Babies aren't the only ones that take baby steps. Sometimes mommies need them too. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've left Raya with someone other than Donny for her whole 18.5 months of life. She's only been left with 4 other people, one of whom was an RN so I knew she'd be okay if Raya's feeding tube got pulled out. :) It's not that I don't trust other people, it's more that I know taking care of Raya can be stressful even for me, so I can imagine how much more stressful it must be for somebody else who may not know what to do in the event that something goes wrong with her. I was never a "helicopter parent" before, but I think I'm justified in being that way now. :)
Yesterday, there was a really big black belt test for the martial arts students that Donny teaches at the community college and he wanted me to come and take pictures. I was excited about it but knew that there was no way I could take Raya with me. That meant that I had to leave her with somebody for about 3 hours. Luckily, I have a very good friend who isn't intimidated by all of Raya's tubing and body fluids AND was willing to come to my house to watch her so that I would be 3 minutes away in case of an emergency. My friend happens to also be 8.5 months pregnant, which just shows what a saint she is. :) Everything went fine and Raya ended up sleeping most of the time I was gone anyway. It was a good step forward for me. Raya qualifies for respite care and I've been trying to make myself set things up so that I can actually use the respite, so this was a good step forward towards that.
My reluctance to leave her with babysitters isn't the only reluctance issue I have. I've also avoided taking her to nursery at church now for 3 weeks in a row, which is the entire 3 weeks she's been old enough to go. I have a few reasons for not taking her. Here they are:
1. She and I wrestle through the first hour of church until she falls asleep right before it's time to go to nursery.
2. Nursery is like a little petrie dish. There are a lot of germs in nursery that a GI compromised kid doesn't need to catch & can't afford to catch. (no offense to the other parents, but it's true)
3. Probably the most obvious reason is the whole feeding pump backpack and bile drainage bag setup. It would be awful if that bile drainage bag popped open and spilled or if another curious little toddler decided to pull on her tubes.
4. Having her in nursery would be difficult for the nursery leaders. Again, it's not that I don't trust them with her, (one of them is an RN) it's just that she is a lot of work and having her there would make their job a lot harder than it already is.
5. This one is purely selfish. When you have spent as much time as I have pinning your child down and sticking a tube up her nose, holding her still and listening to her scream while someone pokes a needle in her arm or foot or head, trying to keep her from going crazy in the little cage they call a hospital crib, holding her face in your hand while she throws up, trying to make her eat, and knowing that all of those things have damaged the trust she has for you, there is nothing sweeter than the rare moments when she actually WANTS to snuggle with you. These last few weeks where she has fallen asleep at church while I was holding her and slept on my lap for an hour or two have been therapeutic for our relationship. I feel like I am finally gaining some of that trust back that I've lost from her, so why in the world would I want to give that up?
I know nursery would probably be good for her in a lot of ways. She does need to socialize with kids her age and snack time would be good peer modeling for her. I just don't want her going in there with a bag of bile hanging from her waist and a 3 lb backpack on her back. :) Maybe once we get things figured out and get a handle on this bile drainage issue, I'll be ready to send her. As nice as the snuggle time is, that kid is heavy after a while. :)
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