Insimenator.org
November 18, 2019, 06:49:53 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: InSim's annual Donation Drive is under way! Click here for more info and to donate!
 
  Home   Forum   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 47
  Print  
Author Topic: Little Fire Burning (Ch. 85: Till death do us part *23.Apr 16*)  (Read 140323 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« on: June 06, 2008, 08:26:56 pm »

Another story from me Cheesy
---------------
This story is based upon the family I used for the supermom contest. I want to take the story further - I want to tell their story. Because when the contest ended, the nightmare only started for the Brooks family. This story might be a little bit funny, and it might be a little bit sad - but know that this story is the reality for a lot of families around the world. Families who live with pain, sorrow and a horrible knowledge about their child. They just have to take one day at a time, and try to cherish life as it is. This is the story about Aidan and his family, about their strugges - told by his mother Jenna.

The prologue is mostly taken straight out from the contest application - just to create a bit of background history for the family. The first four chapters (including the prologue) are from the contest.


And if you like my story - please leave comments Smiley I love getting comments Smiley
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 4:Homecoming - round 2

Chapter 5: Heartsick


Chapter 6: One step at a time

Chapter 7: Needle phobia - part 1
Chapter 7: Needle phobia - part 2

Chapter 8: Pitnick and ife cleam

Chapter 9: Lollipops and needles

Chapter 10: Purple wands do not work magic

Chapter 11: Blast from the past

Chapter 12: Those hard times

Chapter 13: Stretching pain

Chapter 14: Plans for the future

Chapter 15: Glitter and dinosaurs

Chapter 16: Home in a shoe box

Chapter 17: A question

Chapter 18: Into the fire

The rest of the chapters I'm posting at my own site, and there's a full chapter list here


-------------------------------------------------------------------------



***PROLOGUE***

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

My name is Jenna Brooks, and I'm 33 years old.


I'm happily married to my husband Peter Delaney, and I love him to pieces! We've never had a big fight, and he's brilliant with our kids.


We've got two children; Tony - our 8 year old scientist, and Erica - our 2 year old adventurer.

Peter is a journalist in the local newspaper, and he also works a bit for TV stations and other newspapers as a freelancer. I'm a nurse, and worked for a couple years in an elderly care facility, but after Tony was born too early and with a lot of complications, I spent a lot of time at the NICU. I fell in love with the place, and after a few additional courses to my nurse training, I'd finally found my dream job. Now I'm a NICU nurse at the downtown hospital, and couldn't wish for a better job than this. I love working with the babies, and being where life starts. Helping babies face their first struggle in the world really makes my heart leap with joy.  


I met Peter when we were both at the university. We became friends then, but realized after a time there was a lot more between us than just friendship. On our graduation day, he went to his knees and proposed to me - in front of everyone! I didn't care. I jumped into his arms, and kissed him as an answer.
We married, and moved together. I realized I was pregnant with Tony when the morning sickness came. We quickly realized our tiny space was too small for us and a baby, so we found ourselves a bigger house, which happened to have been previously owned by my parents. When I was seven months pregnant, I woke up one night with terrible stomach pain, and my water broke. At the hospital they realized Tony was very sick because of a problem with his blood. Shortly after he needed surgery for a heart defect. He spent three months inside an incubator, needing breathing help and medications, but after a bumpy ride we finally got him home. After spending a year home, doing the evening classes to become a NICU nurse, I got a job in the same unit Tony had spent his first three months in. A few years later I got pregnant with Erica. Nine months later, Tony got the sister he had wanted, this time without any complications.
Now, after being Erica's big brother for two years, Tony is desperate for a baby brother...

This is our little family for the moment. If you notice the little speed bump on my belly, I can only say that's not chocolate.


We have a few other family members too - Penguin the parrot, and Hat the hamster (Don't look at me like that - I did NOT decide those names!). We have a few aquarium fishes too, but besides Glorp, Tofu and Booey none of the others have names. Tony really wants a dog, but I honestly think we've got enough creatures living in our house.
Nowadays, our house is filled with insects and other creatures (one of Tony's recent "school science projects" - don't ask...) and every evening our house looks like Toys'R'us exploded in a PetSmart. But what do you expect with a messy two year old child, and a boy who loves every single animal he can find in the backyard, including frogs, ants and the occasional beetle, and doesn't clean up after himself no matter how many times he's told?

Here's Penguin, our lovesick parrot. I realize his name doesn't make sense, but after we brought him home he fell in love with Tony's penguin toy, and Tony thought it was so funny he named the poor bird Penguin as a joke. We tried changing it, but it's the only name he answers to, so it kind of stuck. We once tried finding him a parrot girlfriend, which didn't work out, so we suspect he may think he's an actual penguin.


My favorite hobby is singing. When the house is empty I take out my microphone and sing as loud as I can. Erica loves when I sing for her at bedtime. She loves nursery rhymes of all kinds and won't go to sleep without one. I also play el-guitar, and could have had my own band if family life hadn't taken over.


