was not a suitable bed & the fact he was hooked up to an IV pole.

I was startled by a noise, I rolled over squinting at the bed, saw messy covers then glanced over and saw lines hanging off the bed and then no pole!  I jumped up in panic, almost forgot where I was, then hit the door, swung it open and found 2 nurses sitting with complete joy on their faces holding this little angel whom was sleeping as sound as he would have been in my arms.  The head nurse saw the panic and apologized and said "at the last treatment u were "out" and he was playful" and they wanted me to get some much needed rest, she knew the situation, she was one I confided in, ok, cried with the night we were admitted so I thanked her and went to lay back down and at least gain my barrings back.  I had actually slept for almost 4 full hours and took another hour and a half before they brought him back into the room when he fell alseep and I took a quick shower before the Dr would come back in and hopefully send us home today, I prayed.    


the stay...

I made my phone calls and in no specific order, my girls, my parents, my sister, my girlfriends, work and David's father to let them know what was going on.  We were settled in a room, unknown to me but what would be our home for the next 4 days!  They had David on several monitors and he had been 'tented' this was a cruel looking little plastic bubble, well square they had him in and he was not to be removed except for changing and minimal feedings.  I was fine until my girl's arrived and then I lost it when they saw him, I mean what the hell was happening, what the hell was going on, WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW??

David was in an open onesie and a diaper and had the iv coming from his groin, his arms and feet and legs were too small for even the smallest needle for them to gain a line.  It was a site I don't like to remember at all, he was a trooper and slept most of the time, almost 12 hours the first day after we were admitted. 
My folks showed up and my mom was an emotional train wreck, didn't need that and my dad was worried sick, when they saw David they almost immediately left the room.  My aunt had come down as well and when I was telling her I had called David's father my mom overheard me and started to cry, my dad asked why and when he found out he rushed out of the room.  My aunt understood and to my folks it was all still to raw, explaining to them that I HAD TO, we were NOT out of the woods and I had to keep peace!  WHY was I the only one getting this?

My aunt left shortly after she arrived as other visitors were coming including David's father after everyone had left, he stayed all of 5 minutes and then left as well.  My folks stayed a little over an hour and made their exit, I knew this was too much for them, I could barely hardly hold it together at this point and the girl's offered to stay while I drove home for some clothes and personal items I would need for the remainder of our stay.  My girlfriend had come down and knew I was in no shape to drive so she drove me to my home to get my things, this way I would have some company as well, I was still working on NO sleep and it was apparently showing!
I vaguely remember the drive back to my place yet remember vividly sitting on the edge of the bed balling my eyes out until she came in, laid me down and said "please rest for a little while" I will take you back as soon as you wake up" she went as far as to call the hospital and make sure David was fine and my daughter was in the room with him.

I awoke a couple hours later in a panic and for sure thinking he was missing me and knowing I needed to get back as soon as possible to see what his status was.  I called the nurses station on our way back and they assured me he was just fine and didn't even know I had left.  It was little consolation since he WAS the only thing that mattered at this point and to lose him would not even be an option, THIS I kept totally to myself even though I was confident it was on everyone elses mind yet no one dared speak of it!
I got back to the room in time for the doctor to come in and tell me David was progressing but the pneumonia came fast and was worse than they had initially thought.  He would stay in the tent for the night for sure and we would re-evaluate him first thing in the morning.  I wanted to hold him so bad I could not even stand it and it was becoming humid in the room with visitors and the machine running non stop and I could hardly see him over the fog that filled his little space, my heart was very very heavy.

Everyone had gone, my folks came back down to sit with him while I went to the office and completed his paperwork and admission forms and got a bite to eat and then they left, my daughters left and I was alone in the room, exhausted and completely numb to what was happening, I barely had enough energy to change my clothes and make my couch/bed, the next thing I knew the nurse came in to turn my light off and check David one more time as she assured me unless I needed them they would leave me/us be for the night, little relief but for now it was all I had!