Wednesday, April 9, 2014

When visiting the hospital...oh the memories.

One of my close friends from high school had a baby last night. I am so happy for her, and all day at work I've been thinking about how I can't wait to visit. I'm going to the gift shop at the hospital, and I hope I can find just the right thing to bring. As I've gotten older I really love to shop for gifts for people.

Anyways, all this thinking about visiting people who've had babies made me think of my own hospital stay. I think when we see things happen to other people we can't help but remember our own experiences, and I wanted to jot my memories down before they leave my mind again for who knows how long.

The one person I remember/cherish most visiting me at the hospital after I had Gabe was my dad. I couldn't always count on my dad being there for me, and by the time I had Gabe at 18 I had gotten used to it. I love my dad very much, and I don't judge him, but he didn't come to my high school graduation the few months before Gabe's birth, so I didn't really think he would visit me in the hospital, but he did.

Dad even wore a sport coat, like a blazer. He was dressed up and looked so handsome. It's so funny to think about, when I had Gabe my dad was 41...younger than my husband is today! I remember he told me, "Thanks a lot, I'm too young to be a grandpa!" He brought me a card, one of those new baby cards, and of course I still have it in a folder somewhere.

I go through periods of being really angry with my dad or missing him. I'm sad to think that if I have more kids, or when Lauren and Morgan have kids, he won't be here to visit. He's missing out on so much. So I really cherish that he visited me, because it's something that can never happen again. I really appreciated the effort he put forth. I'm so glad he came to see me.

It just goes to show we can remember things from before digital cameras. I have no photos of my dad holding Gabe or visiting me, but I can see it in my mind and it's a really good memory.

One of the other people who came to see me was Courtney, the one who had a baby last night! She thought that Gabe was the perfect baby, and she held him for hours! She had these big pink fake nails on, it's so funny looking at the pictures. Courtney always had my back when I was pregnant and when Gabe was a baby, and I really appreciated it. I hope I can return the favor, even though it seems like all us friends are so busy we never get to spend time together. I will just have to show up at her house randomly, lol!

Also, of course, Rolanda came to see me with her new baby in tow. I even have a picture of them getting held up side by side. She was with her husband and they stayed and chatted a while.

My mom's best friend Mary came to see me too, she was always very supportive. Her kids would never do something like have a baby at 18, but she didn't act judgy or anything. I'm telling you, in the year 2000 having a baby at 17/18 was kind of a taboo. There was no "Teen Mom" yet!

My future sister-in-law Stephanie also came to see me and give me support. She held the baby for a long time too. You can always count on Stephanie to be there for you when you need it. She will literally give someone the shirt off her back and go around topless. That whore. (We call each other whores, sorry.)

Last but not least Kira was there the entire time practically. She was my birthing assistant while my mom slept in a chair. She watched me get an episiotomy. She literally turned green. Med students came in and watched the birth and she made fun of me about it. She told the nurse not to switch my baby. Kira was everything.

This is the only photo I could find on Facebook, but there are others.

My poor grandmom and granddad didn't get to come see me, and it was very sad. Granddad went into the hospital the day I gave birth. He was having serious health problems and died a month later.

My granddad was always trying to keep death at bay. His health wasn't great, but he would try so hard not to die before my milestones. He was so honest and blunt, he would tell me, "Tiffany, I'm not going to die until I see you graduate from high school." Well I graduated pregnant and he was still proud. There was nothing I could do that would make granddad look down on me, he really loved me that much. So then he said, "Tiffany, I'm not going to die until you have that baby." Well he managed that too. Granddad was so thoughtful and so wonderful. And he is so very very missed.

I have been very lucky to have good people in my life. I hope I didn't leave anyone out that came to see me. You used to have to stay THREE days in the hospital. The last day was pure hell I just cried all day I wanted to go home so bad. I had a lot of help and support from my mom and Steve. They were totally my rocks, my ground to stand on. They provided me with a  home for myself and Gabriel until we moved in with Chris. My mom is a really good person (duh) and Steve was too. I really miss Steve, it seems like he's been dead for 20 years, not 6. The kids (Stevie, Summer and Eric) have always been Gabe's unofficial siblings, less like aunts and uncles and more like a brother and sisters. They have helped watch him over the years, and they've been a big part of his life. They were very excited when baby Gabe came home!

I can't believe Gabe is only 13, because all of this seemed like it happened a lifetime ago. It feels like it happened to someone else, like I watched it in a movie. Am I even the same person anymore?

Whenever babies are born it is a very happy occasion, and I feel sad too but not in a bad way, just a sentimental way. In a very "these are the days of our lives" way.

Life goes by so fast!



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