Fortunately, my hands have gotten a bit better today, so I’ve made good time with typing.
I still can’t believe we’re at the 100th chapter of this journey. It’s been a rewarding experience for me, and I hope for you as well. Here’s to a good many more. raises drink
Without you’re encouragement, I would not have gotten this far in this endeavor.
This chapter is a long and enjoyable one, I hope you like it,
An hour later Sharon sat up in the bed gazing at Billy. He was nursing at her breast with his eyes closed. She knew by his movements that he wasn’t sleeping, and wished he would look at her. She wouldn’t force it though. “Let him enjoy the comfort for now.” she thought.
She had cried more tears than she'd thought possible. Rick had been great, just holding her, not trying to fix it, but just listening as she vented her feelings between bouts of crying. He'd looked at her with love when she asked him to have Peter come back in the room. She wanted Peter to know that she didn't hold him responsible for the dreadful news he'd had to give her. When Peter entered with April, Rick asked "Where's Becky?!?" with concern. "Craig is with her. He came down to the room and told me Peter would need me." as her voice broke. "I feel terrible." Peter said with an unsteady voice. Sharon immediately looked at him and said "It's not your fault Peter. I'm just glad it was you that told us instead of someone that didn't care." as she remembered Dr. Jennings and how he had explained what was happening before the surgery. Peter lost control of his emotions for a moment before he said "No, I thought Craig left. I couldn't understand how he could do that." he explained tearfully and then added "He was looking out for me." and hugged April again as he surrendered to his feelings. April just hugged him tight. She knew this brought back bad memories. "I know this was hard Honey." She told him. "I'm so sorry you had to do this again." That produced heavy sobs from Peter. That's when it hit Sharon. When she realized that this probably brought back terrible memories for Peter, she gently handed Billy to Rick and got up off the bed. Going to them, she hugged them both tight and said "I'm sorry…I didn't realize." She couldn't imagine how hard it had been for Peter to keep his composure as he explained things, with memories of telling his wife what was going to happen with Julius lurking in the back of his mind. They stood there for a time just sharing their hurt. It was April that brought things into perspective when she looked at Sharon and said "Listen, I know things look bad right now for Billy. I know you're scared, but I want you to think about something. Yes, he's going to cry, and have a hard time with things for a while, but he's going to laugh and giggle too. He's going to still sigh when Mommy cuddles him and changes him and makes him feel loved. Please…remember that." Sharon smiled her first smile then. She wrapped her arms around April and hugged her tight, saying "Thank you." with a thick voice. April was right. She considered that things could have gone much worse. While her little boy was going to have difficulty, he was still going to be with her, able to snuggle and nurse. He would be able to enjoy her touch, her smile and every loving thing she could offer him. Rick looked down at Billy as he lay sleeping in his arms. God had done what he asked, and met him half way. He'd practically begged God to leave him the way he was if he had to, just don't take him. He said a silent prayer in thanks then as he kissed his little boy. The four of them had taken turns then, holding this special little boy in their arms. Each taking a silent moment to thank God once again that Billy was still there, still able to be a part of their lives. After a time, Rick looked to Sharon and said "I need to go be with Becky for a little while." She understood that he didn't just mean that Becky needed to see him, but that he needed to hold her as well. "Give her a hug and kiss for me will you?" "Absolutely." he told her as he wiped his eyes, leaned toward her and kissed her softly. "I love you, no matter what life brings, always remember that." he said. "I know," she replied with fresh tears, "and I'm the luckiest woman in the world because of it. I love you." He hugged her tight for a moment before kissing her again and getting up from the bed. Leaning down, he kissed his little boy gently on the forehead and said "We'll figure this out Baby, I promise you. It might be hard Little Boy, but we'll get through this." with determination. A second later, he added "I love you." kissed Billy again and then made his way from the room. April looked at Peter and said "I love you, will you be alright? I don't think it would be good to leave Rick alone right now." "I'll be alright." Peter told her with a kiss. "Go make sure he's OK." he added as he hugged her. "OK, call me if you need me, really." she told him. "I love you." he said with another kiss and let go of her. "I'll see you later." April told Sharon as she hugged her. "Thank you, you really are an angel April." Sharon replied as she returned the hug. With a blush, April left to see Rick and Becky. Peter sat down on the bed and with a deep breath, collected himself. Looking to Sharon, he said "I want to give him the next dose of Toradol. It's helping, and anything we can do to prevent further damage is a good thing." "Do it." Sharon told him without a second's hesitation. She trusted this man implicitly with her little boy's health. "Alright, Gary will be in in just a minute." Peter said as he kissed her gently on the cheek. "And Peter?" Sharon said as he started walking toward the door. He turned and asked "Yes?" "Thank you. You're probably the only reason I still have my little boy, and I'll forever be grateful to you for that." she told him through fresh tears. "You're welcome." he told her with a sad smile. Sharon saw the same sadness in his eyes that she'd noticed when she'd hit him in the hospital at home. "I'm sorry you had to be the one to get him through this." she said sincerely. Peter looked her in the eye and said "I'm not. That little boy has taught me a great deal. He's special." and then turned and left the room. A couple of minutes later, Gary had come in to give the Toradol. When he was done, he said "I'll be back to check on him in a while. Try to get some rest." as he put his hand on Sharon's shoulder. "Thank you." she said and then watched him leave the room.
