Q. Best piece of advice you received after learning about Sammi's diagnosis?
A. Your baby is a *baby* first - just love and take care of her like any other baby! Everything else will fall into place. I know that's a pretty standard thing to hear or say with a new diagnosis, and I totally can't remember who said it first (maybe Sammi's cardiologist?), but it really set the stage for us.
Q. So how did you find Sammi's caregiver? Did you set up a thousand nanny cams? Does she do other domestic stuff, like dinner & dishes (my arch-enemies) or just focus on Sammi?
A. Haha, no, no nanny cams. We balked at the idea of trying to find people ourselves, and went directly to an agency. Risky, of course, since sometimes they're people who have no experience with children and are used to taking care of elderly people in nursing or managed-care facilities, but much easier with the agency because we don't have to think too much about the whole process - they take care of everything. We've gone through several caregivers with the agency, as people leave for a variety of reasons, but we screen each one first by staying home while they're there for about 2 weeks, making sure we and Samantha like them. We've been fortunate to have a few really, really good ones, the kind you want to stay forever. We've had a few so-so ones, too, ones that weren't outright bad, but let's just way we didn't shed any tears over their leaving. I think in some situations, the caregivers can do other domestic things, provided they're centered around Samantha's care, but we don't ask anything more of them than to focus on Sammi, occasionally preparing her dinner (which is usually just something microwaved...LOL - she eats separately from us because I get home from work so late).
Q. Samantha's hair is gorgeous! Just good genes or do you use some wonder shampoo?
A. Quick answer for this one! It's just good genes! She was born with a head full of hair (red, actually! I was so excited to have a red-haired, blue-eyed baby!), and never lost any of it. The blonde all filled in around the red, and eventually, after several years, the red became sun-bleached and began growing out as blonde with the rest. However, if she's anything like mommy and daddy, it'll turn mousy by the time she hits puberty. :-(
Q. It seems like a lot of families who have kids with Ds adopt another kid with the same diagnosis (at least in the blogosphere). What are your thoughts on this? Is this something you've considered yourself?
A. I'd be lying if I said that topic never came up in our household. It did, but with such limited long-term care plans for Samantha with our incredibly small families and our own