The homecoming….part 1

I am breaking this up into a few days because I guess I had a lot to tell. Here’s the first part of the story.

I never thought that I would experience grief so personally. Yes, I know that people die and expected older people in my life to pass on. But, never in even my worst nightmares did I think that I would actually lose a child. But, I did, and here is my view on grief and my ways of coping with it. While this might not be right for some it is what has gotten me through this far and hopefully it will get me through until the day that I too leave this earth for a better place and join my baby.

Johnathan passed away May 17, 2007 at 5:15 p.m. He passed away among many friends and family. We were all there. We all got to help him leave this earth and we did it in a very loving manner.

Here is my recollection of JT’s Homecoming as I like to call it. Because he went home, he was only on loan to me from God, the one that makes all things possible.

I hadn’t remembered much from that day for the past 15 months. But, last week, Stacy and I were talking about that day. Stacy is my best friend and the one that supported me through the whole NICU experience.

I received a call at school on Wednesday the 16th of May, 2007, from one of the NNP’s (nurse practioners), Kathy. She told me on the phone that JT didn’t look to great and that I needed to get up there because it looked as though he has an infection in his Central line. I told her ok, and my mind went numb and into overdrive. I just prayed the whole time I was making phone calls to get ahold of Stacy, my husband, and my mother in law. I was praying really hard, God, please don’t let him go before I can get there. I just want to be there I don’t want him to be alone. I finally got a hold of Stacy and got everything situated to take my youngest Mikayla to her granny’s house.

That was the longest 45 minutes of my life.

When we got up there they were surprised that we had made it up there so fast. They were taking labs and everyone was around him. I thought for a minute that he was already gone. But, he wasn’t little man was holding his own. I thank God profusely for that. He was very lethargic, and agitated. I remember he kept trying to rub the oxygen cannulas and the feeding tube out of his nose. He ended up scratching himself and it bled, and bled. We spent the rest of the day there. I don’t remember how my kids got home from school or anything. I can’t remember nothing, until that night, I remember Gena working and working to stop the bleeding and then while I was trying to nap for a few minutes, Lisa getting upset because I wouldn’t let them put him on the ventilator. I can understand why she was upset. JT was Lisa’s first baby, they came to the NICU at the same time and she had been with him since he got there and was very protective of him. But, while she wanted to do everything medically necessary to sustain quantity of life I wanted quality and I know my son even being only 8 ½ months old didn’t want a ventilator. This was the end, I knew it was, and I wanted him to go peacefully, not having something mechanical breathing for him because that wasn’t JT.

I had to make some hard decisions those last few weeks and that was one of them. Because his liver was so bad nothing beyond a new liver was going to save him.

Gena worked on JT for over 14 hours. Morning shift came in and she was still working. I went to the car at about 5:00 am to make some calls to let everyone know that yes, this was it and if you would like to come up then you had better do it now.

I was surprised at some of the family that came up. They hadn’t been there and well, I didn’t expect it to be honest, then I was angry that they were. Sometimes I am hard to please I guess.

By 8:00 all the kids my husband and some of my in laws were up there. Johnathan was bleeding so bad from his stoma that to hold him they had to wrap him up and put a pressure dressing on his stoma.

Everyone had a chance to hold him. I was talking to my nephew about medical school because at the time that was what he was going to school for. When all of a sudden, I lifted up the wash cloth we had on JT’s stoma and blood just spurted. I just about fainted. I had to sit down. I might’ve fainted, I am not sure. But, Dr. Y came and talked to me and said “remember what we talked about? This is the end, there is nothing more that we can do” At that moment, I knew. I told them to just give me my baby and to stop.


2 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I am so blessed by your family!

  2. I honestly have no idea how our kids got home from school that day. I can’t even take a guess.

    The only thing I can think of is that Shaun got them because he was on vacation. Other than that I have absolutely no idea. I don’t know how they got home from the hospital either. That is also a big mystery. lol

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