My children mean everything to me, and I want them all to be happy. Peter and I always try to be there for them, and support them in whatever they do. Well, at least Tony. We don't go around supporting Erica when she knocks down vases and such! I thought the "terrible twos" was a myth until she came along, because Tony was a little lamb compared to her. I'm only hoping it won't last.  

And then there's the little "secret" I'm carrying. Yes, you may have guessed it from the picture - my belly is inhabited again. It's not very visible yet, but in a few months' time, we'll have a new little one in the family. Peter jokes that we'll soon be outnumbered, but so far we've managed, so I'm not too worried.

And that's it, I guess. For now.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 12:12:01 pm by Theraven » Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 08:47:14 pm »

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
CHAPTER 1: Family life  - as it once was.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Being the mother of two can be a trial, but most of the time normal family life goes by without you thinking about it. Life turns into routine as days, weeks and months go by. Before the twins, everything was so easy. It didn't always feel easy - but it was.

I once entered a writing contest named "Supermommy". To be honest, I think most mothers are supermommies. You have no idea what they really do. They wash tons of clothes, make food several times a day for their family, work to earn money, help with homework, organize schedules, and handle sick children (and husbands). I looked back at my old contest entry, and found this little story. Before we had the twins, most of my life was like this. Then everything turned upside down.


***

My morning starts with yelling. Not me yelling - but Erica yelling. Lately, Erica has begun to wake up before dawn, and thinks a perfect start of the day is to jump up and down on our double bed, screaming for us to wake up.


After calming her down (yelling a little in return), I wake up Peter (who can sleep through a thunderstorm), and take Erica downstairs to make breakfast. After Peter has dragged himself downstairs too, I go upstairs to wake up Tony. He's a sleepyhead just like his father, so it takes a few minutes (hours really) before he realizes it is morning. Then I go to the bathroom to get ready for my workday. I'm usually in my pajama until just before I leave the house, because Erica loves strawberry jam for breakfast, which usually goes everywhere but into her mouth. Need I say more?

When I come out from the bathroom, Tony is usually still wandering around like a zombie, and he has definitely not found the kitchen yet. I steer him to a chair by the table and give him some breakfast. He usually wakes up a little while eating, just enough to not fall asleep in his cereal.


After I've done some laundry and finally have the time to sit down and eat breakfast, I usually find Tony in a deep argument with Erica. Let's say it's not easy to argue with a two year old who says 'no' to everything and starts crying when things aren't going her way.


When everyone is dressed and ready, I drive Tony to school and Erica to daycare. Peter uses his bike or work car if he can, since his work is in the other direction. Peter almost begs me for another car, because he's not too fond of the work-issued one, but I think it's more than enough with one car and one set of expenses.  
After putting the children off at the right places, I go to work.
On my day shifts, I work until around 4 pm, and pick up Erica and Tony on my way home. Tony is in a homework group from school finishes until I pick him up. Here he does most of his homework before coming home, and gets help with it if need be. The sooner he's finished, the sooner he can use the spare time before I pick him up to play with his friends. It gives him motivation to do his homework, and saves me from a lot of nagging.
Before driving home, we go to the supermarket. If I'm not in the mood to take two hungry and unruly kids with me in there, I do grocery shopping before picking them up, because it saves time, money and frustration.
Coming home, I prepare dinner. Peter finishes work at around five, so I try to get the food ready before then. What can I say? I like having a proper family meal together. He makes dinner the days I work evening shifts, so we split the work equally.
Then we talk about the day and our plans for the next day, while eating nutritious food.


Who am I kidding?
When dinner finishes, the table looks like a war zone, because Erica loves having one-sided food fights. Erica and Tony aren't speaking as much as screaming to each other, and refuse to play together. I go on all fours washing up the darn spaghetti that somehow got under the fridge, while Peter is washing the ceiling; goodness only knows how Erica managed that.  


The day Erica learns to eat her food without spilling or throwing any of it, I'll cheer and throw a party. Not even salad is a safe food with that kid in the house, and she refuses to eat any 'non-playable' foods unless Peter does the cooking. I'm almost wondering if she likes creating the extra work for us.
After washing down the kitchen, I usually find Tony in front of the TV, watching cartoons or playing videogames with Peter. Erica likes playing with her dolls (or throwing them around).


After relaxing for a bit, we have some family time together until somewhere between seven and eight, when it is Erica's bathing time, also known as a trial by water. If she's not screaming, she's spilling soapy water all over the floor. Sometimes I manage to trick Peter into doing it, but not often. He knows what he'll be walking into, and he usually ends up getting wetter than me. Occasionally I'll dress up in rainwear and boots just to have some chance of getting out of the ordeal with dry clothes.


For all of Erica's shenanigans, we have a lot of good times, too. It's always nice to have some mommy-daughter time together. After reading a story for Erica, or singing a song (whatever mood she's in) she usually falls asleep. Usually is the key word. If she's having an off day, I have to prepare myself with another story or song ? or what I get in return is a hissy fit lasting several hours.
After making sure she's asleep, I go downstairs to watch some more TV. Peter's responsibility is getting Tony to bed. Let's say that's only a tiny bit easier than getting Erica to bed, because he's a master when it comes to dragging out time.  
When Tony finally is in bed, we have a couple hours of housework or relaxing to do, before two tired parents can go to bed. We usually fall asleep almost at once - completely exhausted ? around 11 pm.
And that's pretty much my day. My parents sometimes watch the kids, but usually only in the weekends. I only hire nannies if my parents aren't available. Mostly it's just me, Peter and the kids ? and the new little one soon to come. I just can't wait (=sarcasm =those &%?#&?#@$% hormones...).

