Thursday, March 25, 2010

Special Delivery, Part Two

Special Delivery Part Two

Twenty-five long minutes later I was flipping aimlessly though some unrecognizable magazine when Derek walked through the door decked out in green surgeons scrubs. Adam and Dad had been discussing the new baseball season and stopped mid-conversation. Four sets of eyes focused on Derek, trying to read his expression; all we needed to know was written there. His smile was huge and there were still tears in his eyes; the tiredness had melted away to be replaced with his joy.

I waited a half a heartbeat, but that was all because he exclaimed, “It’s a boy! We have a son!”

My tears started then and I flew into his arms and hugged him tight. “Oh Derek, how wonderful! How is he, how is Pam?”

“Both are okay. He is 3 pounds and 2 ounces, pretty small, but he is okay. All ten fingers and toes. He is responding well they said and right now he is going to the NICU to be put in an incubator. He’s struggling to breathe a bit, but they said that is normal for an infant his size and that we shouldn’t be too alarmed. Pam is being taken care of right now and will be going into the recovery area soon. We won’t be able to see her again until she gets to her room. But we can walk to the NICU and see the baby now they said.”

I was already grabbing my purse and heading for the door. I have a grandson! I wanted to scream it at the top of my lungs, I have a grandson. Adam was grinning from ear to ear as was my Dad. Even my usually stoic Mom was smiling and gathering her things so that we could make the journey to NICU. It was one floor down and I swear we waiting an eternity for that elevator!

At the NICU desk we were informed that it would be about 20 minutes before we could see him which I understood, but it was so hard to wait. The nurse explained how the rules for the NICU would impact our visits. Derek could only bring two of us in at a time and before we could go in we had to carefully scrub our hands and arms using special surgeons soap and scrub brushes, just like you see doctors do on TV. Each hand and arm is done separately and very thoroughly. Then we would have to wear gowns to protect him. I didn’t care if they wanted me to walk through fire, I was ready!

Derek and I headed into the scrub area and Adam told my Mom to go ahead and go with us.

“Why no Adam, I’ll wait. You go ahead and go with Sarah. Really, I don’t mind waiting at all.”

Adam looked like he wanted to protest, but Derek came back and said, “It’s okay. Let’s go!”

The nurse accompanied us the first time to make sure we scrubbed properly. I jokingly asked Adam if he had ever played a doctor before and he only laughed and said no. The nurse turned to look at him and for the first time realized who he was. She looked at him and smiled, but then went on to show us how to use the scrub brushes. They were stiff and not comfortable; I couldn’t imagine anything, even skin being left in their wake. But we quickly got the hang of it and soon we were done and ready to put the gowns on.

“Now, please understand that he is very tiny and red right now. He doesn’t have any of the usual baby fat to fill him out; he will seem very frail. He’s not, not as frail as he looks anyway. He will have a number of tubes in him; it looks very intimidating, but it is all there to help him. There are also monitors to let us know his temperature, his oxygen saturation and respiration as well as his heart.

That startled me and I asked, “Is there something wrong with his heart?”

“No, but we want to keep an eye on it in such a premature baby.”

I took a couple of deep breaths, trying to prepare myself for what I was about to see. I couldn’t wait, but I was also scared to death. I wanted to hold Adam’s hand, but I knew that wasn’t possible at this point after we had scrubbed. The nurse hit a button and a door automatically opened to let us into the NICU patient area.

We passed a half-dozen babies on the way to ours; some looked really good but a few were so tiny it broke my heart to see them. Often there were family with them, holding them when it was allowed, sometimes just standing there looking at their miracle. Now I was ready to see ours.

A few more steps around a partition and we were there. In an incubator lay our angel. So tiny, it made my breath catch to see him. He had just the tiniest bit of dark fuzz on his head and yes, he had tubes and bands around almost all of his body. My hand stretched out to the plexi-glass side of the incubator; I willed him to know that we were here, that we loved him.

“Mom, Adam may I present Daniel Robert Marcus!” Derek told us, proudly admiring his son.

“You named him after his great-grandpa?” I asked and the question brought a quick sob to my already sporadic breathing.