Billy was just finishing nursing when Craig entered the room. “Hi.” he said softly as he went to pick up the bag he’d brought with him earlier, and then sat down on the bed. He laid the bag aside as he looked at Billy and asked “How are you little boy?” with a warm smile.
Billy looked at Mr. Craig and answered with a shy “OK.”
“Good.” Craig said. He shifted so he could look straight at Billy and said “I wanted to talk with you if you’re alright with that.”
Billy nodded his head as he pulled closer to Mommy, his hands trembling now.
“It’s alright Billy, I promise. I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to give you a shot or hurt you in any way.” Craig told him. “I just want to talk.” he added with another smile.
Billy relaxed with that and the tremors dissipated.
“I want to ask you some questions. Is that alright?” he asked.
Billy nodded his head spasmodically.
"Alright, can you tell me why you didn’t ask for your binky when you first woke up after being at the restaurant? When Mommy gave it to you?
With a guarded expression, Billy said “I don’t know.”
“I want you to understand something right now. I will NEVER lie to you little boy, I promise, OK?”
Billy replied “OK.” with a worried expression. He knew then that Mr. Craig knew he was lying.
“I need you to promise me the same thing. Can you do that?” Craig asked.
“Yeah.” Billy answered. He didn’t really want to, but Mr. Craig had promised him.
“I need you to tell me Billy, I need to hear it.” Craig said.
“I pwomith I wont wie to you.” Billy told him after a second of hesitation.
“Thank you. That means a lot to me.” Craig replied. “Now why didn’t you ask for your binky?” he asked a second later.
Billy started crying then. It frustrated him that he couldn’t stop it. With the frustration came the shaking.
Craig said “Hey, it’s alright. No one is going to get mad or upset with you, no matter what you tell me, I promise.”
When Billy turned his head to look at his Mommy, Craig nodded at her.
Sharon told Billy “It’s OK, you can tell Mr. Craig. I won’t gt upset, I promise.” with a warm smile. The fact that he had looked to her told her that he was worried that she wouldn’t like what he had to say. What in the world was this about she wondered.
“They waughed.” Billy said through his tears, not looking at Mr. Craig as his face blushed.
Craig looked at him and asked “Who laughed?”
Crying a little harder, Billy said “Mommy and Daddy.”
Craig reached out quickly and grasped Sharon’s arm firmly as she took a breath to speak. “Because you wanted your binky?” he asked.
“Yeah.” Billy said tearfully.
“Because you wore a dipey?”
“Mmmm Hmmm” Billy cried.
“And had your blankie?”
“I see. Tell me who else was there?”
“Becky.” Billy said miserably.
“Did she laugh?”
“Yeth, and she was mean.” Billy said sobbing now.
“I see.” Craig replied. “Tell me, did they laugh before you were at the restaurant with Pooh Bear? Or after?”
Billy said immediately “Aftew.” and then looked confused and said “No.”
That told Craig exactly what was wrong. “You’re not sure are you?” he asked.
