Sunday, November 27, 2011

Darkest Day

I just finished a paper for nursing school.  It comprises 20% of my grade for one of my classes.  The paper I wrote was on "My Nursing Philosophy".  Ugh, it started off as a slow process.  I got the basics down and then when I really dug deep to figure out what kind of nurse I want to be, the words started flowing and so did the tears.  I couldn't type fast enough.  The words were flowing from my fingers like a raging river.  I ended up with two extra pages above the five page maximum...eeeek!  A few days and some major editing later and I have my paper finished.  Feels good!

So, my point is that I had to go back to that hospital two years ago and relive the darkest day that I can remember in my life.  It was October 25, 2009.  My baby was four days old and I was being discharged from the hospital, without him.  It brings back some raw and powerful emotions when I go back to that day. 

I was comfortable in the hospital.  I had a room where friends and family could visit.  I had a place to go and put my feet up after being at my baby's bedside for hours.  He was right down the hall from me and I could go see him all the time.  We were under the same roof and it was comforting.  But that was about to change.  I had stayed the maximum number of nights and this was it.  My post partum nurse was sweet.  She knew our new baby was in the NICU and wouldn't be going home with us at this time.  She told us we could stay until 11 pm that night if we wanted. 

Eric was busy shuffling between our home which was about 40 minutes away with our then 21 month old and the hospital where we were.  We wanted Conner to have as normal a life as possible after the new baby came.  I know Eric was torn between being with me and taking Conner home to be with him. We both decided he would take him home and come back the next morning. Eric left me with a hug and a kiss.  We wanted Conner to be able to sleep in his own bed as much as possible.  After he picked him up, my mom came to the hospital to be with me.   I remember my her walking into my room.  I started crying as we were packing up my things. 

A good friend showed up to help.  This girl, Laura, is the salt of the earth.  She was a rock for us while we were in the hospital.  Always showing up at the perfect time with lunch and a neck to hug.  One day she even showed up with a car full of groceries for Eric to take home.  She had been shopping and just decided to get two of everything she was buying.  She is amazing. 

We got all packed up and I told Laura and my mom that I wanted to go by the NICU to say goodbye to Chase.  As we wound around the halls and made our way to my baby, the tears started flowing uncontrollably.  I told them I wanted to go in by myself.  They waited for me and I walked in, sobbing.  I went to his bedside and held his hand.  I told him I was sorry that I had to leave without him.  I prayed over him and asked God to send angels to watch over him while I was gone.  How silly I must have looked!  It wasn't like he wasn't going to survive.  I knew we would take him home, I just didn't know when.  But this was MY reality at the moment.  I felt like a failure.  I felt guilty for leaving without him.  I felt like it was my fault that he was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.  I was scared of the unknown.  Would he walk?  Would he be okay developmentally?  We had so many fears back then and there were no answers.  We would only know these things as he got older.   

As I sat there sobbing, I felt a hand on  my shoulder.  I turned to see our nurse through my tears.  She had been our nurse in the NICU already, so I knew her and was comfortable with her.  She wrapped her arms around me and told me that she was going to take care of him like he was her own.  She took me by the shoulders and made me look into her eyes.  Once I could finally look at her, she told me that my baby was going to be fine.  She told me he would be strong and healthy.  She basically took charge of me in that moment and helped me pull it together long enough to walk out the door.  She had my whole world in her hands. 

It was a very unnatural feeling to walk out of the hospital without the child that I just gave birth to.  After our first baby was born and we were discharged, I was wheeled out of the hospital with our flowers and balloons, and with our perfect little boy in the car seat that my husband was carrying.  This experience was very different.  I felt a robbed.  This time I didn't get to have my baby in my room with me.  Our room was more of a command center than a happy place where everyone came to see our new baby.