“Yeah, Grandpa was the father that I never ha - , well, you know Mom,” he told me. He had tears in his eyes and we both nodded acknowledgment of what he had been about to say. His own father had never really been there for him or Lissa; my Dad was the best role model they could have had.

Adam was staring at Daniel with rapt attention; his eyes looked a bit misty as well and he wore the most ridiculous smile – a smile of joy as he stood bent down to see into the incubator a little better. “Hey there little man! You’ve been born to some really awesome parents, I hope you know that!” he crooned in a sing-song voice.

As I watched Daniel I noticed that with every breath his little body contracted; knees would pull up slightly and it was alarming to see. No wait – make that terrifying. It pulled a small cry from me to watch his little body ‘pull’ just to take a breath. We take breathing for granted, an automatic reflex, but there was nothing automatic or reflexive about this. I found myself willing his little body to get the oxygen he needed.

“It’s called ‘pulling’, or ‘retracting’” the nurse told us. “It’s all too common in preemies. It’s a struggle for them to breath with lungs that aren’t quite fully developed yet. But it will get better,” she finished, trying to reassure us with a smile. “Our main concerns the next few weeks will be getting him to gain some weight and off of the oxygen.”

I asked her how on earth he could eat with all those tubes in him and she told me that the tube that ran in through his nose was his feeding tube. The high-calorie formula would go straight into his tummy because he will have trouble swallowing at first.

So many things to think about, to consider that had never occurred to my mind before. I had been blessed with two healthy full-term babies; both ate well and were ready to go home from the hospital in a couple of days. I wondered out loud how long Daniel would be here.

“We like them to be about 5 pounds before they go home. If at 5 pounds they are eating well and steadily gaining and have no other issues, they can go home.”

“Wow,” I said. “Both Derek and his sister were almost 8 pounds when they were born and Derek was 8 pounds 2 ounces when he went home two days later. They told me that was unusual because most babies lose a few ounces in the first couple of days!”

“That’s true, they do,” she agreed. “It looks like he just kept growing!”

I nodded and laughed. “He did, much to my shock every few months when I had to buy him new shoes! How long will Daniel have to stay here? I mean, how long til he reaches 5 pounds?”

She pursed her lips for a minute as she decided how best to answer that. “Each baby is different. All I can say right now is that he basically is just really small, but otherwise healthy. It’s all up to how well he eats.”

I laid my hand along the side of the incubator, wanting so badly to touch him, wanting him to feel our love and gain strength from that. His tiny body continued to ‘pull’ as he breathed, but he seemed to be sleeping and I was glad he was resting.

I could have stayed there forever staring at him, but I was also cognizant that Mom and Dad were out there waiting to get in as well, so I reluctantly told Adam and Derek that we should go so that Mom and Dad could get in. We re-traced our path back out and found Mom and Dad in the waiting area, already scrubbed and anxious to see him.

“He’s beautiful!” I declared. “Wait until you see!”

They both nodded happily and followed Derek and the nurse into the patient area. Adam and I pulled off our gowns and went to the waiting room to sit and wait for them all to return. Adam wrapped his arm around my shoulders as we settled back onto an uncomfortable sofa, but it didn’t matter. I was on top of the world!


When they got back to the waiting room we all talked excitedly as we made our way back to Pam’s room. Dad hadn’t known that Derek and Pam were naming the baby after him. He was almost embarrassed about it; but it also melted his heart I could tell.

Pam wasn’t back yet and urged Derek to go to the cafeteria and get something to eat. “We’ll be right here if she gets back to the room Derek. You’re not going to do her any good if you pass out from hunger,” I told him. It was an exaggeration, I knew. But he needed to eat and this time he listened and headed off.

“Have you talked to Lissa?” I asked Mom and Dad.

“Yes, we talked to her yesterday. She wants to come down, but time is a problem. And grandpa doesn’t think she needs to be driving that car of hers down here either,” Mom said. My Dad vigorously nodded his head in agreement.

“I agree,” Adam stated. “Her car may make it fine back and forth to Wichita, but this would be far too many miles to put on it. We’ll get her a plane ticket, if she really wants to come down.”

“Yes, that is the way to go,” Dad agreed. “She said she is off this weekend, so that would be the time for the trip. She really wants to come down.”