***

This was our family life at its best. Life went by without too much thinking. Happy children, and otherwise just a normal family life, if a bit challenging at times. Up until then, my worst experiences had been the (torturous) birth of Erica and the three months we spent around Tony's incubator. Oh, and of course the Chickenpox experience.

***

I woke up to Erica's really loud crying. When I came into her room, I immediately saw she had blisters all over her body. She also had a fever, and was itching like mad. Of course I realized I couldn't go to work that day. She was only a little over a year then, and I had started working again only a couple of months before. I lifted her up to soothe her.  
Then I heard Tony yelling for me, and went into his room. He was itching too, and his skin looked just as bad as Erica's. I sighed, said "Don't scratch those, Tony,? and went down to find some wash cloths and duct tape for their hands (to prevent them scratching themselves) and cream for their skin. The day went past in a flurry over getting drinks for them, giving them baths for the itching, soothing Erica who cried almost non-stop from sunup to sundown, and washing clothes (both of them had somehow caught the stomach flu, too). If this wasn't enough, when Peter came home he complained over headache and dizziness, and I could see blisters on his face.
"Have you ever had chickenpox?? I asked him.
"Chickenpox? I don't think so.?
"Thought so,? I said, and sighed.
Well, let's just say the next day was worse. Two sick kids and a husband who thinks he's dying of fever is more than enough to make an unfortunate mother go crazy. It went on for two more days like this.


Erica got well first, and was happily running around causing havoc when I could finally declare Tony well again. He had to stay home two more days because of the school's policy when it came to contagious sicknesses. Peter? well, I mostly ignored him after Tony got well. His fever had gone down, but he was still acting like a baby and complaining.
On top of everything - when I finally hoped everyone was healthy again ? I got the flu! Yeah. Housework is not the same when your head aches and you feel like lifting a toddler is heavier than lifting a car. There's just no time to be sick when you're a mom.  

***

This was nothing. Nothing at all compared to what was to come.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 11:59:18 am by Theraven » Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Stelio Kontos
Resident Reptilian
Loot Looker
****
Gender: Male
Posts: 908



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 08:48:10 pm »

Another story I have to follow because I like it.
Update whenever, please?
Logged
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 09:19:35 pm »


---------------------------------------------------------------------
CHAPTER 2: A fateful night out
---------------------------------------------------------------------

It all started with one fateful night out. Peter and I were just going to have a quiet dinner together alone while my parents watched Erica and Tony. Or so we thought.  

Four months before, we'd gotten the message we were expecting twins. We were looking forward to it, even though it would mean a lot more work. I had no idea how much.


***

"Sure you'll be OK?" I said to mom.
"Don't worry. I know where the first-aid equipment is, and I think I can still remember the emergency number."
I scowled at her.
"Hey, I'm just kidding! I promise we will have some nice, safe fun! Right, Martin?"
"Yep!" dad said, and lifted a laughing Erica high above his head. "Your mom keeps the kids entertained, and I'll watch TV. I'm just joking, Madison!" he added when she sent a scowl his way.


I was lucky to have young parents. They weren't yet 60, and had lots of energy reserves for their grandchildren, so they were nearly always available when we needed babysitters. Peter's parents had age creeping up on them, so while they liked babysitting, they also needed rest in between the visits from our hurricane duo.
After taking a quick shower, I went into the bedroom to get changed. One of the biggest problems about being pregnant was having nothing to wear. The dresser was full but nothing fit. Seven months pregnant with twins, and I was already bigger than I was right before Erica was born.
I grimaced at the row of pretty dresses, and sighed. They had all become too small several months ago. I ended up choosing some pants and a somewhat nice shirt. After all, Peter and I were only going for a non-formal dinner together - and a movie if we got the time. There wouldn't be much alone-time for us once the twins were born, so we'd better appreciate it while we could.
Peter peeked in. "Ready yet?"


"Does it look like I'm ready?" I snapped, as I tried - but failed - to drag the pants over my giant belly (to be honest, they barely went halfway up my legs).
"Need help?" he teased.
"Get out!" I growled, and threw a sock after him. Those darn hormones!
I gave up the pants, and found a blue flowery dress instead (which I hadn't worn for several years - what on Earth was it still doing in my closet?) and miraculously enough, it fit. After getting dressed I went downstairs. Peter stood waiting for me at the entrance door, snickering.
"What are you laughing at?"
"Nothing," he said, and tried - but failed to stop smiling.
"I will not hear a word about me looking like a whale or anything like that. Even though I feel like one..."
"Then you have to be the cutest whale I've ever seen," Peter said with a teasing grin, and kissed me.
"Mommy and daddy are sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" Tony roared with laughter, before running away to the kitchen.


