Hope you like this,
It was five thirty now, and Rick had gone home to spend time with Becky. Sharon had been glad he had come up with that idea. She had been thinking along the same lines, but having come from him, it didn’t seem as if she or Billy didn’t need him.
Billy had been asleep twenty minutes after she started nursing him. She laid him down in the crib for his nap just before calling her mom and telling her it would probably be better if she waited until Billy came home to see him, considering it would only be one day. Phillis agreed with her and said she needed to do some shopping anyway when Rick got home. She hadn’t put any groceries in her house in a while, because she’d been watching Becky while they had been at the hospital.
Billy had woken up fifteen minutes before the Physical Therapist had come to see him. Sharon had just got him changed before she showed Sharon what she needed to do to make sure that her little boy didn’t have problems because he couldn’t walk or crawl at the moment.
The therapist had also explained that Billy would sleep a lot more because it took a lot more energy to move his arms and legs now, than before this all happened. She explained that as his coordination got better, his need to sleep more than normal would lessen.
Just as the the PT person left, a Speech Therapist named Sherry came to see Billy. Peter had been right on the money with his prediction. Sherry had examined Billy, and asked him, without success, to make some sounds. Billy had not been in one of his focused phases, so appeared to be no more than an infant to Sherry. She had advised Sharon to take his pacifier away, just as Peter thought she would. Sharon told her she would think about that and thanked her for coming by.
Sharon sat in the rocker, making a list of things they would need. She divided the list into three sections: what she needed now, what she would need soon, and what they might need later. The list was put together assuming he would progress in ability over time. In the now list, there were the obvious things like diapers, wipes, his formula, wipe warmer, crib, stroller, bath seat, toys and such. In the soon list were high chair, play pen, a small toy chest for the living room and things like that. Last was the later list that included more little people toys, other toddler toys, sippy cups and stuff more suited to toddlers.
She had just added sleepers to the now list as April came walking into the room carrying what looked like a seat. It was blue in color, was fixed in a reclined position, and had an indented area for a child’s head to rest without falling to one side.
“How we doing?” April asked.
“Oh, we’re doing fine, I was just making a list of things we need to buy to care for him.” Sharon said with a smile.
“Ah.” she replied. Looking at the offered list, she told Sharon “You can cross off the bath seat, this one now belongs to Billy.”.
“I was wondering what that was for. I knew it was a seat, but not a bath seat.” Sharon replied.
“It’s made of a waterproof foam so it won’t absorb water or soap and get moldy.” she explained.
“Wonderful, that makes cleanup a lot easier.”.
“Yes. I want to take Billy up the hall and talk you through giving him a bath, and you’ll see there’s nothing to it.”.
Billy had been sleeping for a couple hours now, and it wouldn’t hurt to wake him up for the bath. With any luck he’d sleep for a good ling time afterward. Sharon moved to the crib and let the side down gently so as not to startle him. She squeezed his diaper to see just how wet he was, and decided it was a good thing she came now as he was really wet.
Picking him up, she laid his head on her shoulder, holding him against her body with one arm, and supporting his wet bottom on her other forearm. Making sure she had his binky, she turned to see April putting a fresh diaper and the wipes in a bag.
Seat and bag in hand, April started for the door saying “Follow me.”.
It was only right across the unit and through a door where Sharon spotted the bath tub. The tub was free standing and made of hard white plastic, with non skid material lining the bottom in strips. There was a hand held shower in a clip on the same end as the faucet. On the floor in front of the tub was a thick foam mat.
“I know you’ve done this countless times before, but there are some things that need to be done different because of his size. Lay him down on the mat, so you can put the seat in the tub and run the water.” April told Sharon.
As she laid him on the mat, Billy opened his eyes. He reached out to touch Mommy’s hair as it hung down over him, but only managed to bat it out of the way.
Sharon knew that he was still looking through an infant’s eyes by his behavior. “That’s actually better, I guess.” she thought. She knew it would be more of a challenge that way, but better now, with April here to guide her, than after she got him home.
Sharon picked up the bath seat and put it on it’s base in the tub facing the faucet and as far from it as the seat could go and still sit flat. She was surprised at how light it was for it’s size.
Reaching over, she turned the hot water on and let it run until it got hot. Adding cold water to the mix, she put her wrist under the faucet, testing the water for temperature. Adding more cold, then testing again, she was finally satisfied with the temp and pulled the lever that would cause the tub to fill.
“I advise you to only put about six inches of water in the tub. That way, if he moves unexpectedly, and manages to fall sideways, his mouth will most likely not be submerged. Don’t get me wrong, use the harness to keep him in place for most of his bath. You’ll need to undo it though to wash his back and his bottom.” April explained.
As soon as there was six inches of water in the tub, Sharon shut the water off and pulled the tapes on Billy’s diaper. Sharon lifted him off the wet garment and set him gently in the seat, making sure his head lay in the indention so he was comfortable. Securing the harness, Billy was now sitting in the warm water.
