Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm not asking for a cruise...

How I long for a vacation.  Three children, 9, 2 and almost 1.  Rosemary, my cardiac baby, is the almost 1.  That in a nutshell is why I need a vacation.  It's been 2 years of having babies and a full year of hospitalizations and doctor appointments with Rosie.  The fourth of July is coming and for the last 6 months, my sister and I have been planning on being together to celebrate a number of wonderful things.  My mother and father both turned 60 this year, my father is finally retiring, and we've never met each other's babies, who are both about to turn 1 together.  
I remember last July 4th, I was laying on my bed with my 9 year old daughter, Shea.  We were watching the fireworks on television when an uncontrollable sobfest took over.  I had just had a baby who, at three days old, had undergone her first open heart surgery.  I couldn't stay at the hospital because there was no where for me to sleep in the NICU.  I just felt so detached from the tiny human that had grown in me for almost 10 months.  It felt so wrong.  I was home, in total disbelief that I had even given birth in some ways because she wasn't even there for me to hold.  I remember sighing away my grief and holding onto Shea.  She wiped away a tear and said, "Mom, it's gonna be okay.  Rosemary is at the hospital and they're gonna take good care of her."  One year later, that all seems like a dream.

If anyone else out there has had to go through a time when they couldn't leave their house for months at a time, I feel for you.  I have been anticipating Spring for so many reasons.  Primarily, to simply get out of my house.  That was the season of my life, and I am longing to reconnect with my family, who I miss dearly.  I have a large extended family of over 120 people.  I am one of 23 grandchildren and there are something like 48 great grandchildren.  We get together about 3 times a year, everyone.  It's been almost 3 years since I've seen the majority of my family.  I have to say, I'm especially looking forward to seeing my sister, Leslie and my niece, Kayleeanne and my nephew, Keegan.

Thank God my in-laws live near us and were basically our army through this battle.  My parents and my sister were able to make it up to New York several times in the last year as well to lend a helping hand.  I'm a lucky lady, there is nothing like family.

Patience has been the key to surviving this time, but having the faith that it would finally come to an end for us has truly saved our souls.  It's a day to day world when you have a sick baby.  I'm happy to say that Rosemary is no longer in the "sick" category.  We prefer to label her in the "loved and avoiding the hospital" category.  I guess after having been through such a tough ride in the beginning, all that matters is that Rosie can grow up as normal as possible.  We're hoping that some time away from home will give us all a well deserved break.  It just feels so good to rejoin with the land of the living again.