“Did you and Mom drive down Dad?” Personally, I was thinking it was a pretty long trip for them to make. I’m not sure why I have that attitude; they are both in excellent health and travel a lot. But this was a stressful trip and so of course I worried.

“Yep, we did. When we’re done here we are heading to Santa Fe for a week. Been a long time since we were out that way. Mountains ought to be really nice this time of year,” Dad told us.

Derek came back into the room with a to-go box. I smiled; I should have known he wouldn’t stay there to eat. It was practically overflowing with pancakes and sausage. He took a bite and remarked, “These sure aren’t your pancakes Adam!” It didn’t stop him from eating them I noticed with a smile.

“Have you called Lissa?” Derek asked after taking a long swig of milk.

“No, we were just talking about her though. We’re going to fly her down here this weekend,” I told him.

“Why don’t I call and get her a reservation while you call her bella, so we can let her know about the flight information?” Adam told me.

“Okay, let’s do it!”

Adam made the arrangements for her plane ticket as I told her about Daniel. I almost went deaf as she whooped into the phone. Then she went into doctor mode asking all sorts of questions, some of which I didn’t know the answers to. But I told her she could find that all out this weekend when she came for a visit, which made her whoop and yell again.

“Please Lissa, my ears!”

“Sorry Mom, I’m just so excited!” she laughed. “I can’t wait to meet him.”

Just then they brought Pam back into the room and asked us all to leave while they got her situated in bed. They were very quick and soon she was sitting up and already looking much better than she had before.

She had only gotten to see Daniel briefly when he was born, but they told her that she could go down later in a wheel chair to visit him. “I can hardly wait,” she said. “Tell me all about him!”

We spent the next half hour describing him to her and everything that we had seen. They brought her in her lunch tray and she laughingly told us that she hated to admit it, but even the hospital food looked good to her. Mom, Dad, Adam and I decided to leave and go check into our hotel while she ate and rested for a while. We promised we would be back later and as I hugged her good bye she whispered, “I love you Mom. Thanks for making it here.”

“Love you too Pam. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”


It was almost noon when Adam and I left the hospital. We were all tired, dragging actually. Derek wanted us to stay at their house on post but we declined; he and Pam would both need time when she got to come home and besides, the second bedroom was in the process of being turned into a nursery. Which made me realize just how much still needed to be done to get ready for the baby.

After we had checked into the hotel and were getting settled into our room I murmured sleepily, “you know, we have a lot of shopping to do for Daniel. They don’t have much yet at all Derek said.”

“I know love; we’ll get to that as soon as we know exactly what they do have, I promise,” he told me as he pulled and tugged his clothes off.

I did the same, neither of us caring that we left them lying helter-skelter across the room. I made a quick trip to the bathroom and washed my make up off, not that there was much on and then on second thought brushed my teeth. As I was wiping my mouth on a towel I looked up into the mirror and saw Adam standing in the doorway watching me.

We had come so far in these past six months I realized. In October I would have been so embarrassed to have him watching me as I stood naked brushing my teeth. But we’d been through too much together and now I didn’t even blink. I was comfortable with him, with me and this relationship; even more than that if felt like I was home, exactly where I was supposed to be.

I stopped to kiss him and he pulled me close for a moment. He had some stubble on his chin that brushed lightly against my cheek when he kissed me. For a moment I remembered the ‘Delicious Pirate Richland’ and smiled against his lips and then giggled.

“What, bella?”

“Nothing important, my love,” I told him. “I’ll tell you later, when we get up from our nap!” I teased him.

He quirked up one eyebrow as he was prone to do when curious, but only smiled at my answer, content to let it go for now. Or maybe just too tired, I didn’t really know, but I knew that I was exhausted and I’m sure he had to be too. We had both slept on the plane coming over here, so whether it was jet lag, the excitement of everything that had happened or that we hadn’t really slept well I was unsure. I only knew that I needed sleep now!

I had pulled the covers back on the bed and settled in when Adam came and crawled into the bed next to me, pulling me close to him. I surrendered to another kiss and reached up to brush his soft curls away from his face. His chocolate-brown eyes regarded me sleepily and he placed another kiss on my lips. “I,” he placed a kiss on my forehead, “love,” then a kiss on the tip of my nose, “you,” and finally one more kiss on my lips, “Sarah,” he sighed.