"Just wait until the twins are born. Then I'll run after you!" I snapped back - but I did not manage to hold back the laughter.
"Ready to go, then?" Peter said, after our laughter had calmed down.
"Think so. You don't happen to have a wheelbarrow, by the way? Might need one after I've eaten."
We laughed again, and went out to the car after saying good-bye to the kids and my parents.

The restaurant was a cozy little place where they served Italian food and other goodies. We both ordered pizza, and started discussing names for the twins. Maybe not the most romantic topic - but to my defense, I didn't have a habit of being in a romantic mood when I was pregnant. The romantic mood usually came before I got pregnant, not after...
Peter was always a lot better at romantic stuff than me. He would sometimes give me roses, cook a romantic dinner, or watch the kids so I could go out with a couple of friends from work. It was one of the reasons I loved him as much as I did - he always went a long way to show he cared about me.


When the babies came we wouldn't have much time to go out together, so the past Friday evenings we'd tried our best to enjoy some alone-time together - going out to eat or see a movie, or whatever we felt like at the time. Not dancing. I liked to dance, but at the moment it was out of the question with a belly like mine. I'd tried - and looked like a beach ball bumping around!
We chose a nice table and ordered our usual favorites. The past couple Fridays we'd spent discussing names.
Peter sipped to his soda. "So what do you think about Hazel or maybe Ada if it's girls?"
"Not too bad. What about Josh or Noah for a boy?"
"I'll add them to the list," Peter said and fished up his phone, where he kept a list of all our name suggestions. "You know... Choosing names would've been so much easier if we knew whether it's boys or girls."
"Well, I kinda like the surprise. My OB said both of them were in the wrong positions to be sure, and Celina had no more luck."
Celina was a colleague of mine at work, and the heart surgeon who had saved Tony's life. Later she became one of my best friends. She was also one of the doctors monitoring the twins' progress, because of a possible issue with one of them. The babies' positions were never quite right to get a good enough look, but she thought the baby could have a heart problem due to some irregularities in the heart sounds. I hadn't liked hearing this, but at least the baby would be in good hands. Celina had promised to be there during the planned C-section, so she could check out the baby immediately after it was born.  
"We still need two boy and two girl names then," Peter said, and ate another piece of pizza.
I was happy I wasn't having any weird cravings this time. With Erica I needed ketchup on everything, and with Tony I started liking sardines. Now I couldn't stand the smell of sardines, and ketchup I could only eat on hot dogs.
"Mmh," I said, and put another bite in my mouth. Ok, I'll admit it. My craving this time around was pizza, and I couldn't get enough of it.
Peter thought for a minute. "What do you think about naming them after someone we know? Maybe using middle names?"
"That's a good idea. My parents' middle names are James and Adelaide, but I'm not sure what I think about those. James is nice, but Adelaide sounds a bit outdated. Not sure about their parents. Can you remember any?"
He thought for a bit. "No, but I can look it up. I think both of them have middle names."
Peter started fiddling with his phone again.  
"Calendar," he said, briefly holding it up so I could see. "Got everything on here. Birthdays as far as to our grandparents."
It didn't come as a surprise. Peter had much more control over my family tree than I had. After half a minute of staring at his list I gave him an annoyed look, rather wanting to enjoy the dinner than him staring down into a screen the rest of the evening.
"We can take a look when we get home, alright?"
"Sure." He put the phone back in his pocket. "You know... Maybe we should wait until they are born. We've always ended up using a different name than what we had in mind."
I smiled. "We did think Tony was a girl until he came out, and we couldn't exactly call him Miranda."
"True," Peter said, returning the smile. "And remember we thought Erica was a boy? At least 'Eric' was pretty easy to change. I'm not sure what I think about Miranda, though. It's the name of the assistant proofreader at work, and she's always grumpy. I'd rather not be reminded of her."
"Mhm. Yeah."
Just then, I felt a sharp pain shoot through my belly. On reflex I put a hand on the baby bump.
"Are they kicking?" Peter asked.
"Dunno. It usually doesn't hurt this much," I said, using both hands to stroke my belly, which would sometimes calm them down. "Maybe it's false contractions. I had a lot of those with Erica the last couple months."  


