Yesterday was Joel's first day of scheduled appointments. I was totally excited, because I remembered sitting in the PICU, and having people come in to visit the nurses with their discharged babies. It was neat to see them coming back. I knew that someday very soon it would be my turn. We made it out of the house with no major catastrophies, thought we packed everything.....we forgot diapers, and the carseat attachment for the stroller.....not too bad for our first appointment! Luckily the doctors offices carry diapers, they had sympathy for us and gave us a few for the road...haha.
I was completely unprepared for the stares we got. HOLY COW. Maybe I'm in la-la land here, or just way too comfortable with our new entourage, but I didn't realize how different we looked to the rest of the public. I've never been noticed so much in my entire life, and it made me super self-conscious! I'm not talking a few looks,.....I'm talking long stares, and people looking at me like, "Oh. I feel bad for you." Special-Needs Moms: Does this drive you nuts???? I mean, I know people were having the best of intentions here, but come on, I almost felt like a celebrity. I get it, but I don't. My kid is totally normal except for the extra cords. I guess I'm still in that "new-mom" stage, where I expect some looks at the new baby, and I get excited until I realize why they're looking. It's not just because he's cute....people are almost afraid to look at him or talk to me, and that's so stupid. He deserves all of the gawking that new infants deserve. He's perfect.
It's not that I hate sympathy. It's just that I don't really understand the thinking behind it. I would never think to a person with a trached kid, "I feel bad for you." The trach provides an airway for my child that has respiratory failure. I'm thinking that's a pretty awesome thing. Please do not feel sorry for our family. We are not sad or burdened. We are absolutely ecstatic. Our child is alive and well....he just comes with a few accessories. Don't be afraid to try and hold him when you come over, or tell me how beautiful he is, (and he is ;) and to the perfect strangers out there: if you're curious, feel free to ask me questions, he is something I'm thankful for and proud of. I would LOVE to share the miracles that have happened to this little boy. :)