This chapter just explains a few things and sets the stage for things to come.
Hope you like this,
Two hours later, Sharon woke to two very different sensations. The first was Billy nursing on her right nipple. The feeling of his mouth suckling on her nipple was wonderful, and just for a moment she was able to feel joy. Then the memory of what had happened struck her and the hurt came back. Her eyes teared immediately.
The second sensation was that her stomach was wet. Billy must have wet a good amount to make the blanket between them as wet as it felt.
When she opened her eyes, she saw Rachael sitting on a chair beside the bed, holding Billy’s head up to her breast as he nursed. His eyes were closed and he appeared to be nursing in his sleep. Sharon reached out and took Billy’s head, and Rachael said quietly “Thanks Shar, my arm was getting tired there. We don’t want him to wake up. We gave him medicine to help him sleep. It would be best if he slept for the rest of the day and night.”.
“Poor Baby,” Sharon started. “I can’t understand how he came to think I didn’t want him to be a baby anymore.” she said.
Rachael thought a moment and said “Tell me what happened at the house the morning they took the kids.” he told Sharon.
Sharon spent several minutes explaining what took place. This was difficult for her to do, and she was crying softly as she finished.
As Peter entered the room, Rachael told her “Well, you said Billy was nursing when Elena came in. You interrupted his nursing, gave him his binky and handed him to her. A minute later, she took his binky away, and despite his crying for it, she wouldn’t give it back.”.
“Was Billy in your arms when he was nursing?” Peter asked.
Sharon answered “Yes, laying on his left side.”.
“Where you shouting with Elena before you gave him to her?” he continued.
“No, I was trying not to wake him, and she was not loud at all.” Sharon said.
“With Billy’s hearing, he probably didn’t hear your conversation, especially if one ear was laying on your arm. Not hearing that, he wouldn’t understand why you were handing him to a strange woman. When she left the house, I’ll bet that terrified him. But when she took his binky, all bets were off. Kids automatically, for some reason, assume when a bad thing happens, they are at fault and responsible, even when it’s illogical, or unreasonable to think so.” Peter explained.
Sharon sat thinking about that for a moment and Peter added “Considering that just in the last week, Billy’s life has been turned upside down, it isn’t unreasonable to expect him to associate the two together. To him, it was simple cause and effect. He wanted to be a baby again, you gave him what he wanted. When Elena took him from the house and took his binky, he decided it was because he wanted to nurse and have the binky.”.
“I guess that makes sense.” Sharon said. “I knew when I laid down here and he pulled away from nursing and began to tremble that he was scared if he nursed, someone would take him away.” she said.
"That’s probably not exactly right Sharon. He probably thought that if he nursed, you would LET someone take him. Remember that, it’s a lot different. You are going to need to show him that’s not going to happen. This will require patience, and not leaving his sight for some time. Not only that, I would talk to him like a baby, treat him like one, and just immerse him in every comforting baby experience you can, while showing him he’s not going anywhere.
This will solve two problems. It will allow him to see that you’re not going to give him to anyone else, and it’ll show him you love him even though he needs to be cared for like an infant." Peter explained.
Crying now, Sharon pleaded “Please don’t say it like that Peter, I would never have given him to Elena if I had any choice.” through her tears.
Peter put his hand on her shoulder and quickly said “Sharon, I have no doubt that you wouldn’t have given him to her if there was any way to keep her from taking him without him getting hurt. What I want you to understand is, he doesn’t know that. Telling him will help, but it won’t completely solve the problem. There will be a part of him that will hear you, but won’t believe you, no matter how many times you tell him. The only way to get that part of him to believe, is to show him.”.
Sharon felt a lot better when he said he didn’t think she would give Billy up if there was any other way. She had felt torn, wanting to keep him with her, safe in her arms, and wanting to keep him from getting hurt by being forcibly removed from her. She got control of her emotions and told him “Thank you, I couldn’t bear to think that you would believe I would give him away.”.
“Don’t worry, I know better.” he said with a smile. “Please, just cuddle him, nurse him as often as he will allow, show him the same gentle care you would any infant. Talk sweetly and with lots of smiles. We’ve seen what happens if he gets really upset. I guess what I’m telling you is to spoil him rotten for a little while. If you ask me, he’s earned it.” he added with a mischievous grin.
That made both Sharon and Rachael laugh. He was very glad to see Sharon able to laugh with all that she’d been through.
