My Baby is Coming Home

  • Elijah David Clarke Elijah David Clarke Two days old
  • Elijah Elijah Loves his food
  • Aunty Marie Ange Aunty Marie Ange Eli and his aunty
  • Aunty Ingrid Aunty Ingrid Elijah and his aunty
  • Always eating Always eating Eli loves his food
  • Elijah and Aunty Simone Elijah and Aunty Simone Eli and Aunty Simone
  • Elijah and Aunty Angela Elijah and Aunty Angela Eli and Aunty Angela
  • Elijah Elijah Eli and cousin Lanai
  • Elijah and Aunty Agnes Elijah and Aunty Agnes Eli and Aunty Agnes
  • Elijah Elijah Just chilling
  • Elijah and Aunty Janin Elijah and Aunty Janin Elijah and his Aunty
  • Aunty Christine and Elijah Aunty Christine and Elijah My sister Christine and Elijah
  • Elijah and me Elijah and me Yes we love a selfie
  • Elijah Elijah We love food more
  • Elijah Elijah Beautiful cake
  • Eli's baby shower Eli's baby shower Such good food
  • Elijah Elijah So many aunties and uncles
  • Elijah and Aunty Gale and Aiden Elijah and Aunty Gale and Aiden Eli and his aunty
  • Elijah and Uncle Donovan Elijah and Uncle Donovan Eli and his uncle
  • Elijah and Aunty Amanda Elijah and Aunty Amanda Eli and his aunty
  • Elijah and me Elijah and me Off to our new home in GA
  • Elijah Elijah Seated and ready to take off
  • Taking a short nap Taking a short nap Eli on his way home
  • East Side Medical East Side Medical

 

My Baby is coming Home

 

 

January 23 was the saddest day for my family, we laid our mom in her final resting place. It was alright in the morning because 24 hours later, we received the most beautiful blessing.  Our son Elijah was born.  My mom definitely did not want us to grieve too much or be sad. She sent us an angel. Elijah was truly a blessing to my family.  Our six pounds bundle of joy helped us grieve, we saw all the little signs in him.  I was a bit conflicted because I was so happy at a time when there should be sadness when I should be sad.  We were all beaming with excitement on the arrival of Elijah.  We just buried our mom and 24 hours later we were the happiest clan around. Are we terrible people? Am I going to be punished later?  We were not the only ones happy, the entire neighborhood had received the news and they too were ecstatic.  Elijah had the most aunties and uncles in the world and he was a mere few hours old.

I had so much to do, a new baby had arrived.  How would I manage with my job, my travels?  God never gives us more than we can handle.  I will cross that bridge when I get there. It was now time to learn all I could about raising a baby.  I had to absorb this training/knowledge in record time.  The nurse at the hospital taught me how to bathe Elijah so I can give him his first bath.  I had to prepare the water ensure it was the right temperature. What is the right temperature?  Apparently your elbow is a great judge of the ideal temperature for a baby. I had to undress him in sections, wash his face, his hair, while I held his ears back so water would not enter his ears.  I had to remove his diaper last and yippee!! His very first poop. He had his first bowel movement and my first thought was where did all that come from?  How can such a little body deliver such a humongous poop?  What was he eating?  The nurse showed again how to clean him and reminded me to always remove his diaper last when giving him his baths. This precious little human depends on me to do everything right for him.  There is no way I can fail him.  With God’s guidance and help from family, I know I will not fail him.

Elijah has Arrive.

Elijah came home two days after he was born on January 26th, this was also my travel day back to GA. My vacation and bereavement days were over.  Wanted to stay longer but I had to return to work and also prepare our home in GA for Eli’s arrival. I had to go get everything a baby needed.   My sister Christine took care of him while my husband and I had to return to GA. We provided all his needs until I returned to see him very soon.  I spoke with my sister every day to check on Eli. He kept everyone up at nights but my sister was still on leave so she was able to handle the long nights.  She told me he ate like a grown child and slept like a baby, two hours at time, like clockwork.  After two weeks in GA, I could not stay away from Elijah. I headed back to St. Lucia to spend the weekend with him. My sister met me on the airport and she had my bundle of joy. Eli looked like he had put on a few ounces, the child loved his food.  He woke up every two hours and literally gave you three seconds to prepare his feed.  If his food was not ready he would wail so much, the nearest child services office would hear him.  Elijah was a blessing and healing for all of us because when we mentioned my mom, we were not sad but very happy.

