For six months Sundays meant saying goodbye to Presley. It meant an hour and a half driving in the car without either of my girls, without Chris. Alone. The drive was always the hardest…it felt like such a waste. I felt so lost…I wasn’t taking care of anyone…I wasn’t using those precious minutes to make up for ones that I was away, I wasn’t holding or being held. Those were my in between minutes, I tried to find ways to make them mine, to make myself relax or enjoy the silence. I failed…for 6 months. In order to keep myself from bawling hysterically the entire drive I would make phone calls. I know I know, talking while driving isn’t safe but in my defense it was always hands-free and trust me much better than the alternative. To those on the other end of the receiver that got me through those treks…thank you…let me let you in on a secret…the days when I sounded fine, I probably wasn’t. So really…thank you.
And then there’s now. Yesterday was one of the most “oh yeah this is what life was like” days I’ve had since we’ve been home. We worked/played in the backyard, did countless loads of laundry, made dinner, hung out with the girls all day…normal Sunday stuff…all day. It felt so good yet so unnatural. I constantly feel like I’m forgetting to do something. Meds? Hep locking? Drive to the hospital? Dressing change? Something…it was all so complicated there for a while that the lack of medical intervention on the daily seems strange.
At one point during the day the girls and I were visiting Chris’ parents (who for those of you who don’t know live next door-I know the commute is brutal). Presley was bouncing around playing “office” and “store” and scaring off the imaginery big bad wolf (the usual) and Riley…well…she doesn’t really have a usual yet in their house but she’s working on it. They have a play mat there for her so Riley showed off newfound crawling skills, slobbered on anything within reach and got whiplash trying to catch a glimpse of Presley scampering by. As we sat watching her manuveuer around so steadily Denise and I talked about how it feels like we missed out on having a little baby around. We got totally jipped. It’s like I was pregnant and then there was 6 months of WTF is happening…and now POOF we’re just here with this little human who’s sniffing her first birthday already. It doesn’t seem real. We missed out on all those Sunday family dinners where everyone fights over who gets to hold the baby. We missed out on all sitting around staring at her waiting to see her roll over. Presley missed out on getting to hold her baby sister. Riley lived all those stages in the hospital. She’s now too busy to cuddle, crawling all over and too heavy for Presley to hold. Shit. Occasionally those realizations pop into my head and for just a second I want to get mad. Like really mad. Full blown pissed off that I can’t get those moments back. But as quickly as those rushes come on I am flooded with gratitude that she’s here. She made it. We made it. I refuse to spend much time looking back at things we missed out on…we have far too many adventures to look forward to.
Thank you again to everyone…the support throughout our stay in the hospital was never unnoticed and for those who haven’t forgotten that our journey isn’t over just because we are home, thank you. We have still been receiving donations and items from our Amazon wishlist…I can’t tell you how good it feels to open the front door to a package chalk full of baby food or get an email that another stranger has contributed to our GoFundMe account. It’s overwhelming in the best way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
For those who would like to help in any way please follow the links below…as always email me with any questions. Rileyjanebrown@gmail.com
Amazon Wish List: