Toby stayed in the paediatric ward until April, we had found a nice new house in Austins Ferry, about 20 minutes away form the Hospital, and we were moving into it, we had just one night to move! not an easy task, but with the help of a very special revivalist and his crew we got our whole house packed up within a few hours, leaving behind only a few sleeping bags and airbeds to spend the night before we headed back to Hobart.
My other children, Larissa, Aimee and Anthony had spent the Easter Holidays with their father. They lived with me but stayed with him on weekends and school holidays. Their father was not happy about us relocating to Hobart and had said so many times in letters addressed to me, I had talked it over with the kids, and they told me many times that they wanted to stay with me, they wanted to move to Hobart so I disregarded his letters and explained to him that we had to move and they wanted to come with me. I allowed them to visit with him over Easter, as I thought that he was reasonable, and we had a court order in effect! oh how wrong was I! Good Friday I received a text from him, saying that the children would be staying with him and that If I tried to contact them at all he would take out a restraining order on me!
distraught I contacted Tasmania Police, only to be told that there is nothing that they could do to help me get my children back, I was due to move house in less than a week and It was looking like I would have to leave them behind, I was told that even though I had a court order, and even though he was breaking it, it didn't matter! I had to still find a lawyer, and go to court to request a recovery order in order to be able to see my children again. one of the police officers suggested that I should go to pick up the kids like normal, when it was the day that I would normally pick them up. only I should organise to take a police officer with me, so that he could not accuse me of anything that I did not do, and to help keep the peace.
I did just that, this all happened on the very same day that we were packing up our house! I called in to the local police and explained what had happened, I explained that I knew that they couldn't help me get my children back but that they would only be there to help keep the peace, they agreed and graciously came along with me, I went and knocked on the door, I could hear his girlfriend on the phone as he was at work. she was obviously unsure of what to do and was calling him for help. she then answered the door and immediately I got a mouth full of abuse, the police tole her to settle down, she said that my ex was on his way home from work and that we should wait for him. funny that, as if you were to ask child support, he does not work much.
Anyway, he arrived guns blazing, screaming and yelling at me to get off his property, the police stepped in and I waited at the car while they spoke to him, then for some miracle, he allowed the kids to come with me, the police had managed to talk some sense into him. The children walked down the driveway visually upset from what had just happened, I felt really bad for them I didn't want it to be like this but I was not about to walk away and not see them again, and if their father had his way that is exactly what would happen. although I am not sure why as he has never paid any interest in them at all, he has never been to any school or sporting events or supported them in any way and he has always been reluctant to pay his child support.
we drove away, thank full that the children were safe with me again and spent the last night in our little home in Somerset. Bright and early, the next morning, we left our home, ready to take on the world or Tasmania at least, headed for Hobart, our new home. Kent had found us a nice nearly new home to rent and we were eager to settle in and get some normality back into our lives. it was the Easter holidays still and we had a few days left before I had to find a school for the children, I asked around and found the prefect little christian school, the Headmistress welcomed us as part of the family and the children seemed willing to try it out, so they made a decision to catch the bus to the school the next day and give it a try.
Toby was slowly improving, his apnoea's were happening less often but were still particularly worrying, but the doctors had managed to find him a bed on the paediatric ward and had after some time, convinced the ward to take him. Initially the ward nurses would come round to the ICU to care for Toby, to learn how to help him when he would stop breathing. and after a few days they were happy for him to be moved to the ward. This was a big milestone for Toby's care, he would have more room to be able to play on the floor and have cuddles with his brother and sisters and he would have a window!!! In fact he was right next to the window, it was so nice to be able to let him lie in actual sun light. he had gone so many days in his life without a single drop of sunlight, and we all thought that this was important for him.
Over the next week or so, Toby chuffed along, i got myself into a routine with the kids at home, working night shift and visiting Toby in the hospital, and we somehow managed to find time to unpack the never ending pile of moving boxes. I had some long conversations with the children regarding what had happened at their fathers, I wanted to make sure of what they wanted, and that they were feeling OK, Larissa had told me of times when he father had said some horrible stuff about me, and she was not sure what to think. I remember saying to her, 'honey, you know me, and you know your father, what do you think happened?' she said that she didn't think that I would be that horrible and that maybe her father was lying, then I just left her to think. they all had told me several times that they wanted to live with me, that they were disappointed about moving and worried about starting a new school, but that they were happy living with me and they didn't want that to change. I assumed I was doing the right thing and we played happy family's for a week.
