The best parenting advice I ever heard was this: “Listen to all of the advise from others, read all of the books — and then forget all of it, because parenting is about the unexpected.” Who knew that, in the chaos of our current situation, a little of the regular parenting advice would ring true?
Tomorrow, Vampbaby is coming home.
Now, before you get your blog-reading panties in a bunch with excitement, let me temper this seemingly good news with a little of the caution that made this a challenging decision for us to make — and it was indeed our decision. For a variety of reasons I’ll leave to science, starting the next chemo cycle needs to be delayed for a couple of days. While my little one is still not “back to normal” (don’t count on that for a long, long time), he is well enough that we had the option of bringing him home during the interim. Figuring that it was better to try it out than not (and wonder if we should have), we’ve decided to partake in the experiment of life outside the hospital walls.
The homecoming will not be any sort of party, however. Vampbaby is still not eating, so he is receiving nutrition (called TPN) through the port in his chest. That will have to continue (which means we have the added treat of making sure that the dog and the baby don’t get tangled in the tubing during their reunion), as well as a shot he needs in his leg once a day. The latter will be administered by a visiting nurse, while the TPN will be coordinated by the parental units. Sadly, I bring the experience of working with the same gooey nutrients when Vampmommy was pregnant. I never, ever wanted to hear the sound of that damn pump again….
He is also incredibly weak — while he was giddy with excitement about putting his shoes on today, he is really unable to walk, and play time lasts about 5 minutes before he needs a break. There is also the issue of his immune system, which is pretty much shot. So no “play dates” with friends, and no hordes of happy visitors. Visitors in small doses are allowed, but no kids, and said guests have to be in perfect health, and have spent their recent history without exposure to anyone who isn’t.
While I deferred to Vampmommy in making the decision (after all, I’m at the hospital two days a week — a lot less than her, and a hell of a lot less than our son), I am left nervous and uneasy about bringing him home. There will be no nursing staff constantly monitoring him, and with that brings a level of anxiety I’m sure will make truly relaxing a bit difficult. But best to get used to the idea now, as eventually we hope to get to a place where returning home is not such a rarity. And, if it turns out to be a bad idea, then at least we’ll have discovered that sooner rather than later.
The experiment will be short lived, however — as Vampbaby will return to the hospital on Friday to start the next round of chemo, and another 2+ weeks in Chez Healing.