Thursday, July 11, 2013

The latest addition

I am a fan of babies, evidenced by the fact that I have had four of them. They are a lot of work, no question, but they quickly grow up and I am in awe of what they can do and the things that they can accomplish, which are both wondrous and gratifying for a parent to see.  This is what makes the effort and inconvenience of having a baby worthwhile. 

 Because we all know that they are hugely inconvenient. If you find that you are not in this stage of life, I would cite (or remind—because we so soon forget) sleep deprivation, the amount of ‘equipment’ involved, the monumental  effort required to simply leave the house….all of the things that you have to remember to do, and to buy: formula, diapers, wipes...  I used to say that God gives us amnesia so that the term ‘sibling’ would not become obsolete.

There is a new baby in our house and his name is Vancomyacin, initials, I.V.  I think it is a boy…”Vanco” for short.  Regardless, he wakes me up at all hours of the day and night, needing prepped, fed, checked and changed.  He is a huge inconvenience and kind of fussy.  But we are glad to be home with him.  Again, like with a baby, the excitement of being home blinds you to the fact that you are now in charge of your newborn…and all the responsibility that goes with it.  Nurses don’t come home with you to care for your new bundle of joy.  God bless my husband for his early morning attention to Vanco before he goes to work.

Yesterday, because Lauren had to meet with her oncologist first thing in the morning (her brain looks great, btw), I had Alex babysit Vanco, and flush Brent's line with saline and heparin when he unhooked him.  Thank God for cell phones, so I could check on them...not terribly different from the first time I left him with Olivia.  He of course did fine.  Sigh...

There are days that I weary a bit of this duty, perhaps because I am coming in with a two year sleep deficit to begin with.   When the comparison of Vanco to a baby was first made by a dear friend (actually, to the ugly baby from Seinfeld, only living in my house),  I thought,” Holy mother of God—I am 44 years old and far too old for this nonsense!”  I would remind you that I am eagerly awaiting the first opportunity to have my ovaries yanked.

I think that at this point in my life, I ought to be thinking more about grandmother status—where you enjoy the little darlings and send them home with their mother when the day is done.  If you are “that” kind of grandmother, you send them home all hopped up on sugar.

So, we have a special bag filled with all of the accoutrements.  This diaper bag has tubing, syringes, alcohol swabs, ice pack for the antibiotic, which is a little different than the one I used to pack.  But it is really not so different, and I am getting into the swing of things.  We do in fact go places.  We just plan ahead, and hang the IV from whatever is available…Grandma’s chandelier, or in the car, using the hook for the dry cleaning…you figure it out.   

I do have to keep an eye on supplies, which you cannot simply pick up at Walgreens.  We have a separate pharmacy to deal with.  There are special doctors and nurses to check in with for this.  Also, there are particular labs to draw because of it. I haven’t designated a separate color for it on my calendar yet, only because I haven't gotten myself that organized yet. (Each child has their own color so I can keep them straight)

I am grateful to be home, but as we travel next week to NYC for surgery, I will enroll our youngest in boarding school with equal gratitude, and let the fine nurses at Memorial Sloan Kettering finish with Vanco.   Like with my other babies, I hope to be amazed with what he accomplishes. 

They grow up so fast


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