I returned the kisses and the words as well, “I love you too Adam. Thank you for being here with me.”

“No place else I could be, bella,” he told me and soon I realized he was asleep. It didn’t take me long to follow him.


I woke up around five and saw Adam staring at me with a smile on his face. I stretched my body, as well as I could in the bed and sighed as I watched him.

“Been awake long?” I asked.

He shook his head no and leaned up on one elbow and lifted the covers to look at my body. His eyes darkened from pure chocolate to molten chocolate as he eyed me appreciatively. I looked down his body and realized he was actually more than appreciative at that moment!

I smiled and rubbed my body against his and he immediately pulled me tighter against him and the proof of his ‘appreciation’ was pressed firmly against my leg. I reached up to kiss him and felt his mouth open to mine, our tongues meeting and then twisting to stroke one another’s as we settled into a familiar, and yet exciting rhythm.

My whole body melted against his, a warm and wet silken sheath that I settled on him. I felt his muscles jerk in response as my own tightened around him. A sigh escaped my lips and I licked them in anticipation of what was to come.

Adam managed to sit up in the bed, pulling me with him so we were eye-to-eye; I loved that, watching him as our bodies worked the magical dance of love on each other. Our lips found one another’s again and our tongues were soon delving deeply to explore every inch of the other’s mouth.

My hips had settled into a delicious pace as I rode his heated length up and down. I felt the first contractions building in my belly as my body squeezed his tightly, making us both gasp with pleasure. Soon there was no controlling the fires that burned and consumed us; the rhythm became instinctive, a well-known cadence that was mindful only of its own need for fulfillment. On and on it went and soon I was shattering against his body, my own trembling and shaking as the waves of passion rippled through me.

Adam’s mouth was bent to my breasts, lapping and nipping lightly at their swollen and tingling tips and soon I felt his body tense and tighten inside of me and I knew he had found his own release. I collapsed against him and he rolled us over so we were facing each other as we both panted and shivered with the remainder of our spent passion.

“Oh wow,” I exclaimed, trying to catch my breath. “So much for jet lag!”

Adam giggled and murmured against my neck, “If that was a repercussion of jet leg remind me to fly you halfway around the world more often.”

My stomach rumbled then and Adam laughed heartily. “You really have been around me too long my love. You’ve gained the Richland appetite!”

I groaned again, hoping that wasn’t so. That thought was followed by another growl and Adam threw the covers off of us and said, “C’mon, let’s take a shower and then go get something to eat. And I’m sure you want to get back to the hospital.”

I shivered as the cool air caressed my still heated skin, but shrugged and crawled out of the bed. Adam already had the shower running and we discussed the plans for the next couple of days while we washed.

“Lissa gets in tomorrow morning at 9:00 am so we’ll need to get her a room here. Where are your parents staying, did they tell you?”

“No, I didn’t even think to ask them actually. I’ll call them when we’re dressed. Maybe they will want to go and get some dinner with us before we head back to the hospital.”

Adam nodded and we finished the shower. As we were toweling off I heard my phone ring and I rushed to get it, praying that it wasn’t any kind of bad news.

Actually, it was my mom. They were on their way to the hospital to see Daniel again. I smiled as I thought of the little guy; I wondered how long it would be before we could hold him? We agreed to meet at a restaurant near the hospital when they were done and I hung up the phone and called Derek.

“How is Pam?” I asked.

“She is feeling much better,” he told me. I could hear her in the background asking him who it was and him softly telling her it was me.

“Glad to hear it. And Daniel?”

I could almost see his smile on the other end of the phone. “He is doing very well they tell me. He’s lost a lot of the redness and is so beautiful!”

“I can’t wait to see him again. Grandma and Grandpa are on their way there. After they see Daniel we are going to meet for dinner. Have you eaten yet? Would you like to join us?”

“I did eat. They brought a tray for me when they brought in Pam’s dinner. But thanks, Mom. Are you and Adam coming back up here?”

