My daughter will be having open heart surgery this fall. She'll have just turned 2 and we currently do family bed. Does anyone have suggestions for precautions I'll need to take when she is home recovering? Ideas for helping her sleep in the hospital when she'll be alone in a bed? Stories or suggestions of other resources or thoughts in general are much appreciated.
Sending love and support your way, mama! That sounds intense.
I don't have any experience with this so I can't offer advice, but I bet it will be a great comfort to your daughter to have you right there with her all through the night.
Annie wife v2.0 to DH and joyfully parenting DSS 18 , DSD 15 , DSD 14 , DSS 12and heart hero DD 2. 8/2010
Sending tons of hugs. I don't have any experience with cardiac surgery, however, I do have experience with being a pediatric ICU nurse. I would definitely use your nurses in the hospital as resources. Ask each one, because it's definitely hit or miss. A lot of my colleagues would have been aghast at the thought of bedsharing. I would have sat down with you and talked through what would work and what might not, and several other nurses I know would have. You don't even have to say you plan to bedshare, just ask for tips on how you can cuddle/ lay next to her safely while she sleeps, etc. Also, the hospital I worked in had a policy that if you wanted to share the bed with your LO while in hospital, you had to sign a release form. We allowed this, and even in ICU, would show mom or dad how they could lay next to their child so as not to be "in the way". This isn't always possible. No one shared this info much, though, you kind of had to know to ask, so I just wanted to make sure you knew to ask. If not, the nurse should have some ideas on how to keep your child calm during this part of things. They don't want your child agitated any more than you do. Or, they shouldn't....
The other thing I wanted to say, and you might know this, but I think it's so important. The doctors and nurses are the experts on surgery and medicine, but you are the expert on your child. Don't be afraid to speak up if something doesn't seem right or if it needs to go differently. Ask every question until you feel comfortable with the answers. What happens if we do this, and what happens if we don't. Keep a notepad with you to jot questions down on so that when the doctors round, you don't forget something. Ask for clarification when you need to. In order to be your child's advocate, you have to understand everything. You can "fire" a nurse if you need to. Just ask for the charge nurse and tell her your concerns. These are all the things I would tell my patients when I worked :)
Wishing quick healing to your family.