Sunday, February 17, 2013

Of Wrecking Surprises and Sick Babies

Twins seem to be accompanied by
a LOT of Drama!

When you know how it is to be sleep deprived and exhausted and someone in that state asks you for help, how can you say no?

That's how it came about that I said "Yes" to 5 respite kids from one phone call. Friday we had the little girls for a couple hours.

But Friday evening we got boys. Twins ~ 7 week old identical 7 pounders.... and a 20 month old Little Boy Blue.

I knew that one of the babes had been recently released from the hospital with RSV. I had no idea that they were not healthy little things, growing and progressing and that they were not passed the crisis.

It was quite a NIGHT!! They were still so congested and struggling. To prop them up at a good angle we had the babes sleep in their car seats. At one point I had the supposedly "healthier of the two propped up in my arms". I must have dosed. Only a mother knows the fright of waking because there are no breath sounds.  By 5:30 am I went looking for nursemaids and the girls took over so Steve and I could get an hour's worth of sleep. It was a big concert day, after all. I needed a little energy for that.

The house was a bustle of activity getting ready for church, but I still noticed Baby K's breathing. Even Andrew asked if babies usually breath that fast.

By the time we got to the church I was really concerned. Tina, Katrina and Tamara all had a look and commented on his breathing and his color. It actually seemed he didn't care to breath at all sometimes... I was getting worried. Steve hadn't arrived yet as he had to teach his class at our church first. But by the time I had to go up front with the choir I was frantically calling him every 2 minutes willing the miles away and telling him he had to take this baby in.

As the choir filed into position on  stage I found my place behind of the director's music stand.  I prayed that the Lord would allow me grace to relax and trust that the babe was getting the help he needed and that my face would not reflect any anxiety I felt. I had to give the kids my complete attention. This was a concert I had been most concerned about. The sound of that church is very different from our church and where we usually practice. It's so very hard to control the sound there. The piano is too far away to keep the connection with the singers well, and I could not see the heads of my littler pianists.  We had done everything ~reconfigured the way the kids were arranged, changed the mic positions, etc... and we could not capture OUR sound. It may as have well been a a different choir.... a very untrained one, at that.

However, the moment when the kids' opened their mouths to sing the first verse of that first song, I breathed a sigh of relief. I believe the Lord gave Katie the idea of putting the choir mics behind the choir and above their heads. I knew THAT sound.

The children looked lovely in their black and white outfits... and then I looked down and saw my shoes. My BLUE shoes! Anyway, at least they are comfortable. Missy was having a problem, too... She was mad at the girl beside her because they both wanted the same spot and I deferred to the other child thinking Missy might as well stand close to Brianna. I didn't have any good choices available. Take her out screaming and create a scene, or let her make a spectacle all by herself. I chose the latter. People noticed. Oh well. That is who she is, but let me tell you, I will think twice about letting her sing at the next concert.

Meanwhile, Steve had the babe in the ER. The diagnosis: RSV and pneumonia. I arrived as they were admitting him to the pediatric unit. They very nearly flew him to Children's.... that might have caused us a lot of logistical issues.

Steve had been planning a big surprise for quite awhile. He had connived with Buddy's Dad to take Buddy's Mom and me out to a valentine's banquet. He had reservations and everything. I didn't know a thing. I knew he kind of sounded a tad worried when I accepted this respite placement, but I had no clue why. The girls were going to babysit, but when Buddy's mom heard about RSV she was worried and rightly so. They canceled.

Well, here I was at the hospital. The rest of the family with a couple of babies at home and everything falling apart as far as his plans . . . . But the girls wouldn't let everything be a complete failure, so Vanessa took over at the hospital. Christina and Brianna and even Andrew fed the other four and put them to bed. Steve took me out to the banquet.

When I heard the whole plan I felt really bad. BUT knowing all we did now about how sick the babe was and how exhausted the foster mom was from having the other babe in the hospital earlier in the week, etc... I don't think we would have changed anything necessarily. While we knew a lot of the people at the other tables, we sat alone at the center table and were alone to ourselves. We talked through the whole mess of our day.... and we talked about how fostercare has stretched us in ways we never imagined. For example, though we have five kids we have never had occasion to take them to the ER. Steve has worked there for 12 years and I have never set foot in the department, let alone admit any of our kids to the hospital (Our twins have in their past life and we have medical appointments for Missy, but on our watch, we have not had this experience). In so many ways we've been ushered into another world.

The banquet was nice. A funny thing happened, though. As part of the package a rose with a pink tag, a box of chocolates, and a little serenading was presented to me. The tag on the rose was blank and Steve was like, "Isn't there suppose to be a message on it to her from me?" And they were like, "You needed to email the message but here's a pen so you can write it out..."

He laughed and told me he had emailed them a poem he had written himself, but it must have gotten lost. I joked that some other woman must have gotten his poem....  At which he started hee-hawing with laughter because it went like this;
A Long time ago I found love at the core, when
"My feet met your feet, one day at the door,
Our two feet made four feet and now there are more!
How four feet turned ten feet is a mystery to score.
And now 14 feet run through that same old worn door,
So trusting the fate of this feverish foot farm
to the Lord who alone knows whatever may come.
But faithful and true, I'll always be to you,
though poor, not alone with our feet at the door."
God give us your grace that we might explore to
help one find true love, real meaning and more.
If he'd have counted how many feet were under his roof that very morning he would have counted 22!

Oh, and, he just might be the next Dr. Seuss.

PS. I lied. I just now thought of a time Brianna went to the ER. She was a tiny thing and rolled down the stairs and broke her arm at Grandma's House in Canada just before my sister's wedding. Steve took her that time and I took her to the clinic a few years later with another broken bone. I may have a selective memory..... :-) But you get my point.

5 comments:

Sophie said...

Wow. WOW.

That's all I can think of to say. :)

Mandy said...

What a day! What a blessing that you and Steve have one another to lean on. I know I couldn't do this life with my husband's support.

Jennifer P said...

Oh my goodness. That is quite a bit of adventure and ministry all rolled into one. AND a perfect example of a family working together. Thanks for the update. I caught the picture on facebook and thought something was up. :)

Mama Ds Dozen said...

Crazy Day!

God's Grace!

LOVE the poem. So glad the evening worked out after such a crazy day.

While parenting 12 children, and the oldest being 28, we have only made a couple of trips to the ER in all those years with all those kids. Five maybe? One airlift to Childrens. That was a scary one, for sure.

Hugs to a hard working Mama.

:) :) :)

Mama Ds Dozen said...

Crazy Day!

God's Grace!

LOVE the poem. So glad the evening worked out after such a crazy day.

While parenting 12 children, and the oldest being 28, we have only made a couple of trips to the ER in all those years with all those kids. Five maybe? One airlift to Childrens. That was a scary one, for sure.

Hugs to a hard working Mama.

:) :) :)