“As soon as we’ve eaten; you couldn’t keep me away. We’ll need to talk about what you need for the baby so we can get some shopping done, so be thinking about that, okay?”

“Oh, uh, okay. I guess we’ll see you in a little while then?”

“Yeah. I love you Derek and Pam too! Oops, and Daniel!” I added with a grin. “Bye!”

As I hung up the phone I realized that Adam was talking on his and it didn’t take me long to recognize he was speaking with Tamara and the boys. They were evidently excited to hear the news about the baby and I listened with half an ear as I was getting dressed. I was just getting ready to dry my hair when he came into the bathroom to shave.

I gave him a sort of pouty look as he pulled his razor out of his shaving kit and he grinned at me, dimples in full effect. “So, you like the scroungy pirate look do you, bella?” He laughed and reached for me, rubbing his cheek against mine.

“It has a certain charm – sometimes!” I giggled in response. I knew that if we started that again we would never make it to dinner so I asked him what Tamara had to say about the baby.

“She and the boys are excited! And – she told me that she and Mark are expecting!”

“How wonderful for them,” I exclaimed. And I meant it; a baby would be lovely for them. “Do they have a due date yet?”

“November 16th they told her. She and Mark are ecstatic.”

“I’m sure they are. And the boys, how are they taking it?” First, a new sister in the form of Krista and now a new baby. They could be feeling a bit insecure.

“They are apparently fighting over whether it will be a baby sister or a baby brother and who will get to sleep with it,” he laughed.

“Good, that will keep them preoccupied for a bit. Tamara is feeling okay?”

“Said she was. She always did like being pregnant.” He had finished shaving and after putting his shaver away he started putting on some aftershave. It made him smell delicious I decided as I nuzzled his neck after he was done. I inhaled deeply and smiled.

Oh oh, dangerous ground. Back away Sarah!

Soon we were heading out the door to meet Mom and Dad at the restaurant and got there a couple of minutes before they did. It smelled wonderful I decided as I read the menu.

“I’m famished,” Adam said. He wore a slight frown of concentration as he perused the menu.

“I know what you mean,” I added with a laugh. I felt as if I could order half the menu!

Mom and Dad joined us then and we all settled into a quiet corner of the dining room. Adam had attracted a few stares, but no one had approached us; I was very happy about that. I’m not sure that I could have handled it after the stress of the past 24 hours.

“How was Daniel?” I asked after the server had taken our orders.

“Oh, he is just so beautiful,” Mom exclaimed. “He looked a little better than he had earlier and the nurse said he was breathing a bit easier. They were feeding him through one of the tubes and he seemed to be handling it well. No problems so far anyway. And Pam looked much, much better!”

I sent up a quick prayer to God and offered my thanks. It was the most I could ask for right now. We talked about Daniel some more and then about Lissa arriving in the morning.

“Would you like Dad and me to go pick her up?” Mom asked.

“No. I haven’t seen her in so long, I want to be there.”

“Darling, I’m sure you must be so tired, what with the time change and everything. It’s no problem for us to go and get her,” Dad said.

I shook my head adamantly. “We’ll probably be awake anyway,” I told them. “It will be like afternoon to us,” I finished with a laugh. “So how long are you staying?”

“Well be here until we’re sure all will be okay, with Pam and Daniel,” Mom told us. “We’re not on any sort of time-table.”

Adam nodded his head and said, “We’ve booked a room for Pam at our hotel. I’m not sure where you are staying but I went ahead and booked another for you both, just in case. That way we would all be together.”

“That would be nice,” Dad stated. “We’re up on the north end of El Paso, quite a ways away from the Army post. Sure, we’ll take you up on that.”

“Good, glad to hear that. The room is ready anytime you are, so please feel free to use it.”

We all finished our dinner, but didn’t linger over coffee as we might normally have; I was too anxious to get back to the hospital. We hugged Mom and Dad in the parking lot and headed back to Fort Bliss. After a quick check-in at the gate we were on our way to the hospital complex. I practically ran through the halls to get to Pam’s room.

The door was closed and I knocked softly on it. Derek opened it and pointed to Pam, asleep on the bed and made a ‘sshh’ motion, finger to lips as he stepped into the hall and softly closed the door behind him.