"Yeah, I do remember we had a couple of false alarms."
"A couple? I think it was more like five or six times we were halfway to the hospital!"
Just then, I felt it again, this time even more painful. It lasted for several long seconds. I doubled over, leaning on the table, trying my best to breathe through the pain.
Peter's eyebrows furrowed. "Sure you're OK?"
The pain slowly trickled away to nothing. I sat up straighter, and the future kickboxer in my belly started up again.
"Well, it can't be the real thing now - it just can't! It's way too early. Whatever it is, the babies are playing football with my bladder again. Be right back."
I stood up, and as I did so, something wet trickled down one of my legs.
"What is it?" Peter asked, worried.
I glanced down, where a pool of watery fluid was collecting around my feet.
"I... I think my water just broke," I said, my voice shaking with fear.
Peter's face went white. "Are you sure? It's way too early."
I nodded, and sat down carefully, feeling a bit dizzy. The water didn't smell much, and certainly not of urine. Some of it even looked a bit bloody.
I nodded. "I'm sure."
"Crap." He took out his cell phone, and dialed 911.
Whatever he said into the phone, I didn't register - because right then, a really bad contraction hit me. Peter dropped his phone on the table, and carefully helped me down to the floor, supporting my back. One of the waitresses came over.
"Is something wrong?"
"She's got contractions, and it's too early. I've called an ambulance."
She nodded. "Just tell me if you need anything. I'm right here."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few painful minutes later, I heard sirens and saw lights flashing in the restaurant window.
The waitress went outside, and came back again with two paramedics trailing behind. I recognized one of them. Jeremy was Celina's son, working as a paramedic while studying medicine.  
"Hello there, Jenna," he said. "Don't worry. We'll give you something to stop the contractions until we reach the hospital."


He fastened a belt around my belly which would oversee the twins' heartbeats. He studied the curves for a moment.
"One of them has fine readings, but the other one is in distress, with irregular and slow heartbeats," Jeremy said. "We'll have to hurry. I'll notify the hospital so they'll have everything ready."
The trip to the hospital felt endless, despite only taking five or six minutes, and I missed having Peter's hand to hold, even if I knew he was driving behind the ambulance in our car. On the way they checked my vitals, but Jeremy assured me everything looked fine. So at least this wasn't pre-eclampsia.
Several times during the ride, it felt like one of the babies was using the other as a punching bag.
Jeremy sat in the back with me, frowning at the screen.
"What's going on?"
"Is one of them kicking much?"
I nodded, still trying to stroke my belly to calm them to no avail.
"It's strange, but every time the other baby's heart rate drops I see you reacting, and the heart rate goes back up again."
I stretched my head to see the screen. Indeed, every time the heart rate fell, I could feel several kicks.
They took me to the maternity OR, where I was met with my OB.
I got some meds to help mature the babies' lungs in case of the worst, and another dose of meds to halt the contractions, but after half an hour it became clear the contractions were only getting stronger.
"We can't wait," my OB said as she did a hurried ultrasound of my belly. "Twin A is barely moving, and there's no amniotic fluid left. We have to get them out now. Call the OR, tell them to prep for a C-section," she yelled to another assistant. "Don't worry," she said to me. "I paged Celina and she's on her way. You and the babies are in the best of hands."
"I know," I said. "Can I be awake?"
"As long as nothing else happens, I think we have the time."
They gave me spinal anesthesia, and readied me for an emergency C-section. My thoughts went back to when Tony was born. He'd also had a heart problem when he was born, but after surgery he had no more problems.
Peter held my hand through the surgery. I didn't feel a thing, but did get some awful pictures in my head since I knew what is happening on the other side of the screen. After all, I had assisted during a lot of C-sections myself.
"A girl!" I heard the surgeon say. "She looks healthy, and is breathing a little by herself."
Peter squeezed my hand extra hard, and I thought I could spot a smile behind his mask.
A nurse briefly showed me the tiny little bloody baby who was trying some faint screams, testing her still weak lungs.
"And this one is a boy," he said - but his voice was anything but cheerful. "Darn. He's not breathing, and he's turning blue."
"We have to hurry," Celina said, and the surgeon handed her the baby. "It's definitely a problem with his heart."


They barely showed him to me. I only got a glimpse of a limp bluish baby before they hurried both of my little babies away to two separate warming stations set up against the wall in a corner so they could work on them.
I could hear them doing CPR on the boy, with Celina barking out orders.
The girl was hurried away to the NICU not long after.
Celina came over to me. "He's tiny but he's hanging in there. We're taking him to surgery now. His condition is worse than I expected, but I'll explain more later."
They disappeared through the door with the boy placed in in an incubator for warmth. Through the plastic box I could see a tiny purplish bundle, breathing artificially with the help of a tube.
I felt like crying.
And I did.

After the surgery they rolled me into a private room, which I was thankful for. I couldn't handle sharing room with a bunch of happy mothers and their crying babies. Not right now, anyway. Peter sat down next to me, and took my hand again.
"Do you think he'll be OK?" I asked, tears still in my eyes.
"Yes, no doubt. They do amazing work here, and it's not exactly the first time they do a surgery like this, is it?"
"No," I admitted, remembering Tony and all the times I'd been caring for newborn babies and preemies with heart problems after him.  
The room was quiet for a few minutes, until I heard the wails of a baby outside in the hallway.
"I'm sorry I ruined our date," I said. "This was not a perfect end of the evening."
"Don't think about it. The babies are more important than finishing our date. Which reminds me - I'll call your parents. They'll have to babysit for a few extra hours."
He kissed my cheek, and took out his cell phone, dialing the number.
I lay there, staring up in the ceiling while he talked to my mother, the thoughts in my head living their own life.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 10:05:42 am by Theraven » Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 09:21:06 pm »

is that quick enough Cheesy

just kiddin'... I have one more chapter to do right now, and then the contest entry, and then I'll start the real story. this is just warming up...