The days after that got better.  Even when it was decided that Chase would have a ventriculoperitoneal shunt installed when he was nine days old.  It was scary, but was a means to an end.  It was what he needed to relieve the pressure in his brain.  Although it wasn't fun to once again see our baby being wheeled into surgery, it was necessary and we finally got to take him home two days later.  He has had a few surgeries since then, but our nurse was right.  He is strong.  He is healthy.  Two years later he is walking and talking.  In fact, he's just about running right now!

But that was my darkest day, the day I had to leave the hospital without my baby.  Like I said, this was MY darkest day, no one else's.  It probably sounds silly because many other people in my life have experienced far worse.  Many of my friends of had many darker days compared to mine.  Some of the people I have met since Chase was born were not as fortunate.  One sweet girl that I met the first day of my Biology class did not get to bring her baby home.  Her sweet Hannah never left the hospital with her parents.  They had to say goodbye to her in a completely different context.  Their goodbye was permanent.  That was over six years ago and she still struggles with her darkest day.  You can read about my friend and her story here: http://smallcompilations.typepad.com/small-compilations/2010/12/an-angel-in-a-read-coat.html

As sad as it is, I have several friends that have had much darker days than I.  Many, such as the one above, have had not been able to take their babies home from the hospital.  One, very recently, lost his four year old son in a tragic accident.  Another lost the love of her life to breast cancer 10 months ago (still missing you Jen, love you Cathy).

Everyone has these days.  I think it's how we choose to handle these days is what makes us grow and learn from them.  I know that I will forever be grateful to the people who helped me get through that day and the weeks and months that followed.  My husband, who was and still is my rock.  My parents (all of them), who took care of Conner and opened their home to me when I couldn't bear to be forty minutes away from my baby.  To our friends who stepped up, who slept on the floor of my hospital room, who came to visit, who called, who prayed, who took care of Conner, who if nothing else just said that they felt helpless and didn't know what to do but were still there, who scheduled dinners for us when we got home, who to this day cry when they see Chase accomplish something new (you know who you are).  I'm grateful to the people who have come into my life because of Chase.  Other SB families, my classmates and co-workers. 

Thank you for being a part of my darkest day and more importantly, the sunshine that followed. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Balance

About three or four weeks ago I put a little teaser on FaceBook about my next blog.  It read,  "How do you balance it all?", or something like that.  My intention was to write and post my blog that night...which about a month later, I'm finally getting around to writing. 
Since nursing school began in August, I have been struggling tremendously with balance.  Here are the "musts" that I have to balance:

Baby boy # 1

Baby boy #2

The hubs

SCHOOL!


Here are the things that I would REALLY like to also throw in the balancing act, but am lacking so far:

The rest of my wonderful and amazing family

My rock star supportive friends

EXERCISE!

I finally made a decision last Saturday (while completely stressing on how to fit family time, study time, a wedding, a football game and a care plan into my weekend) that I can no longer make myself sick with these worries of my balancing act.  My family is my number one priority and if making a B or a C on an exam means that I get to hang out with them a little more on the weekend, then so be it.  I refuse to study my life completely away for the next two years.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm still a studying fool in every moment of my spare time, but I WILL stop to smell the roses a little more often.

I WILL make time during my weeks for exercise.  I walked LaFortune this morning on my way to school and it was awesome!  I can't remember the last time I broke a sweat other than at the beginning of an exam.  Hopefully I'll get back to running three miles soon.  I miss running.  I miss the races.  I miss sweating. 

I know everyone has craziness in their lives.  Every story is different.  Every story is meaningful.  Don't forget to take time out to smell YOUR roses. 

Here are a few of MY roses!




video video


Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Week Recap

Okay peeps, this will be short and sweet.  I have approximately five minutes between the little one eating a snack and the big one waking up from his nap.  So, here it goes...

Day One:

Not too bad, I can do this.  Professors seem pretty cool so far.  Piece of cake.

Day Two:

Punched smack dab in the face by the reality of my schedule for the next four months.  The only thing that made me not hurl right there in class was that I looked around me and saw exactly how I was feeling plastered on the faces of my classmates.  Drove home with a big knot in my stomach.