“We just got back to the room a few minutes ago; we got to go down to NICU so that she could see Daniel. I think it just overwhelmed her. She hasn’t really slept all day and once she saw him she felt as if she could relax and sleep. I know she is so tired!”

“Oh, that’s wonderful. Well, I’m sure she will rest better now that she has finally seen him. How is he doing?” I asked as we made our way down the hall to NICU.

“He was great. He’s ate almost an ounce and a half of formula today. We’ll maybe ‘ate’ isn’t the right word since he has a feeding tube in, but still, he is tolerating the formula well – he’s even pooped already,” he told us with a laugh.

“Glad to hear he’s taking care of the important things!” Adam said with a grin. We had reached the scrub room and were preparing to wash up so we could see Daniel.

As I worked the scrub brush over and between my fingers I asked, “When do you think we’ll be able to hold him?”

“They said in a day or two actually. The doctors like to establish contact between babies and families as early as possible. They believe it encourages healing. They will let us hold him against our chest, with no clothes in the way, skin to skin. They call it ‘kangarooing’ and it really helps the babies. They will move him to an isolette tomorrow with a heating lamp over him to keep him warm if he does well over night. We’ll be able to touch him then they said.”

My heart skipped a beat to hear that news; I couldn’t wait to touch him, hold him close to my heart. I sighed as I dried my hands and arms and slipped into a yellow paper gown. Adam and Derek were just putting on their gowns as well and I tapped my foot impatiently, willing them to hurry up.

“C’mon!” I urged, ready to go. They both smiled at me and off we went to the patient area.

My second look at my grandson brought tears to my eyes, much like the first look. He looked so tiny, but he really did look better this time. A little less red, it was true, but still rosy. His skin appeared so thin, almost translucent so that you could easily see some of his veins. I marveled at his tiny hands and feet; perfect replica’s of his father’s with long, thin fingers and toes.

“Yep,” Derek said as he noticed what I was looking at. “Pam says he’s going to have my big ole feet,” he chuckled. “That’s my boy!”

We stayed for half an hour and gazed with fascination at our miracle. He was beautiful, perfect and so loved. Pam was still sleeping when we got back to the room and I asked Derek if he were staying here too.

“Yeah, the couch folds out into a semi-comfortable bed. Well, a bed anyway.“ he told us with a laugh. “I’ll be okay Mom, I want to be here, you know?”

I nodded and hugged him tight. My son was now a father; my pride for him shone brightly in my eyes. “Goodnight, Son.” I gave him a kiss and a hug and watched as Adam hugged him as well. He walked with us to the elevator and waved as the doors closed, whisking us down to the main floor.


The next morning we got up reluctantly; we had both fallen asleep around 4 sometime. It was going to take a few days to get regulated I decided as we stopped at a coffee shop on the way to the airport. I sipped the hot brew cautiously, appreciating the delectable odor as the steam rose from it.

We made it to the airport just in time to see Lissa making her way down the crowded hallway to us. She practically ran into my arms and then hugged me tightly before grabbing Adam as well. She was practically bouncing she was so excited.

“Oh, I can’t believe it! I’m an auntie!” she cried, joy bubbling forth from her. “Is he beautiful? I know he is beautiful, he has to be. So small, but he’ll be fine, I just know it!”

She was still practically jumping up and down in her excitement. “Calm down, Tigger,” I told her with a laugh. “Yes, he is perfectly beautiful! Wait until you see him!”

“Yes, so let’s GO,” she urged, heading for the doors.

We followed her, and Adam thought to ask, “Do you have any luggage Lissa?”

“Nope, just my back pack. That’s all I need,” she told us as we pushed open the door to the outside.

Adam and I grinned at her and followed. After all, what else could we do?


Lissa wanted to go to the hospital before the hotel, which was fine with me. I could hardly wait to see Pam and Daniel again. We made our way to Pam’s room and found her sitting up and looking almost like her usual self. Mom and Dad were there and Lissa first hugged Pam and then her grandparents. “Uh, where’s Derek?” she asked.

Just then the door opened and Derek walked in carrying a tray with coffee in it for them all. Lissa kept from launching herself at him until he got the tray set down on a table, then she flew at him and hugged him tight.

