She is finally sleeping in her own bed and I've caught up on at least half of the homework that was due yesterday. And I am sitting here with more homework to do, more housework to do, more everything to do. But I can't do it. I'm so tired. Physically from holding my Little Lady 24/7 since Sunday. Emotionally from having to take her to the ER yesterday for IV fluids.
I had no idea how hard it would be, going back to that place. Parking
in that parking ramp. Pushing that elevator button. Walking past that
coffee shop. Seeing the Dinosaur book in the gift shop and thinking
that if he were still here I would buy it. He was only there for two
weeks before the most horrible ambulance ride from hell across the
cities. But it was a really crappy two weeks. And I felt it all.
When they were putting the IV in her arm, I remember when he got his
first one. I left the room. That was when I was still a major wuss
with that kind of stuff. So I left Daddy to take care of it. We still
didn't know he was sick then. We didn't know anything. And she sat in
my arms in the bed not unlike he did. And she thrashed around and
tried to pull the tubes out just like him, too. And she tried to climb
me with cries of "mamamama" not unlike his. And we watched PBS Kids
just like we did with him. He loved Martha Speaks and said "doggy" as
clear as day. I was so proud. He didn't say much after that. And then
nothing ever again.
And we waited on test results to see what was going on; although that
was very different and yet not so much. We know too much for anything
to be taken for granted. So while it was expected, we both felt sweet
relief wash over us when the doc said her kidneys are fine. And Daddy
looked over her labs the same way he used to pour over J's. Only this
time instead of fear and anguish in his eyes, I saw satisfaction. And I
knew it would be okay this time. The opposite of what it was like last
So we waited for the fluids to drip, drip, drip into her arm and hydrate
the sassy little girl who still won't drink. And this time when we
left, we got to bring our baby with us. Instead of packing up cards and
broken dreams, we packed up a crabby girl and walked out to our cars.
And when we left the parking lot, we pulled out into the alley where
that dreadful ambulance picked us up the other time we left that
hospital. It was the eve of his birthday and cool and starry and late.
And it was the last time he was ever outside.
I never want to go there ever again. These are not the memories I want
washing over me. I don't want to picture the fish tank in the waiting
room and remember how I was watching the dead fish, belly up when they
were talking to us about lymphangiomatosis and how we were going to
treat him. All I could think was they should really get that dead fish
out so parents don't have to look at that dead fish and think about
their kids belly up down the hall. But how can you not think about that
when you get handed the death sentence?
I don't want to remember how the coffee tasted there. And the way
babies smell once the sterile room gets into their hair. And the way
the waiting feels, how it weighs you down and tears your brain apart.
There is damage there that cannot be repaired. And I pray over and over
again to please never let my babies get sick ever again. Because one
day in an ER undid me. She is the one with pneumonia, but I am the one
unable to breathe. She doesn't even have a bruise from the IV. And my
bruises from 2 1/2 years ago are still black and blue and sore to the
touch. She is feisty and playful and stubbornly refusing to drink again
already. And I am on the verge of weeping at every second, waiting for
the black hole to swallow me whole.