I can't promise that there will be as many pictures as in my earlier stories. Mostly because I'm suffering from an extremely slow computer, and really slow camera and play mode ingame. But the story will not suffer from it Smiley
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 09:23:12 pm by theraven » Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Stelio Kontos
Resident Reptilian
Loot Looker
****
Gender: Male
Posts: 908



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2008, 09:25:07 pm »

Quote from: theraven;1268735
is that quick enough Cheesy

just kiddin'... I have one more chapter to do right now, and then the contest entry, and then I'll start the real story. this is just warming up...

I can't promise that there will be as many pictures as in my earlier stories. Mostly because I'm suffering from an extremely slow computer, and really slow camera and play mode ingame. But the story will not suffer from it Smiley


That update was insanely fast.
Can't wait for the real thing.
Logged
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2008, 09:40:19 pm »

------------------------------------------------------------
CHAPTER 3: Homecoming - round 1
------------------------------------------------------------

I remember once when we'd just brought Erica home from the hospital. She cried a lot the first few weeks, until we managed to get her used to something vaguely resembling a schedule - but the first two nights home were definitely the worst. I almost went crazy. I'd finally managed to put her to bed, and had just reached the living room when I heard her start again. Grumbling a little, I headed for the stairs. I was halfway up the stairs when she stopped crying. Puzzled, I went to check on her. I found Tony in the chair, holding Erica and singing for her. She was looking at him, listening to his voice. I smiled, and tiptoed inside, sitting down beside the chair.


Not long after, Erica was sleeping again. Tony kissed her forehead before handing her to me, and I put her to bed.
"I know I said I wanted a bike for my birthday, but Erica is my bestest birthday present ever!"
Erica had been born the day after Tony's birthday - talk about timing! I smiled to him, and gave him a long hug.
Even though they could be like most brothers and sisters - arguing, blaming each other for broken things, and fighting once in a while (more like twice a day on a good day) - I knew they loved each other a lot. My best moments with them were when they behaved like friends, and when Tony was looking out for his sister. I hoped he'd be just as good a big brother for the twins, too.[/i]

***

I woke up to the sound of a door closing. I must've fallen asleep sometime during the late evening, too tired and exhausted to keep my eyes open. I did remember the dream had been about Tony and Erica. I just couldn't quite remember what it had been.
One of my nurse colleagues, Molly, came in.
"Hey there, Jenna. I just wanted you to know your baby girl is ready for visiting now. I can take you to her if you want?"
I nodded, and Peter helped me into the wheelchair Molly had brought.
Molly took us to the NICU, and we washed our hands before entering. Our little girl was inside an incubator, surrounded by machines monitoring and giving medications, wires connected with stickers that looked giant on her, and tubes going in and out of her tiny body. She had a CPAP tube strapped to her nose, pushing up her nostrils and making her look like the world's most adorable piglet. The CPAP meant she could breathe mostly on her own, which made me relax a little. Not needing intubation was usually a good sign with a small preemie.
"She's a strong little girl, this one. Not a big fan of sleeping, though. She's been awake most of the night, even crying a bit. Want to hold her?" Molly said. "I was just going to feed her, but thought you'd like to do it instead."
"Of course!" I said.
Molly lifted the tiny girl out of the incubator, wrapped her in a blanket, and handed her to me. I expertly fiddled with the tubes and wires so they weren't in the way. She kicked her little legs, a little fussy and squirmy, probably from an empty belly.
"Hi there, little one!" Peter said, and touched her cheek carefully. The girl looked up at him, and blinked a little. Her eyes were dark blue, though preemie eye color often changed. She still had soft preemie fuzz all over her translucent skin, and her head had a spiral of blonde strands just long enough to give her a tiny fringe.  The diaper she had on looked to be at least two sizes too big, and the pink knit hat poking through the CPAP straps almost reached her eyes.
After several years of handling tiny premature babies, I still hadn't gotten over how small they could be. Tony had been a bit larger, born at nearly 32 weeks. The twins were only at week 29.  
Molly handed me an open syringe with what I expected was donated breastmilk, and I connected it to the baby girl's NG tube. My milk still hadn't come in yet, which would probably take at least a couple days of pumping. For now she would be tube-fed, but I hoped she'd take to breastfeeding when she was a bit bigger and stronger. She started fussing again, and gripped the tube as if to tear it away.
"There, there, little one," I said, gently rocking her. "Calm down, it's just a bit of food. Gotta get strong, you know."
Peter studied the name sign, which for the moment said "Baby Girl Brooks" and my details. The sign was pink, decorated with flowers. "What do you think about a flower name?"
I thought it over. "You mean something like Rose, or Lavender?"
Peter briefly glanced at his phone, probably checking the birthday list. "You know we talked about naming them after someone in the family? Mom's middle name is Lily-Ann, but she never used either of them."
"Lily is a nice name. I like it."
The baby girl gave a tiny baby smile. Peter held out his pinky, and she grabbed it, barely reaching halfway around.
"I think she approves."
I nodded. "Lily it is, then."
Molly smiled. "I like it, too. It's a cute name."
I peeked over at Peter's phone. "Any more nice names in your family?"
"Dad didn't have a middle name, but I'll keep looking."
I turned to Molly. "So how's our boy? Have you heard anything?"
"Last I heard is that he needed a quick fix to make sure the ductus arteriosus stays open. Celina is still working on him. I've not heard any more about the situation, but whatever it is I'm sure she'll fix it. She's the best heart surgeon in the hospital, and you know it."
I didn't like the sound of that. There were only a handful of heart conditions I knew of where keeping this particular blood vessel open after birth would be vital for survival, and none of them promised anything good for our baby boy.
"I know," I said. But knowing he was in good hands didn't mean I wasn't afraid. We'd almost lost Tony when he was born. I did not want to go through it once more.
By the time I'd finished feeding Lily, she'd fallen asleep. Because of my stitches, I let Molly put her back into the incubator, since I didn't want to risk tearing anything open.
Molly guided us back to my room.
"You should get some sleep, Jenna. I'll come and tell you when the surgery is finished."
I yawned. I'd only slept a few restless hours after the surgery, and was dead tired. I must have managed to fall asleep again, because I woke up to Erica climbing up into my bed.
"Mommy allrigh?"
I let her crawl into my arms, and gave her a hug.
"I'm ok."
Tony and my parents were there too.
"We just got here. Are the babies OK?"
"We're still not sure about the boy, but the girl is fine. She's breathing mostly on her own."
"Boy and girl?" Tony said, and a smile spread over his entire face.
"Yes, both," I said.
"Wow! A boy I can play with when he gets a bit bigger and a girl so I'll never again have to play tea-party with Erica!"
I laughed, and ruffled his hair before giving him a long hug.
Just then, a knock came on the door, and Celina peeked in.
"I just want you to know the surgery went well. He's still a bit weak, but stable at the moment."
"Thanks so much, Celina."
"No problem. It's my job, after all." She eyed the rest of the people in the room. "I'll come back and talk with you later, okay?"
"Can we visit them?" Tony said excited.
"I've told you before they don't let in children under 12 years, Tony," I said.
"Aww... why can't it be my twelfth birthday today?"
I smiled. "I'm sure you can see them through the window if you want."
Tony insisted on pushing the wheelchair. When we got over to the NICU, I briefly held up Lily in front of the window, so they all could see her. The boy was still too weak, so I could not lift him out, but Molly helped moving the incubator closer. Tony melted like ice cream when he saw them.