“Man, whoever would have believed you’d ever be a father, Grover?” she asked, referring back to his childhood nickname, given to him because of his love of the Sesame Street character.

His only reply was to grin like an idiot; Lissa returned that grin with an identical one of her own. We all chatted for a bit and then Derek, Lissa and I went off to see Daniel. She didn’t need any instructions when it came to scrubbing I thought with amusement as I watched her tackle the task with abandon. She was scrubbed and gowned in no time and waiting impatiently for Derek and I to finish.

I watched her face carefully as she saw him for the first time; waiting to see if she saw anything alarming about it all, knowing her doctor sense would give her away if it did. She first looked at him and then looked at the machines and readouts and seemed satisfied and immediately bent down to see him better and coo at him.

“Oh man, Grover, you make fine babies!” she told him and then hastily wiped away a few tears.

“You think so, huh?” he asked, wrapping his arm around her and pulling her close.

“Yeah, I do.” She laid her head on his shoulder and for a minute I watched the two of them; no longer kids, adults with their own lives. But still so close, I knew I had done my job well.

I got my turn to admire my grandson and then we returned to the room. We hadn’t had any breakfast yet and the coffee had made me a bit queasy. Or maybe again it was just all the excitement I thought.

We all visited in the room for a while since Mom and Dad already had visited Daniel before we got here. Dad was teasing Derek and Pam about Daniel being born on April 15th, tax day. “Well, at least you got a fine deduction, that’s all I can say. Gotta be something good about that day!”

“I hadn’t thought about that Grandpa!” Derek laughed.

I thought about the date, the middle of April. And I thought about Adam and me getting married. We couldn’t do it in Greece now, it would be several months before the Daniel could fly and suddenly I just didn’t want to wait that long. I whispered something into Adams ear and he smiled and nodded at me in encouragement.

“Everyone?” I asked, getting their attention. “How would everyone feel about coming to California in late May?”

“Sure,” Derek said adding, “As long as Daniel is out of the hospital and all. Why Mom, family vacation?”

“Nooo,” I said slowly. Suddenly fear gripped my chest and I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. My heart was pounding fiercely in my chest. C’mon Sarah, just get the words out.

“Adam and I are getting married!”

To be continued in The Wedding…

Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Hope Hodge.

All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, or retransmit by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any other means without permission by the author


mum said...

Wonderful post. I kept holding my breath thinking there was going to be some complication. I have to say, I loved the part where Sarah started getting a little giddy at the scent of Adam. I am very sensitive to smells and odors, and when my man is smelling good, it just makes my toes curl!! mum

Engbunny said...

Hey Guys - I posted this for Hope last night so I am glad that you are all able to see it! Hope is actually out today and won't be able to respond to posts. I know she will be excited to read what you all have to say and when she gets back on Monday! Until then, enjoy the story!

tigger said...

OMG! Sarah called Lissa Tigger! I feel like a part of the family now!

I loved this post, ok I do love them ALL I admit but there is something about a baby, huh? Wonderful!!!

Deena said...

Hope, I knew Pam or the baby wouldn't die but I still caught my breath to read this. There is a new life in this wonderful story! YAY! Really great and I can't wait for the next part.

Holly said...

Oh, I love the picture of the baby. Bravo Hope, great post!

Jo said...

OMG, I LOOOOOOVE this blog!!!!

OK, so first I cried when Adam told Sarah there was no place else he could be than with her. Then I cried at the description of tiny little Daniel, all covered with tubes and bands.

Then I really cried when Lissa got all weepy told "Grover" he makes fine babies. And, of course, Sarah's announcement at the end, well, made me cry.

I knew I probably shouldn't read this at work but also knew I certainly couldn't wait until I got home. I even finished off all my morning paperwork in a hurry so I could come here and read this.

Geez, hope I did it right. Ah, who cares? As long as little Daniel's fine and this whole great family is all happy! :-D

Celia said...

I found myself holding my breath several times as I read this. Rob and I's youngest son Caleb was a preemie and I knew just what they were experiencing. Hope, I'm betting you've had first hand experience with this too. This post was just too realistic. Very well done, you took us through the crisis and left us hopeful and full of joy!