 

On Sunday February 13, 2015, my little network of friends, my chosen sisters gave me a surprise baby shower. It was beautiful. I think it finally dawned on me that I was indeed a mother. They were so sweet to have thought of this.  It was really happening, I was a mom with a beautiful baby. My friends brought everything required for a party, all the food, cakes and of course lots of drinks. It was definitely a great get together.  My little Eli had his very first party. He received some great gifts however, he slept through the whole party.

Travel documents had to be organized for our bundle of joy. First his Saint Lucia passport and then travel to Barbados for his American documents. Everything worked out smoothly like it was supposed to. We had no hiccups, my mom was guiding us all. I know she had her hand in everything.  My husband went to Barbados from the advice of our friend Joy Boxill and sorted out all details with a little help from my angel on earth, Marie Ange. My sister Christine accompanied my husband and Elijah had his first trip out of the country, his very first plane ride. He was a happy baby. This was further proof that I have the best friends on earth.  All my friends had a hand in getting Elijah to the USA to his mom and dad.

The Big Day is Here

The big day arrived on March 19th when we got that call that his passport had arrived from Barbados. I was so excited, my Eli was coming home.  I left for Saint Lucia on March 20th to pick up Elijah. I was elated I would tell anyone who asked why I was smiling. I was literally beaming all day. On arrival to Saint Lucia my sister met me on the airport with Eli. The sweet little blessing from my mom.   We had tickets to return on March 23, almost two months after he was born. Not bad for a baby we knew nothing about. God answers prayers, please believe.  I was holding onto Elijah so tight and was ready to take on my mommy duties for the weekend.  My sister wanted to help because she said I looked tired and needed to rest.  I had been going like the energizer bunny work was keeping me occupied.  I told her I was good but a few hours later I asked her to help with Eli as I was just too tired to concentrate on him.  The weekend went by quickly, word was that Eli was leaving for GA with him mommy.  Everyone in the community came to bid farewell to our little Eli.  My son was well loved by all!!!

Monday arrived and we were all set to go.  I got my menstrual cycle and hated to travel when it was on but I was with Elijah and nothing would take my joy today. I was packed and ready with all my tidbits and my bundle of joy attached to me.  It dawned on me that I was traveling alone with a baby for the first time. The fear started creeping on me but it quickly disappeared as soon as I looked into those beautiful eyes of Elijah. He was counting on his mommy to take care of him and that’s what I planned to do.  I was very happy when I saw a friend checking in to the flight as well. I was even happier when I realized we were sitting next to each other.  Our God is an awesome God.  Flight went smoothly, Elijah was an angel. No one knew there was a baby onboard. He slept, ate and a few diaper changes. He was perfect.   My husband met us at the airport and our new adventure began.

My husband took the night shift so I could rest but there was no rest for me. Elijah woke up every two hours for his feeding but I was already awake because of menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding.  I was used to this because I have been going back and forth with anemia.  Tuesday came and I had a great day with Elijah. My husband took the night shift again and we had a good plan worked out.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was the same but my cycle should have been tapering down but it seemed to be getting heavier and heavier.   On Saturday I was relieved knowing that Elijah and his papa would spend the day together. I needed the rest. I started to wonder if I could handle a brand new baby because I had him for the first full week and I could barely manage. I was lethargic all week, could barely keep my eyes open but would not sleep. I was restless every day and night. Sunday morning came and I was feeling stronger. I made breakfast and bathed Elijah. I told my husband that I would not be able to make church service so he should take Eli.  He said they won’t go but they would stay with me while I rested. I tried to rest but could not sleep.

At 10:00am I told my husband I was not feeling right. I indicated that I was still on my cycle but it should not be so heavy.  He asked if we should call Emergency services, I said let’s wait. An hour later I told him please call EMS as I could not stand feeling that way again.  The Emergency services came and the paramedics spoke to me. I was feeling embarrassed because who goes to Emergency for their period? They took my vitals and told me I was ok and it was not necessary to go to the hospital. I believed them and went for a nap.  I had an appointment to see my gynecologist the next day so I would wait. The paramedics indicated to me that if I continue to feel bad, call them back and they will not charge me for the second call.

