When we got to the trauma room at the hospital, Tatum was in the full convulsive seizure, never to awake and be the same. That was the last time I saw her "healthy". As I looked around the room I realized that I knew most of the nurses in the room. A few of them had been there when Trevin was sick. The amazing nurses were able to get IV access almost immediately. Dr. Later was able to get in touch with her neurologist, who just happened to be in the hospital. He came up and helped to determine which drugs to administer to try and stop the seizing. One of my favorite NICU doctors came down to talk to us about the possibility of having to intubate Tatum. He said they hoped that wouldn't be the case, but we should be prepared just in case. I felt almost relief as I was sitting there in the trauma room with Tatum. That seems like a weird emotion to have, but I had known this was coming for a few months, and I guess it had taken more of an emotional toll on me than I had realized. I couldn't believe the day was here, and this was happening, but I was somehow relieved. I had been praying about this day for several weeks. I had received a spiritual confirmation that Tatum was indeed sick and that I needed to change my prayers to specific needs for this exact day. At this point it was almost like an out of body experience because I felt like I was watching something that I had dreamed or seen. Not dreamed in a good way. But seen because i had been asking for all of the things that were happening.
I had never seen prayers answered in this way. I had prayed that her seizure would come in the day time, while the kids were at school. That I would recognize it for what it was so I could get her to the hospital quickly and so that she would not have to wait for someone to come and help her unlike Trevin who may have laid there for hours seizing before we found him. Check. I had specifically prayed for Dr. Later to be there, and for all of the other doctors and people that she needed around her to do the best that she could. Check. I wanted good nurses that could get IV access for her because that was a real struggle with Trevin. Check. I didn't want her to have to be intubated. She never was. Check. For the past few years Lance had worked in Salt Lake City. He faithfully rode the bus every morning. In January of 2013 the express bus was cancelled and replaced with the train. Lance rode it one time and it was a nightmare. A few days later he moved his office permanently to Orem. So out of character for Lance to make such a move, so quickly. Had he not done that, less than six weeks later when Tatum had her seizure he would have been in Salt Lake City, over an hour away, stranded without a car! What a tender mercy that I didn't even know to ask for. They were able to get Tatum stable enough to move her to a room. They kept the equipment to intubate her in the room for the first day or so, just in case. I don't remember a lot about the rest of that day. I don't remember calling people, I don't remember who came. I do remember all of the answers to my prayers, and I remember the looks on all of my kids faces when they came to the hospital and saw Tatum for the first time, and after we told them that she had the same thing that Trevin had. That will forever be etched in my brain. The answers to my prayers will forever be etched in my heart. Those miracles are simply undeniable.
February 12th, 2014 did not work out like I had envisioned either. I called my doctors office on Tuesday and they told me that they had another appointment on the 12th, so I asked them if I could come and visit them on the 13th instead. Then Lance was sick on the 12th and stayed home for work, so any chance of me just sitting on the couch with a pint of ice cream, crying, reading a book were out of the question. As I was getting ready that morning, I got a little burst of energy. I have to capitalize on these moments because they don't come super often anymore, part age part grief I'm sure. I did a few things around the house and then I went to run some errands. We had to go to Provo, so I decided to pick up some yummy ranch from the creamery and of course we had to get some ice cream. Hilary wanted Vanilla, just like me when I was little. She requested sprinkles on her cone! Best part is, the girl did it for her.
My niece had asked if she and her husband could come down and see us that night, so I hurried and ran my errands and came home so we could get dinner ready for them. It actually felt nice to be a little bit distracted, with some tasks that I needed to complete. I think that I did pretty good holding it together and not being too sad. Enter the teenagers!
I was in the kitchen getting things ready and I asked Hayden to empty our recycle garbage. He began his regular ritual of asking why I always ask him, why doesn't anybody else ever do anything, etc. etc. Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I won't give all of the details but it involved me crying, slamming of doors. You get the picture. Not sure why I allow him to push my buttons, but I do. And he loves it. A few minutes after he had left the room and I was quietly crying to myself, peeling potatoes of course, Hilary came quietly in and smiled really big and said "I think you need a kiss". Yep, the three year old saves her brothers life AGAIN! She knows just what to say sometimes.
My niece and her husband came down and brought all of us some sweet Valentines and some yummy macaroons. We had a good dinner and good conversation. They are very sweet to remember such a tender day with us. I can't believe that it has been a year and yet I can't believe that it has ONLY been a year. Again, time is weird.
As my niece and her husband were leaving my hospital pager went off. It was a cell phone number instead of a hospital number, so I wasn't sure what that meant. I called the number to find out that one of our nurses baby had died that night. A few minutes later I got a text message from one of my good friends that they had found melanoma in one of her moles that they removed. I hope that every February 12th isn't going to be like this. Yikes.
I slept on the couch that night, remembering what it felt like to watch Tater bug sleep just across from me on the other side of the couch. I miss those nights with her, watching her monitors, checking her oxygen, putting milk in her feeding pump, stroking her sweet head, holding her when she was sad or couldn't sleep, kissing her a million times, smelling her (I am obsessed with the smell of my babies), telling her all of the things I wanted her to know, because I knew our time was short.
The next day was a really good day. I was able to get all of my morning things done and I had plenty of time to get things ready to go to my Pediatricians office. I was able to sit down and write them the thank you that I had been wanting to for several months, so that felt good to finally do. Lance was feeling a little better than the day before, but he was still home from work so that he wouldn't infect his coworkers. This was great because I was able to leave my partner in crime behind for this visit. I wasn't sure how it was going to go down once I got to their office. I was bringing them lunch, but I wasn't sure if I would just leave it, or if they would have time to visit. When I got there they were just finishing up with their last patient. We put the food out on the counter and they all grabbed plates and came and sat in the waiting room. Every one of them sat there and we spent their entire lunch hour eating and visiting and laughing. It was seriously one of the funnest hours I've had in a long while. I just love each one of them for all that they have done for me and my family. I just wanted them to know that. How do you thank people that have been so supportive to you for almost 21 years. They have cared for us and mourned with us. They are good people.
Here we are to today. Today is the kids big Sweethearts dance at the high school. Hayden was going to his first dance! He ended up getting asked by one of my really good friends daughter. So funny, and weird. We have known each other since they were babies. Too funny that they are friends. The theme was Great Gatsby, so Halea was thrilled.
Life continues. I am so grateful for the life I have. I have constant reminders, with the work that I am so lucky to get to do, of what is really important in life. I don't always remember or act like I know, but I am trying really hard to keep that perspective. I am really lucky.
Sorry for the extremely long post. I forgive anyone who couldn't make it through reading ALL of it. I really just wanted to recount my memories of February 12th 2013 so I don't forget how the Lord has blessed all of us. Forever grateful.