March for Babies

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Not Enough

You can find more information on Kangaroo Care here.  This morning Azure was nestled in my cleavage (I have plenty now, especially right before I pump) with her head on my chest and we were all wrapped up in a blanket my best friend made for her.  Absolutely lovely.  They said if I pump right beforehand then next time we will let her "window shop" at the breast.  She isn't ready to nurse yet (I don't think her mouth is big enough for my huge nips) but this will give her the experience of being there and provide stimulation for my milk supply.  It is a Win-Win!
That being said.  I am feeling a bit down.  I am feeling quite inadequate as a mother, as a wife, as an employee, as a friend...  I am sure this all comes with the territory but it sucks just the same.  It is easy to say that Azure is my priority right now but that doesn't get the laundry done and the fact that after my shower last night T told me I had been smelling a bit "sour" I see that not even my personal hygiene is up to par (I assume it was the milk that dribbled into my shirt, but still). *sigh*
Daycare.  My initial plan when Azure was still assumed to be a healthy full-term baby was to take 8 weeks off and then take her to a daycare center near my office.  She is neither healthy nor full-term and at great risk for upper respiratory illnesses considering her chronic lungs and the hole in her heart.  Daycare is NOT the best place for her.  So what do we do?  In-home daycare scares me to death considering all the injuries, deaths and pedofiles in the news in the last couple of years directly associated with this type of setup.  Having someone into my home seems a bit better but I would need time to get to know this person and feel comfortable leaving the person in my home and she (see how I automatically ruled out men?) would need to feel comfortable taking care of Azure with any special monitors or medications she might need.  Very scary.  I am leaning towards two options.  One, we figure out some way for me to stay at home with her.  Two, I convince my boss to give me the private office instead of the cubicle, and I bring her to work with me.  Ha!  This of course assumes that she will not consume every single minute of my day.  I could wear her in a sling or put her in the pack-n-play and handle almost all of my work that way but what if she is cranky and screams her head off?  How can I answer phone calls with a crying child around my neck?  See how option #1 is looking pretty good?  If only we were wealthy.  We are comfortable, don't get me wrong, but we have a lot of debt and we would be cutting our income in half with me not working.  *Sigh* again. Where there is a will there is a way, right? 
Here comes the bad part.  I am going to hate leaving my job.  I like my job.  I enjoy the people a lot.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't laugh out loud.  We get along very well, joke around.  My boss actually calls me over to see the porn on his computer.  We kick up our feet and enjoy an afternoon beer once in a while.  Where else am I ever going to find an environment like this again?  I have already envisioned myself explaining my resignation to my boss and I can't even think about it without crying. 
My daughter will provide joy too, I know she will.  I am just sad to think that this part of my life, a part that I actually enjoyed, might be over.
There is not enough time, not enough money, not enough of me to go around.


Anonymous said...

Blue: Oh, how I know the dilemna and my son did not have the issues Azure has. That being said, I am a lawyer who brought my 6 week old with no suckle reflex and a necessity of being held literally 24/7 back to work with me for 6 weeks until he could start in someone else's home daycare. If you have someone else at the office who can grap Azure if she is particularly cranky or upset and you are on an important call, I think it can work. Buy a headset as it is a necessity under the circumstances. That is what I would try if I were you and your boss is willing to give it a go. I am a great mom who wouldn't be so great if I stayed at home, many of the same issues you discuss. In terms of in another's house daycare, I found when interviewing providers that (at least I thought) you can get a pretty good idea if they are trustworthy. We chose a beautiful home with separate cribs, high chairs, etc. for each child; with at least two care givers on duty at all times, who clearly really loved the children. For over two years my son thrived in the environment. I do believe that after 2 yo you need to be more selective about programs that offer more than playtime etc. Good luck. Hope this helps, and thanks for the update.

Milenka said...


Jen P said...

Blue, it's a very tragic situation because this is such a battle of wills. You, as a woman, need the outside stimulation, the joy, the emotional involvement. I'll be honest here: Being a SAHM isn't that great at times. Sure, you're the first to see the milestones, but you're also the one who helps these milestones develop -- repeating them 100 times or more a day.

Matt goes to work, is given support, encouragement, emotional encouragement, etc. He comes home feeling accomplished. I often feel the highlight of my day was getting a shower by myself at 10pm. It's a totally different arena altogether. But it has it's joys too -- watching this personality bloom.

And as Sophie's been so damn ill her whole life I can say without a doubt -- no one could give her better care. I am the best for her and she deserves the best. Should she have been really healthy, I don't know, but for now, mom's the best. And I'm finally mom.

As for T and the sour smell -- tell him to get over it. Even 7 1/2 months later I still have a very strong letdown and milk will get onto my clothes. It's all part of nature -- that sour smell is how baby knows to locate his/her mother. It's nature.

I don't think anyone can tell you what to do -- you know Azure and you know her needs better than anyone. One of my SILs found hiring a proffessional nanny to be a g-dsend. They went through a very reputable organization and went through 2 before finding the one they have now. They've had her for almost 4 years now and she's become part of their family.

It allows 2 very professional people to continue the jobs that define their lives.

Azure may not have chronic health problems once she's 5 or 6 months adjusted and lasting that long in any situation you guys work out will be hard but it's for a really good reason.

I wish you guys many, many lovely kangaroo cuddles and a very healthy girl to come home soon.

Jenn said...

I wish I had some advice. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Perhaps working at home with a nanny there? Slowly over time you could get to know the nanny, and by the time you felt comfortable going back to your office (2 days a week to start?), you would know she was in good hands. My DD is home with a nanny, and it's working well. I think if you interview a bunch you'll find one you click with. It is tough, isn't it, no matter what.
Rachel (in NY, no blog)

thalia said...

Forgive the assvice - but could you get some kind of extended parental care/compassionate leave to stay home longer with azure? No? I'm sorry you're faced with such poor choices - but glad that the kangaroo care has kicked in.

Anonymous said...

A couple of suggestions re: the childcare situation.

One, a lot of RNs (Registered Nurses) sign up to provide temporary care for very ill/medically fragile children. If you have the financial resources, you might want to do a google search for pediatric home care. You might not need this level of care after your leave is over, but it might give you peace of mind knowing there is help in the most challenging situation.

I also second the professional nanny suggestion. A good agency will do a great job of matching you up with someone you can feel comfortable and confident with.

Best wishes to you and Azure.