Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Wild Ride (Part Two)

Yep...  I called my Mommy... (If you missed Part One, just click on the link.)

Most of my family had been on a cruise that week, and they apparently had just pulled into the garage when I sent out my "Mommy SOS."  (And by "just pulled in," I mean that they hadn't even closed the garage door or unloaded their bags from the car.)  After a quick potty break, my mom and aunt came over and took over holding Itty Bitty so I could get Little Miss bathed, changed, bottled, cuddled, and in bed. 

The one good thing about the situation was that Little Miss is a fantastic and predictable sleeper.  Her bedtime routine consisted of us reading a book or playing for a few minutes, Miss pointing to the kitchen indicating that she was ready for her bedtime bottle, pushing her bottle away when she was finished, giving me a quick hug, and then pointing upstairs to her bedroom at precisely 7:00pm.  We would walk in the room, she pointed to her crib, I'd put her down, she'd grab her own blanket, roll over, and usually was sound asleep before I left the room.  And the best part was that she slept until 7:00am the next morning!  That was the only thing that helped get me through that night with Itty Bitty who woke up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours to drink 2 measly little ounces of her bottle.

Somehow the timing of the feedings that night worked out so that Itty Bitty was fed and asleep just before Little Miss woke up for the day.  Things were all fine and dandy until Miss realized that the squalling one was still there.  Then it was back to the squalling two.  I somehow managed to get both girls dressed and loaded in the car to get Little Miss off to daycare.  She was hysterical enough with Itty Bitty in the house.  I wanted to go ahead and keep things as "normal" as possible for her, so daycare it was!  I had Miss in one arm with her diaper bag and my purse on that shoulder, and Bitty in her carrier in the other arm.  Thank God it wasn't cold or raining, or I would have been in a world of hurt!

I thought I could handle Itty Bitty okay as long as Miss wasn't there too, so I didn't call my mom that morning.  She ended up calling me and told me she was coming over.  And I'm soooo glad she did!  Itty Bitty was a nightmare in this angelic little body.  The nurses weren't kidding when they said that she's used to being held all the time.  What they neglected to mention was that she was used to being held and walked around with all the time.  Bitty was not content with being rocked.  She wanted to be walked.  And she let you know it in an ear-piercing, nails-on-a-chalkboard, make-your-ears-bleed, constant wail.

Mom and I took turns walking and feeding Bitty so she would stop screaming and the other one would attack the remnants of the natural disaster that seemed to have also struck my household in the 24 hours that Bitty had been there.  How is it possible that something so little can wreak so much havoc on a household?!?  In 24 hours, I had accumulated more dirty laundry than I had during the previous week having been pooped on, peed on, and spit up on multiple times.  I had moved all of my bedding out to the living room and slept on the couch during the few minutes that Bitty would sleep because every little sound woke her up.  My kitchen had been taken over by dirty bottles because Bitty ate every 2 hours.  It was scary bad.

It was abundantly clear to me in that first day that a single, trying to work full-time, foster mom really should admit to herself that taking on two infants (a 12-month-old and a newborn fresh out of the NICU) by herself probably wasn't the best and brightest idea.  I knew that the girls had a hearing on Monday and that they were probably going to be placed with their dad, so I only had to make it through the weekend.  I did something I had never done before...  I called my agency and asked if they could find a couple to do respite for Itty Bitty over the weekend.

I've always used my mom as my "official" respite care provider for babysitting my kids, and my BFF took on Angel for a few days when she was with me, but I'd never asked to use another foster family.  I'll tell you though...  It was worth it!  This angelic couple offered to come over and pick up Itty Bitty that night and keep her until Monday morning after I got Little Miss off to daycare.  Based on how Little Miss was reacting to Bitty, and how she was already reverting back to some of her previous behaviors that she hadn't done in weeks, I knew it was the best for her to wait until she went home to her dad's before bringing her little sister into the picture permanently.

Before my weekend angels came to pick up Bitty, my mom stayed to cater to the little squalling one while I tried to give the bigger squalling one my as-undivided-as-possible-in-that-situation attention.  Poor Little Miss...  She couldn't understand what was happening.  All she knew was that I wasn't all hers anymore...  And for a 12-month-old who'd never had a mom's undivided attention up until she came to live with me, losing that after 5 weeks was devasting for her.  I was able to get her off to bed a few minutes before those nice, nice people who I grew to love more than just about anything that weekend came to pick up Bitty.

I realize that my mom and I probably didn't display the most appropriate reactions to having Bitty leave for the weekend, but upon shutting the front door, we turned to each other...  Breathed deep, cleansing breaths, and exclaimed (in the words of my sweet niece)...

(Stay Tuned for Part Three)


Nana said...

Reading this made me hyperventilate and break out in a cold sweat! PLEASE don't ever agree to more than one infant at a time again or I'll leave the country permanently next time! ;-)

Tammy (aka. Mimi) said...

Why do you think it's taking me WEEKS to write the saga? I've got the shakes and have to keep uncurling myself from the fetal position under my desk. :)

MamaFoster said...

that is exactly why I have said no to drug addicted babies (not that I am saying she was one) because I am terrified of having to deal with what you just described!!!

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