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

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

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

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

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


it's a job!

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

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

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


for the love of...

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


making it work

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

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

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



the agony

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

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

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

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

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



no good bye's..

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

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

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

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

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


Road Trip

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


there is a god

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

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

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

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


and the results are...

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

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

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


testing 1..2..

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

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

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

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

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


what if

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

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

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