I joke a lot with people about having full time nursing, and in a lot of ways there are many conveniences to having a nurse around. It’s like a live in nanny. And I think sometimes people do get a little jealous of the perceived ease that nursing brings.
But I can tell you right now, it is not worth the trade off.
For starters, our house is not big enough for a “live in nanny”. Matt and I have almost no privacy when the nurse is in our house (we do have some family hours, two a day). And there really is no getting around that. Even if we did have a big house, our privacy would be limited. Matt and I love spending time with Emerson so we are never far away.
Aside from privacy, there is always the awkwardness of who is “in charge”. Oh sure, we are always reassured that Matt and I can do whatever we want. But we still have to ask or tell in order for us to do it. It is unbelievably difficult to have to ask someone if I can hold my child. There have been a few times when I went to pick up my fussing son only to be cock-blocked by the nurse. And it just tears me up when that happens.
Not to mention the emotional stress Matt and I are constantly under. And I really don’t want to get into that, way too personal and hard to manage.
We always have to evaluate every decision we make before we make it (not because we have nurses, but because our son is sick which is WHY we have nurses). Do we take Emerson here? Do we all stay home? Can we have guests over? It means remembering when he received his last IVIG and calling siblings to make sure no one is sick and checking the weather to make sure we can even take him outside. And then it is a matter of worth: is the amount of work it takes to get Emerson from our house to the car then from the car to the destination and back again, worth the amount of time we will spend at the destination.
There is also the appointment side. Having home nursing means you go to the doctor frequently or, if you don’t go, you have frequent contact. So how do you coordinate that with your job and how do you maximize the doctor visits while minimizing the number of times you physically go to the hospital to see them. And how do I coordinate this while I am at work full time?
So while there are definitely perks and while I recognize that *mostly* people are joking about being envious of our nursing staff, I would change it all in a heart beat to have normal baby moments. I would get up every night for 18 years if it meant Emerson was healthy, but there aren’t trade offs to be made.
Live is not a choice between two “would you rather’s”. You cannot wish on a star to get what you want. And you cannot negotiate out of reality. I love my life and my son. I would not trade one single thing about either. But my life is hard, contrary to full time nursing. Matt and I chose not to focus on the “hard” parts and we have more than our fair share of happiness. Our life is filled with love and laughter and pure joy. With life, we are intense.