Billy answered “No.” through his tears.
“I understand. Have you ever heard of something called ICU Psychosis?” he asked, certain that Billy hadn’t, but wanting to distract him.
“No.” Billy said, looking directly at Mr. Craig.
“Well Billy, it’s what happens when someone is on medicine to make them sleep for a long time. Sometimes though, it can happen when a person is only on the medicine for a little while. Have you ever had a dream that seemed like it was very, very real?” Craig asked.
“Yeth, a nightmare.” Billy said with a frown.
“Exactly. And you thought that the dream was real didn’t you?”
“Yeah, it thcared me.” Billy answered, the tears coming back.
“I know. It scares everyone when they have a nightmare. But that’s not the only kind of dreams we have is it?” Craig asked.
“Sometimes we have funny dreams too don’t we?” he asked with a smile.
“Yeah.” Billy said smiling with him.
“I remember I had a dream once where I was walking around in a dress. It was really funny.” Craig said with a chuckle.
Billy giggled at that, that would be really funny.
Sharon had to keep control of her emotions right then. She didn’t realize how much she needed to hear her little boy laugh.
“There are other kinds of dreams as well. And what I need you to understand is, when you thought Mommy and Daddy were laughing at you, you were dreaming little boy.” Craig explained.
“I wath?” Billy asked with a hopeful expression.
“Yes you were. When you left the restaurant with Pooh Bear, you were asleep until just before Mommy gave you your binky, when you wouldn’t ask for it. The medicine made you dream.” Craig told him. “Hold on a second.” he said as he took his phone out of his pocket and dialed a number.
“Rick, can you please bring Becky to Billy’s room? I think he needs to see his sister for a few minutes.” Craig said into the phone. “Alright thanks.” he added a second later before hanging up the phone.
Billy got nervous. He really didn’t want Becky to be mean to him.
“What was Becky wearing when she was mean to you?” Craig asked.
“I don’t know, a shiwt and a thkiwt.” Billy answered.
“And how long was her skirt? Was it down to here?” he asked pointing to his knee. “Or here?” pointing to his mid thigh.
“Dere.” Billy said as he put a very uncoordinated finger on Craig’s knee.
“I see.” Craig replied. At that moment, he heard the door open.
Billy looked up and began trembling when he saw his sister’s face, until the moment he noticed her binky. When he looked further down and saw her dipey peaking out between the gap in her hospital gown, he smiled.
“Biwwy!” Becky said excitedly, reaching out toward him with a big smile around her binky.
“Becky!” Billy said, not able to keep his excitement from coming through once he realized that Becky wouldn’t be mean to her because he had a binky or wore a dipey. She was wearing one herself, and nursing her own binky.
Becky started to cry when she saw Billy shake because of his excitement. She said fearfully “Daddy?!?!”
That made Billy burst into tears. She had pulled back from him because his whole body had started shaking. He felt terrible that he had scared her.
Rick realized that the last time Becky had seen Billy do anything that looked like that, he’d had the seizure. He didn’t blame her for being scared. “It’s alright Baby, he’s OK, he’s just shaking.” Rick said as he moved closer.
Craig got up from the bed to allow Rick to sit down close to Billy. “Becky, Billy’s muscles are not working quite right and that’s why he’s shaking Sweetheart. He’s still Billy.” Craig told her.
As Rick sat down, Becky looked at Billy. “Doeth it huwt?” she asked and was surprised when Billy told her no. That made it much better. He hadn’t said anything when she saw him get sick at home on Christmas day.
“Why don’t you lay down with your brother for a minute.” Rick said as he laid Becky next to Sharon where she could touch him.
Becky reached a tentative hand out and pulled it back. “What’s wrong Baby?” Sharon asked.
“I don’ wanna huwt him.” Becky answered.
“You won’t I promise.” Sharon said as she gently took Becky’s hand and placed it on Billy’s chest.
Becky began gently caressing Billy’s chest as she laid there nursing her binky. When Billy stopped crying and smiled, she smiled back.
“See, he likes it when you touch him.” Sharon told her.
Craig asked “Billy, would it be alright if I put you and Becky in the crib together?” and saw his tremors get worse instantly. “I promise, Mommy will be right here, she’s not going to go anywhere.”
