Warning – long post alert. Get your popcorn now! 🙂
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
So I mentioned in a previous post our plans for when I return to work which included details about my work schedule and our overall plan. You can read the full post here. The gist of it is that my mother in law wanted to keep her some, as well as my mother, but we thought day care would be good for her in a social aspect and this was her basic schedule:
Monday – Daycare
Tuesday – MawMaw (my mother in law)
Wednesday – Daycare
Thursday – MawMaw
Every Other Friday – YaYa (my mom)
We carefully selected a daycare based on location and I actually went to that daycare and previewed it. I was very impressed and thought it would be a great fit. Whitlee’s number one priority is healthy weight gain since she was 6 weeks premature. She is actually on the growth charts now, which is great, but she definitely needs to continue a steady weight gain.
Today was the start of my 6th week back to work and we thought everything was going really well on all counts. Then all of the sudden several things happened that bothered me, two of which really upset me.
1. They didn’t tell me that her “teachers” rotate. We still don’t have any proof of this, but my husband said he finally noticed that every time he dropped her off and every time he picks her up, it’s a different person. Different person from one morning to the next and different person from one afternoon to the next, then randomly it’ll be a familiar face. So with separation anxiety looming in our near future (I’ve heard it kicks in about 6 months), I wasn’t comfortable with this at all. Plus babies are creatures of habit and how was someone supposed to get her routine down if it was someone new every day?? This wasn’t major, but still made me a little concerned.
2. This is one that really upset me. Again, I don’t have any confirmation of this, but that momma intuition was fully ablaze. Whitlee wears Pampers diapers and that’s all we send with her to daycare. Daycare also numbers their diapers for some reason…maybe for identification, but Whitlee’s always have a 3 written on them. (Which is also weird to me – you have to assign my child a number?? *Side-eye*) Well when we were in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, the IV antibiotics she was on gave her diarrhea, which led to a little bit of diaper rash. They also provided Huggies diapers in the hospital, and when we were discharged they sent the remaining diapers of an open package home with us. So we put them in her diaper drawer to use up first so that we could be done with them. We didn’t put any in her diaper bag. We started using Desitin on her diaper rash and it seemed to be helping. That next Monday, she went back to daycare and when Nolan dropped her off he informed them of the hospital stay, and let them know I’d be picking her up at 2 instead of him getting her at 5 so we could go back for a checkup. He was supposed to tell them about the diaper rash and let them know there was Desitin in her bag, but when I picked the car seat up from him just before 2, he realized he’d forgotten to tell them about the diaper rash. I thought it wasn’t a major deal, I’d just let them know for Wednesday. So I picked her up and we went to our appointment, where I changed her diaper while waiting on the pediatrician. I noticed two things and was immediately bothered – 1) she had on a Huggies diaper. An unnumbered Huggies diaper. Which could have only come from home, unless they accidentally gave her another baby’s diaper, but then it most likely would have been numbered. And 2) there was still a little diaper rash cream on her butt. So I asked Nolan if he changed her diaper before he took her to daycare (yes) and did he put diaper rash cream on her at that time (yes). Then I asked him if he put a Huggies diaper on her, but he said he couldn’t be sure. But daycare didn’t know about her diaper rash and didn’t know we put Desitin in her bag because when I mentioned it to them at pickup, they said, “Oh, we didn’t even notice it.” I have this gut feeling that she was in the same exact diaper Nolan had dropped her off in, which would have been about 7 hours in one diaper. NOT okay. And not to mention her diaper rash got WORSE after that day, but I’m happy to report is completely cleared up. Momma win.
