Saturday night John and I had a wedding for two very close friends. We were really looking forward to it. Honestly, what parents don’t look forward to a night out? A few drinks, dancing, catching up with friends, and real talk and alone time for a few hours. Yes please!
Leaving Madison however is something we don’t do often. We’ve never left her overnight and I’m not sure when we’ll ever feel comfortable enough to do that. So even though the wedding was 2.5 hours away, we decided to drive back afterwards. Even leaving Madison for just a few hours can be tricky. I need to prep all her normal baby things like bottles and food, but also all of her medications for the day. Aside from that, Maddie is super particular about who she’ll take a bottle from or eat with, etc.. She doesn’t have a set schedule like most kids so it can be hard to manage time with her. Usually my mom will watch her (thanks Grandma!) because obviously my own mother is someone I trust Madison’s care in and she has practiced giving her meds and feeding her in the past.
Maddie was napping when we left but we kissed her good bye and off we went! We arrived in the Catskills and were ready for a beautiful day celebrating our friends! And that it was. A ceremony in the crisp mountains and reception in a rustic barn. We watched the newlyweds exchange vows and caught up with friends! But soon into the reception my mom called me to let me know that Madison was pretty hysterical.
Now that’s not like Madison unless something is really wrong, and she had been totally fine all week and that morning. I knew she wasn’t feeling constipated again. She had no signs of being ill before we left. It made no sense. I told my mom to try a few things and as we ate dinner I continued to keep in touch. Unfortunately though, nothing was calming Madison down. She was crying and screaming for a few hours now at this point, making it hard for my mom to feed her and get her meds down. What we were also concerned with were her seizures. If Madison works herself up too hard she could easily have a bad seizure. But why was she so upset? Literally the only thing we could think of was that she simply missed us. (I should note I also had bad separation anxiety when I was little and I too would cry from the moment my parents left until they returned.)
So we made the call to head home. Keep in mind we had 2.5 hours to drive! We said our goodbyes and hit the road. By the time we got home Madison was finally asleep. I felt so bad that she had a rough day and also so bad for my mom who I know was stressed about the situation too. When Madison was constipated and in pain a few weeks ago she was hysterical for days nonstop, so I know how exhausting it is to deal with. We held her and she seemed calm and fine. We put her to bed and she slept through the night with no issue. She woke up at 6 am like usual and drank her bottle. Then had breakfast at 8 am and continued on with the day without a peep of discomfort. She was literally fine all day on Sunday!
And so that left us with the “she missed us” theory. I know kids usually experience separation anxiety from their parents between 10-18 months, but we honestly never associate these kind of things with Madison because she unfortunately doesn’t connect with us like an average child would. She doesn’t make eye contact because of her CVI, doesn’t necessarily smile when she hears us, or reach out to us, and as much as we always hope that she does know who we are, we have never really known for sure.
As much as we felt bad that Madison was so upset for hours on Saturday, it was actually comforting to us to know that she was that way simply because she missed us! She knows who we are, and she knew we weren’t there with her. She woke up from her nap and our familiar voices and touch were nowhere to be found. Our baby knew her mom and dad weren’t home and she wasn’t having it! And although we can never leave her again (lol) we’re also so happy to know that she does indeed know us and love us! It may have taken us 15 months to know that for sure, but knowing it also gives us a lot of hope that Madison is picking up on more than we may realize. Just because she’s not responding in a way someone else would, doesn’t mean she can’t see what’s there or comprehend what we’re saying and doing around her. And that small piece of information means wonders for just how far she can go!