Kristin said...

Great job, Hope! I feel like we have truly witnessed the beginnings of a new family. I know that I have said this before, but I am SO glad you are back.

Gina said...

Wow! I've had a crazy busy morning and just now got read. My heart caught in my throat several times as I read this.

It was terrifying and beautiful both Hope. I cried as I read about Daniel in NICU. It made me so thankful for my own little angel. Hope, still after all this time you have the ability to move me, to make me feel emotions like no other author can.

Hope said...

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a good weekend. I did, but it wasn't long enough of course, LOL. G-man and I went on a little adventure on Saturday that turned out to be sort of funny in a not the greatest way, but we laughed and it was all okay!

Thanks to Engbunny for getting the post up on Thursday night and all her hard work to keep me in line! Even the arguing with me over the capitalization of endearments!!! Seriously, your time and help mean so much.

And thanks as well to Kristin! She helped me with the techical aspects of this, wonderful nurse that she is. Some I knew all too well - my third grandson was a preemie and I know all about that NICU. Kristin, your help meant so much!

Mum, yes Sarah loves Adams smell and is often enticed by it!

Tigger, you've been a member of the family for years now!

Deena and Holly, I'm so glad you are enjoying the new stories! Still several more to come!

No Jo, wipe up those tears! We can't have your computer shorting out on you, can we? How would you explain that to the boss? At least you don't have to try to get rid of the 'heinie' picture anymore, huh?

Celia, you probaly do know exactly what all that NICU stuff was about I'm betting. It's a scary and sad place sometimes, isn't it? But our little guy came through just fine and your's did too! Yeah!!!

Gina, glad you enjoyed it. I remember when your little one was born during the original story. Hope she is still doing well and I'm so glad you are still posting and reading.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else picking up how Sarah is feeling all the time? I suspect there may be another baby on the way?

deena said...

Isn't Sarah to old to have a baby? I mean, I guress I always thought she was.

Holly said...

I think Sarah is just haveing a hard time dealing with all the emotional stuff. I get queasy when I'm upset!

Engbunny said...

Hope - we are still going to argue on certain subjects because you are wrong. :-) But that is what makes this fun.

Hey listen guys - today I lost a good friend to an ugly disease - colon cancer. She fought hard for almost three years but in the end, this horrible disease took her life. If I learned nothing else from her, I learned to tell people that are important to me, just how much I love them and how grateful I am to have them in my lives. So today, for Susan, please take time to do this for people who are important to you. I can't think of a better way to remember my friend.


Hope said...

Eng, hang in there. It's never easy to lose someone in a situation like that, especially someone so young. I got your back girl, you know it!

Sarah, pregnant? ROTFLMAO!!!

That'd be good, huh? Well, maybe...

Lynette said...

Wow! That was great! Engbunny I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.
@Anon 11:26, I was thinking the same thing, that she might be pregnant. Hopefully she is not sick or having problems from the fall.

Tigger said...

I REFUSE to even think about Sarah being pregnant. Ewwww, she's like my mom or something.


Hope, I know you wouldn't do that to us, would ya?

Engbunny said...

I know you do, Hope. And you know I always have yours. :-) I really am very, very blessed.

Sarah? Pregnant? Quelle horreur! :-)

Celia said...

I think Adam would make a wonderful daddy. Just not so sure how Sarah could handle it - by the time our anal retentive girl figured it all out in her mind the baby would be in kindergarten!

Hope, no offense meant, but Sarah does tend to stew on stuff ALOT!!!

Hope said...

No offense taken Celia! I recognize Sarah's uh, issues, let me tell you! Her issues are mine, and then some!!!

Engbunny said...

And there is the understatement of the year! *LOL*

Hope said...

Hey now, watch it or I'll tell your deepest and darkest secrets!

Engbunny said...

Secrets? I am an open book! Besides...the song I am listening to on my iPod says it all...."Our lips are sealed".

Hope said...

Your lips might be but MINE aren't!

Engbunny said...

*LOL* You make me laugh...the code dictates that we have each others back, no matter what. You will never break that code. Neither will I and you know it. Our secrets are safe.

Hope said...

Ooh, now we sound mysterious, huh? LOL...