Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A sense of normalcy

During all the drama that surrounded Kate's birth and eventual homecoming, there was never a sense of the normalcy we all expected with the birth of our 4th child. We thought I go to the hospital, have a baby girl, come home 3 days later and get on with the business of living. That wasn't to be, and when we did come home, there was absolutely nothing normal about it.

Still, we learned to live in our new "normal". Some days were harder than others. Some days just flew by. All in all, I'd say we did pretty good adjusting to life with a medically fragile child. My sons were princes. They had waited so long for their sister to finally be born...then come home, they were just happy to have her there. They dutifully Purelled their hands, changed their clothes, and stayed away when sick all in the effort to keep her well. But still they managed to treat her as one of them. It was harder in the beginning. She was an infant, so she just laid there, but the added presence of a nurse did have its own problems. Eventually, we insisted that the boys be able to be in her room and "visit" with her. She wasn't just their patient, she was our daughter and their sister. So they played with her, read to her, "fed" her and rocked her. As she got older and stronger the kids reveled in her achievements, applauding her when she finally learned to roll over, crawl and walk. All adored her, but let's be honest...boys are wild, and the wildness didn't take long to rub off on our little girl. Her favorite thing to do ws play rough with them. Of course we couldn't allow this...could we??? I mean, here she was, a "technology dependent" baby with an artificial airway, and a feeding tube. What if the trach got dislodged? What if her feeding tube came out...the mind could go lots of different places, but we chose to just let her be. The boys had been sufficiently cautioned and we knew they'd be careful.

And Kate couldn't have been happier when than when they were wrestling with her on the living room floor.

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