It's been a long day. A really long day. Gavin can see that I need a break. We make a plan- he will take over with the children for an hour or so and I will get a break.
I think about taking a walk to the library.
I think about meditating or doing some yoga.
I think about taking a shower.
Before I can decide, Gavin calls out that Zoe's g-tube is missing. We just gave the girls a bath and Zoe is getting dressed. There is a hole where Zoe's g-tube should be.
A hole but no tube.
A hole that is now empty.
So where is the tube?
I find it in the bathroom by the toilet.
I clean it off. Soak it in a solution to sterilize it (it was hanging out by the toilet after all).
I find the supplies...or most of them. Gavin has to search for a sterile KY gel to help the tube glide in more easily.
Supplies in hand.
No big deal.
Still plenty of time for a break.
Tube in hand, I push it back in to the hole in Zoe's stomach.
The hole that I hate to see.
The hole that makes life easier when Zoe is sick and I know is necessary but really, who wants to see a hole carved in to their child's stomach?
I push and twist but the tube will not slide in.
What is the problem?
This should be a quick procedure.
Why won't you go in?
Thirty minutes later Gavin and I have both attempted to get the tube back in and no joy.
I am starting to feel a bit queasy with every new attempt.
I worry we are pushing too hard and will create a "false passage"- that the tube will pierce through the man made channel in to her body cavity.
I begin to worry we aren't going to get this stupid tube in and will need to take Zoe to the hospital to get it replaced.
Just go in all ready.
I start to feel really frustrated and nauseous and a little pissed.
This was supposed to be my break time.
I really need a break before nursing Willow.
I really need a break before getting Zoe's meds ready.
I really need a break before I clean one more freaking thing in this house.
So I take a deep breath and make a joke instead. I turn to Gavin and say, "Just to be clear- this was not the break I was talking about. This does not count."
And we both know this sucks.
And we both watch Zoe wince as our attempts become more forceful and her poor tummy muscle becomes irritated and sore.
And we both want to throw that stupid, freaking tube out the window.
Finally- 45 minutes later the tube slides in to place as if it is no big deal. Zoe giggles, relieved. There is not blood like there sometimes is and Zoe immediately rolls away from us and goes back to playing, obviously fine.
And I think about when we decided to have children.
Gavin and I talked about adopting children. There are so many children in the world who need a good home. And we talked about adopting a child with special needs because those children get overlooked and left behind. And we talked about how we wanted to do that but perhaps first we would have a healthy child of our own. We both worked at the hospital and we were around children with needs all the time. We worried that if we adopted a child with special needs it would seem more like work then being a parent. Plus- I was young, only 26. I wasn't ready to have a child with special needs. So we decided, have a healthy child or two of our own and then adopt.
That was our plan. That is what we had in mind. That was the life we chose.
And then this life chose us.
One year …
2 months ago