Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Make It A Double!..and other new parent epithets..

Life has become so crazy/insane/fun/chaotic/overwhelming/painful/amazing/etc.. in the past 2 weeks, I have not been able to find time to complete a blog post. Actually I think that I have completed one and updated it several times.. but wanted to include photos. I finally found time to upload some photos (in a very simple slideshow - just wanted to show friends and fam some photos!!) and include them with this post. So here we are. FINALLY. Feel free to skim thru - I just want to write all of this info for memories sake.

So let’s back up and update a little bit. First of all, I wrote most of this post last night with a nice big chilly glass of expensive Chardonnay in my hand. Why? Because, more than ever, I dam well deserved it!! Ha! I know.. just having some growing pains – growing into a family of four (or five, as we cannot forget our needy yellow lab!). Yesterday was painful because we had to visit the pediatrician.. again.. with both girls together.. again (somehow it worked out this way last week also and was completely traumatic). This is NOT the way to visit the doctor.

Maya turns into Ms-I-Need-Attention-So-I-Am-Going-To-Scream-My-Butt-Off-The-Entire-Time-Louder-Than-My-Sister. Granted, she had a stomach ache and wasn’t feeling well.. but good LORD. There was no consoling this loud little girl until she finally was able to pass the ‘ache’ into the toilet. Sigh. And then our new little Ms-I-Will-Not-Be-Restrained-By-Anything-Man-Or-Manmade-Don’t-Even-TRY-The-Velcro-Straightjacket-On-Me!!!.. screamed like she was losing an appendage while the nurse washed an ungodly amount of wax from her poor tiny little ear. Sigh.

Sadly this was not our first visit to the pediatrician. Let’s back up a little. Devika came home with an intestinal parasite.. and we thought Maya might have picked it up. Not sure, could be that she had a virus and now is freaked out about using the toilet. She was quite ill all of last week (thus no time to blog). We will be testing her for the parasite in the next couple of days just to ensure there isn’t an issue. Picked up the lovely testing materials yesterday at the doc’s. We already tested Devika and luckily only one of the intestinal issues the doc anticipated has proven positive. She has taken meds for several days and should be feeling better. Unfortunately, her tummy issues seem to be worsening and she has developed eczema rash all over her body and a low fever (plus her never-ending nasal congestion). Maybe the tummy issues are from a major change of diet.. hopefully. Today is the last day of her intestinal medicine – so I hope it worked.

We are hoping that this parasite turns out to be the issue with Devika’s small size. She is tiny!! Only 12 lbs and 24”. The pediatrician is very concerned with her lack of growth over the past year. She put Devika on a hi-cal diet and will be re-evaluating her on Nov 6th – hoping to see growth.

We are also concerned about some oral issues that Devika has. She has a high palate with a bit of a groove in it. She also has a cross-bite (teeth don’t line up). We found out that these issues are a result of her prematurity (she was ~2 months premature). We hope that there is something that can be done to help this – that she won’t need to wait until she is old enough for braces. I’m assuming something more will be done, as she cannot even eat anything remotely solid yet. Even cheerios or small banana bits will choke her. She also is having some issues eating from a spoon – she doesn’t quite know how to do it. She is being fed as if she was 6 months old – everything is pureed. Food tends to get stuck in the palate groove if she has anything solid. We may be looking at some feeding therapy.. we’ll find out more at our next doc appmt.

Btw, we about had heart failure when we first met Devika. We did not know that she had the oral issues, and when we picked her up she became traumatized and lost some muscle control (totally normal). This caused her face to slack somewhat, and her mouth looked very odd. We were sooo afraid that something very major was wrong with her. We were, of course, quite stressed with the entire process of picking up a new baby – and dealing with our toddler at the same time – which did not help our transition with her. We freaked out a little and were worried about worse-case scenarios. Now that we are home and she is adjusting.. she has gained muscle control and the mouth does not look so obviously misshapen. Not sure you would even notice it unless you spent time with her or fed her.

So just take note – if you are picking up a child and see something like this – don’t freak out at first! J Yeah right… I think anyone would. But things are rarely as serious as you first think when you are looking at a completely traumatized child. It’s amazing how much they change after they begin to transition/gain strength/etc.

