A couple of weeks ago my youngest daughter had to have an outpatient ear surgery. My husband and Molly both worked. My ex and I decided to meet at the hospital, while Cami rode with me. For most divorced parents, this situation would probably cause some major anxiety spending the entire day with an ex. We are both completely committed to being adults for our children, and we are genuinely over our differences.
I cannot explain the benefits of overcoming these differences enough. There are so many advantages for both your children and yourselves. I hope that this particular experience of Cami’s surgery can show exactly how much two divorced parents getting along can effect the entire family, especially your child.
Upon my arrival with Cami, the nurse had her undress, registered us and got us settled. It was 5:45 A.M. I found a cup of coffee, and settled into a chair into the corner. Cami’s dad, Jeff arrived soon, and he sat in the chair next to me. I was polite. We both take turns speaking, respectfully being careful not to interrupt and both giving the other one plenty of conversation time with our daughter. Neither of us belittle the other person in front of our kids. Cami did not have to worry about being careful about how she spoke around us or not bringing up certain topics in front of us in order to avoid fights. She knows that no matter what, her parents will always get along for the sake of their children. We do have disagreements, make no mistake. We have discussions during appropriate designated times, such as parenting meetings, rather than emotion-fueled fights in front of the kids. This gives all of the parents a chance to really consider what we think and feel about all of the possible angles.
The nurse gave her a valium, making her a bit goofy. She played a game on the nurse’s IPad, and waited for the doctor to give the word for her to be ready. Once they took our daughter to surgery, Jeff and I waited for a little over am hour until we found out she was in recovery. Until then, we sat in the room, just hanging out talking about day to day stuff. He had just come back from a hunting trip, and his wife, Molly was very sick. It was one of those weeks that we all had several things going on in in both households at once.
It felt like Cami had been in recovery for a long time, and I was starting to get a little worried. They finally wheeled her into the room. Jeff and both stood to meet her at her bed, and we noticed her color was gray. She said she did not feel well, and her vitals were not what I liked to see. I worked in the ER for several years. Cami and I both react to anesthesia. The nurse told us they gave her two different medications for nausea, so she should not have any nausea. As soon as the nurse stepped out Cami started vomiting, sweating profusely, and her pulse and blood pressure were way too high. They continued to give her multiple medications and eventually they had to hook her up to a pump. Our daughter was in agony. She cried, she yelled, and begged us to make the pain of her ear stop hurting. The nurse also gave her some morphine, I placed a cold rag on her forehead, and Jeff gently rubbed Cami’s back encouraging her to take deep cleansing breathes.
After a few hours, many medications, and lots of love and reassurance we finally got her nausea under control. Cami was finally resting comfortably. A little while before her discharge, Jeff went ahead and went home since she was better and Molly was extremely ill.
I was gathering Cami’s clothes, getting ready to sign her out, and the nurse came into the room. She mentioned Cami’s father, and I said something about us being a divorced couple. Her bottom jaw dropped. She was in complete disbelief. I explained that not only were we divorced, but we were both happily remarried to other people. She was very impressed that we were not only divorced, but able to be in the same room with one another and able to care for our daughter together as a team. The nurse said she wished other divorced parents were like us. Cami smiled up at me, and I felt really proud off our family!
After I was able to get Cami home and settled on the couch, both sets of my ex-in-laws visited my house to check on her. I think it is so important for both sides to consider how much easier it is for the child when both sides can work together for the kids. Jeff and I were both able to take care of our baby, so neither of us missed her surgery.
Trish Eklund is taking a nontraditional approach to parenting children after divorce and remarriage. Raising her two daughters of ten and fourteen with her husband, ex-husband, and his wife, they consult one another on all parenting decisions. Trish has been featured on www.playground-magazine.com, and www.bigblendedfamily.com. She is a regular writer on www.herviewfromhome.com, writer and co-editor for Her View From Omaha. Follow her on Twitter: @trishiewriter, Google +, and Pinterest.