Rachael also took note that it was the first time she’d seen her laugh since she’d gotten to the hospital.
“That’s what I want to see.” Peter told her. “I think all of you have had enough tears for a good long while.” he added.
“You’re right about that.” Sharon said with a sigh.
Trying to change the subject and get Sharon thinking about something else, he looked closely at Billy and asked “Is he nursing well? Good suction and motion?”.
“Yes. Actually, he’s nursing harder than ever before. Plus, I’ve seen him occasionally nurse in his sleep, but not like this and not for this long.” she answered with concern.
“I figured we would see some changes. I think it’s possible he’s truly regressing now.” peter told her.
“What do you mean?” she asked fearfully.
“Well, like I told the judge, I expected him to regress. I expected that his Physical situation would mature, while his emotional situation would regress until they met. From that point, he would have to just mature over time, and the two would pretty much keep pace.” he answered. “I think this incident may have pushed the regression much faster than it normally would have occurred.” he added.
“I don’t understand.” she said. “He would be an infant emotionally for long periods of time, how is this different?” she asked.
“The difference is, there were times that Billy was a nine year old emotionally. When he wakes up, and is not an infant, I don’t think he’ll be a nine year old now. I don’t know exactly where he’s at, and we’ll do some testing to figure that out, but I don’t think it’s nine.” Peter explained.
“Will he be OK?” she asked fearfully, tears stinging her eyes.
“Yes, I think he’ll be OK Sharon. Like I said, I expected this, just not this soon. It was inevitable. This just means instead of having a little boy that bounces between being an infant and nine, it’ll probably be between an infant and four or five if I read his behaviors right.” he told her comfortingly.
Sharon felt better hearing that. In some ways it would be a lot easier on Billy if his awareness was closer in age to his physical abilities.
“I am going to sedate him now, he’s going down for an MRI to see if anything has changed since he got upset this time.” he told her.
Taking a syringe from his pocket, he plugged it into Billy’s IV and pushed the medicine in slowly until the syringe was empty. Removing the syringe, he said “Give it about three minutes and squeeze his arm or leg to make sure he’s out. Then it’ll be OK to lay him in the crib for a bit. I know you probably want to get up and move around, you’re probably a bit stiff from laying in pretty much the same position for several hours.”
Looking to April, Peter said “Can you go get her a cup of coffee,” and turned to Sharon and asked “cream and two sugars right?”. When she nodded, he continued asking April “and a sandwich. I don’t think I’ve seen her eat or drink anything today. She’s nursing Billy and needs to keep fluids and nutrition up where it belongs.”.
April smiled and answered “Certainly. I’ll be right back.” and left the room.
“Do you have any more questions?” Peter asked.
“Not that I can think of.” Sharon answered.
“OK, I need to get caught up on some paperwork. I’ll be by sometime after his scan is done to talk with you. Just remember, treat him like a baby and be patient, and he’ll be fine Sharon.” he said with a smile and left the room.
A minute later, Billy slowly stopped nursing all together. Sharon waited another minute, and squeezed his arm. When he didn’t even react, she squeezed it harder to make sure he was out.
Rachael gently lifted Billy off her chest and laid him in the crib, diapered his bottom and raised the side up and locked it in place.
Sharon took that opportunity to remove the wet blanket from her stomach and sit up on the side of the bed. She was stiff. Thankfully, she wouldn’t have to lay like that anymore. Standing up, she stretched, grabbed the scrub top that April had brought for her, and took the opportunity to use the bathroom and clean up.
When she came back out to the room, April had her coffee, a sandwich, and two cartons of milk sitting on the tray table, next to the bed. Sharon sat down and started eating. She finished the sandwich and the milk by the time he was ready to go for the MRI.
April brought a wheelchair in and Sharon went to the crib, picked Billy up, cradling him close, and sat down in the chair. A moment later, they were headed to the MRI suite.
When they got back upstairs, Sharon had Rachael hold Billy while she took the opportunity to quickly use the bathroom again without having to bring him with. She knew from the moment that sedative wore off, she would have to hold him close, no matter where she was.
When she came out of the bathroom, she immediately took Billy in her arms, holding him close. She just stood there, holding him with one hand on his diaper and the other holding his head against her shoulder, rocking him gently back and forth. Occasionally, she would whisper to him “I’ve got you Baby Boy. Mommy’s got you and I’m not gonna let you go for a long time.”.