When Billy looked at her, Sharon said “I’ll sit right next to the crib in case you need me Baby.”
Billy turned and told Mr. Craig softly “OK.”
Rick stood and moved out of the way as Craig picked Becky up, walked to the crib, laid her down on the mattress and said “I’ll be right back.” as he tickled her tummy.
Becky giggled and shifted until she was comfortably laying on her side.
Craig gently lifted Billy from Sharon’s arms and laid him right next to his sister, tickled him and said “You two snuggle for a little bit.” and raised the cribside.
The three adults watched as Becky gently tried to shift Billy so she could cuddle him close. As she did, their binky’s bumped into each other and Becky started giggling wildly. It didn’t take a moment for Billy to begin to giggle as well and it wasn’t long before they were both laughing hysterically. Becky reached over and began tickling Billy and laughed more, completely oblivious to his spastic motions now.
Both Sharon and Rick sat there with misty eyes as they watched the two children interact. Rick leaned close, kissed Sharon and said “This is beautiful.”
“Yes.” was all she could get out without the threat of losing control of her emotions. After a few minutes, Sharon could see that Billy was starting to get over stimulated. “Snuggle with him now, Baby. He’s had enough tickles.” she said.
Becky gently wrapped her arms around her brother, pulling his head to her chest. She loved snuggling with him.
They let the kids snuggle for a while before Rick said “Becky, we’re going to need to go back to your room now. It’s time for you to eat Sweety.” and approached the crib. When he had the side down, he said “Give Billy kisses and hugs now, you can play with him later.”
Becky kissed her brother on the cheek and hugged him tightly for a moment before saying “Bye bye.” and reaching up for Daddy.
Sharon picked Billy up and asked “Did you have fun playing with your sister?”
Billy smiled and said “Yeth, it wath gweat!” as he trembled in excitement.
Sharon laughed and kissed him as she said “Good, I’m glad.”
Craig nodded toward the bed as he looked at Sharon. She sat down and held Billy so Craig could sit and talk with him some more.
As Craig sat on the bed, he asked “Can you sit him up so he can see?” and picked up the bag that he had brought earlier.
Sharon shifted Billy so he was sitting facing away from her.
“Billy, do you understand now that Becky wasn’t mean to you? That it was just a dream?” with a warm smile.
Billy smiled around his binky and said “Yeah.”
“Good. I don’t think Becky would ever be mean to you because you have a binky or wear a dipey, do you?” he told Billy.
With a smile, Billy said sincerely “No, neber.”
“That’s right.” Craig told him. Reaching over, he pulled what looked like a photo album out of the plastic bag that he had brought with him. Laying it in Billy’s lap, he pointed to the cover and asked “Who’s that?” with a smile.
“Pooh.” Billy said with a giggle.
“Yes, and whose that?” he asked again while pointing to a photograph set into the cover.
“Me.” Billy answered as he looked at a picture of himself.
“Right again!” Craig said as he tickled Billy’s tummy. As Billy giggled, he opened the cover on the photo album so Billy could see the pictures inside. "Pointing to the first picture, he asked “Who’s that?”
“Mommy.” Billy said.
“Yep. And whose in the picture with her?”
“Uh huh. You and Mommy are in all of these pictures, aren’t you?”
“Mmmm Hmmm.” Billy said as he nursed on his binky.
“Tell me, how does Mommy look in this picture?” Craig asked him.
“Pwetty.” Billy said.
That made Sharon blush and smile at the same time.
Craig smiled and said “Yes she does. Does she look happy or sad in this picture?”
“Happy.” Billy said immediately, then added. “bewy happy.”
“And are you very happy in the picture?” Craig asked.
“Yeth.” Billy said still smiling.
“I see that. What about these other three pictures? Are you and Mommy very happy in these pictures?” he asked.
“Uh huh.” Billy answered.
“OK, can you tell me what you’re looking at in each of these pictures?”
“Mommy.” Billy said smiling wider.
“So it made you very happy to be looking at Mommy in these pictures, didn’t it?” Craig asked.
“Yeth.” Billy said as he turned to look up at Mommy and giggled when Mommy smiled at him.