Day Three:

Very long day.  Class from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  This was the first day of the dreaded "PHARM", aka Pharmacology!  Apparently this is the Mount Everest of the semester.  So much so that there are about seven extra people in this class because they were in our shoes a year ago and didn't make it.  However, the professor was very cool and so far has explained how the course works better than any other of the professors.  Pretty nervous about this class.

Day Four:

Uh, I really don't remember.  I'm pretty sure we had class, clinic orientation and a lab in there somewhere.  Mind. Is. Getting. Foggy.

Day Five:

Another very long day.  Dosage calculations in the morning.  The first exam is next Friday and you need a 90% to pass.  You only get three attempts at this exam and then it's so long city!  By the end of the day all the faces in the room were glossed over with a "get me outta here" look.  Mine included.

The weekend:

Trying to get organized.  In the past year and a half I have been used to only two classes at a time.  Bam, now it's five, two of which have labs!  Spent most of the day Saturday studying Pharm and then the rest of the night worrying about what I neglected while studying said Pharm. 

So basically I need a good system, fast!  Organization city here I come! 

I am proud to announce that the only breakdown I had was while folding clothes the other night when I realized I won't be able to take my boys to the first day of pre-school.  Momentary cry session, happens to the best of us.  Almost had a breakdown in the school supply aisle at Wal Mart this morning trying to figure out my new system.  I left when I realized I was shaking. 

I have met a great group of people at school already.  We've established a core study group and I think once we all get on the same page (hopefully they're are feeling as frazzled as I am right not) we'll be just fine. 

In the back of my mind I'm wondering if there will be any empty seats in class tomorrow morning.  But I can tell you one thing, mine will be OCCUPIED! 

I really have no clue when I'll have the time and/or brain power to blog again, so this is so long for now people! 

Oh, and if any of you hear a knock at your door and open it to find two really cute little boys on your doorstep...please, just feed them and keep them alive until I return.  Thank you in advance. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What mattered the most?

This coming Saturday, I will begin my last week as a cop.  Like I've said before, it's what I am, it's what I know and it's what I'm comfortable with.  Part of my identity will be gone as I begin the journey to discover my future identity.  I am so excited to start school, but I am so sad to leave.  I cried all the way home from work the other night just thinking about it.   

Obviously I've been doing a lot of thinking about the past 10 years.  I've seen and done a lot of stuff.  I've laughed until my stomach hurt.  I've snuck in a corner to shed tears at some of the unbelievably sad things I've seen.  I've seen someone take their last breath as the result of a homicide.  I've seen a baby born in the living room of a house.  I've put some really, really bad guys behind bars.  I've made some of the best friends of my lifetime.  I met my husband.  I've done a lot.  

People have been asking me what I'm going to miss the most.  My usual answer is "the people".  Yes, I'm going to miss these crazy, hilarious, cynical, big hearted, teddy bear muscle heads that I work with.  I will miss them everyday.  A good friend recently asked me the same question and before I could answer, she said, "You can't say 'the people'."  I don't think I ever answered her because a million things came rushing back to my mind.  A million things that have happened during the past decade.  So here it is, here's what mattered the most:

In May of 2007 I was working narcotics.  My partner and I got a case assignment on a house that was a dime a dozen.  If I remember correctly it said something very generic such as "DRUG ACTIVITY, LOTS OF NIGHT TIME TRAFFIC".  So we did our usual investigation.  A little surveillance, pulled some call history on the address and for some reason we ended up doing a little extra follow up on this run of the mill case assignment.  That extra follow up led to a search warrant which we ran a few days later.  I was doing surveillance on the house before we served the warrant.  I was all geared up and ready to go, but I wasn't on the entry team.  My job was to watch the house and let the entry team know if anything changed, as in a car pulling up, people coming and going, etc.  All went smoothly and my squad made entry.  As soon as they gave the all clear, I got out of my car and went up to the house.  My partner met me at the door and said they had four people in custody.  He also told me there was a woman in a wheelchair in the house and asked if I could talk to her and figure out how she was related to this whole mess.

