As we have written before, getting Faith out of the house is an ordeal. Honestly we don't do it as much as we did during the summer. Inspired by my friend Tina, who out of necessity takes her daughter who is trach/vented out by herself all the time, I decided today was going to be my day! So I packed Faith up, changed her car seat to forward facing (which was an ordeal in itself...) and headed out solo.
At first I was going to take her to the grocery store, but then I realized that I do in fact need to buy food and with Faith that may not happen. I remembered we have a couple of weddings coming up so I headed for Bed Bath & Beyond. Getting her in and out of the car is 90% of the battle and once she was in the shopping cart (with her equipment which took up the entire cart itself) I strapped the suction machine to the handle bar and with the ambu bag in tow (which was in my purse, btw), we were on a roll.
Faith did very well for first time out alone. And so did I. The reason why I've never done this before isn't because I'm scared of handling her by myself, it's that the process is...well...complicated. I found strength in numbers, thinking about all the trach/vent moms who do this by themselves everyday and I soldiered on.
I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. I thought it was going to come someday when she is off the vent, I'm glad it came sooner. Every week at the grocery store when I see other moms with their young children I'm reminded again of the limitations my child faces. I can't just throw her into the car and take her to the store like a typical parent would. Once again something that was taken away from me was restored. And something was restored in Faith too. While she has a happy life, I do feel bad that she spends 99% of her time on a 4 foot rug. As an early childhood teacher, I know how a child's early experiences shape their development. Faith hasn't had half the experiences that kids her age have had which makes me feel a little guilty for not getting her out as much as we should. Nevertheless, little by little both Faith and I will get to reclaim those experiences, and relish every minute of them, one shopping cart at a time. :)
Enjoy the pics from our adventure:
Here we go! I think we both can handle this!
The people in the store probably thought I was nuts snapping pictures of my baby in Bed Bath & Beyond, but if I really cared what people thought of us I wouldn't have gone out in the first place. :) And of course I have to document these milestones! (This one was a "mommy milestone")
Faith found her next sleeping arrangement. A butterfly "big girl bed." Oh yeah and the glasses are back! I think Faith was so distracted by everything she didn't even notice they were on. Although she did fling them across the floor of the store several times so never mind!
Always a music lover, Faith's favorite part of the store was the "music medley" display. I didn't notice it at first and rolled right by, but Faith turned around to look at it. It was just too cute! So we took a few minutes and just listened. :) And yes, even though we were shopping for other people I gave in and let Faith "pick out' a place mat. ;) Actually it was kind of nice to be in a store with a toddler who can't vocalize, or point. "You get what you get" takes on a whole new meaning..
All that shopping was exhausting! Time to head home.