Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sleep Sweet Sleep

Things are so much better here!

After a 4 hour nap yesterday and some general fussiness (it was a weird day!), David put Sophia to bed at 9pm with a bit of trepidation. What would the night bring? I was out with the ladies for fantastic PFChangs and even more fantastic conversation! As we fell into bed, we negotiated for nighttime duty or morning duty.

Well, low and behold, we both won, as Sophia (and both of us), slept until 9:15! We were just so ridiculously happy. Sophia followed that with a fabulous day complete with a nice long nap and lots of walking and playing.

Yes, she likes to walk. I wouldn't say she's officially walking, but she sure is having fun trying. She would rather walk than crawl, so she tries to find something to hold on to and cruises the place just like pre-surgery.

Her lip is healing pretty nicely. Today, a large scab fell off so it is looking a little more normal. She has little tiny black stitches that will eventually dissolve (these look like little whiskers). On the inside during surgery, they used white stitches that will eventually just come through the surface of the skin. Well, they started coming out, so she looks like she has little pieces of dental floss sitting on her lip.

All in all, things are getting back to normal here. Thank you so much for praying! My cold seems to be on the way out (12 days - it should be!). It now resides in Sophia unfortunately. It makes for a really disgusting looking conglomeration of snot, scab, and stitches under her nose. You can now pray for that to go away too!

As I stood in church tonight worshiping I looked down at my little girl in my arms. She is such a representation of God's grace in my life. He has been so good. Not because I got the long awaited baby (although that is His goodness too!) Not because things worked out just like I thought (they didn't. They may have worked out better!) But because God's presence was so close through her whole story, our whole journey. He is that real that He makes His presence known and felt in every single circumstance to me specifically. That is undeserved. That is a sweet, irreplaceable gift. That is grace.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 3: Better!

The fever has flown, it seems. I am hesitant to announce that, as I'm afraid I might be premature. As of this morning though, Sophia's been normal! We are so happy and so much less worried. Sophia is still fussy and seems to have settled in with a cold, but at least there doesn't seem to be imminent danger. She played today which she hasn't done since pre-surgery. She even requested Lauren's Littlest Pet Shop house with a very definite point and grunt.

She is very tired still and that seems to be the cause of her fussiness at this point. You would think that would translate into long naps and sleeping soundly at night. Not quite... mostly she just falls asleep a lot in our arms but doesn't stay sleeping long. That might be because of the uncomfortable armsplints. I'm pretty sure I could sleep just fine with armsplints, but I'm a very tired mommy and could sleep standing so I might not be the best judge.

On a side note, I have finally aquired a taste for coffee! Very conveniently timed, I must say! For a while now, David makes a pot in the mornings and leaves about a cup in the bottom of the pot as he departs for work. After pouring this down the drain for some time, I decided to give it a try with the magical french vanilla creamer he has been requesting I pick up at the grocery. Low and behold, it's not too bad! And more importantly, it makes living on very little sleep so much more possible and even enjoyable. Thanks, David! Just another way you make my life better!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Second Day, Same as the First

At one point this afternoon, I cracked a bit. My sinuses were pounding, the girl in my arms was fussing and burning up again, Marcus was chattering away, Lauren was singing something (as she always seems to be doing), we were all sitting at the table for supper, and I just couldn't figure out what to do or how to feel! It was just too much! Tears, tears, tears...

I'm OK now. Everything is still pretty overwhelming, but all 3 kids are in bed, I'm headed there, and I know that this too shall pass.

Here's what today was: We thought the fever was down (like to the reasonable 101-102 range), but it popped back up to nearly 104 in the afternoon. Sophia was kind of miserable all day, didn't eat much, and woke up 4 times last night. I still feel rotten, especially in my sinuses.

The sugeon believes that Sophia is fighting off a virus of some kind and would have this fever if she had surgery on Monday or not. We haven't been to see a doctor yet about the fever. If it doesn't come down tomorrow, we will see the pediatrician soon.

Meanwhile, I was blessed by some great friends! Cheri brought spaghetti pie tonight and Layne brought a pizza yesterday. Mary Beth ran to the store for milk and ibuprofen this morning and Lynda came over with lunch for us and stayed to clean up my kitchen and vacuum my living room! Buffy and Janice called too, wanting to help me! I do feel loved. I also feel like I would have been in a much worse place this afternoon if I hadn't been loved so well. Thank you friends!

Please pray for us! Pray that I would have hope and joy in the midst of junk. Pray for healing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not the greatest 24 hours

Since I last posted, we have been busy. I must be brief as my eyes are mere slits and I can hear my bed hollering from the other room, "Get in here Stephanie!"

Last night she was up at 11, 1, 4, and 5. At 5, she seemed warm, so I took her temp and it was 102.6 under her arm. Not good. We were told she might get a fever, but nothing over 101.5. If it was higher, we were supposed to call. Dr. Sadove got back to us pretty quickly and wasn't worried. He told us we were doing all the right things and not to worry about it too much. Tylenol and love...

