Monday, April 25, 2016

It takes a village...... of specially trained people

As we near the end of our time as a family of 3 and look forward to July when baby #2 will arrive, we've started to do some reflecting and planning.  Like every mom, I've wondered "when will I go into labor?", "where will Greg be?", and most importantly "who will watch my other child?"  Every parent has this to worry about, but for us, it's an even more loaded question.  I had started to make some tentative plans for Madelyn, and had plans to write up an instruction manual, if you will, of what she needs in a typical day.  I had plenty of time.... July is forever away!  Well, last week it became urgently clear that we need to have that plan written now.

I woke up not feeling well last week and ended up asking our former nanny to meet me at the clinic- Maddie had a doctor appt already scheduled for that day and she's my priority.  Like most moms, I thought I'd power through the morning, ignoring my own issues, and would be fine.  Our nanny would be there to help with Maddie if I needed it.  As the morning progressed, I ended up feeling much sicker and found myself in the OB clinic. The whole time I was thinking, "what is going to happen to Maddie?".  Greg was an hour and a half away for work.  Thinking we were just going to the clinic for one appointment, I hadn't packed any medications or tube feeding supplies for Maddie.  As I lay hooked up to the fetal monitor, my mind was focused on getting help for Madelyn so she could have her needs met at home.  It was then I realized that since I am currently a stay at home mom, I've also made myself the day nurse, the overnight nurse, the nanny, and the Madelyn administrator of the house.  This is a problem when that one person becomes quickly ill.  We are fortunate to have both sets of grandparents living in town; however, neither have cared for Maddie without my explicit instructions of how to use the feeding pump and what medications to give and when.  And at that moment, I didn't have the time or ability to write out the plan I would normally leave for them or a sitter.

Enter my best friend.  If something were to happen to me, she would be the one to know what to do for Madelyn, without my instructions.  But, it was a Tuesday morning and she was at work.  I sent her a text about what was going on, and without me asking, she said she would be leaving work to come to the clinic.  She met our nanny in the lobby and took over with Maddie.  She called her husband, he left work, and he picked up Maddie, along with her feeding instructions, and took her back to our house.  Maddie was taken care of.  My friend waited for me and we were both relieved to know that everything was fine with baby #2.  Greg and I couldn't be more grateful for this couple and the friendship that we have.  However, this incident made me realize that we need more people in our village who are "trained" to take care of Madelyn.  She's not the type of kid who you could just make a PB&J, turn on a Disney movie, and wait for the parents to come home :)

All is well again in the Payne house.  Maddie is bouncing back from a sinus infection, and baby #2 is growing and kicking away.  We now have a sense of urgency in making sure the people in our lives know how to care for Madelyn.  Next weekend, we'll be having both sets of grandparents, as well as our super hero friends over for a Madelyn training session.  As I write this blog post, I'm also writing an ever-growing list of "things you'd need to know with Maddie".  I'm sure the hand-outs will be top notch.  In the about me section of the blog, I wrote that I wanted to document our journey as parents of a special needs, medically complex child.  We are continuing to discover challenges we didn't know we'd face, but also moments of joy we didn't know we'd celebrate.  This past week has been a bit of both.

As a quick plug for future childcare- if anyone knows a nursing student, retired nurse, someone in a related field, please send them my way!  This mom is planning to go back to work half-time in November, and Madelyn is yet to show any interest in school psychology :)  We're always looking for people to add to our village.

 Who wouldn't want to care for this sweet girl?
"What?! I've only got 3 months left as the only child!"