Here's a quick rundown of how our lives have been since we came home on Sunday.
We were so thankful that Coen came when he did because of all the time Paul has off work. Well, shortly after we walked in the door, Paul started feeling really sick and throwing up and all that. So he was upstairs being completely miserable, and I was downstairs with Kalten and Coen, being completely miserable in a different way.
He went to the doctor the next day and found out it was the gastro flu plus a sinus infection. He was told to stay away from me and the baby. The house was so messy, Kalten wasn't feeling well and was needing way more attention than he was getting, and I was hurting where my "skidmark" was. I couldn't stop crying, even after I went to my parents' house to be taken care of. While we were there, K got diarrhea and a really sore bottom, and I was so afraid that he had the flu too. I haven't seen any other symptoms, but he still has the diarrhea and I don't know what's up with that.
The next day I realized I hadn't fed my pet sparrow lately, and when I went in her room, she was lying on the newspaper, dead. I feel so guilty about that. She fell out of a tree with nothing but pinfeathers when she was a week old, in a neighborhood with tons of cats. I saw her hobbling around on the sidewalk and knelt by her. She wobbled over to me and leaned against my knee. She trusted me completely. I picked her up and took her to my parents' house, and we put her in a nest outside, hoping some mama would come take care of her. My dad fed her a few times throughout the day and she even spent a night out there alone! The next morning she was ice cold and barely breathing. I brought her in under a warm lamp to see if I could at least make her comfortable. I went out to the garage to check on her later and she was chirping at me for food! We got her a nice cage and fed her a special diet. Her feathers came in and she was so beautiful. I used to shut the cats away and let her fly around the house. She loved to sit on Paul's shoulder and poop. She pooped on me, too, but not as much. She also playfully pecked at our necks and ears. She would sit on Kalten's shoulder and be the most perfect little lady. She never pooped on him or pecked him at all, and he was so gentle with her. He stood so still, and he would pet her with one gentle finger. She overcame so much that should have killed her, only to die because we were so wrapped up in our own problems to notice her starving to death. I cry every time I think about her.
I drove up to see the midwife (my beloved doctor is no longer with the clinic) about my soreness, sobbing the whole way, of course. I guess what the doctor had called a skidmark, she called "a small, shallow tear that probably should have been repaired." It was good to know that there was a reason it hurt so bad and it would heal, but meanwhile it really really hurts.
I got home and couldn't get Coen's carseat out of the car. My dad was at our house watching Kalten and came out to try to help. I guess he unbuckled the base, thinking we would just bring the whole thing inside and figure it out later since it was so cold out, but then Paul came out and showed him the trick to getting the seat out.
The next day was our re-evaluation, and we decided it would be best if Paul stayed out of the L&D ward with all those tiny babies there. He was feeling better but not completely, and now he has tons of cold sores. He stayed home with Kalten, and I took Coen. We woke up late and had hardly any time to get ready. I got Coen in the car and saw that I'd have to scrape the windshield and that I'd forgotten my gloves in the house. I though, well, if I'm going to be late and miserable, I'm going to buy myself breakfast. I really hoped it wouldn't overdraw our checking account. In between the McDonald's ordering box and the paying window, the low fuel light came on, as I was spending our last ounce of cash on junk. I felt lower than low. The cheerful McD employee who took my card said, "how are you today?" and disappeared back inside. "Not good," I said as the window closed over his smiling face. He reopened it, handed my card back, and told me to have a nice day. I felt like strangling him and telling him where to put his nice day.
I bought gas with the credit card, which we've been doing so well on not using, and called the hospital to tell them I'd be late. I followed some slow truck all the way there, going between 45 and 50. I didn't care. I used the time to try to compose myself. I didn't want to melt down again.
When we finally got there, I got in the elevator for the 4th floor. When the doors opened, there was the wonderful nurse who encouraged me throughout my labor and told me how great I was doing. She was escorting some happy couple out to their car with their new baby. I wanted to hold on to her, to send the couple down alone, to hear her say again that I can do this. Instead, I said hi to her and smiled at the baby. It seemed everyone was going home today, their carts loaded with flowers and balloons. I couldn't help but feel a stab of jealousy.
We got in the little re-eval room and the nurse asked how I was doing, and I immediately started crying again. I told her everything as though she was an old friend, when really I'd never met her before that day. I felt so pitiful and stupid. I calmed down enough eventually to talk and answer questions, even crack a few jokes (is he peeing clear? Yeah, clear up into the air). I didn't ever want the visit to end. I slowly packed up all our stuff and went out to the car. I put Coen's seat in the base and got the car started warming up. When I felt it was warm enough, I turned around to open the flap on his cover and saw that the base never got buckled back in after the night before! I had just driven over half an hour at 50-ish with my precious newborn son not even buckled up. I felt like the worst mom in the world.
On the drive home, however, it was so beautiful, and I couldn't help but start to think of all the things that are going right. By the time I got home I felt a little better. I took yet another bath and tried to think positively. I know I'm not out of the woods yet, and nothing will ever bring Pip back or change how guilty I will always feel, but things will get better if I just hold on. God is faithful. Please keep us in your prayers.
Here's a video of Kalten and Coen, sorry it's so dark.
Kalten and Coen from Hey, Dooney! on Vimeo.