So, I've been up with her since 5. Since then she spiked to 103.8 and 103.6 at 2 different times today. Tylenol wasn't cutting it, so the Doc said we could use Ibuprofen (usually a no-no after surgery because of the blood thinning qualities).

We were advised by our pediatrician and the immediate care nurse to take her to the emergency room, but Dr. Sadove called me while Sophia and I were on the way to the ER and told me to bring her to him. In the lobby of his clinic, he took a quick look at her and thought she'd be fine. Seriously, her only bad symptom was the fever as he asked us about everything else. She's eating some, drinking, voiding, sleeping (lots of this, actually, just in fits and starts), no sniffles, coughing, vomiting, or ear puss.

We don't know entirely what's causing the fever, but it could be a virus (which may have been mine to start with. Oops, sorry Sophia!) or it could be just the usual effects of anaestesia (a low grade fever is expected), or it could be her body still trying to get rid of the last remnants of ear infections while dealing with the trauma of surgery. Or it could be some combination of the 3! We will be keeping that fever down tonight! Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Please pray for Sophia and for me. I still feel cruddy too. I know there are a lot of people praying for us and I am so thankful. Blessings to you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Surgery Day Done

I am exhausted. I should go to bed. Right after this...

Overall, today went very well. Sophia is currently asleep in her bed. How long she will stay there, fast asleep is the big question at this point. They hopped up Tylenol might help a little, but we shall see. We are preparing for a long night.

Back to the beginning: Sophia was a trooper from the get go as she didn't whine much about not getting breakfast. We were out of the house by 7:25 and on our way. After driving through the rain and morning traffic, we were only 10 minutes late, but that still got us there with lots of time. We met with the doctors and nurses and by 9:30, they were ready for her.

They took her back with relatively few tears (check the first half of the video for the footage). Then, 10 minutes later, the ENT, Dr. Trigg, came out and told us he was all finished - the ear tubes were in! Dr. Sadove took a little longer. 2 hours later, she was in recovery screaming and they came and got us, thinking we would be able to calm her. Not so much. She screamed for 45 minutes with quick breaks to sip some orange Gatorade. She was a thirsty monster, but managed to keep it all down despite the rage and coming out of aneastesia.

We stayed at the hospital in our little surgery waiting room for another 2 1/2 hours and felt like she was ready for her house (maybe we were ready for our house. Either way, it was good to be home). We were home before the kids even got home from school!

Sophia is very fond of me at this point and really would prefer not to be bothered by anyone else. She mostly wants to be held and be walked around. My biceps will thank me later, I imagine. Her lip looks pretty beat up, but that was expected. It won't really become as it will be for a couple months. There will probably be another surgery at some point in the next few of years to finish everything off also. For now though, we're glad it's done! Let the recovery begin.

Here's a video of our day: the first half is pre surgery and the second half is post! Poor little peanut!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Surgery Tomorrow: 3-22-2010

Tomorrow is the big day! We are a bit nervous, but mostly just sad for the pain and ordeal that Sophia will have to go through. She won't understand what's going on of course, so I have a vision in my head of her eyes saying, "Mommy! What's going on? This hurts me! Why did you let this happen?" I know - crazy thoughts.

When we wake up tomorrow morning, Sophia can only have clear liquids, and that, only until 7. She will not be excited about this, but we are hoping Jello (a clear liquid of sorts) will help pacify her momentarily. We will leave here at 7:25am, drop the kids off at some school/neighborhood friends, and head to the hospital. We have to be there at 8am. She has surgery scheduled for 10am. Tubes go in first, I think, and then they will repair her lip. Total time will be 1-2 hours.

We don't know yet whether this will be out patient surgery or if we will stay overnight at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. They will decide that based on how things go tomorrow. We'll keep you posted.

Please pray for us tomorrow. God has shown Himself faithful throughout this whole process and gotten us through the bumps along the way. Pray for His presence with us, His healing for Sophia's body, and for His healing of my very yucky cold. Blessings to you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Must Be Spring - There's a bunny in the backyard

She didn't especially like the backyard. Actually, all the foreign sights and textures kind of freaked her out, but she was tolerant of her mother who needed to snap at least a couple of photos of the girl in her Easter bunny coat. PRICELESS! Thanks Wendy for the fun coat!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tubes It Is!

Our appointment with the ENT today was great - very informative and decisive, just like we were hoping! Sophia will be getting a set of ear tubes with her new lip on Monday. The very kind doctor is making himself available at our 10am surgery time and will pop in for the 5 minutes necessary to place tubes in her ear drums. He said that one of the biggest deals with putting tubes in is having to put the child under general anaesthesia and sinse she's already going to be under, he thought we may as well.

On a happy note, Sophia is happier today than yesterday. The 3rd antibiotic, Vantin, may be helping, at least to a degree. Vantin also doesn't taste as bad as we had heard, and it smells like a vanilla shake. She's a pro at this medicine taking thing by now! Oh, and most importantly, she slept all night last night! Hallelujah!

I, on the other hand, didn't sleep very well as I am coming down with a cold. Hmmmm, I wonder where I got these germs? Too many snotty, slobbery baby kisses! How could I possibly turn them down? Sophia even gave daddy a kiss this morning. It was wonderful.

