By Amy McCabe, Special Care Nursery Nurse and Center for Community Health & Wellness Educator, Lowell General Hospital
“Hi, my name is Amy, and I survived the baby years.”
I will be appearing as a guest blogger and offering my best advice as a mother and a nurse. Today, I thought I would provide you with just a little background on my life.
We have three children. My oldest Frankie is now 7, my daughter Elizabeth is nearly 6 and my “baby”, Maura, just turned 4. When we had Maura, my oldest had just turned 3 which meant that I had 3 children in diapers, car seats, and strollers.
While I did not set any records that Guiness would recognize, it was a very, very busy house!
Although it was a busy time (and often crazed) I wouldn’t change a thing. I stayed in “baby mode,” and did it all at once. Now, my children are all close in age and are best friends. Don’t get me wrong, they can duke it out with the best of them, but my girls are attached at the hip!
My family also has a unique dynamic to it – 2 of our 3 children also carry the diagnosis of autism.
Our Frankie is severely impacted with the disorder and remains non-verbal at 7, and Elizabeth is very high-functioning but can get easily frustrated. I know first hand what it’s like to have a child with special needs and the additional stress that it causes a family. To say my husband is a fantastic partner is an understatement. We often say only the other one really knows what we deal with on a daily basis. We work together. We have to, to keep this ship afloat and headed forward.
We do the best we know how, day in and day out, and know that if today is “a bad day” tomorrow will probably not be.
In addition to being a mom I also work part time at Lowell General Hospital as a nurse in the Special Care Nursery and the Community Health and Wellness Department. Other than maternity leaves, I have always worked. I think it was good for my head to keep a balance of family and work – it was certainly helping financially as well! I would often joke that I went to work to change more diapers because I couldn’t get enough at home! Although I can swaddle with the best of them, I had to learn for myself what it was like to have a baby of my own.
The best piece of advice I can offer you today is what you have probably heard many times over – enjoy this time when your little ones are still little, because it will go by faster than you may realize.
It is so true! If I could go back for a moment and hold one of my little ones while they slept in my arms in the rocker one more time, I would. I try to force myself to remember the moments of pure bliss when I would walk into the bedroom towards the crib and see a little face peeking at me behind the bars grinning from ear to ear because the center of their universe had just come in to scoop them up.
Take pictures and make videos as often as possible! You will regret it if you don’t!
Please comment or email me directly with any questions. Otherwise, I hope my words will offer moms some help in your daily life!