Then It was time for the children to return to their fathers for the weekend. I had horrible doubts about sending them after what happened last time and after what Larissa told me that he had been telling them about me. I knew that it would not end well, but I didn't want to stop them from seeing their father. after all they had a right to see him and he should be adult enough to do the right thing. Toby was still a little unstable but we also had our old house to clean up so that we could rent it out. we decided that Kent would take the kids up to their fathers and would spent the weekend cleaning up the house as I was still too scared for both of us to leave Toby for too long. He was now on the ward and although he was never left alone, I was unsure about how the nursing staff would help him if he was to have a big apnoea.
Kent picked the children up after school and headed straight for Burnie to drop them off as there was not much time for them to come home first, I had said goodbye as they went to school, I was terrified of what would happen but I could not stop them from going. I spent the day with Toby in the hospital and then headed home to watch a video and have a quiet night to myself.
In the morning I made it to the hospital in time for the doctors rounds, I hadn't been able to do that for a few days and I really wanted to talk to them about Toby's progress. I almost jumped up and down with glee when the doctors said that I could take him home for the day. We were now set up in Hobart and when we were staying at Rnald McDonald House we were allowed to take Toby back there, the doctor did not see why we would not be able to have some home visits now we lived near by. I only had one problem....I didn't have any car seats. Kent had taken the car with the seat in it back to Somerset and the other seat was left up there for him to bring back on Sunday, we didn't have enough room for everything to fit into the car on moving day, and as Toby was in the hospital we didn't think we would be needing the car seat!. what to do?
After thinking about it for a bit, I decided that this opportunity to take him home even for a day was too good to pass up so I ran to the shops and brought him a new car seat, after all his other one was only a capsule and he would soon be too bight to fit in it anyway, I got it fitted into the car, picked up his portable oxygen cylinder from home and went in to pick him up. Toby and I spent the afternoon snuggling on the couch and playing with each other, I was drowning in his smell, loving every minute with him,home alone, the only thing we missed was being able to share this with his daddy,his sisters and brother.
Like I had promised, I returned Toby to the hospital for the night but I was eager to get their early on the Sunday to pick him up for the day again, It was fantastic having him at home, we really didn't do anything apart from just lye around together, usually with me looking at him and soaking him up. I couldn't wait for his daddy to come home so that we could all be together in our new home, I knew that if Toby continued to behave, it wouldn't be long before he would be allowed to come home for real.
Kent was due to pick up the kids from their fathers at 5pm, and at 4.55pm I received a text message that once again broke my heart. It was from my ex, and it said that Larissa would be staying with him, that she apparently did not want to live with me and she did not want to talk to me at all! and there it was, the moment I had been dreading all weekend, my little bubble had burst and I was pushed back into reality. I called Kent and told him that he would only be picking up Aimee and Anthony, as I was not there with him there really was nothing that I could do about Larissa for the moment. It was breaking my heart I couldn't understand, she was only just telling me that she wanted to stay with me. why would she lie to me? He had to be telling her more lies about me, he had to be manipulating her somehow, Larissa was the easiest of all 3 to manipulate as she always wants to make people happy, she doesn't like conflict and I was sure that this is what she was doing, she must be. Holding back my tears, I returned Toby for the night and retreated home to meet Kent, Aimee and Anthony for lots of cuddles.
The next day, the 19th April 2009 The doctors let me take Toby home again, only this time he was allowed to stay the night, I only had to bring him in for the doctors rounds in the mornings for the next few days but apart form that he was ours!
This was our bitter sweet homecoming. Toby was finally allowed home, but it was not really home, Larissa was missing and we were almost 400klm away from her and the rest of our family, but Kent, Toby, Aimee, Anthony and I were together for now and we were safe!