Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A year ago: November 6th, 2011

This writing is getting hard. Really hard. But I still want to do it. I want to do it for him, to tell his complete story. I still haven't decided how much detail I'll share about when he got sick and the day he died, but that is part of his story. Part of our journey, a huge part of our journey. Just thinking ahead to what was going on a year go these next few days is tough. Even a year ago today, but I'm still on yesterday's post so we'll see how I far I get. So for now, here's yesterday's post at least.

A year ago yesterday: Sunday, November 6th, 2011
Marcellus was 9 days old. Mike and I spent most of the day at the NICU and that evening he tried to get some studying done. He had a test the next day. A dear friend came with me to the NICU while Mike was studying and then Mike came back that night. Another beautiful day of my life.
Dear Marcellus,

That morning I was super antsy to get to the NICU like always, but Daddy was looking at the big picture. While he took care of some things around the house for the day, I decided to go through the clothes your cousin gave you. I sorted them out by size and organized them. If I couldn't be in the NICU with you right when I got up, then I would do something for you. It would have been awhile before you could wear any of those clothes, but they'd be ready for when you would.

We got to the NICU mid morning and just hung out. I got an awesome picture (on my phone) of Daddy's hands over you. It's one of my favorites.
Cozied up under the protection of Daddy's hands. You can tell you felt so safe and secure.
I got to k-care you early that afternoon. Your nurse that day, Angela, asked if we had a family picture yet. We said we did, but we didn't have one since you had gotten off the bubble CPAP and so she took one for us. It's our second family photo, the last one we have of all of us together while you are still alive.

Our beautiful family
Look at how happy we are in that picture. Look it how wide-eyed and alert you are. Look it how beautiful our family was. We ended up using this photo of you on your funeral folder. We cropped it so it was just you in it. Oh baby, you were doing so well how did this go from such a happy photo of our family to being the one to use on your funeral folder?! I don't like that I'm talking about your death so much while writing your memories, but I can't help it. It's right there. No matter how beautiful these memories are, they will always be shadowed by your death.

That day Angela drew a picture on your white board for you. It was a cute little boat on the water with a sun in the sky. It read, "Blue skies ahead." Everyone thought you were doing so well. Everyone.

Daddy got to hold you after I did. He had a test in A&P the next day, so he was multi-tasking and studying while holding you. He would teach you about the things he was learning in that class. I decided to take some pictures of you two. I snapped the first one without Daddy realizing it. After I took it he told me I had to take another one. He didn't want people thinking he was being negligent not having his hand on you. So he posed for the second one while putting his hand under your bottom and still studying.

Learning A&P with Daddy

Study time
After that Daddy wrote in his journal.

Angela is your nurse today. The last 3 nights you have had Rod, the only male nurse in the NICU. He has a real calming personality which is great at night when we are here. All the nurses think we are here too much. And we are. Mommy has been here all the time. I have a test tomorrow in A&P which I will do bad in. I just can't concentrate here when I am with you, but I don't want to leave.

You have been pooping loose stools and they are upping your feedings. The Dr. hope to get you home by Christmas! Yesterday you weight 3lbs 2 oz so keep it up Every time I hold you, you poop! Hope you kick that habit before we go home!

You did always poop when Daddy was holding you! We would laugh and laugh about it because I don't think you really ever did when I held you. You'd get settled in and then Daddy would go, "there it is." Daddy wrote about how you had loose stools. We didn't really know if that was normal or not. Was that a sign that something wasn't quite right with your intestines? Should we have asked more questions about it? They didn't say much to us and so we tried not to worry. Really everyone just kept saying how wonderful you were doing, so I honestly wasn't worried about it.

Later that afternoon our friend, Joe, came to visit you. Since you could only have two people at your bedside at a time, I left to catch up on some phone calls. Daddy got to show you off to Joe and to talk about what it was like to be a daddy. He said it felt good to do that, to be able to talk to someone about how he was feeling. I remember that I called your great-grandma and told her how well you were doing. She's a big worrier, so I wanted her to know about all of your progress. Grandma had given her the blue and yellow hat of yours. I also called a friend of mine. It was the first time I talked to her since you were born. I told her about the day you were born and all about being in the NICU with you. I haven't talked to her since that day. It's hard to pick up the phone to call people. It's hard to know what to say. To know the last time I talked to her I was on top of the world and now I am heartbroken. Such a juxtaposition.

We went home at shift change to have supper. Daddy planned to stay home and study for a little bit. Your "Auntie" Beth picked me up and came to the NICU with me while Daddy stayed home. She had visited you before, but not since you had been off the bubble CPAP. And she hadn't been there before when Daddy wasn't there. So this was the first (and only) time she got to really visit with you. She is one of my best friends and I was so excited to share you with her. I asked her if she wanted to hold you and she did. Rod got you bundled up and ready to be held by your "Auntie." I should really stop using the quotes around that because she has played an auntie role in your life from when I was pregnant with you. Being away from family, she was your local auntie. Of course, I had to take a picture. Since it was night the nights were down low. I remember trying to take one leaving them as is, but it was too dark. So I turned them up, you were not happy about the bright light in your face, but you toughed it out for a photo op.

Being held by Auntie Beth!
 I know Beth is so thankful for the time she got to spend with you in the NICU that night. It is very special to her, very special to me, and very special to you. She loves you so much and I know you love her. She also got to see me actively be your mom.

When she was done holding you I k-cared with you. Daddy came back to the NICU around 10pm. I really can't remember how long Beth stayed for. But once Daddy was back we had another wonderful night being together in the "quiet" (as quiet as the NICU can get). We stayed pretty late that night. Until 1am or so. We would always k-care you right up until we were ready to go though. So you would get put back in your isolette and we would have to leave shortly after. Daddy would get so tired and needed to be able to drive home. I couldn't drive yet because of the c-section, so we had to take care of ourselves and be safe. Plus Daddy had a test to take the next day. We were probably there way later than he intended, but he didn't seem to mind. I kept saying that sometime we should plan to stay awhile after we put you back because you'd be so wide-eyed. We really were going to baby boy, I promise. We just never got our chance to. I'm sorry we didn't stay with you while you were so awake. We sang you your night time song and gave you our goodnight kisses telling you to be good for Rod and that we'd be back in the morning. Those moments of walking away from your isolette were so difficult. But at least I knew I'd get to see you the next day. That made it bearable. This though baby boy, this is unbearable. I don't get to just see you the next day. I have to wait until after this lifetime.

I'm missing you so so so so so much right now. I always miss you, but I've learned to manage that. With your anniversary coming up it is so much more intense though. I only have 3 more days of your life to write about. And then you've been dead for a year. I hate this. But I love you. I love you so very much my sweet baby boy, my son! xoxox

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