April handed Sharon a washcloth and some Johnson’s Baby Bath just as Billy shot a stream of pee up in to the air that hit the water with a tinkle. “Are you making pee pee?” Sharon asked him sweetly, as she tickled his tummy. “Are you making pee pee for Mommy?” she asked again as he giggled and kicked his legs. Looking at April “He always was a good baby.” she said with a smile as she dunked the washcloth and then poured baby bath on it.
Gently Sharon washed him, starting at the top and working her way down. He giggled as she washed his tummy and then again as she made sure his little pee pee and scrotum were clean. He squealed as she finally got to his little feet, especially when she washed between his toes.
As Sharon finished his front, April said “This is where it gets interesting. You will need to unbuckle the harness and sit him forward so you can wash his back. I suggest you drape a towel over your shoulder, hanging down so you can lay him against it as you clean his back.”.
Sharon grabbed a towel and placed it as she suggested. Undoing the harness, she pulled him forward, holding him against her as she ran the washcloth across his shoulders and down his back. Laying him back in the seat, she asked “How do I do his bottom?”.
“Turn him on his side in the seat. That way you can get to his bottom.” April answered.
Lifting and turning him, she lay him on his side, keeping one hand holding him in place, while cleaning his dimpled butt with the other.
“OK, buckle him back up, and use the hand held shower to rinse his skin clear of soap. Don’t worry too much if you leave a little in some places, the baby bath won’t damage his skin, it’s really gentle.” April advised.
Sharon followed her advice, and rinsed him off, paying particular attention to any creases or folds of skin. She was also careful to keep the water away from the bandage on the left side of his head. Billy squealed and kicked his legs as she sprayed the front of his diaper area clean. Sitting him forward again, she made sure his back was well rinsed.
“I think your bath is all done Baby.” April told Billy. “I already laid out a towel on the changing table, so you can just move him over and dry him off.” she told Sharon.
Sharon picked Billy up, and carried the dripping little boy the short distance to the table and laid him on his back and started drying him off with the towel he was laying on. Getting him mostly dry, she lifted him and took the wet towel out from under him, laying a dry one in it’s place.
She laid him down and reached for the dry pamper that April had put on the table. Spreading the diaper out, she picked up some baby powder and sprinkled it the length of the diaper. Lifting his legs up until his bottom was off the towel, she slid the diaper under him, wiped her palm through the powder, and rubbed it gently onto the skin of his bottom. She made sure to coat all of the creases, and set him down on the diaper. Again, coating her hand, she caressed the powder onto the front of his diaper area. Pulling the diaper up between his legs, she taped it snugly closed.
April smiled and told her “Put him on his tummy, this will probably be his favorite part.”.
Once he was on his stomach, April held a bottle of baby lotion with the cap open out to Sharon.
Understanding, Sharon held her hand out as April squirted a liberal amount of the lotion out. Rubbing her hands together to warm the lotion, Sharon began working it into her baby’s skin. Taking great pains not to tickle him, she hoped this would help him to become sleepy.
“You’re going to want to do this with most of his baths. Not only will it relax him, but it’ll keep his skin from getting dry and scaly. Normally when we move around in a day, we brush up against a lot of things, causing the top layer to brush off. Infants don’t have that help, so they tend to get scaly without lotion.” April advised. “I’ll leave you to finish so I can give report. Don’t worry about any of this, I’ll come take care of it when I’m done, just take him back to his room and settle him down.” she added.
“Thank you.” Sharon told her as April opened the door to leave.
Sharon watched Billy as she continued up his back, massaging his little muscles. He was laying there contentedly with his hand in his mouth. Remembering she had grabbed his binky, she gingerly pulled it from her pocket, gently removed his hand and placed the binky in his mouth.
Before long, his eyes were closed, and he was breathing evenly as he nursed. He barely reacted when she turned him over on his back. Taking her time, she worked the lotion into his tummy, chest, and neck. When she was finished, he was sound asleep.
Wiping her hands on the towel, she then picked him up, holding him against her with his head on her chest, and carried him back to his room. As she walked she couldn’t help loving the clean baby scent of her freshly bathed little boy.
Grabbing his blanket from the crib, she cover Billy as she sat down in the rocking chair and held him close. She knew he would be waking before too long, a hungry baby boy.
Rocking Billy gently, she realized just how much she had missed this time with him. The feel of his soft skin as she massaged the lotion into his body, the giggles and squeals as she tickled him while she washed. These were the times people spoke about when they talked of baby-mommy time. It was a very emotional bonding experience that she was thankful she was able to experience a second time with him.
She vowed then that she would take it slow, and not rush it this time. Giving him all the time he needed to get back to where he was before the surgery. And if he wanted to spend periods as her little baby boy after that, she would be more than happy to snuggle and care for him.