Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Traumatized By the Tub ...




Poor Miss Zoey.Today Zoey and I met my friend Laura and her little girl Gracie at the park.That's not the poor part.That came later.The park was great.The company even better.Laura is about 4 weeks away from delivering the newest member of the Piersol family.She looked absolutely amazing.As I told Laura in an email this evening,her family is one of the magnificent gifts that came from the journey of this last year.Their journey was one of the heaviest and hardest ones to watch but one of equal beauty.Laura and I talked and passed 2 hours away effortlessly.Gracie played and Zoey,well Zoey tried to keep up.She was so cute.She rolled everywhere.Much to the curiosity of some but much to the wonderment of Laura and I.I probably could have gotten freaked out by the sand and dirt issue but you know,at this point,I have got to let my little girl live and watching her today was so fun.She passed out within 20 seconds of hitting the freeway and as I glanced back at her in the rear view mirror,I could almost see the sand embedded in her hair.She needed a serious hosing down.My dilemma was this:Zoey doesn't take tubs.Never really has.Maybe a couple in an infant tub but primarily,once she got out of the NICU and had her heart surgery,she,like the rest of the kids,showers with Mark.Zoey is getting a bit big,body size, to be doing showers though.By the time the others were her age ,they may have still been showering with Mark but they could stand.Zoey,although super tiny for a 2 1/2 year old she is getting slippery to hold on to.We have known for awhile now that we needed to find an alternative before she wiggles right out of Marks arms.So today,we arrived home,minus Mark to shower her and I started a tub.Put the little love in and she absolutely hated it.Traumatized.Cried.Screamed.Threw her body back.Plunged forward.All in all,not a positive experience for her.I quickly washed her hair and body and got her out but it took her almost an entire hour to settle down.Not sure what I should do at this point.I really think I just need to keep putting her in until she realizes it's not all bad.Maybe get her toys,although we all know how much Zoey loves toys!The tub incident set the tempo for the rest of the afternoon.She was just not my happy girl.She perked up for speech therapy though and by bedtime seemed more like my little Zoey.Speaking of therapy,we are slow going in those departments.Especially Feeding therapy.That girl has such incredible defensive reflexes that the minute she see's the bib or bowl or spoon coming,her arms are flailing and her head is turning and her body is doing everything and anything not to engage with food.I think if she had never nursed or ate food,I wouldn't be as frustrated but she was a master eater and then seizures and chemo just wiped that out.Frustrated.Not frustrated an her,just the circumstances.I guess that is all for now except please keep sweet Ella in your prayers still.Results won't be back until early next week.So wish they would hear sooner.Our hospital has results within hours but I suppose every hospital is different.The waiting is the most difficult part sometimes.Whether it is an hour or whether it is days.Oh,one final thing.Some have asked about the story Caitlin wrote in Gifts 2.I an not able to reprint the exact writing that appears in the book,for reasons connected to publishing privileges but I would encourage anyone interested to go here and order the book for themselves.I am sure it is full of tons of other amazing pieces,some of which I know have come from other families connected to this incredible blog community we belong to.I will however re-post the original piece that the final entry is based on.Caitlin wrote in last October for Down syndrome Awareness Month.Blew me away then and still does today.I'll post it over the next few days.

*Pictures are post traumatic tub experience!

19 comments:

Kele said...

Ahhh, kinda a bummer that she loses her Daddy shower time, I have always thought that was so precious! She will get used to baths, maybe it would help if Mark got in there with her...LOL! I laugh, but Mike has shared the tubs with our kiddos plenty of times, too bad it isn't blog appropriate, I would love to post a pic of it!
Sounds like the Princess (and Mommy) had a great time.

Tina said...

Poor Zoey, she must have been quite terrified to react this was and poor you it must have been just as hard for you to see her so scared and traumatized. But at the same time I agree with you its best to probably carry on with the tub baths, perhaps starting off by slowly letting the water run in while she sits in the tub and plays with her toys so that she's slightly distracted and perhaps just a little bit of water to start of with until she gets comfortable and realises nothing terrible is going to happen, she will eventually see that tub baths can be fun. Is she scared of the water, what about swimming?
What can I say, even traumatized Zoey looks like a little princess in her photos, wish I could give her a big hug! I am sure Zoey will eventually learn to enjoy her bath even if it takes a while.

stephanie said...

Little stinker, she's not going to do anything she doesn't want to do. How about if Joe took a bubble with her. If he's up to it. I know Andrew would love to jump in with Emmie.

ABandCsMom said...

Wow. She does look upset with you in that first photo. Poor little gal. Hope she learns to love her bath. Carly would stay in the tub for hours if I would let her. She get's upset with me when I tell her it's time to get out. It's good Zoey likes showers though. That's usually hard for kids. Most don't care for the spraying water. Carly sure doesn't!

Dee said...

Hi Heather,
What about giving Zoey baths with her Daddy or you? That might help ease her into baths if someone was with her in the water. Im so sorry she had such a miserable experience. (((HUGS))) Zoey!!
Dee

The VW's said...

