Chapter 2

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When I wake again, I know its after lunch. I do not know why I have woken on my own, but do get this distinctly full feeling. And I do not like it. I know it is after lunch because of this uncomfortable feeling. When I get a day where I do not feel like eating, Liam and Zayn get worried and put the feeding tube in. While I liked it when I was at the point where I was constantly getting sick, I do not like it now. It is a constant drip of formula that flows steadily in all day long. It is not a pleasant feeling.

I make certain to stay quiet while I sit up. My bunk, new and improved, is fairly basic. The one main difference is the special baby gate that has been fitted to keep me in. Also, there's a small mobile hung above my head that soothes me to sleep even if I'm unwilling to admit that it helps. Lastly, there's a baby monitor discreetly stuck in the corner, which is why I try to stay quiet. Sometimes the boys get to be a little bit much and I want a little bit of alone time.

As I look around, I see my pacifier sitting to the side. I immediately snatch it up, pop it in my mouth and begin to suck. It was the first step I really agreed to in all of this. It's really very soothing to suck on for me. I also grab blankie and cuddle it while I sit up, just wandering in my thoughts.

FLASHBACK

-3 days post-diagnosis -

"How are you doing today Niall?"

"Well, I could do without all the chemo, but otherwise pretty good."

"How's the leg feeling? Not too much pain?"

"It's always in pain, but the pain is substantially less now."

"Good, I'll be back later to check on you again."

The nurse leaves the room, and I'm left with four sleeping best mates at 3 in the morning. I can't seem to sleep lately, but sometimes, I pretend to be asleep to avoid the boys. I just can't slow down all the thoughts. My mind is racing constantly, and I don't have anything to comfort me. I can't wait to go home, maybe then I'll feel more relaxed and be able to sleep. I'm just so cranky nowadays because of it all. Today however, I am exhausted enough to lay back and pass out.

END OF FLASHBACK

"Baby? Are you awake?" I hear Harry come into the bunk room but am too late to fake sleep. When Harry comes to the gate, I lift my arms and make grabby hands, waiting to be lifted out, which of course Harry does exactly that. "Baby, are you wet?"

I don't answer, just whimper slightly and lean into Harry's chest. The nappies are still embarrassing. Harry however knows me all too well and carries me to the changing table. I instantly blush and cover my face with blankie as Harry makes a quick change of me.

"Baby, are you hurting?" Harry asks mid-change and when I don't respond, Harry calls Liam into the bunk room and over to the change table.

"What's up?" Liam asks. I have the same question.

"Look at this Liam." Harry points to something on my backside and Liam gasps.

"Ni Ni, do you itch, or hurt?" Liam asks, trying and failing at remaining calm. He's always so worried.

I shake my head no, embarrassed that I need to go to the bathroom again and can't because they haven't put the nappy on. "Potty?" I question, hoping they'll get the memo.

They give me confused looks. Probably thinking I want to use the real toilet like I sometimes ask. However I can't hold my bladder any longer- the result of 6 months of being in the nappies as little Niall and pull-ups as big Niall for so long. I try to let go slowly, but my bladder can't cooperate. I immediately start crying as my bladder releases and I start peeing. Liam realizes what I had meant now and acts quickly to cover me up. However I've still managed to spray everyone a bit.

"Oh Ni Ni, it's okay buddy. I think it's time for a nice warm bath, hmm?" Liam suggests. I do love baths. I nod yes, and Liam takes me to the surprisingly large bathroom in the back of the bunk room. Harry has already started a soothingly warm bath, and Liam prepares me for it. "Do you need to potty anymore sweetheart?" I shake my head no, relieved to not need another nappy change. Liam simply undresses me from the onsie I didn't realize I was in and removes the tapes from the nappy so he can drop it in the trash. Lastly he takes blankie and my pacifier before Harry deposits me in the tub.

After the bath, which I play with the bubbles during, I am dressed in a nappy and lotion is rubbed everywhere. And I mean everywhere. They focus on my leg, which is excruciating as they rub the scars, but I know it is needed. My physical therapist has been getting on me and the boys for ignoring the needed exercises when I am feeling bad, which has been most days this week. I also know that the rubdown will make me feel better later as well. Finally, Liam dresses me in pajamas and carries me to the kitchen for a small meal. Luckily he has shut off the feeding tube, and I feel better, so I manage some fruit that was placed on my tray along with a few animal crackers.

"Feeling better little man?" Zayn has come by and rubs my lower back some. I look up at him and smile, offering a cracker to him. He shakes his head no and I pout, wanting to show my manners and share. He ends up taking the cracker. I smile wide and eat some more. Zayn stays and rubs my back in the soothing slow circles. Once I've had enough I make grabby hands at him, and am taken to the couch for a baba. I am given blankie and my pacifier is handed to Zayn for once I'm finished. Life is pretty good now.

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