I walked in the house and that is when I met Lisa for the first time.  She was sitting in a wheelchair.  She was dirty and looked like she hadn't showered in days.  She was scared and didn't know what was going on.  She had kind eyes and as I found out later, a huge heart.  Lisa was born with muscular dystrophy.  She was diagnosed at birth and had been very well taken care of most of her life.  I talked to Lisa and found out that this was her parents house.  They, along with her oldest brother, had all passed away within the past few years.  The passing of her family within such a short time span left Lisa's care to her older brother.  He, whose name I'll leave out, had chosen a life of drugs and crime.  He was now to such a low point in his life where he was letting a drug dealer live with him and his disabled sister in their parents house.  He was so low that he was letting the dealer have the main bedroom in the house that had access to the only shower that Lisa could use. 

Lisa had been living in the house with her brother, a drug dealer and other addicts that were just drifting in and out.  I asked Lisa if she was okay.  She said she was scared but she was glad we were there.  She told me that the only way she ate or drank anything was when one of her brothers friends would make some coffee or noodles or potatoes and he would give her some.  A little bit of coffee in the mornings was all Lisa usually had to drink during a normal day.  I have no idea how long it had been since she had had a bath or brushed her teeth, but it had been way too long.  She asked me if I could help her use the restroom, which I did.  Her clothes and underpants were soiled.  I had to physically lift her out of her wheel chair onto the toilet and I knew that no one currently living in this house had had the decency to help her to the same.   

I took Lisa outside to the back patio and continued talking to her.  I told her that I was really worried about her and asked if I could call an ambulance to come check her vital signs.  She agreed and the ambulance came.  We all made the decision that Lisa probably needed to go to a hospital to get checked out.  It had been a really long time since she had seen a doctor, even though she had muscular dystrophy.  She reluctantly agreed to go.  I rode in the ambulance with her and held her hand.  When we arrived at the hospital, she was so dehydrated, they couldn't draw her blood.  They had to bring in a specialist to do a deep blood draw which basically meant they plunged a needle about an inch into her arm to retrieve the blood. 

Before we left for the hospital, I had called a few ladies from Lisa's childhood church.  She had their numbers memorized and they were the next closest people to her.  One of them, Cheryl, met us at the hospital with her husband.  She told me how her and another church member had tried several times to check on Lisa, but that no one would ever let them in the house or answer the phone.  They had tried over and over with no luck.  They had even called DHS to report that Lisa might be in danger, but, as all other state and city run agencies operate, they have a huge case load and no one had quite made it to her yet.  Cheryl had been Lisa's Sunday school teacher when she was a kid.  Lisa was so happy to see her.  She was so scared and it was good for her to have a familiar face at the hospital.  I still keep in touch with Cheryl today.  Hi Cheryl! 

Cheryl stayed for a few hours and eventually left, telling Lisa she would be back in the morning.  I left at around 1:00am.  Lisa said she was scared and didn't want me to go.  I told her I would be back in the morning too.  Looking back on it, I should have stayed.  I should have sat with her all night.  I didn't have kids at the time.  In fact, I'm almost positive I was pregnant with my oldest at the time I met her, I just didn't know it yet.  But I left.  My partner came to pick me up and we left.  We got a block away from the hospital and I had tears streaming down my face.  I almost told him to turn around and take me back, but I didn't.  I left.  I wish I could go back and change that decision.  

I visited Lisa everyday int he hospital for the next few weeks.  Lisa had a mass in her uterus and ultimately had a hysterectomy.  She came through the surgery fine and was eventually moved to an assisted living facility.  She was happy.  She got to sing and go to church again.  She once told me that she loved her brother but she knew what he was doing to her wasn't right.  In that same conversation she told me she knew God had sent us to her that day.  He had sent us to get her out of that house.