I thought I'd include some photos of the girl. She's enjoying her time on her feet more and more these days. "Look Mom, no hands!" I'm putting bets that she'll be walking by May 4, her 16 month birthday. We will see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How about a side of ear infections with your cleft lip surgery...

Who has time to blog, anyway? Wow, we've been busy.

Sophia is still suffering from 2 lovely (not the word the drs. have used) ear infections and is on her 3rd antibiotic. We are assuming that this infection makes it difficult to sleep, so we have been suffering from some nighttime screaming. The children are baring up under it rather well, but Dave and I are looking a little ragged, I think.

Surgery is Monday at 10am. Unless these infections carry with them a fever, surgery will go on without problems. We are thinking of adding a little flair to the 2 hour long surgery with a couple of ear tubes. We're not sure yet if we will go with the tube option (or even if the ENT surgeon can swing it at that time) but we get to go to the ENT dr. tomorrow. If we're going to do it, doing it all at once would have lots of advantages. You can pray for that decision. Hopefully the dr. will have a pretty clear recommendation.

So, she's a punkin, but she's a little fussy these days. She's waving at everyone and says, "hi," we think. She still has her glove on and seems fine with that, although the thumb would surely help the nighttime screaming! She's a pro at the sippy cup now. She can do it all by herself and even enjoys the rice milk we've been putting in it. She guzzles it down and then slams her cup on her tray...we're working on that.

I'll try to blog again soon and let you all know what we decide about ear tubes. OK, I need to go to bed in preparation for the screaming to come :).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Citizan Sophia!

Now, Sophia has technically been a citizen of the USA since she proceeded through immigration in Chicago on January 28th. This week we got her proof of that. This Certificate of Citizenship is her ticket to get a new birth certificate, a passport, and all the other hoops she may have to jump through. After I took the photo, I read the fine print on the bottom left side. Oops. Don't tell anybody I took a picture, OK? I probably shouldn't leave it on the blog for too long. Later, we will destroy any evidence of the photo taken.

Marcus was the star student of the week this week in Mrs. Savin's 2nd grade class. He and I put together a quick photo tour of our time in China so his class could share his experience. He also brought in one of his souvenir swords...I was surprised that one was allowed in! At his presentation of Friday, the kids seemed to really enjoy Marcus' stories and he remembered much more than I would have guessed. The coolest part was that his favorite souvenir, his sister, got to come in as well. Sophia waved politely to all the kids and they enjoyed her very much. They had lots of good questions for Marcus about his trip and about her upcoming surgery. For the occasion, Sophia dressed up in her Chinese dress. She looked adorable!

We are in day 7 of thumb sucking termination and all is well. She has adjusted extremely well to not sucking her thumb when going to sleep! We had such dread as we went into this, as it had been a significant battle when Marcus stopped sucking his thumb. Apparently, 4 year old boys have a stronger will than 1 year old girls. Who knew!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thumb Sucking Termination, A Date With the Sugeon, and My First Kiss

First, Sophia is a trooper. She is so happy considering we have taken away her most faithful and constant companion that has been with her since birth! She must really like us or something.

We have finished 3 days with no thumb. Day 1 was the worst, of course. The bitter nail polish didn't work although it did make her angry (at her thumb though, not so much at me. You should have seen the evil look she gave the offending digit!)

After lunch we found these lovely little Easter gloves in the dollar aisle at Target, so we added a little strip of duct tape and we were in business again! She looks like quite a lady when you just see her left hand. When you see them both and that only one has a glove, she looks a little like Michael Jackson back in the day.

She has had a glove on her left hand since then and she hasn't sucked her thumb. In this photo, you can see her in bed sleeping peacefully with her pretty glove. Apparently white polyester isn't conducive to suction. Last night, she had a bath with her brother (he loves to take baths with her and is great at the splashing thing...not surprising really) and the glove came off. We were fine in the tub, but as soon as I wrapped her in the little hooded towel, the thumb started for the mouth. I cut her off just in the nick of time and we re-gloved the hand. She didn't even cry too hard!

I think we'll do this for a week and see if she still goes for her thumb when we take it off. Or maybe two weeks just in case...we'll see. She is pretty happy about life considering and is even getting better at falling asleep sans the thumb. She's not quite a snuggly which is a bummer for us, but even that is getting better as long as I sing and rock and provide the blanket of glory, she'll settle in pretty nicely.

In other, related news, Sophia's cleft lip surgery is on the calender: March 22 at 10am. That is 2 weeks from Monday. I think we'll be set with the thumb sucking by then, and she's already a champ (albeit a messy champ) with the cup. I am pretty sure she won't be walking by then, but that was the lowest priority. Mostly just so she wouldn't be frustrated with trying to crawl with elbow splints on.

Tonight, Sophia kissed me. I wish you could have all experienced the bliss! I said, "Sophia, give mommy a kiss!" and she leaned in with a wide open slobbery mouth and got me! The first time she got my chin. Then, when I asked again, she got almost all of my face. It was very sweet (and wet). She is really into me! I think they grow out of that...Oh, at least 7 year old boys do :).