It was about 1:30pm, an hour and a half after the first call I told my husband please call EMS back because I don’t think I can take any more of that feeling. The same crew came and they strapped me on the stretcher.  My husband asked them to take me to Eastside Medical as it was a smaller hospital and the wait won’t be very long. The ride felt like forever but I must say the service was quick on arrival. I was taken to a room, asked a few questions vitals were done again and blood was drawn.  The nurse came to ask more questions and said that I would be admitted. My blood level was at three and a half and needed transfusion.   She read all the risks of getting a transfusion to me but all I heard was that things could go wrong when you receive blood. My girlfriends had just arrived and wanted to know what my options were.  Apparently it was to receive the transfusions or go home and die.  I just wanted to feel better because by now, I could not walk on my own. I was so light headed and tired I needed help to the bathroom. I was so relieved when she said she would start the blood transfusions.  I got nicked a few times because she just could not find a vein. The nurse literally pricked me three times on one arm trying to get a vein. She tried the other arm and then the first arm started to bleed.  I was livid, my friends were pissed because I already don’t have blood and there I’m shooting blood from my arm. It took her a while to stop the bleeding.

I was finally ready to start the transfusions. I was given pre meds and then the transfusions.  The Benadryl knocked me out because I woke up four hours later. My friends were gone and I was alone in the room.  I missed a few calls from my husband so I called him back to give him an update.  I was still very tired so I went back to sleep. I woke up the next morning feeling so much better. Oh my gosh, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday I was literally near death and today I was ready to take on the world.  I prayed and thanked God for waking me up and allowing me to go home to Elijah.  My son needed me and I had to go back to him. The doctor came in about 8am. He told me that my blood level was at about 8 so I am ok to go home. He asked me to see my family doctor and I told him I actually had an appointment today.  A few minutes later a nurse technician came to take me to another room. I told her that I was discharged, she indicated that I was admitted last night but the room was not ready it is now ready. She said I would be discharged from the room. I took my stuff and she brought me up. I was anxious to go home to my son. I rang my husband and told him to be on standby as I will be ready in a few hours.  The clock was ticking and I was getting mad. Finally another nurse technician came in to take my vitals.  I enquired as to why she was taking my vitals as I should be getting discharged. She retorted that she was just following orders. Lunch was brought in and I realized I had not eaten for almost two days.  I ate and laid in the bed for a while, I was still very tired and still had my cycle.  Finally the doctor called me. He said they found some abnormalities in my blood and I did not have a period. I said yes I did, it was the right day yup, I had my period. He said you weren’t passing menstrual blood but one of the hematologist will come see you.  You may have to spend the night. I called my husband and told him that I may have to spend another night because I may have to go through some other tests. I also indicated if anything changes Electra my girlfriend will pick me up.

Diagnosis. 

The hematologist arrived about an hour later.  He was quite nice, asked me how I felt, if I had any sores on my body, any open cuts, any bruises. I answered no to all and told him just a really bad period that wouldn’t stop.  He told me that they double checked, tripled checked and got second opinions and I had leukemia a type of cancer. I asked if he meant leukemia like cancer, yes that’s what I said.  I was receiving this piece of information on my own, what a bitter pill to swallow.  Was this how my mom felt receiving her diagnosis by herself? What a cruel world! Who is going to take care of my Eli. My mind was just flooded.  I had to be calm. I asked the doctor for a minute and he told me, he would wait as he knows that this is not the best news to give to a patient. I called my husband and gave him the news.  He was as calm as ever over the phone. He was home with Elijah preparing to come pick me and here I’m calling to say don’t come pick me up as I’m now diagnosed with cancer. He assured me that this was not a death sentence.

Our God is an awesome God. Elijah needs his mommy so we have to continue to pray. I called Electra and updated her as she was my back up ride.  The doctor returned to my room and continued speaking with me.  I was diagnosed with leukemia and they were not equipped to treat cancer at Eastside hospital. All arrangements had been made for my transfer to Emory, where a team of doctors and my nurse was waiting. Two months after my mom passed away with cancer, I was diagnosed with cancer. How the hell do I tell my siblings? They are still grieving, my baby is two months old, and how do I handle this? My world was crashing once again, but through it all I knew that God never gives you more than you can handle. My God was testing my faith. The journey continues…………

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