The last time I saw Lisa was on her 48th birthday.  I met Cheryl at Lisa's assisted living home and we visited with her.  We brought her flowers, gifts and balloons.  It was so great to see her so happy.  She was such a special person.  Even through all the times she was living in that house and not being taken care of, she never lost her faith.  She still read her bible and sang in her room.

A lot of people gave me credit alone for Lisa, which I never felt was right.  Lisa's story leaked out through the department and many officers came to visit her in the hospital.  I was and always will be grateful for the people that took the time to see her, bring her gifts and send her cards.  I even got a little flack because I refused to be part of a news story about Lisa.  She had been through so much and the last thing I thought she needed was a bunch of reporters and cameras in her face.
 
So, Lisa is what mattered the most.  Getting her out of that house.  Putting her brother and his buddies in jail.  She is what mattered.  One life that was almost forgotten, but by a twist of fate, was rescued and revived.  The fact is, that any other cop in my shoes would have done the exact same thing.  They would have taken her out of that house and got her the medical attention she needed.  I just happened to be the lucky one that got to do it. 

Lisa passed away about a year after the last time I saw her.  I, along with the Sergeant I had at the time we met Lisa, went to her funeral.  It was small, but beautiful.  I got to say goodbye to her.  What mattered the most in my career is that Lisa had the chance to live again.

So I guess the next time someone asks me what I'll miss the most, I'll tell them about Lisa.  All the Lisa's that we come across during our time as cops matter.  Everyone has a Lisa story.  Dont' forget your Lisa story.  Write it down and tell people about it.  If you haven't experienced your Lisa story yet, you will.  When it happens, you will do your job and do the right thing.  It will be what matters the most. 

   

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A hug from heaven.

So, here’s what has been going through my mind since April 28, 2011.  Why that date?  It’s the day I got my acceptance letter into nursing school from OU, which I totally WAS NOT expecting.  At the end of the summer I will be giving up a career.  I’ve been a cop for the past 10 years.  It’s what I know.  It’s what I’m good at.  It’s where I’m comfortable.  I could do it with my eyes closed, well not really because that wouldn’t be very safe, but you get my point.  At the end of the summer I will be unemployed for the first time in my life since I was 16.  At the end of the summer, my family of six will be transitioning from two incomes down to one. 

Holy cow, it makes my heart skip a beat just typing those words. 

