Sunday, January 01, 2006

Kale's First Christmas/Hannukah/Road Trip

We left Vancouver on the 22nd heading to Eureka, California. We were hoping to make the drive in two days so we could have Christmas Eve with my family but were glad to have that buffer day in case Kale needed a little extra time for the drive. The first night of the drive went well and we made it all the way to Portland Oregon. Sure we had to stop a few times, and the binky was employed but over all it was a smooth smooth trip. All that sleeping had caught up with him though and so Kale had a pretty low sleep, high activity night with lots of nursing. I was a little tired as we started our second day and glad we wouldn't have to push it so much on our way back. After a lunch in Grants pass we made it to Crescent City and it was evident Kale was crashing. After a long nurse were we could hear the surf we headed out again. The last 1.5 hours were the longest but with pauses and patience we made it to my parents house right at dinner time. My fathers first words "hand me my grandson" were quickly followed by "I have some bad news." My older brother Conrad had had a stroke or seizure that morning (no one was sure - or at least the message were getting over the phone was a bit confusing) and was currently having brain surgery to reduce the swelling to the brain to see if they could keep him alive through the night. My mom, sister and younger brother had left an hour before we arrived. They were driving through the night to make the 8:30 am ferry to Victoria from Washington. My dad had stayed behind to tell us because we don't have a cell phone so they hadn't been able to get ahold of us during the drive that day. That night we all slept poorly waiting for phone calls to let us know if Cono had survived the surgery and if the drivers were still doing okay. All was as well as it could be. Christmas eve day we were all still deciding what to do. Kale was incredibly fussy all day and had a fever in the evening. I am not sure if it was teething or simply rebelling against having spent two days straight in his car seat. We managed to get his photo taken with Santa but that was about the most Christmassy thing we did. That evening we had Ed, Elena and Rodrigo over and did a Christmas Eve dinner as well as a gift exchange because it was becoming clear we would be leaving the next morning to join people in Victoria. I spent the entire day in total dread of the drive the next day. I almost wanted to buy a plane ticket so that I wouldn't have to sit in the car with Kale. Christmas morning we woke up and I don't think we even wished one another a Merry Christmas. We began picking up the house and packing up the car. We had gifts to fit in as well as my dad's luggage and a cooler of food to keep us fed along the drive. We left after lunch and started our return Journey. I couldn't believe we had driven all the way there only to turn back around after only 1 day out of the car. Thankfully Kale cooperated once again and we made it to Portland before he was crashing. My dad wanted to make it in to Washington and so we pressed on with a very fussy, hungry baby and I was thrilled to lay down in the hotel room and feed him and let him get some of that physical energy out. The next morning we arose very early to ensure we would make it to Port Angeles in time for the ferry. We had plenty of time and were able to breakfast and walk a bit before the ferry departed. I got anxious on the ferry, not sure how I was going to feel when I saw Cono. At this point he had survived two brain surgeries to reduce swelling, was in intensive care and they had recently determined that he was going to be paralyzed from the neck down. He could blink his eyes for yes and no which meant was able to make any decisions about his care and also that he was cognitively there. He was hooked up to every tube possibly, being fed, assisted with breathing etc... I tried not to think about it during the ferry ride and instead focused on the fact that Keva and Dad noticed Kale's eyes were changing colour when they were out on the deck of the boat. We wondered if they would go all brown, green or if they would just have a green center like his daddy's eyes. (We still don't know which way things are going but change is definitely happening).

Kale is waking so I will post more later...

4 comments:

Becky said...

Oh, honey! What shocking news about Conrad. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. Let me know if there is anything that any of us can do. Our love and thoughts to all of you.

Jason said...

*Hug*

So sorry to here about your brother

Jackie Foote said...

Molly,
My heart goes out to you and your entire family. It was such a shock to hear about Conrad on Christmas Eve. Since I didn't get to see Kale in Old Town with Rachel and Willard, I've thoroughly enjoyed the pictures on your blog.

Leah said...

Sorry about your brother. Kale got to make quite a trek!