Exhausted. I guess that does not begin to describe the journey of motherhood! Lydia has taught me a lot about being a parent through the journey we have been on. See being a parent is being present. Being a parent is being active. Being a parent is being involved. Being a parent is a verb, an action; it is not just sitting back.
With Ellen and Allison they just did and I did not have to question a lot about their developing. We took the philosophy that they would do it when they could. This is an excellent way to parent, in my opinion. We were laid back and celebrated each milestone they took. I did not realize that this would be essential for raising Lydia. It was great that God gave us this instinct.
However, I did not have to question too much. If the doctor said they needed this or that, we did it. It usually sounded reasonable to us. In daycare (I worked full time when Ellen and Allison were younger) I did not question much about what happened and what went on, what they did. I trusted pretty much everything.
Then something happened, a worker in the daycare was not treating my daughter nicely. Actually she said some very inappropriate things. When I pushed harder I was silenced. I let it be. At this point, God showed me that it would be best to be a stay at home mom. He did have to push me really hard to convince me however. After being laid off from one job, I got a new job. That job tested my faith and what I believed in. I took another job and was there for one day when I decided to be obedient to what God wanted me to do. I did not realize what He was really preparing me to do.
All of these things were really little things that were leading to something really big...Lydia. He was preparing us for a life changing event. He was preparing us to change the way we thought, acted, and He would challenge us in many ways.
I don't really remember Lydia's first surgery, I was completely out of it. But I do remember the hours upon hours that her surgeon spent in her room answering questions about her surgery. I remember questioning each nurse on how they did things. I remember asking why this test, what was this for, was that needed, why did we have to fortify her formula. The whys just kept coming. Some of it was for curiosity, some was for knowledge, and some was because I felt it was not needed.
After her first surgery we never left her side. When she died on us one day we were upset because they did not listen to us that her breathing tube was in the wrong place, despite the x-ray. See when the tube was left alone it would not allow air down, but when you pulled back on the tube a little she was just fine. It took almost losing her to understand how important a job we were given. We had to be active no matter what. After all, it is better to ask questions because we are all humans who make mistakes.
We have questioned and researched a lot of different things. We had to "fight" to get her feeding tube out. By using video, and documentation and research and talking with other professionals, we were confident in going against one specialty and agreeing with three others. It is tough, we are completely out of our element. I never spent the hours and days in medical school. But I can educate, I can be active, and I can participate in her care, in her life, in the decisions that need to be made. I am called to do that. I am accountable for her. She is on loan to me, she is God's child and He trusted me to take care of her.
It is tiring, but so rewarding. Seeing how well she has done without her feeding tube is simply amazing. We understood the risk, but we knew it was one that needed to be made. And this has begun our journey of being active parents. Asking questions, getting research, talking with others and getting involved.
I know that there are a lot of people that look at me and think oh no, not her again. Well, it does not really matter to me what they think, mostly. I have to remind myself that this is how parenting works for us. This is how God wants us to parent.
Lydia has taught me that there is a skill. I need not attack people, but just come in and ask the questions. I need to know why and what they are doing to my daughters at all times. I get involved and that way I don't miss out on anything.
We decided to put our girls in private school. I get the opportunity to go in and teach their gym class, help out with the hot lunch, get involved. I know what is happening and together, with their teachers we can effectively parent.
I am SO grateful that this journey with Lydia has allowed me to see how very important this is. It is hard and very exhausting. Today we just had an issue with some braces for her. I need more information to make sure that we are doing the right thing for her. It is hard, especially when these folks have become your friends. You don't want to offend anyone, but you need questions asked. I look into her eyes remember that moment when I was too scared to say something, and think that this is my second chance, she is worth it. Each of my daughters are worth it. Getting to know what they are doing is crucial for me.