3. And the final straw. Whitlee was eating 4 ounces every 4 hours and I’ll be honest, it was usually a struggle to get her to eat that much. Then she got sick and was barely eating 2-3 ounces at the hospital, but she was getting plenty of IV fluids + unflavored pedialyte as well. The Wednesday evening after discharge (so a little less than a week later) she was suddenly ravenous and wanted more than her normal 4 ounces and we gave her 6 ounces a couple of times but I wasn’t sure it was going to stick, so we played it by ear. The next day at my mother in laws, she said she acted hungry after each of her 4 ounce bottles, so that evening I fed her 6 ounces at 5 PM and 6 ounces at 9 PM. She took both bottles amazingly! So Friday, Saturday and Sunday we fed her 6 ounces at every. single. bottle. And she ate basically 5-6 ounces like she’d been doing it her whole life – didn’t fight us, didn’t need to stop and burp a dozen times, didn’t spit up afterwards. So I would definitely call that a permanent increase. It was about that time anyway. So when she went to daycare on Monday, my husband let them know she was now eating 6 ounces. When he picked her up, her little report sheet said she’d eaten 4 ounces that morning and 3.5 ounces that afternoon! Seriously?? I worried maybe it wasn’t permanent; maybe we’d gotten a growth spurt and it was over… then she continued to eat 6 ounces at home that evening at 5 PM and 9 PM, and all day the next day at my mother in laws, and again at home that evening. Uh, okay, so 6 ounces. For real. Nolan let them know again on Wednesday that she eats 6 ounces now. When he picked her up, her report sheet said she’d eaten 3 ounces, and 3.5 ounces – and that she “was extremely fussy all day”, with a sad face. He went straight Poppa Bear on them. He told me he is already noticeable because he’s the only dad that does daycare duty – and then he raised his voice and people were like coming out of classrooms to stare at him. She cried pretty much all the way home. At home she drank 6 ounces so fast that she puked, and then ate 2 more ounces. My poor baby was so hungry!! Again, NOT okay.
I was really upset with everything. An infant literally depends on other people for survival. It is ours and the caregivers we choose responsibilities to make sure she is clean, fed, and happy. They failed at keeping her clean (possibly, not proven) and keeping her fed, which resulted in a not happy baby! She continued to eat 5-6 ounces consistently with my mother in law the next day, with my mom the day after that, and with me all weekend. Nolan had every intention of going in on Monday (today) and raising 10 kinds of hell and demanding that they call him and tell him what she ate at 9 and 1, then if she didn’t eat enough he was going to leave work and go down there to feed her the rest – then give them more hell and threaten to pull her out. But I think we knew in our hearts that it just wasn’t going to go well. We had a gut feeling they would just start lying to us about what she ate, and that definitely wouldn’t be healthy.
My best friend, Kaitlin, actually keeps a few kids at her home, which is a half mile from our house. We’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of our best friends. She has her own child (almost 3 years old) and keeps a 6 month old full time and a 1 year old two days a week. She has offered to keep Whitlee a few times also but I had reservations about it because we wanted her to have the social aspects of daycare and originally Kaitlin only kept the one kid, plus I had first time momma anxiety that as much time as we spend with her and her husband, Whitlee would prefer her over me if she spent considerably more time with her. Now that I’ve realized Whitlee knows I’m her momma and she loves me in a special way, I’m pretty much past that part of the worry.
We grilled burgers yesterday with Kaitlin and her husband and let the girls play in the swimming pool and later we got to talking about day care and the problems we were having. And she mentioned again she had room to keep a couple more, especially since Whitlee was only part time and the other little girl was part time too. We talked about what she charges and their schedules and the more we talked, the more it just felt right. So when we left, I told Nolan where my head was with it and while it wasn’t something I wanted in the beginning, I feel like it’s a good move. We weighed the pros and cons and honestly couldn’t come up with any cons.
-Close to our house
-I get text updates all day since Kai and I text all the time anyway
-She actually cares about Whitlee’s well being and has the patience to feed her what she needs to eat
-Social interaction with another baby close in age
-Less germs since less exposure to so many other kids
-A little less expensive (but I’ll go ahead and be obnoxious and say that good child care is seriously priceless.)
We pulled the trigger today and moved her to what I like to call Aunt KK’s mini daycare. Turns out, it was the right thing to do.
She ate 5.5 ounces this morning and 5 this afternoon. She said she’s napped really well and has been super happy all day. She and the 6 month old like to sit and smile at each other, and Whitlee tried to eat the other baby’s foot! Maybe that’s a good sign lol. They’ve been around each other many times before anyway, so it’s a familiar environment for her. My heart finally feels like all is well in the world of the working momma.
So lesson learned. Plans with a baby are usually anything but. Thankfully we have great friends that give just enough push that it ends up being a great situation!
And as a reward for reading this far – more pictures of us and Kaitlin and our kiddos!