Well, I finally feel the nudge to continue on with Claire’s story. When I first started documenting her journey back in February 2018, I was jazzed (and very nervous). I was excited. I was ready. And I was able to bust out entries like a boss.
And then life got busy.
We had doctors appointments, and a REALLY big one for Claire in May where she had a repeat brain MRI, bone survey, and genetic testing. All summer I was a nervous wreck waiting for those results. We finally got them in September (after they were a month over due!). And then school started up, the kids started a new daycare, and life just seemed to pick up pace.
While it’s cathartic for me to write out Claire’s story, and I feel like it’s important to document all of these details before they get forgotten in the Abis that is my “mom brain,” (as my 5 year old likes to tell his teacher, “My mom…she just…forgets a lot of things”) it’s also very draining. Recapping and reliving these incredibly stressful moments is emotionally depleting – which is why I needed to take a break for a bit. Thank you for being patient with me!
But… I’m back! And I have lots to share. Buckle up, y’all!
If you’ve been following Claire’s journey, we’re going to pick up, by backing up… because there’s a VERY important part of her story that fits in between Ask and You Shall Receive and Home (Not so Sweet) Home and it highlights some very important people who made their debut in Right Place at the Right Time.
To recap – before Claire was born I had reconnected with my bestie from the 90’s in a random (or Holy Spirit driven) encounter downtown. I had promised to keep in touch, and she came up to the hospital to visit shortly after Claire was born. Prior to Claire being born, my husband and I had toured a handful of daycare centers in town. We knew it was possible our baby would need round-the-clock nursing care, but also might not need that at all. When we found out, SURPRISE, she was coming four weeks early, instead of panicking about daycare, I just kind of thought…screw it. There was no sense in spending money on multiple “holds” at different daycares (and inevitably flushing more money down the drain) when we would know the baby’s needs in a few weeks.
And that’s where our story picks up (see..aren’t you glad you stuck around for that long introduction?). It’s about to get good.
So my friend, Sam (who later became Sammy per our oldest), came up to the hospital to visit our teeny tiny 4 pound bundle of love, who could pack a mean stinky diaper. You could literally smell her outside of her baby incubator…now that’s talent.
I was tired, sleep deprived, and overwhelmed. I don’t really remember all of the details about our visit, but what I do remember was talking about daycare…or lack there of. We now knew Claire wouldn’t need a full time nursing staff, but she would certainly need a little TLC and someone who could handle helping care for a child with special needs.
While finding daycare was important, it was kind of on the back burner until Claire got out of the NICU and life settled down a bit at home. I had prayed about it, and honestly, put it in God’s hands. Which sounds sweet and faith filled, but let me translate the real conversation for you here. It went a little something like this,
“God, you figure it out. I’m too tired. Haven’t I done enough?”
It wasn’t pretty, it certainly wasn’t polite, but it was the best I could do.
“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Sam and I stayed in touch throughout Claire’s stay in the NICU through texting and visits. It was a joy to rekindle a childhood friendship and have someone I could turn to for advice as I began navigating the waters of special education. God knew what he was doing, and he wasn’t done yet.
Fast forward to finding out we were going to be discharged from the NICU (alleluia!) and I get a text:
Sam: Have you found daycare for Claire yet?
Me: No…haha! (but actually freaking out because, seriously, what was I going to do?!)
Sam: Well…I’ve been thinking…and I just feel like…I should watch her.
Me: *in my head* SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Are you FOR REAL? YES YES YES!
Me: *in real life trying to be cool* Ok! Yeah, let’s set up a time to all meet together.
And right then and there I called my husband.
“OH MY GOSH! I think we’ve found daycare for Claire!”
“What do you mean, ‘ok,’ aren’t you the least bit excited and relieved?”
We decided to do a dinner at her house and it couldn’t have gone any better. The house was busy, as Sammy and Jane took care of a boy with autism, had a hedgehog named Ellen, a rambunctious puppy, and a fish tank filled with frogs. It was busy and it was full of love. In essence, it was perfect.
After Claire was dismissed from the NICU, Sam and Jane came over to our house to talk about a start date, pay, etc. I was so nervous they would change their minds that my hands were dripping with sweat that night and I’m sure my heart rate was sky high. When they smiled and agreed, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic!
Thank you, God, for another answered prayer.
Their house was literally 3 minutes from my work, I could drop Claire off and pick her up while my husband took our oldest to and from his daycare. Claire would have all of the love and attention she would need, and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Once again, things were falling into place in a way that I could have never dreamed. And that is how Snugs ‘n Boops Daycare, one of our greatest treasures when Claire was a baby, got started. When we leave things up to God, he works up plans that we could never even fathom.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6