My husband is fantastic.  We have been preparing for these upcoming changes as much as humanly possible.  We have been financially getting ready for this transition since I began taking my nursing pre-reqs about 19 months ago.  However, I feel that all these changes are on my shoulders.  Lately I have felt the weight of the world coming down on me and I haven’t even started nursing school yet. 
If I fail, it’s on me.  If I can’t do it, it’s on me.  If I freak out and change my mind a year from now, it’s on me.  My husband would tell you otherwise and that we're in this together.  He has been amazingly supportive during this journey and there’s no way I could have come this far without him.  But when it comes down to it, I will be the one studying.  I will be the one taking exams that determine my fate.  I will be the one to pass or fail and it’s not just me that it will affect, it’s my entire family.  So like I said, IT’S ALL ON ME!
When people ask me if I’m ready for school to start, I say yes, but with a giant knot in my stomach.  Yes, I’m ready to get my feet wet.  I’m ready to get into a routine and figure out how this is all going to play out.  But it still makes me queasy when someone asks me about it. 
Now to my heaven sent hug…
Many of you reading this blog are from the Tulsa area.  If you are, then you probably know who I got my hug from.  The Tulsa Police Department lost one of our best in January, Jennifer Mansell.  Jen was diagnosed with breast cancer about ten years ago.  She fought hard, endured many grueling surgeries and treatments and was eventually in remission for several years. 
Her cancer came back a few years ago.  Once again Jen fought hard and courageously, but ultimately Jen had to leave us.  It was a big blow to our department, even though we all knew it was coming.  Jen was a well known officer.  She was probably the nicest and most genuine person I have ever known.  Everyone liked her.  She was a rock for us, even when we were the ones that needed to be comforted as she was getting sicker.  To fully explain the impact that Jennifer had on myself and many other people would take many, many pages, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it.  Jennifer was awesome!  There may be more blogs about Jennifer in the future, in fact I’m positive there will be.
Two nights ago I had a dream.  I was at some sort of police related function. I have no idea what it was because it was a dream and everything was very random and didn't make sense.  I was upset because I hadn't gotten picked as a role player for the end of the academy situationals with the rookies, who will be graduating this Friday.  Once again, none of this made sense because I haven't thought about our rookies or graduation lately.  But still, I was upset, I mean REALLY upset.  I could feel my chest tightening and I just couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. 
Side note for you non-police people:
Situationals are pretty much the last big hurdle you have to jump through before graduating from the academy.  It is two intense days where the academy class gets all gussied up in their shiny new uniforms and participate in numerous real life situations.  Other members of the department act as role players and it’s basically set up to be real life calls that our graduates might encounter out in the streets in just a few short days.  It’s intense.  It’s stressful.  It’s probably the one thing the rookies look forward to being finished with the most.  However, for the role players, it’s absolutely hilarious.  These poor rookies are under the gun and usually mess up terribly over and over and over.  Okay, back to my dream. 
There was a room full of people and everybody was busy and talking loud and walking around real fast and then everything kind of went into slow motion and I hear someone say, "Aaaash".  I immediately knew the voice.  It was comforting and familiar.  I looked over across the room and Jen was standing there in her Honor Guard uniform and she was holding out her arms. She said, "Come here girl."  I ran as fast as I could over to her and she wrapped her arms around me, hugging me tight.  She whispered in my ear that everything was going to be okay and just as quickly as she appeared, she was gone. I looked around the room and I knew that no one else had seen her.  In the dream, I just started crying my eyes out and the only person I could talk to in the room was a good friend of mine, Michelle, who was also just all of a sudden there with me.  I was crying hysterically and trying to explain what had happened.  Michelle hugged me and said, "I know, I didn't see her but I felt her hand and I was trying to pull her back and keep her here but she had to go."

This was the most real dream I have ever had. I could feel Jen's warm hug and it was so comforting. When I woke up I didn’t know whether I should cry or laugh.  I was so utterly happy that I got to see Jen again and hear her voice.  That's the one thing I have missed the most about her, that unmistakable voice!  I woke up feeling completely at peace.  For two days now, I haven’t been nervous about school at all.  I haven’t had that knot in my stomach.  I feel good.  I know I can make it through this even though it will probably be one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I don’t know why, but God sent Jennifer to me in my dream.  He knew I needed a visit from her and he knew she would make me feel better.  Thank you God and thank you Jen, it was unforgettable.

This is exactly how Jen looked in my dream.  Man I miss her.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scholarship Essay

Well, I'm going to totally cop out on this one and copy and paste an essay I just completed for a scholarship I am applying for.  Just a little more insight into my crazy nutshell.  Oh, and an entertaining picture of the pure drive and comittment I speak of in the essay.

