Monday, May 6, 2013

One Month In

Wow, it's been quite a whirlwind since my last post. Poor little Mei Mei came down with a tummy virus that saw her sportin' a high fever with vomiting and diarrhea for a little over 24 hours. I was a little freaked out by it, honestly, because she is still so new to us and I don't AT ALL feel as if I have a handle on her "cues" of pain or discomfort. I think we weathered it okay - I just shut down everything else and spent most of Monday and Tuesday and a good part of Wednesday of last week holding her and moving gingerly through the day's routines.

Monday afternoon, LadyBug did homework
while occupying Mei Mei with the iPad so
I could get some laundry run.

Early Tuesday morning, she just could not keep her eyes open.
She slept on Daddy like this for over an hour,
after sleeping all night long. Poor baby!

Wednesday morning, Mei Mei was starting
to feel better. As evidenced by the opinionated
glare over the "new" 'do I did in her hair!

She rebounded nicely by Wednesday afternoon, only to be forced out of bed and out the door early Thursday morning for first meeting with her specialist at CHOP. What a day that was! Right at the start of the whole "adventure", we got re-routed off of the turnpike because of a terrible accident that shut both north and southbound lanes completely. Thankfully, the specialist had an opening later in the morning, so I followed The Boss down to the city on a long, circuitous route that lulled Mei Mei to sleep for the whole two hours we were in the car. Poor baby, she has so much "catching up" to do in the area of sleep and regaining her health - I was glad for the reprieve of the long nap.

The specialist and his nurse practitioner seem like really caring compassionate folks - they offered some great hope for the upcoming repair and maintenance of Mei Mei's medical needs. Of course, they also shared the harder parts of the journey ahead but I was really thankful for the balance of their frankness and candor. The first round of tests was done after lunch in the CHOP cafeteria and future tests were scheduled to get a full and complete picture of all that we will be facing with Mei Mei's health moving forward. We left the house at 8 a.m. on Thursday and didn't return home till 6 p.m. I sure hope that the future tests and consults don't take up the whole day like that too often - it's really hard to keep a little one happy and occupied in waiting room after waiting room - even at a children's hospital!

Friday was another doctor appointment, just an "in and out" to read her TB test results. But man, it felt like another "whole day" venture - she screamed in the car seat the whole way to the pediatrician and the whole way home. My nerves were SHOT by the time I stopped at the school to pick up Li'l Empress. Mei Mei was so happy to see her big sister that crying and shrieking on the way home was forgotten. After a nice long nap for both girls, and a bit of quiet time on the couch for Momma, our social worker came for our first post placement home study visit. I take these visits very seriously, but I could NOT help laughing at some of the things that the CCCW@ wants to know about our first month together. All I could think was that the first half of our first month together was spent "in country" which is such an unrealistic bubble of newness. And the second half was spent jet-lagged, groggy, and just "surviving." Routine? Normalcy? Habits? Heh. Heh. HEH!

I'm so thankful for my bigger kids, as I sit here thinking back on the week we just had. With all the crazy-ness of stinky diapers, smelly puke, weird nap times, dinners on the fly (Oh man, there were a lot of pb&j's and left-overs consumed last week!), and all the in & out we had to do, they just totally rose to the challenge. They helped where they could: they comforted Mei Mei when my hands were full. They got their homework done (mostly without prodding). They chipped in and really did a good job of keeping things running when I couldn't. Having The Boss home every morning these last days has been a huge help, too. I'm not too anxious for him to resume his o'dark thirty workout routines, even though I know they are so good for him. I think he's kinda enjoying being home to see all the kids in the a.m. as well.

I took the weekend of her nap times to run around re-stocking all of our groceries and household supplies. And friends of the family gifted us with a new-to-us changing table that blends into the decor and look of our family room just beautifully. So I also got to re-arrange the family room and do some cleaning and sprucing up that was long overdue. That was fun - despite The Boss's decided dislike for re-arranging furniture. Ever. :)

The family room, before.
Note the cute little helper perched on the hearth!

A close up of the little helpers :)

The family room, after.
Re-arranged. Fresh and clean. Dusted.
Today, I will fill the dresser and organize
her clothes into it. Yay!

It's been a full month now since we met our sweet girl. I doubt that any month of her life, from this point forward, will ever again have quite so much change and stress and turning upside down as this month has held for her. When I sit and think about how MUCH her life has had to change from April 7th to today, I am humbled by how beautifully she has navigated it all. And by the gift that her sweet little impish self is to our home. I was mindful of it all last week.

As hard as the days were for me (and believe me, being puked on three times in less than 12 hours was really hard for this momma), it gave me a whole new kind of compassion for my little one. Such a hard month she's had - good things all to come out of these big changes but so hard getting there, ya know? I'm really  glad that our first month together had more good than hard times, but I am even "gladder" that the hardest parts of the big changes are well under our belt (not totally over with, I know, but getting to the "behind us" stage for sure...).

It's a brand new week - of more true hibernation and laying low than last week could be. I have a couple friends stopping by for brief visits. LadyBug has her end of year band and wind ensemble concert. And nothing else on the calendar. I am sooooo looking forward to it. Lots of snuggling, relaxing, and getting to know my girl better and better. New memories to make together. New levels of trust and confidence to build. It's gonna be a good week!


kmppeters said...

oh, and don't forget Ladybug's "fun" concert at that ungodly hour on sat am...... But the rest of the day fun! Will miss to this up year on that trip. Has it really been a month already???!??!!

Aus said...

Good morning GM - glad for the update! I so loved those SW visits - I laugh about them - but it IS all good! ;)

Looks like you guys are starting to get to the "new normal" - starting anyway - but I think I still hear some "jet lag" in your took me a good three weeks or so the last time!

hugs - great joy - glad to have you guys home!

aus and co.