We’re looking forward to finding more info about how her palate and jaw might be corrected.. her pediatrician wanted to scope out the growth issue first. Maybe we will know more on Nov. 6th at the next appmt.

So here we are 8 days after arriving home. We are VERY happy to be home. Maya had many transition issues, and is still working thru them (as is normal but painful!). When Devika cries, she cries. She will not be quiet until D is quiet.. so we have to remove her from the situation. Our ‘Love and Logic’ parenting techniques are occasionally forgotten.. but we’re trying hard to stick to them. We feel like we are tested at least 100x per day!

Luckily, D is not crying much lately. She has transformed from uber-cranky baby to semi-happy baby! YAY! We were a little worried about her temperament also – but maybe (and I would assume) the intestinal issue had caused her to be less-than-joyful for quite some time. She laughs and plays a lot now.. and is just adorable! She still doesn’t feel 100%.. so hopefully this will continue to improve.

Yesterday was quite a big step for us – D actually smiled at ME when I picked her up in the morning after waking! Yay! She was very attached to Daddy from day 1.. but has slowly warmed up to me. She will hold her arms out to me now when he is holding her.. and she will usually not jump out of my arms when she sees him. Things are slowly progressing!

D is also super-strong!! It is really insane. I call her my little SuperGirl. We’re pretty sure she is a baby super hero. Have you seen the baby on The Incredibles? Well.. she’s pretty close. I think she just might need a cape! No one at the doc offices/Childrens Hospital (blood draw lab)/etc have believed us.. until they witnessed it. She can fight off everyone! When she had her blood draws at the hospital, it took 4 techs plus Ajay.. and 1 ½ hrs.. to get the job done. Yikes.

Today I gave her a bath and she fought me the ENTIRE time. We sit with her in the tub, and usually both of us team up – Ajay holds her and I wash her. Today I thought I’d practice going it alone. Hmm.. not a fun experience to say the least. I would not have been the least bit surprised to have seen her head spin around and pea soup to fly out of her mouth!!

D hates to have her hair washed..or combed..or touched. Maybe the flaking scalp doesn’t feel good (major flaking issues even after several hair washes). She twisted her little body around in circles the entire time I bathed her. A couple of times I was able to wedge her into one spot by using my arms and legs to hold her down – so I could rinse her hair. Criminy!

Devika is, however, doing very well developmentally – her gross motor skills are awesome! She is crawling like a banshee, and she cruises around the entire house. I saw her take 3! steps on her own yesterday, and Aj saw her take several on her own today. I think she will be walking in a matter of days/weeks. Ack!!!

I knew that we were in for a completely different baby than Maya was – she was sooo easy and calm. Good thing I braced myself for this, b/c D is a total 180!

Here are a few things about Devika that I want to remember:

* D loves to play with her shadow in the morning – as long as the sunlight isn’t too bright. She squeals with delight and hops on her hands/knees onto her shadow – over and over. It is so cute! I must videotape this..

* D enjoys teething toys – she is getting at least one new tooth right now (probably part of the temperament issues). She likes to play with blocks – taking them out of the ‘block bag’ is wildly entertaining. She has discovered the Tupperware – luvs to chew on it and bang it against anything, including her head (though the head-banging is slowing down thank goodness).

* D is so small that the best fitting clothing are size 3-6 month from the Gap. Luv Gap clothing for these kids b/c they are made for thinner kiddos and don’t hang like tents off of them. The Hartstring outfits that I purchased in size 6-9 months are wearable but still too large. They are one pieces and she gets her legs caught up in them (both legs end up in one pantleg or in the body). She also wears size 2 ½ shoes. I need to order some, as I have only found one pair at Stride Rite.. and they weren’t cute. And I’m all about shoes. J She needs the sturdy white type to help her walk, but they don’t start until size 3.

* D loves to be tickled, and loves to be tossed (don’t worry – we don’t actually let go of her!) into the air. This always brings a big laugh!

* D is much more into cereal/mashed foods than her bottle right now. Might be b/c she has a stuffy nose. I hope we aren’t dealing with another non-drinker like Maya – yikes! She also cannot drink from a ‘4’ nipple.. she needs a ‘2’. I, of course, only had two ‘2’s in the house and 20 ‘4’s. And I keep forgetting them at the store. Argh.

