I am over the moon to feature an extraordinary Certified Child Life Specialist on the blog today. Katie Taylor, has taken her passion for working with parents and children from the hospital walls to the radio waves. She is empowering them to share their stories and connect with other families.
Guest Blogger, Katie Taylor founder of Child Life on Call
I was kneeling down next to a new mother in a dark pediatric intensive care room. The only light was from the sun peeking through the curtains and the monitor from the three IV pumps connected to her 3-week-old daughter. While I introduced child life services and education on ways to continue bonding with her newborn, despite their abrupt and emergent hospitalization, she said something powerful.
With tears in her eyes, she looked right at me and said, “I feel like I’m the only one in the world feeling this way. I feel so alone. So helpless. Tell me someone else has been through this before.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. Her words lit a deep fire within me to do something more; Child Life On Call podcast was born.
I’m a huge podcast fan. Listening to them takes me to another world. Whether I’m laughing or learning something new, I leave my commutes feeling a sense of renewal. What was missing in the podcast world, I discovered, was a community for parents who feel the overwhelming emotions associated with having a child who has an illness or medical condition.
I don’t have a voice for radio, I didn’t have any of the equipment (not even a desktop computer), and I had absolutely NO clue about how to start a podcast, but I wanted to create a resource for parents and I felt podcasting was the way to do it. Parents could plug in their earbuds as their child slept in the hospital bed next to them and be transported to a community of stories and support. I had to make this happen.
One year later, the Child Life On Call podcast was published. Although the quality isn’t great and the technical errors have given me sleepless nights, the mission has been steadfast. The podcast features stories from parents of children with an illness or medical condition.
In Season 1, parents courageously describes personal and emotional experiences associated with having a child who has been through medical experiences. Season 2 will feature more stories from parents and from child life specialists currently working in the field.
My hope is that this continues to be a resource for parents as they sit in the loneliness that is hard to avoid when you have an ill child. My hope is that child life students recognize the weight of the vulnerability shared by these parents and the honor we have as child life specialists to support families. My hope is that this grows into a community that truly does support parents and families experiencing hospitalizations and illness.