Today was Natalie's first dance recital for her jazz and ballet class. Our cousins offered to watch my youngest, Naomi, who is only 20 months old and probably would not sit quietly during the recital. My oldest, Kaylee, loves spending time with these cousins, so she offered to stay home to help them watch Naomi. Initially, Phoebe wanted to stay home too. But as soon as she saw mommy walk out the door, all she wanted was to be with me. She is a mommy's girl, and loves spending time with me, but it's the way she was crying for me that I thought something more might be wrong.
Phoebe was doing well when we first got to the recital, and even for the first hour of it. We were lucky enough to have seats on the outside of the aisle and there wasn't a lot of people around us. Phoebe was able to go from sitting on my lap, to my husbands lap, to dancing in the aisle depending on what seemed more appealing to her. The longer the recital went on, the more Phoebe started to act like she wasn't feeling 100%. I was already going through the check list in my head of ways she acts when certain things are bothering her. I know she was tired of sitting and being quiet, but that feeling I had earlier that it was something more started to creep back up again.
When we finally got home from the recital, Phoebe sat on the front porch to enjoy the fresh air and nice breeze.
Some of our post op instructions were to remove the outer bandage 3 days after surgery. That meant today. Phoebe was already having an iffy day and I knew taking off the bandage was going to hurt and scare her. I waited for her to relax a little more before starting to remove it.
She screamed and cried louder than she ever has before. She was hysterical. As I slowly rolled up the edges of the bandage I noticed that some of the steri strips were starting to come up with it. It was time to call in reinforcements. You are never too old to need your mom, and that is just who I asked to help me.
I placed Phoebe on the kitchen table with her head on a pillow. She was in even more hysterics now from the pieces of the bandage pulling at her hair and skin. She kept rolling over and putting her hands and arms in the way of her neck. I had no choice but to embrace her and hold her still on the table so we could continue to remove the bandage. That sent her over the edge. She kept screaming and crying that it hurt, that she wanted me to pick her up and that she wanted us to stop. The inner struggle that went on inside of me was torture. I wanted to pick her up and hold her and leave the bandage on, but I knew that it had to come off. I just kept repeating in my head "you are doing the right thing, you are doing the right thing".
As soon as the bandage was off, Phoebe sat up quickly, wiped her tears, took some tylenol for the pain and then smiled at me and asked for yogurt. She continues to amaze me with how resilient she is. She perks right back up while my heart is still aching, and my mom is crying uncontrollably.
The whole experience of taking off the bandage was the tip of the iceberg to an already building bad day. As soon as she finished her yogurt, she curled up on the couch under her favorite blanket to watch Cinderella, and within 10 minutes fell asleep.
She slept for over 4 hours, and we had to wake her up to try to get her to eat some dinner. She woke up still very exhausted, with a slightly elevated temp of 99.2, and wasn't hungry. All we could get her to eat was a few bites of corn.
Some days are better then others, and how she is doing can change in a flash. My mom asked me how I can do all this, because the whole bandage incident really hit her hard. All I can say to answer her was, "If Phoebe can do it, so can I."
I roar with my daughter!
Photos: 1- Incision site without the outer bandage
2- Phoebe fell asleep watching Cinderella