It was this time exactly that my life changed forever (around 9:30am November 14th 2011). I know I posted about the last night with him on Monday, but I had my dates a bit backwards. It was a Sunday night. Our last night was a Sunday, but it was the morning of 14th that Zeffee went on.
It was all a huge blur after we realize he wasnt breathing. Somehow I managed to keep it together long enough to do CPR. To try….
I remember Watson just panicking and i had to coach him through calling 911 about our son. Watsons mom and I took turns doing CPR until paramedics arrived. But yall, I knew the moment I saw him that he was gone. I knew it had been too long, and there was nothing we could do. But i couldn’t not try. I had hope that I was wrong.
I called my mom, who was on her was to get us for Zeffee neurology appointment… I couldn’t talk, but she was there before we hung up the phone. She pulled in right behind the ambulance.
She knew too, but she wouldn’t say a word in fear of causing more hurt in my heart. Possibly even hoping she was wrong too.
I cried then entire way to the hospital, it was the second time I’d been in an ambulance with Zeff, but this time was so unlike the first time. I remember the rage I carried because the cars around us didnt seem to care at all that an ambulance was trying to get to hospital as fast as it could. People didnt care, they were judt living their lives, going to work and such.
When we arrived at the hospital it was frantic. These people didnt know my Zeffee. We always went to The Levine Childrens Hospital in Charlotte because they were more equipped for babies like Zeffee. They worked on him for well over an hour at Gaston Memorial. And I just cried, I cried because I knew. I cried because my life was over. That’s how I felt anyway.
You see, they told me from the beginning that Zeffee would not make it. In fact before they rolled me off to the operating room on the morning of his birth I was told “we will either hand you a dead baby, or he will die in your arms”, and as strange as it may sound, 23 months later I wish I had been able to hold him one last time, through his last breaths. I was like that first morning alkost 2 years earlier all over again. If he had died at birth I would never have held him, because I was in the ICU.
I guess I wasn’t ever meant to, I guess he knew how hard it would have been. He understood where I had no understanding. Tiny and pure he saved me from that pain. But he could not save me from all the pain that I was facing in those first moments without him .
I remember them coming out of room after so so long. Before they spoke I broke down. I had no idea what I was going to do. Zeffee was my entire world. Everything I did was based around what would be best for him. They started with “I’m so sorry” and I remember screaming “what am I going to do now” in the middle of the emergency room. Everyone stopped and looked at me. And I just cried. It was the worst day of my life.
After they told us he was gone they questioned us. It was awful. They asked me if Watson could have had anything to do with his passing, and in a separate room they asked Watson same about me. It was procedure. I was so mad that they would question us like that so soon after though. Luckily Zeffee was seen multiple times during the week by therapist. We went to doctors appointments so often that everyone knew us, had we been at Levines more people would have understood the history.
We couldn’t afford an autopsy. It was $3500. We never got an exact cause of death. We still do not have those true answers. His primary doctor made the decision, based on his medical history that it was natural causes. A 23 month old baby died from natural causes… Even with his history. That was a hard on to swallow.
We knew it wasn’t natural though, we all looked back at that meditation that had been screwed up then discontinued without weaning. We were told that we could have sewed the pharmacy, of course the pharmacy, not the doctors who halted it. The thought of living out the next year or two in court discussing my dead son was unbearable. I’d rather be broke and homeless than do that. I wonder now how many lives would have been saved if we had….
Planning a funeral wasnt what I wanted to be doing at 21 years old, but it is what I did. Picking out a casket, because I couldn’t imagine his body burning. Picking out the last outfit he would ever wear, designing a grave stone… I never imagined that being my life when I thought of motherhood. Was I even a mom now? Talk about an identity crisis… I was truly lost.
I held it together exceptionally well at his funeral. It stunned me how many lives Zeffees story touched, from birth to death he was guiding people. He was such an amazing teacher in life and he has continued to be that in death for me, for his daddy and for so so many other people, some that I dont even know.
If you had the opportunity to know Zeffee you were blessed with a very special kind of love.
He changed my life. He pushed me to where I am. His life had purpose, and so does mine, he helped to show me that. My life was not the children I had, those children were a part of the life I was to create. All I ever wanted to be was a mother, and I was. It may seem strange to some but I know that if I hadnt experience life with Zeffee the way I did, I wouldn’t be who I am. I would never have achieved anything more than being a mother.
Zeffees passing, as sad and as painful as it is to this day was the only way I would have done anything with my life. I would never have moved any further than he could roll in his chair. I would have always been a step being him. I was comfortable with that being my life, forever. Zeffee had bigger plans though, and they are still in the works….