Updated: Jan 31, 2021
The time had officially arrived. I was preparing to return to work on a more permanent, part-time basis after seven months of going into the office sporadically. I had been on bed rest for one month, then allowed another six weeks for healing after my cesarean section. I went back to work for a month after Laila was born; I visited her in the hospital in the mornings before work and during my lunch breaks. I dropped my hours down again right before she was due to be discharged from the hospital so that I could get the house in proper order. After she came home, I took off another month to give her my undivided attention and to set up a routine that would be efficient and allow for the greatest amount of sanity to be maintained during those first weeks with a newborn. Immediately following that month, I returned to the office for a few hours in the evenings after my husband came home from work.
By the beginning of the following year, I realized that I needed to return to the office part-time. I'm an optometrist and had my own practice at the time and I had been bringing in independent doctors to make sure that I kept the business afloat. I knew the best option for my family at that time was for me to begin working more hours so that I could begin contributing to our household finances more substantially. I also recognized that I needed help and didn't feel comfortable enrolling Laila in daycare with her preemie status. The NICU nurses and doctors had warned me about the infamous RSV, which disproportionately affected premature infants. They told me to keep her home as long as I could and to avoid settings with a large group of babies.
Our family needed another plan so I began to browse popular childcare websites like care.com to find a nanny. I interviewed a few nannies who seemed experienced and loving. I also met with a few whose abilities were somewhat questionable. One young lady disclosed that she had short term memory loss and may have trouble remembering all of the responsibilities expected of her. She was a definite no! After the interviews were completed, I decided to offer the job to a seasoned nanny whose grandson had also been a preemie. She was soft-spoken and came with a gleaming reference. Although she seemed like a good fit, I couldn't help but feel hesitant and uneasy. I mentioned this to a friend who told me that she had shared my situation with one of her cousins who was interested in speaking with me about the possibility of watching Laila. I contacted her right away and felt an instant connection. We shared the same faith and core values so I felt that Laila would receive the caliber of care that I desired. She came to the house to meet me and to spend time with Laila. I felt a peace that I hadn’t felt until that time, confirming that she would be a wonderful fit for our family. She shared that she had dreamed about taking care of a baby girl and felt that God had orchestrated our meeting. I can agree with that because Ms. Janet is still a part of our lives after eight years. We don't see each other as often as we would like, but we stay connected through the bond of love that brought us together.