There are times when I don’t write much at all. I have numerous theories on why that is, but they all boil down to a couple of basic themes: 1) not enough time and 2) too much emotion. It’s as though I can’t let my brain stop long enough to record what is going on for fear that I will fall behind or fall apart - neither of which I can afford right now. It’s always been interesting to me how writing is both my therapeutic confessional and my escape from reality. I’m happiest (and do my best work) when my life and my feelings are falling somewhere in the middle of the road. But we all know this has not been a middle of the road kind of year.
So I thought it would be best to just catch up and continue my timeline of “life since my mom died.” I imagine when the anniversary of her death comes around I will have to come up with some other way to reference time and events. Maybe by then I will have found a way to measure experience that doesn’t include my wondering what her reaction to all of this would have been. Secretly, I think she would not have handled parts of it all real well – and maybe that’s why she’s not physically here now – in the middle of it.
This will be a photo heavy post, but I find that photos tell the story better than I ever could.
OK, so where were we? Oh yes, Hank. Precious little Hank. My sister (Marianne) went into labor a few weeks early and Hank was breech so she had to have an emergency C Section. She called me at work, but I was really busy hanging out on the sales floor with this co-worker and missed the call:
Finally PJ found me and I took off for the hour long trip to the hospital. I made it just in time to be in the delivery room with her.
Surprisingly we all made it through that experience just fine. Here's the result:
I hung out in the nursery with Hank while he got cleaned up and ready to meet everyone. I know the nurses thought I was crazy, but they were very patient with me – explaining every little thing about him, answering my 756,000 questions, and letting me take 26 gajillion pictures. Hank and I bonded that day, and I will never forget the experience of watching him wake up to a whole new world. Truly, it was the most incredible afternoon and evening I’ve ever had. I know my mother’s spirit was there all around us those few hours. I felt it in a way I can’t even explain.
(Oh, and worth remembering, if you’re in the nursery with the baby, you don’t have to be in the waiting room with all of the crazy family members.) It was very sweet to see Banana so excited about her new cousin. She couldn't take her eyes off of him, and when she finally got to hold him, she kept saying, "Little fella! Little fella!"
So a few days later when Marianne and Hank were finally home, Marianne started running a fever. The next day she ended up back in the hospital with an infection. While in the hospital she started having problems breathing. It took almost a week and many tests, etc. to figure this entire thing out, but she has been diagnosed with Postpartum Cardiomyopathy. Doctors think she will recover nicely with the medication she is taking. She’s home again and on oxygen when needed. I think the hardest part of being in the hospital for her was being away from Hank and the girls. My brother and his wife took care of Koo Koo and Smudge the entire time. I’m sure adding those two girls to their two little girls made for a frazzled week at their house, but they all seemed to handle it well. Hank spent the first weekend with us at Bobbie Jo’s house. Yes, you read that correctly. We (PJ, Bobbie Jo and I) kept Hank for the weekend. And he survived! We even took him to a 4th of July party and to his newborn check-up at the pediatrician’s office. (That’s a blog entry in itself!) Let me just say that I have a new respect for all of my friends with even one child. I was beyond worn out when the weekend was over. When I had to go back to work, our Aunt Jennifer took Hank to her house for the rest of the time Marianne was in the hospital. (Jennifer raised four children so I have a feeling she knew a little more about what she was doing.)
Scenes from Hank's "Tour de Aunties" follow:
So that’s what I’ve been doing and where I’ve been. I hope to update the 365 blog tonight or tomorrow for those of you who follow that.
All of this might have been easier to handle if other ridiculous things weren’t going on at the same time. You know, if my stepfather weren’t acting like a junior high boy with his new girlfriend. Or if the baby daddy had shown any interest in even seeing Hank. Or if my job weren't so stressful. Or if we all weren’t so consumed with worry over how all of this is going to play out for Marianne and her children.
But here's the thing - he's here and he's healthy. And we all are madly in love with him.
I'll be back here later in the week with a book review and give-away. Oh, and photos and details from my little bro's very fun wedding last weekend.