Cover art for podcast Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

100 EpisodesProduced by Jessica and Lewis TempleWebsite

Welcome to Thriving in the Midst of Chaos! This show is about surviving parenthood while having a child with special needs, while attempting to keep your self and your sanity intact. We share our experiences and discuss how we survived, what worked for us, and what didn’t work for us. This is a nonj… read more


Medical Moms of NICU With Guest Tanisha Burke-Wormley

Episode 38: Medical Moms of NICU With Guest Tanisha Burke-Wormley

In this episode, we discuss NICU stays, navigating complex medical systems, and NICU PSTD. Tanisha Burke-Wormley had a very long and complex experience with the NICU system. At 20 weeks pregnant, she found out that her son had urinary tract blockages and chronic kidney disease, and she had minimal amniotic fluid. She was told that if her son survived (which they weren't sure that he would), he would need a long NICU stay. They traveled to Ohio to get prenatal care for her son. They did fetal care intervention, meaning they placed artificial amniotic fluid inside her. She also needed fetal care surgery to get a shunt in her son's kidney to drain his kidney and alleviate the pressure. She also needed steroid shots twice. Before her son was born, she needed to be in the hospital for several months. Her son was born at almost 37 weeks. Once he was born, he was taken immediately to the NICU because he needed respiratory intervention and treatment for his lungs and kidneys. The NICU stay was very overwhelming for Tanisha and her husband. She felt she was missing out on the baby milestones and experiences and felt that the NICU nurses were being more of a mom to her son than she was.

Being at the Ronald McDonald house helped her feel a sense of community and feel that she wasn't alone. The Ronald McDonald house provided games, videos, board games, live entertainment, meals, tickets for activities around the area, and gifts, as well as a place to stay. Tanisha stayed with her son in the NICU over the holidays and Ronald McDonald house had Christmas trees, Santa, and Christmas carols. They also provide toys and activities for the children who are staying there. Child Life also helped her to cope. They provided activities to help celebrate the child's NICU milestones, posted pictures of her child, personalized his space, provided toys, provided music therapy, helped Tanisha find ways to bond with her child, made collages of her child from his stay, craft days for parents to get together and make crafts for their children. Social media helped her slightly to cope, but was a bit overwhelming, as some people were providing too much sad news. She was also able to talk to her husband and really bond with him. Care conferences with all of his specialty doctors were also very helpful, since her doctors were captive and she could get all the information she needed from them all at one time. Her son required 10 surgeries prior to returning home. Tanisha felt that she experienced what she terms "NICU PTSD" from seeing her son so sick and having had so many surgeries, and experieincing trauma during his NICU stay. He was sent home from the NICU twice and was rushed right back to the ER for severe medical problems. She started being better able to cope with the PTSD once her son was getting healthier and was home for a full year. To help her coach, she used the NICU pictures and wrote down her emotions from the time when she was in the NICU. Networking on social media helped, as did attending the NICU birthday party and seeing the other moms with whom she traveled her NICU journey.

To manage the complex medical community, it was helpful for her to use the binder from Kangaroo Kids Pouch CLT to navigate all of the information she had. Tubie Friends was also helpful, because she was provided a build-a-bear type stuffed animal which had the same tubes as the children have. Card For Kids was also helpful to uplift her and her son. She decided to do home dialysis, which would be easier on her son's body and minimize additional appointments outside of the home. Having time to speak with the NICU residents was helpful, as they were great resources. Her home health nurse helps to cut down on extra appointments, as they can do labs and bloodwork in their home. She found the right doctors by watching the doctors in the NICU to see which doctors she liked the most. Jaleel, her son, was also able to obtain some in-home therapies. She recommends that if you have a long commute to the different doctors, to be open about that and ask if they can have multiple appointments on the same day. Working with a social worker to find financial resources and networking with other moms can be really helpful to help manage complex medical conditions.


Tanisha Burke-Wormley Facebook Page
Medical Moms of NICU Facebook Group
Linked In
Ronald McDonald House
Child Life
Tubie Friends
Child Life On Call
Kangaroo Kids
Kangaroo Kids Pouch CLT
Cards For Kids

Email us if you have any questions or ideas!
We are now on instagram!
Check out updates on our website.
Follow Thriving on Twitter.
Check us out on Facebook and join our parent group!

Please subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store, or wherever you find your podcasts, Leave us a 5 star review, to help us know what you like and what you don't like, and to make sure other like-minded people find support through this podcast.

Show Music:
Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple

Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2020 Jessica and Lewis Temple

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens