February 22, 2o12:
Confined to my hospital bed receiving intravenous Dilaudid [pain management] and Macrobid [UTI antibiotic], I notice Tatum smacking her lips. Bottle time. I weakly push the call button for my nurse. My range of motion is so severely limited I can not give my daughter a bottle, change her diaper, or even pick her up without assistance. Even the smallest of movements is torture. Never in my life have I been in so much pain.
And then its time for me to phone into the courthouse in San Luis Obispo!
[[ Sidenote: The purpose of today’s ‘hearing’ involves my legal representation. My attorney is no longer licensed in the state of California (people who know him read this blog and it’s not my place to disclose his business here) so CPS immediately scheduled a court date. Heaven forbid I raise a ruckus claiming I was not adequately represented and do something silly like a lawsuit or a state appeal. ]]
I was told to monitor my phone between 1:30-3pm….meaning 3:30 to 5:00pm in my time zone. Come 4:55 the phone rings. It is my social worker and she’s calling to inform me that they are walking into the courtroom now and they’ll call when they get settled. She didn’t want me to ‘not answer’ since it was ‘the end of the day.’ I made a poor attempt of suppressing a giggle. Never once has she asked me directly if I left– though she’s certainly been fishing through information through my [former] attorney– and I think it’s very telling of the situation that she continues to drop these snide little inferences without ever asking me point blank.
A few minutes later they call back from the courtroom. Because I do not have a new attorney appointed, they are quick to assign me one. I don’t dispute this because I know it is only temporary. Through her I’ll have to formally drop the March appeal and she’ll be my representation until I find the lawyer of my choosing. It is worth noting that I’m not dropping the appeal because I agree with any decisions made thus far– but because the exact same judge and all the familiar faces will be hearing the information. They’ve already made up their minds. No fresh sets of ears listening to new information and making unbiased judgements.
The judge asked when I was available to physically make an appearance in court. I informed her that I had just had a major surgical procedure and it was impossible to determine an exact date at this time. At this point the CPS attorney interjects with this lovely gem: “Your honor, Mrs. Reed is in Tennessee where she gave birth.” While this is certainly true, I still find it humorous that nobody from the CPS camp has asked me this. I could have changed my plans from the last time I spoke with my [former] attorney. Maybe not everything I write on this blog is true. The possibilities are endless….and it speaks volumes about the way things operate in Family Court that this information can be introduced in such a fashion.
Despite my immense pain I could not help but grin. Nobody challenged my decision to leave. How could they? I did absolutely nothing wrong and protected my daughter. Tatum Maris Reed will NOT be the latest foster child in San Luis Obispo County. My precious baby is safe in Memphis where the state of Tennessee has jurisdiction over her. The judge asked how Tatum was doing and I could honestly say: “She’s healthy, happy, and safe.”
Today’s hearing was adjourned with the decision to give my court-appointed attorney my information for her to contact me and appear on my behalf to formally drop the March date.
February 23, 2012:
Because of the irritation caused by the UTI my doctor said I could remove my catheter this morning. Thank God.
If Tatum passes the final series of tests [negative bacteria culture, hearing, jaundice, comprehensive labs, etc.], she’ll be allowed to leave. She passes with flying colors.
Nurse M says as soon as I can move around the room unassisted then I can go too. Recognizing our departure as a family is contingent on me and me alone….I somehow find the strength to waddle from point A to point B, crying and cursing every step of the way. Every second spent in a hospital is a second detracted from our precious family time.
Mommy and Tatum leave The Med around 6pm to spend some quality time with Bapa and Gigi. ❤
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,