POOR MISS ZOEY! I don't like to see that sad face on her! She's always so happy!

Zoey, Gavin HATES baths too and I wonder if he will ever like them. I wish that you guys could talk and tell us why you hate them so! Gavin hates anything in his mouth as well. He used to nurse and eat as well, but ever since being intubated and not eating for months, he says "NO WAY MOM! Just use my tube please!" Food and baths are good! Someday you guys will see this! At least, I hope so!

HUGS!!!

Lacey said...

Oh my poor Zoey. I guess I could see how it would scare her if she's never done it. It would be overwelming. I do think she'll learn to like it, but it might be torture on you until then to see her so upset. Kiss everyone for us.

Sewconsult said...

If she has a doll that the two of you could bathe in a pretend tub (bowl). Then, after a few days, let her take the doll in the tub with her.
Another suggestion is to let her wear her bathing suit, if she has one, in the tub. Get a hand held sprayer for "her very own shower". Make sure to use something in the bottom of the tub to keep her from slipping.
Good luck.
Beckie in TN

heidi marie said...

poor kiddo. all that she has been through and it's the tub that tramatizes her. does she still fit in a baby tub...or the sink. maybe starting out small and working your way up to the big tub would help. not sure...but i hope she gets used to it. :)

and i love the new facelift on your blog!!! very refreshing!

datri said...

Kayla hates baths, too. It's like washing a cat. Sigh. Hope Zoey gets over her bath fears!

Denise said...

Yep.....you just have to keep putting her in. I am sure that soon enough, she will realize how fun it is. Thanks again for all your support yesterday and for giving Ella another shout out in your blog. By the way, its not the hospital but the %$#&**#^% insurance company that makes them do the outpatient blood work at the Quest lab. I would get better service if we had Medi-Cal...

scrappy quilter said...

I agree, you will need to keep putting her in the tub. It might help making it a play time. What about putting her in the tub with NO water at first with one of you in it. A special time just for you guys. After she gets use to that, then a tiny bit of water to "splash" around with. You might even want to try the kitchen sink. When our grandson needed a bath they used the kitchen sink. He is like Zoey, loves people more than toys. (He has DS too.) He was where everyone could see him, he could see outside and although he got the floor and kitchen counter wet, he loved it.

Angi said...

OHHHH, poor Zoey!!Maybe you could get a small "baby" tub for her toys and dolls and let her give them a bath?? My son (he is three) loves it when his daddy puts on his bathing suit and jumps in the tub with him...soooo cute! You will have to keep putting her in but maybe let her fill it with her toys first! Good luck:)

Mo said...

Lane has a panic attack every time he has to take a bath. He's fine until the hair gets wet - then - watch out, he's pissed and he wants you to know it.

I have two bath-time tricks that can make things easier. One is those little capsules that have tiny sponge dinosaurs in them. The sponges are totally useless, but both my kids are continually amazed by the "magic." The other is those little compressed washcloths that are pressed into little shapes that expand when wet. They are a buck at Michael's. They entertain Lane long enough to wash his hair and get him the hell out.

I know Zoey isn't big into toys, though...

Danette said...

WOW! Spunkly little attitude in little miss. Hope she gets to love her tubs soon! Love to shop at Joann Fabrics. What size are you making the blankets, how many yards to make a blanket? Please give some details in a post so we can help. Lots of love coming your way. Hope you're feeling better, are you planning to run in the marathon??

Googsmom said...

{{{{HUGS ZOEY}}}}}

You have some great sugestions here. She sure is a cutie pie! Some of her expressions are just priceless!

Stephanie said...

Sweet Zoey - Christopher hated baths too. We got a shower charie that looks like a chaise lounge that we can strap him in to in the tub - but we found that it takes two people to deal with. Maybe when he's older.

What we really found that worked is that his skinny little butt still fits in the sink! We have a fairly deep, two bowl kitchen sink. We have always treated his stuff (syringes, formula bottles, etc) like he has celiac. So one side of the sink is "his". That one I just wipe down with clorox wipes and put a hand towel in the bottom to sit on. I only put a little water with bubble in the bottom and then I can use the sprayer to hose him down. The sides of the sink seem to make him feel secure - now one note to this - Christopher does NOT sit up on his own. So Zoey is ahead on that aspect. He sits with support and the sink seems to provide just enough. Hope this helps!

Steph and Christopher

Jeana said...

She looks so squeaky clean, even after such a traumatic event she still glows. That would be so frustrating having to start over with all the stuff she did before, but if anyone can do it she can.

amanda said...

Maybe try taking a tub bath WITH her? My kids love bubble baths and love to use those soap crayons on the tile walls, makes for a fun bath experience. Maybe Zoey would like those soap crayons too? and pretty bubbles? and washing her dolls in the tub with you? Good luck! Sounds like just another new experience for her to adjust to.