More Nurse Love

Every member of Nyana’s Army who has soldiered on with us from the beginning knows that I have a love/hate relationship with nurses. For months on end, I stressed about who my nurse would be on any given day, and I took out my frustrations on more nurses than I care to count. By the time our 222 days finally came to an end, I was more than ready to say goodbye to nurses in all capacities. So when the NICU finally discharged us with 48 hours of nursing care per week in our back pocket, I said thanks, but no thanks and didn’t look back. The thought of a nurse in my home just didn’t sit well with me; Don and I are perfectly capable and knowledgeable enough to be able to take care of Nyana and her BPD without a medical professional. We don’t need someone here helping us be parents. She’s not really sick enough that we need so many hours a week. That’s what I kept telling myself.

Boy, was I wrong. Home nursing is pretty great.

I contacted the nursing agency about three weeks ago now; I was still adamant that I didn’t want or need any in-home support, but I thought I best be proactive and get a handful of nurses who know Nyana sooner than later. I know that whether I want it or not, the time is going to come when we need a nurse. We agreed to start slow—just Tuesdays and Thursdays, for four hours each afternoon. Scheduling conflicts meant the first two weeks were Tuesdays only, which was fine by me.

I was so apprehensive about our first home visit. I had no idea what to expect, no idea how I was supposed to behave. I just didn’t know. Was this person here to supervise me and step in when I asked? Was I supposed to sit back and let this person look after my child while I watched? Should I just leave the house for four hours? What if I don’t like her? What if Ny doesn’t like her?

They sent us Julie. She’s a seasoned nurse, a woman with two teenage girls of her own at home, easy to get along with and instantly fond of Nyana. During our first meeting I stayed home for most of the four hour shift, simultaneously filling her in on the details of Nyana’s little life and bragging/accepting praise about our princess. With an hour remaining before her shift was over, I left them alone as I ran out for some groceries. So many times I’d walked out on my babygirl in a nurse’s arms when we were still in the NICU, but to do it at home was just weird. Yet I’ll admit to smiling just a little bit as I enjoyed the freedom of a four block walk without a baby and a stroller and an oxygen tank. It was a nice afternoon with Julie around to hang out with Nyana.

She’s been back here twice now since that first meeting, and Ny isn’t 100% sold on her yet but I am. On her second visit, I said hello to her and got everyone settled, then left them alone as I headed down the hill to the aquatic centre to swim some laps and do a deep-water cardio class. On her third visit, she just hung out with us and took a four hands are better than two approach, joining in on our visit from Neema‘s parents, and letting me putter in my kitchen while she tended to Nyana’s fussiness and fatigue.

I was so resistant to the idea of home nursing because it felt like something frivolous, like something we didn’t need. I’ve managed more a month now of caring for Nyana every day on my own, so why should I suddenly take on help that I was doing just fine without? Turns out that even if was was doing OK on my own, I’m able to be a better mum—and wife, for that matter—if I have an extra pair of hands around here from time to time to help. And I must say, it’s a lot easier to love a nurse when she’s in my home playing by my rules.


About Mrs. B

Wife, mother, marketer--not always in that order. Lover of fine food, good company, and exceptional grammar. Mother of one former micro-preemie and one full-term monster baby. Building childhood memories in Vancouver's suburbs.
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7 Responses to More Nurse Love

  1. That completely makes sense. It is great that you realize how the help can make you better in your primary roles as mother and wife. Time alone is nice but isn’t easiest after having left her so much before but like you said at least it is in your home. I love the blog header picture by the way. Nyana’s face is awesome like she is thinking yes I am cute. kiss away.

  2. Twiggy says:

    How great it is to have time for yourself. Your nurse sounds perfect for you.

  3. Tom Wiebe says:

    A bit of extra help is always good. We were forced to cross the babysitting threshold with Trajan much earlier than planned when our apartment got flooded and had my Mom take care of him for the day. It’s great to be able to go out once in a while as a couple again. The biggest problem is that now, Grandma wants to babysit _every_ day. Something I don’t think Trajan would object to one bit but, we’d like a bit of time with our son too! 🙂

  4. Tasha says:

    I think in any situation, we all do better with a little bit of help. So why is it so hard to ask and accept it?!

  5. Linda says:

    Good on you, Karen for accepting and using the services of the home nurses, a service that you so richly deserve and need. Parents of babies with no medical issues need to get away once in a while, to re-charge their batteries and to give their bodies and minds a mental and physical uplift. They don’t call on nurses to take charge of their babes, they call on babysitters!! Your situation is much different of course, what with Nyana’s medical needs, but it is because of these needs that you must get away for a few hours a couple of times a week. It is vital for you and Don to take some breaks and it is good for Nyana as well…she needs an energized Mum and that won’t happen if you don’t get the necessary time away from her. Parents who have healthy babies don’t have the luxury of knowing that their babysitters can handle any medical emergency that may arise – you can leave Nyana with Julie or any other nurse/sitter and have the peace of mind knowing that she is in the safest hands possible. Many mums would envy you!!
    Enjoy your few free hours each week…all of you will benefit from these “nurse angels”

  6. Help is offered so often and I always turn it down.. I don’t know why?
    I feel like she’s my responsibility, not anyone elses, though they WANT to take her for a bit. It’s hard to get used to that.

    Glad you’ve been able to get out of the house and enjoy some “you” time.

  7. RoxiP says:

    As Linda said, so many times we forget to take care of ourselves and to take some time for ourselves…you are giving everyone in your family a gift when you take advantage of some time away to do things for yourself…and you are teaching Ny (of course she already knows this because she’s such a smart girl) that Mommy can leave and that she will return and all will be okay in the world. (I’m not sure I have ever typed such a poor sentence…LOL!)

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