Steven’s funeral arrangements were made. We went to the funeral home for the viewing. I felt as though I was watching myself from a distance, standing at his casket. I asked him to please help Timothy stay with us. I could not bear to lose them both. I could almost hear a voice say, "but I need him more".
We went home. I asked Ken’s parents to please take down Steven’s crib because it hurt too much to look at it. They took it away. I took tranquilizers and pain pills and finally got to sleep. I could not bear total darkness. I was so used to the lights in the hospital, my eyes were not accustomed to darkness. I had to have a lamp on in the bedroom. I had a nightmare and sat bolt upright in bed. I screamed, "Tim!". I had been dreaming about Ken’s best friend Tim, who passed away suddenly of a heart defect almost a decade before. He was talking to me about Timothy when I woke up and shouted his name. I wondered what the dream meant. I was afraid of that knowledge. I eventually went back to sleep.
We went to the hospital to see Timothy, as we did every day for the six days he lived. A nurse approached us. She said he had not moved in several hours. They were concerned about neurological damage. At my request, we moved away from Timothy’s earshot. I told the nurse I did not want anyone discussing his condition where he could hear them. I thought he might be able to pick up on their emotions. Ever the protective mother, I told her there was to be only happy talk when they were near Timothy.
I went to my baby. I told him he needed to show those doctors and nurses that they were wrong. He needed to move a little bit for Mommy and Daddy. I had placed a picture of our cats on the wall of his tray bed. Another nurse came over and we were discussing our pets when I heard a rustling noise. I looked at Timothy. He pulled one knee up and then the other. I cried. He was going to be fine! The doctors were wrong!
I felt wonderful. Timothy was going to be okay. Ken and I went downstairs to get something to eat. I later pumped my breast milk, which was frozen for Timothy to take later, when he was able to drink. He was too young to know how to eat at present. His nutrients were supplied through the IV tubes. We came back to the NICU and the nurse exclaimed, "Your little boy has been all over the place. I started to draw his blood and he pulled his arm away". I thanked God. This was our miracle. I knew God would let me keep Timothy.
The phone rang in the early morning hours of October 20. It was the hospital. Timothy was taking a turn for the worse. The nurse had a long conversation with my husband on the phone, in the dark. My panic grew. We could not understand what happened. When we left earlier that night, he had been improving. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that two days later, I would be attending the funeral for my sons. We called our parents and went back to the hospital. Timothy had sepsis, a massive infection, and kidney failure. The antibiotics were not working. He was turning blue. I slept in a room adjacent to where he was. I asked my dad to stay in the room with me because I was scared. He sat in the chair as I rested.
We waited for the doctor to arrive. He took us to a conference room, and we discussed Timothy’s condition. He was extremely sick. I asked what were his chances. The doctor replied, "It would be like winning the lottery". A nurse came in and summoned the doctor. The alarms were going off on Timothy’s monitors. He had to be resuscitated. Timothy was telling us he could not stay. His little body was tired. He made the decision for us. It was time to go. I asked the doctor how long he had left to live. He said not long, maybe a few hours. I felt like screaming at someone but it was no one’s fault.