* Maya calls D her baby. J She likes her until D cries and steals attention. Or when D plays with her toys. Or Ds toys. Or anything. Ahh… sibling rivalry! Gotta luv it.

So I have some last thoughts about our India trip, but haven’t had a chance to post them. I’ll do it in a later post along with some photos. Just need to find a few moments to edit them. Finding time while kids are sleeping and I’m not exhausted or frantically trying to clean the house (which seems to look like crap again 5 minutes later – what is UP with that??) – is proving to be a challenge.

I just keep thinking about our drive to the airport on Friday night, and the people who were sleeping in the median of the highways. Or roadways. Whatever. The roads are chaotic and crazy 24/7.. so just imagine rows of people - men/women/children - sleeping in the narrow median when all of this is going on! WOW. Kinda humbles you a bit.

To end this post, let me please remind all of you - VOTE!!! I have my mail-in ballot waiting for me. That will be tonite’s task. Can’t wait!


Adoption Blog said...

Beautiful Video! Brought tears to my eyes...or more to the point I was balling!

You have a beautiful family!

How is your dog taking that there is a little one who is "higher" in the pack hierarchy?

Thank you for sharing¨


Peter and Nancy said...

Ha ha ha -- I'm laughing with you (about the need for wine, and the house degenerating before your very eyes!). Been there . . . wait, still am there!

Whew! Going from one to two is always a big challenge, not to mention intestinal issues! Your bathtime and blood draw experiences are so much like ours with Anya Rashi. Isn't it fun having a "spirited" (nice euphemism!) child?

Hang in there -- I love that you're still finding joy and beauty amidst the chaos.

The Pfeiffer Family said...

You did a wonderful job on the video. It was beautiful. Sounds like it has been a wirl wind of a couple weeks. Happy that you are finally all together as a family. Your daughters are gorgeous :-)

April #6 waiting for Alesha

Julie & Patrick said...

Wow!! What an eventful first week home! Glad to hear that things are getting more and more under control OR that you are getting more and more used to the chaos...with the help of wine. A good crushed grape can do wonders for the soul, sometimes :)

Continued success with your beautiful family
:) Julie R

Amy said...

The pics were awesome - thanks for sharing! I am so sorry you have had a rough week - you earn the super mom award in my book ;). Praying both of your little girls start to feel better and that you get some rest amidst the chaos! I do appreciate your candid posts - it helps me better prepare for wha to expect in some situations.

Sr. Marie Morgan, OSF said...

WAAAH! SNIFF! SOB! Beautiful video! :)
Auntie M

Nadra said...

Beautiful video Amy. Loved every second of it.

You've had a rough week. Poor Devika. Hopefully things will settle down soon.

Isn't life crazy with 2? It'll be tough for a few months, so get ready. Plus, you're about to have a VERY mobile baby moving around.

So glad you posted...I've been blog stalking for days. Hugs to all of you.

Have another glass of deserve it.

The Labontes said...

Gorgeous video. Hope things start settling in and everyone is on the mend. Loved following your journey.

Pam said...

So much of what you said sounds just like Micah when we picked him up. He was so tiny, about 15 lbs. He also had oral issues and couldn't even swallow the baby cereal. His tongue protruded at all times! He couldn't crawl, had poor balance, hated having his hair washed (also had major flaking issues-took me almost two months to clear that up!) had to use the #2 nipple as well, fidgeted, preferred Joel, on and on. Seriously, you would think she was Micah's sister! Ha-ha! I well remember those first months, it was so hard. I love your humor in it all. If you need to talk, give me a shout out. Been there, done all of that too.

A and Z said...


Oh my. I will admit to drinking a glass of wine EVERY night and we don't have the health issues you are dealing with (and older sibling)! Zaleeya is now just refusing food fed to her (time to shop for finger foods) and still stuggling with some sleep issues. You are a goddess in my eyes!

heather_and_nathan said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly. It's wonderful to watch your video and read about your process. Both of your girls are adorable.
waiting on NOC for Piyashi