It has been such an emotional day that it would have been too easy to assume it to be the time of the month.
Taking your daughter to a hospital is obviously intense, but with our rate of hospital visits it’s as tear-jerking as going to a dentist for a check-up.
First time I bit my lip in aid to control my emotions today was when I learned she would stay overnight.
When I called to ask help from the organisation that provides our night carers, I didn’t expect to get a lot. It is not their purpose to provide respite for the hospital, so even as I explained that without the night support Elisa’s Dad would need to stay in the hospital with her, as she needs 1:1, I didn’t dare to wish to actually get a carer for the night.
But we did. Not only for the night but for the morning too. It meant no rushing, it meant breakfast, it meant a proper night sleep together.
Then I cried as our friend Dani promised she could pick Dan up after the night carer had started her shift, saving me buckling our sleeping toddler to a car seat and disturbing her night sleep.
Can you guess what got to me most ?
Melody woke up with a startle. She had been asleep for about two hours already, so it was very much unexpected.
As I got her to my arms and rocked her sobbing body against me, I listened to the empty house. I could hear the neighbours; it was that quiet. And dark – as it had been just me downstairs, I hadn’t had many lights on.
Melody wouldn’t calm down. I decided to take her downstairs, and as I carefully carried her down the stairs, I saw her searching. I didn’t dare to say anyone’s name as I calculated it to make matters worse.
We got to the lounge and she started to cry even harder as she saw Elisa’s bare bed and empty couch. There was no Dad playing on the xbox, there was no sleeping Elisa or her beebing monitors.
It was just her and Mummy.
She cried so hard that her body was shaking with anxiety. I kept cuddling her, talking to her, even tried singing to her (poor baby), and then I resulted to giving her sugar. It stopped her crying for a moment; then she let out a weep.
We settled on a couch together. She was laying on top of me, resting her head on my chest. I hoped she would go back to sleep like that, but she kept staring at Elisa’s empty motorised bed.
I feel incomplete when my family is not together – I couldn’t even imagine how this toddler felt.
I then sent a message to her father. As he replied immediately, I video called him.
How could I ever explain that immediate relief, when our 2,5 year old saw her father on the phone?
She took the phone, and the smile on her face…
We let Dani know we would be picking up Daddy after all.
From her big sisters clothes, Melody picked out Minion pyjama bottoms. Eagerly she dressed herself and I helped her put her shoes on. As she waited for me to lock the front door, she said to herself: “Good girl, Melody.”
When we walked towards the car hand in hand, she kept saying “Daddy, daddy, Daddy!” I looked down to her blond head – with her other hand she held Peppa Pig – toy tightly on her chest and there was spring in her steps. She was on a mission. She was to get her Dad back.
Once I got her strapped in her car seat, she pointed at Daddy’s seat and said again “Dada”. Then she looked at me and said: “Elisa”.
“Elisa needs to stay in the hospital,” I said in Finnish, “but we go and get Daddy.”
“Daddy”, she confirms.
After her Father closed his arms around her, she was pleased. I passed some clothes and other essentials for Elisa to the night carer, and we were on our way home.
One staying in the hospital affects the whole family unit
Melody is still restless: her family is not complete. She is resting on her Dads bare chest at the moment as I sit with my laptop thinking of my first-born child in the hospital. How I miss her, but how lucky we are to have a familiar carer looking after her tonight so we can have a good night sleep at home. That is luxury; that is so much more in comparison to what we used to have.
But that is again another story.