Craig was glad when Sharon said “You love looking at Mommy, don’t you Baby.”
Billy nodded and leaned back against her. Craig asked him “And it looks in these pictures like Mommy loves looking at you doesn’t it?”
Billy looked at the pictures and smiled as he said “Yeth.”
“That’s right.” Craig told him. He glanced at the photos, each one a picture of Sharon looking directly into Billy’s eyes as she held him. Turning the page, he saw four more photos of them both. “Mommy loves looking at you in these pictures too doesn’t she?” as he touched each photo, one at a time. The first one was of Billy on the train, the second of him being carried by her. The third was of her talking with him at Donald’s Boat, and the fourth was as she was putting a dry diaper on him afterward. In each of them, the mother and child were smiling at each other.
Billy looked at all of the pictures and nodded his head still smiling.
Craig went through four more sets of pictures. Each showing them looking at each other with loving expressions. When he was done, he turned back to the first page and said “Now I want you to look closer at each of these pictures and notice that Mommy loves seeing you…with your binky,” he said as he touched Billy’s pacifier in each of the four pictures on the first page. “Your blankie,” he continued as he turned the page and touched the first two pictures, “and while changing your dipey.” he said as he touched the picture with Billy on the bench. “If Mommy was going to make fun of you, or get upset with you for wanting or having any of these things, we would see it in these pictures, don’t you think?” Craig asked.
Sharon was astounded at how simple, and yet effective this process was as Billy suddenly opened his eyes wide and turned to look at her with big tears in his eyes and a big smile. Blinking her own tears out of the way, she said “That’s right Baby Boy, I want you to take your binky.” as she kissed his pacifier, “And I want you to have your blankie.” as she caressed his face with it. “And I love making you feel wonderful when I change your dipey Baby Boy.” she finished as she kissed his forehead and snuggled him close while patting his diaper.
Craig gave them a moment to just snuggle and enjoy each other’s love before telling Billy “I want you to do something for me Billy.”
When Billy turned to look at him, he said “I want you to keep this photo album where you can see it very often. If you have any doubt whatsoever that Mommy wants you to be her baby boy, then you ask to look at it, and remember what we talked about today, OK?”
Billy smiled a big smile and said “OK!” as he reached out with shaking arms to Craig.
Craig picked him up and hugged him, rocking him gently for a moment before telling him “You are such a good boy.” with a smile. A minute later, he said “Mommy’s going to miss you if I don’t give you back now. Here you go.” and gently placed Billy in her arms.
Sharon snuggled him close, grateful to Craig for easing Billy’s fears. Looking at him she said “Thank you. You’ve done so much and I’m so grateful.”
“It’s my pleasure Sharon.” he said as he got up from the bed. “I’m going to leave you two to get reacquainted.” with a grin. “If you need anything, please let the nurse know and she’ll call me. I need to see someone else while I’m here.” and he left the room.
Sharon wished she could do or say something that remotely came close to showing how grateful she was, but she couldn’t think of anything close to that. He had just given her her baby boy back and that was worth more than anything to her right then. It would make helping him cope with all of the changes in his body much easier. Looking at Billy, she said “I love you so much Baby Boy.” as she kissed him.
Billy smiled at Mommy and sighed as she cuddled him close. “I wub you too.” he said, his tears still coming from realizing he wouldn’t have to try to give up his binky or blankie or his dipeys. His gaze moved to her breast as she held him.
Sharon saw him look at her breast and said “Do you want Nummies Baby Boy?”
“Mmmm Hmmm” he responded as he nursed his binky.
“Well you need to ask for Nummies then Baby.” She told him. When he went to speak, she tapped his binky and said “After all, it’s going to be a long time before you stop nursing at Mommy’s boobies, so you need to let me know when you want Nummies.” letting him know that he’ll be able to nurse for some time.
Billy smiled again as more happy tears found their way to his cheeks. “Nummieth Mommy!” he said happily.
Sharon kissed him gently and said “That’s my good baby boy.” and turned him on his side, offering him her nipple.
Both mommy and baby were in heaven as Billy nursed. The bond was as strong as ever and neither wanted to change a thing about that.