"Do they have names yet?" Tony asked when I came back out.
"We decided to name the girl Lily, after Gran's middle name," I said. "We're not sure about the boy's name yet."
Peter checked his phone again, and turned to me. "What do you think about Aidan? It was your grandfather's middle name, but I kind of like it better spelled with an A instead of an E. Apparently it means 'little fire'. Maybe we could add on James from your dad?"
Tony nodded, smiling. "I like the name Aidan, but cut James. One of my friends is called James, and I don't want them to get confused."
"I like it too," I said. "He's a little fighter, so the name fits perfectly. There's no need for a double name."
"Aidan it is, then," Peter said, and we headed back to my room again.

After cuddles and good-byes, my parents took the kids back home for some dinner and bedtime. A few minutes after they left, Celina knocked on the door and poked her head in.
"Can I come in?"
I smiled, and nodded.
She sat down beside my bed, and motioned for Peter to sit down, too.
"I guess it's time for good news/bad news now," I said with a sigh.
Celina nodded. "Mostly bad ones, I'm afraid. As you know, I've suspected the baby boy-"
"-Aidan," Peter added.
"Nice name," Celina commented with a smile. "Like I said, I suspected Aidan had a heart defect, but he was never in a good enough position to get a clear view with ultrasound. I had some suspicions, but didn't want to worry you too much. It tuned out one of my suspicions were right, and unfortunately it's not one of the better options. He's got what's called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome."
I nodded in recognition. I'd seen it a couple times in the NICU before.
"It means the left side of his heart is underdeveloped, and the left ventricle is barely functional," she added, for Peter's sake. "It's a severe condition, but I have seen worse cases than his, so for now I'm positive. It is going to involve at least two more surgeries, and possibly a heart transplant further down the line, but it is possible to live well into adulthood without a transplant as long as the surgeries are successful and there aren't too many other complications."
She gave us a bit more information on the condition, and a hug each, before she left.
"We can deal with this," Peter said, staring at the door where Celina had disappeared. I wished I could be as sure of it as he sounded.

Days went, and then weeks. Except for a few setbacks as was expected with preemies, Lily got stronger every day, and a bright summery day in early September we were allowed to take her home - close to the original due date, a little over two months after the birth. Aidan was still inside his incubator, and was not out of danger yet. He had multiple setbacks, and also needed a second surgery for his heart once he'd reached a good enough size. It hurt deep inside me the day when we could only take Lily back home, and not her brother. She was still tiny, and a lot of the clothes we had bought were still a bit too big for her. She was not yet as big as a full-term newborn baby, but she did grow fast.
When we parked the car in the driveway, we were met with a big banner over the entrance, showing "Welcome home, Lily", with an arrow pointing into the garden. We followed the arrows to the back yard, and found a great party going on - food, presents and most of our closest family greeting us.
I put a sleeping Lily in her stroller just inside the door (she was not supposed to be outside much, or be around many people for a few more weeks). Everyone wanted to see her, though.
It was a tradition in our family to greet babies when they came home with a big party.  
After a rather calm party (not too much yelling and noise because of Lily), everyone but my and Peter's parents went home. They and Peter did all the cleaning, while I went in to feed Lily, who'd taken to breastfeeding like a hungry little champ.

