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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The anxiety is mounting...

I think the longest I've been away from her was about 6 hours during the day, and she was at home with Donny during that time. As is probably the case with a lot of moms of kids with special medical needs, I have not been away from Raya overnight since she was born. That was 702 nights ago. (except for the 3 nights that I slept at the Ronald McDonald House across the street from the hospital but that SO doesn't count!)  702 nights of waking up to either a crying baby or a beeping feeding pump or both. Or kicking Donny so he'd wake up and silence whatever was making noise.
Lest you should feel sorry for us, there have been plenty of nights with several hours of sleep in a row, but there has not been a solid, full night's sleep without having to get up at least once since the girl was born. Thanks to Raya's overnight activities, I've never felt like I could leave her overnight. I've had a hard time asking anybody to watch her for an hour, let alone overnight.  It's a LOT to ask of someone and I just never felt like I could do that to anybody, not that people were lining up to volunteer for the job. :) Heck, I hardly even made Donny do any of the middle-of-the-night medications or anything like that just because I was afraid that we'd end up screwing it up if one of us wasn't specifically "assigned" to do it. This is not to say that he never helps because he does take care of her night feeds quite often when I fall asleep on the couch at 9:30. He has saved my bacon plenty of times.
The 702 night streak is about to come to an end though. Tomorrow morning, I'm surprising Ashtyn with a weekend trip to Idaho for her cousins' baptisms. She has NO idea (neither do her cousins) and I'm really excited about the trip. The excitement is very much mixed with anxiety though. I've never had a problem leaving the other kids, but Raya is a whole other ballgame. There are a lot of things that could go wrong with Raya that you don't have to even think about for a non-tube fed kid. She will be with Donny all weekend, which is great (for her :). He is totally capable of handling her and I'm not worried about that at all. As long as the feeding pump doesn't give him trouble. The other 2 kids will be very helpful at keeping her entertained & out of trouble. He gets to experience OT for the first time too. :) I'm sure he'll be really excited to go back to work on Monday, but they'll survive just fine without me. Even so, I'm having separation anxiety.
However. I am SO looking forward to getting a full night's sleep (3, actually) with no "NEE-ner NEE-ner NEE-ner" of the feeding pump alarm at 2am!!! Best of luck, Donny. :)
In other news, I have FINALLY gotten a respite provider. Hopefully she will be able to start in 2 weeks. She'll be staying with Raya for about 3 1/2 hours on Sunday while we go to church and for another 4 hours on Monday or Wednesday mornings so I can run errands & spend some much needed alone time with Kaida.


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  2. Good Luck! Looking forward to hearing how it goes. We've left Henry overnight (across town, which is oh, two minutes from our house) twice. Next weekend I head to Seattle for two nights and two and a half days away from him. Just like Donny, Noah's capable, will be good for him, but my anxiety is already mounting, and we don't even have NEE-ner NEE-ners or meds! :)


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