Wednesday, November 27, 2013

First Days Home

Oh where to being?  The past 5 days have gone by fast in hindsight, but the days and nights have seemed like slow motion.  Our big issue is sleep!  Or lack thereof.  Maggie is still fighting to be on China time, which is 13 hours ahead. So she wants to be up all night and sleep during the day.  She's sleeping in our room in a pack in play for now, as we don't want to subject Allie to the many night wakings! That will be a transition for the future to get Maggie into her room with her sister.

Right now when we first put Maggie to bed, she'll sleep pretty easily for 3-4 hours. Then the fun begins. The first couple nights she would wake off and on, up for a couple hours, then sleep for a couple hours. The past couple nights she has just been awake for LONG stretches.  Monday night was up from 1-7am and Tuesday night was 2-6:30am.  That is harsh being awake that much in the night!  We've tried giving her Benadryl and liquid Melatonin, so far nothing is working. She just CAN'T sleep.  We know that this is normal and it's going to take time, but it's so hard!  We're delirious at some points, having to be up with her all night and then be ready to take care of the 3 big kids during the day. Of course Maggie is happy to sleep the day away since that's nighttime to her. But we're trying to keep her naps pretty short.  Jeremy went back to work today; our first day apart in 3 weeks!

Otherwise she is doing pretty well. We've kept things very low-key.  She has met her grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins. She is pretty receptive to new people, likes to be talked to and teased. Lately, though, she doesn't want anyone to hold her but me, which is a good thing!

She also doesn't want me to put her down.  She is at her happiest when I'm on the floor playing with her. Which is what we've been doing a lot of. We all get on the floor together and tickle and tease her; you should hear the big belly laughs from her! She's learning to tickle them back. She loves to crawl over to them and pull herself up on them and just stand there holding onto them.  She talks to them and loves their attention.  They love to try to help feed her, but she really prefers me to do that part, which again, is great.

She's also doing great eating baby food now!  She is liking cereals, fruits, veggies and yogurt. Nothing solid so far, though.  It's so strange to me to not be able to hand her a graham cracker to munch on in between meals.  Allie lived on graham crackers when she came home and it helped with the fussies, so I wish Maggie could do the same. She'll get there, though. I'm hoping she'll pack on the pounds now that she's doing formula and baby food.

We had our big International Adoption Clinic appointment on Monday. It was a little soon to go for that, but it was important to us for Jeremy to be able to go, so we needed to get that in before he went back to work.  It was such a hard day for little Maggie Fei. We were there for 4.5 hours!  She got examined and evaluated.  Overall she gets a clean bill of health, although the doctor did discover what she thinks is thrush (yeast infection) in her mouth, up in her palate.  So she's on oral and topical meds for that.  It's interesting trying to get meds for her right now, as we don't have insurance for her yet. By law, she should be covered by our insurance starting the day we got her; but it takes time to make this happen since we have to show proof with adoption paperwork now that we're back. We've been told they'll backdate it, but right now we have to pay full price for things like meds up front. Her one med was $122!!! Yikes.  I know this is just the beginning of medical expenses for her, but it's hard to swallow for a minor infection!

They also told us she is not even on the charts in height, she's a shortie!  Her weight is around 3rd percentile. She has the cutest fat rolls all over despite being tiny.  They're not concerned about her size, though, and neither am I. I think we'll see big changes in her soon.

She's also has hyper mobility-really flexible! Partially due to low muscle tone thanks to being stuck in her crib all the time.  They also think that will correct itself now that she gets lots more floor time.

Although she's 13.5 months, developmentally, she's around the age of a 9-10 month old, which is typical for a baby who was in an orphanage.  Again, they think she'll catch up in her own time.  Speech is another story-her speech skills are around the age of a 6 month old; in part to being in an orphanage, in part to the language difference and in large part to her cleft lip and palate.  She'll definitely need speech therapy once her surgery is completed.

She also got a TB test, a flu shot, another vaccine, and a blood draw. The blood draw was terrible. I remembered it from Allie and I was prepared-they need 12 vials of blood.  That's a lot from a little body! Of course she hated it and screamed with all her might. Unfortunately her veins are so little that they struggled to get a good one... 3 technicians and 4 sticks later, they gave up. They only got about half of what they need and we have to go back another day.  Ugh.  I think at that moment Jeremy and I both realized that this is just the beginning of what she is going to go thru medically and it's going to be so hard to watch her suffer.  At the same time, we're thankful she's finally home to get the medical care she needs, so it's such a bittersweet thing.

We're also in the process of collecting stool samples, that's really fun. So next week we'll drop those off at Children's hospital and try the blood draw again. She'll also see the Plastic Surgeon, genetics, and the ENT. We should get more of an idea of the plan for her cleft and where we go from here. I also have to make her hearing and vision appointments!  Some of her paperwork indicates concern in both those areas, so we definitely want to get that checked out.  Hearing loss is common with clefts; she definitely hears some, we're just not sure if she hears all the way.

So we've had a whirl-wind first few days!  It's been an odd combination of trying to relax and rest, while at the same time getting a jump start on her care.

Words cannot express how thankful we are to be home. To have clean drinking water, ice cubes and cold drinks, fresh air and blue skies.  Being in urban China made me realize how much I love living in the suburbs!
Most of all I'm so so so happy to be back home with all my babies.  They keep coming up to me with extra hugs and snuggles since we got back.  They continue to be such troopers-it's not easy to have 2 parents who are back yet exhausted and a new baby getting lots of attention.  They are all a little tired, cranky and emotional right now, but we'll get on track.

Overall our trip went so smooth. It was hard, but there were no paperwork snaffoos, which we are so thankful for. And she's doing so great attaching to us, which is most important.

Mommy-Allie helps with bottle time.

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