In the evening, we ordered pizza, and had a little picnic in the living room (much to Erica's entertainment - she ended up on the pizza. Literally!).  


Lily had to stay at home the first months - and maternity leave was not exactly glorious with a baby who always cried when she wasn't carried around, and the two tornados causing just as much havoc as usual.  


Visiting little Aidan at the hospital became a daily event. I walked around day after day, week after week, month after month - hoping he would soon be strong enough to come home.
His setbacks were many, and he ended up needing more surgeries, and went through several infections. What I saw in the doctors' faces scared me. I had been around them enough to know when they looked like that, something was wrong. They tried to calm me down, saying Aidan would most likely soon be ready to come home. But I could see the worry in their faces.
Which made made me worry, too.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 10:06:37 am by Theraven » Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Astral Faery
Member

Posts: 873



View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2008, 09:42:10 pm »

Another touching and probably heartbreaking story.  I think I'll get my kleenex ready - I know I'll need them!  I'm always so impressed by your pictures and your effects - I love the spaghetti all over the kitchen, the chicken pox, and Erica in the pizza box - just to name a few.  Great job so far - I look forward to more.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 09:50:40 pm by Astral Faery » Logged

Visit me on my blog - Astral Faery's Magical Tales
-For some awesome reading try SimTales:  http://simtalesblog.blogspot.com/
-Need high quality downloads?  Shop Sugah's Place.  A wall to suit your every need, plus much more.  Stop in today!
Pierre
Retiered from the sims2
Member

Posts: 1444



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2008, 10:49:14 pm »

great story keep up the good work
Logged

Please do not pm me about happysimmers this site has been close now if you need any thing please look up this forum thank youhttp://delightfulsims.net/index.php
ImpishParody
Eighties Escapee
Member

Gender: Female
Posts: 298



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 06:57:39 am »

I loved your previous stories raven, they even reduced me to tears at some points, and this one is shaping up to be on the same level of excellence Cheesy Your pictures are fantastic, I want your graphics card! xD
You're a fabulous writer, keep it coming Smiley
Logged
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 11:44:36 am »

^ well, I want a new computer... graphics might be good, but playing sims is slower than anything. Took me 36 hours to take the last four pics for the third round of the contest. at least it didn't turn itself off while I was playing. Today, It's done that four or five times already - and everything I've done today, is surfing the net.

I'm glad you all like the story - so far at least. (and yes, there is a kleenex warning here, just so you know...:angel:)
Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Astral Faery
Member

Posts: 873



View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 01:49:09 pm »

Ugh.  I do not know how you can stand that.  I wouldn't have the patience.  I was compaining because I spent about 12 hours shooting for my last chapter, not including photoshopping for a couple more.  And a freezing/crashing issue would put me over the top for sure.

But, your hard work certainly shows - your pics are always fabulous - lots of attention to detail and interesting 'human' poses.  Very fun to look at.
Logged

Visit me on my blog - Astral Faery's Magical Tales
-For some awesome reading try SimTales:  http://simtalesblog.blogspot.com/
-Need high quality downloads?  Shop Sugah's Place.  A wall to suit your every need, plus much more.  Stop in today!
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2008, 02:04:15 pm »

well, I'm getting used to it... also, I forgot to clean out my downloads folder a little - but I had a short deadline, and I didn't want to spend two hours going ingame again. Though, maybe I should've done it. The Brooks' house is a bit big, too - and my computer screams when I use too many sims, too big houses, or too many downloads.

I just hope I can afford to buy a new computer before I start school again. lately, it has started to turn itself off if it gets too hot. It's already done that four or five times today... getting tired of it. besides - I need more computer memory soon. almost all EP/SP's installed, and only 512 MB RAM is just too little. Turning down ingame graphics makes the picture quality go down, and I really don't want that.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 02:06:27 pm by theraven » Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Misskitz
Member

Posts: 521



View Profile
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2008, 02:51:50 pm »

Awesome start! I cant wait to see the next Chapters....you spoiled us with the first 3 chapters since they came out so quickly!
Logged

Sims is not a hobby, its a life style :tongue3:
Theraven
The Bird Queen
Super Mod
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 4995


Permanently distracted by Something Shiny


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2008, 04:02:07 pm »

I'd already posted them in the contest, and they needed only some fixing. and I have to finish some other things before I can post the next chapters. I'm giving you a lot to read in one go - that's why Smiley
Logged

My site:

Little Fire Burning - Chapter 85 out

~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain~
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 47
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.095 seconds with 30 queries.
SimplePortal 2.1.1