Scholarship Essay

My journey into the field of nursing began many years ago, probably when I was beginning my first few years of college.  I always had nursing in the back of my mind, but back then I wasn’t shall we say, as academically motivated as I am today.  Average grades suited me just fine.  I knew deep down that I had the potential to apply myself and excel in academics, but it definitely was not my priority. 
I graduated in 2000 with a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice.  I began my career as a Tulsa Police officer in 2001.  I worked patrol for four years and spent six years in TPD’s Special Investigation Division (SID).  While in SID I investigated everything from prostitution, street level narcotics all the way up to trafficking narcotics.  
In October of 2009, my second son was born.  He was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.  His first surgery was about four hours after he was born.  In the first six months of his life, he had five surgeries.  It was during our first few weeks in the NICU that my long ago buried dreams of becoming a nurse started to resurface.  For years my husband and I had joked about me going back to school.  He would laugh and say, “Sure, just as soon as you have 10 years on the department and you can make straight A’s.”  Well, here we are, at a place where those jokes have become a reality (which we still laugh about). 
We started seriously talking about it again while we passed the hours sitting in the NICU with our baby.  I told my husband that I wanted to be a nurse.  I told him that I could feel it in my bones.  I told him that I felt like this was my “now or never” opportunity.  He was very supportive and even pushed me when that thought became reality and I enrolled in my first college course since graduating nearly 10 years ago and when our new baby was just two months old.  It was intimidating and I was terrified.  Here I had a toddler at home and a brand new baby who may need special daily medical care and I was contemplating going back to school while working full time.  Was this crazy?  According to most of my friends and co-workers, yes!  However, my husband convinced me to walk out the door that first day of my Biology class and I have never looked back. 
I have discovered amazing things about myself in the past 18 months.  I discovered that I actually am smart!  I learned that I actually can make straight A’s with a lot of hard work and commitment.  Since taking that first class in the spring of 2010, it has been full steam ahead toward nursing school.  I have completed 34 credit hours in the past 18 months with a 4.0 grade point average.  I am extremely proud of this accomplishment and I cannot express the shock and excitement I felt when I received my acceptance letter from the OU nursing department.  My family will be experiencing many changes in the next several months.  We will be going from a two income to one income family, which is terrifying!  I will be retiring as a police officer in August to start the BSN program at OU/Tulsa.  I am still a little scared, but very eager to start this new chapter in my life!
I am very happy to report that our now 20 month old son is doing fantastic.  He requires a little extra daily medical care, but he is just as rotten as his big brother and is a very happy boy!  When we have cuddle time before I put him to bed, I tell him that this is all his fault.  He just smiles and stares at me with his big blue eyes and I think to myself…I wouldn’t have it any other way. 
The hard work and comittment I speak of...


The baby whose fault this is...

Photograph courtesy of:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One Defining Picture

As most parents do, we took hundreds of pictures while we were in the hospital having our second baby.  Our pictures this time weren’t all happy and beaming faces as they were when our first baby was born.  Oh, we have plenty of those, but many of our pictures this time included wires, tubes, monitors, bandages and scars. 

This one picture is worth a thousand emotions for me.  It’s not the clearest picture.  It’s a little grainy and a little hazy, but I think it’s beautiful and perfect.  It was a split second that was captured by my husband during our two week stay in the EOPC (NICU).  It was a split second that completely defines the following 18 months for me.  When I look at this picture, I once again feel the roller coaster of emotions that encompassed those two weeks and the following months.
When I look at this picture, every fiber of my being wants to reach into that picture and hug her.  I want to tell her that her baby, whose side she rarely left during that time, will be fine.  I want to tell her that he will thrive, that he will laugh and be rotten, that he will crawl, that he will stand and that yes, he will eventually walk.  But I’m glad I can’t reach through that picture and tell her those things.  I’m glad because she has no idea how much she will change in the next 18 months because of him.  She has no idea how much she will grow and how she will attempt and accomplish goals and dreams she thought were long gone.  She has no clue of the people she will meet along the way, people who have experienced similar journeys but some whose stories ended differently.  Stories that ended with unimaginable grief and loss.  She has no idea how much she will learn from these wonderful people, although she’s only known them a short time. 
So this is my picture I want to share.  A picture that means the world to me. 
Details may or may not come later of this continuing journey.  If I feel froggy, you may get more details than you can handle.  If my schedule continues the way it has for the past year, this may be the only thing you ever see from me.  But whichever way it plays out, this is me, in my crazy nutshell.