there are 2 things that have been really shocking to me in our 3 days here. 1st: the physical stamina required, and how much my body feels like it's been hit by a semi. i'm not sure of the percentage of time that i have walked and rocked and carried her in the past 3 days, but i know it's more than i thought humanly possible. for example, i carried emery for 10 straight hours this afternoon into evening. we had times when she was happy...smiling and waving at nurses and laughing at my funny faces...you wouldn't even know she had major surgery a few days ago. she isn't swollen and can smile really well, even with all those stitches.
but, we also had large amounts of time when she was so upset and frustrated today...maybe more so than yesterday. it's totally understandable. she's experienced something so awful and painful, and she isn't allowed on the ground to play, and she's in a strange and oddly noisy place. (oh and the neighbors watch Judge Judy all day long...my brain is melting).
which brings me to the 2nd shocker: something clicked on tuesday, and instead of feeling comforted when i hold her, she has reverted back to china. when she feels pain or hunger or exhaustion, she arches her back and flails backwards and doesn't stop. over and over and over she arches backwards with such force that each and every time i have to hold her with all my might just so she doesn't plummet to the floor. it's horrible. it's soooo very horrible. to see her reverting back and acting like the past 2 months never happened. it's my worst fear coming true. i am praying and praying and praying we will find our way back to where we left off before surgery.
today, she didn't want to be put down...in fact, she didn't want to be held either. she thrashed and screamed for what seemed to be hours. every time i wanted to punk out and put my sweet sobbing girl down to ease my own tortured arms, i remembered what she is going through, and i kept going. 5 more minuets. 20 more. 1 more hour. and so on. if i'm honest, i was (and still am) in so much back pain, i think i might put in for a reconstructive surgery of my own. oh and maybe a left arm transplant :) my body was shaking so badly by the end of the night, i was afraid it would give out. i wish i had kept up with my yoga or lifted some weights in preparation.
ok, enough of my whining. but i needed the back story to get to the good part.
in the middle of my 10 hour stretch of holding (somewhere around 5pm) i was crying because she was crying so much. my heart was breaking at her sorrow and i just didn't think i could take another moment. i asked the nurse to give her meds a little early in hopes that it would help. but it was too early. 1 hour too early. so i tried other things. formula? no. didn't want that. toys? no. didn't want that. diaper change? no. didn't like that one bit.
so i laid her on the crib, my arms shaking. i kissed her forehead as she was kicking me and trying to find a way out of her no-no casts. she flailed and clawed at her feet and my neck and face. my tears dripped on her as i tried to speak softly in chinese over my own sobbs.
suddenly, she calmed a bit. she looked up at me, with those amazing eyes...tears streaming in those sweet asian browns...and she spoke. for the first time.
she said the one word i have been longing to hear since i laid eyes on her. the moment i have dreamed of.
she said "mama".
yes, you heard me. "mama"
i was stunned.
so i said "mama?? did you say MAMA?????!!!!"
slowly, carefully, as if to choose her word with precision, she said it again "ma ma" "ma ma" "ma ma"
then she smiled. so very proud of herself.
if i was crying before, now i was really crying...pure sobbs of amazing gut wrenching joy.
"mama" i repeated with a giant beaming smile
"ma ma" she replied carefully, followed by a beaming smile of her own
over and over.
as if she knew i needed her. she's supposed to be the one needing me, but in that moment...in my desperation...my pleads...my need for her to find peace, she gave peace to me. what a gift from the Almighty, this one. she speaks and it's like an angel singing to my soul.
in post op recovery. about 2 hours after surgery.
the sweet post op recovery nurse who fought for emery to go to the pediatric intensive care unit. i think she just might be an angel. she wanted to make sure emery was ok, and advocated to the doctors on emery's behalf. what a blessing! she came by today to check on our girl :) and got a sweet smile from the little lady.
my mom came for a few hours the first night and i am SO thankful she did! what a blessing to have her there...she even helped as my stand in for emery's chest xray (they wouldn't let me in the xray without taking a preg test to prove i'm not pregnant :) and there was no time)
in the picu (pediatric intensive care)
daddy came to visit for a few hours. he's been working hard taking care of the boys and traveling for work. we've missed him so much, but i know it's torture for him not to be here.