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Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Gift.

Exhausted does not begin to cover this day. Let me start from the beginning...

We had our ultrasound, which confirmed what we already knew...we're having a baby girl! And her name will be Lola Magdalene. The name comes from a stubby sea turtle we met in Key West in June. The aquarium there has rescued animals and there were a few sea turtles who had been injured. Well, there was a sea turtle who got her little fin caught up in some fishing wire so she had a stub for her right, front "arm." But she got around just fine! And her name was Lola. When I heard that I thought, "That's It!" Magdalene is after my mother in law who is Magdalena, a great source of strength and faith for our family. I like that Lola Magdalene sounds like an old showgirl's name or something. She looks great, nice and active, and brain and heart parts are in tact. That's all we ask for.

After the ultrasound we got Christian ready to go. He road in his carseat strapped to a gurney to go up to Phoenix in the ambulance. I went up separately so I would have a vehicle in Phoenix, especially so I can visit the HBOT center.

And we're finally here.

When I got here, it was weird, I'm not going to lie. Christian was super agitated and the nurses don't know him so they don't know what positions work for him. His heart rate was up, he was warm and flush, I knew he was pissed as soon as I walked in the room. I repositioned him and took everything in. I was so lost and the only way to explain it is that I felt like we came so far in the PICU only to start over again at another institution. I use the word 'institution' because that's kind of what it feels like, which is surprising. Why am I surprised? Because I didn't know what to expect. The nurses and case managers at the hospital have never even been here and they could only go off of here say.

When I got here, I didn't know where anything was, the nurses are different. PICU nurses and doctors are so involved and they're just top of the line. It's totally different here. I'm sure the nurses here are good but we got so spoiled in the PICU. I met the Occupational Therapist and the Speech Therapist who will be working on oral stimulation. I mentioned to her that Christian had been making sucking motions and she got a pacifier for me so that if he starts to seem like he wants to cooperate, we can see what he can do with it. More on that later.

It was so overwhelming. A new place and then an agitated Christian equals verge of meltdown for Shauna. The OT started talking about how they have a pool for therapies that we could use, "Oh, but I know that must be hard at this point because that's what got him here. How long has it been?" I just lost it. Right in front of her and the social worker. I felt so lost and helpless and I didn't even have Manny and Gabe to come visit me to make me feel better. All of the sudden I was very alone.

There are a lot of sick kids here. Some are really severe and some are never going home. Some don't have families to go home to. I don't feel attached to this place like the PICU. I just want Christian home. But I am excited about the therapies he'll receive. And we're blessed that he will be coming home.

Oh yeah, more on the sucking thing. Well, Christian got some Tylenol after his agitation and he took a really long, much needed nap. When he woke up he was back to normal. So I started talking to him and putting the pacifier on his lips, in his mouth, around his mouth. He actually kind of responded and he was into it a little. I put the pacifier at the front of his mouth in front of his teeth and he began with the sucking motions. Then he voluntarily began to open his mouth for me to put his pacifier in. I could really tell he was liking the stimulation, he just can't quite figure all of it out yet. He had a pacifier from about 2 months to about 6 months. Then he spit it out and wouldn't take it again. I think he likes the pacifier, though, so I'm going to keep at it.

So here's to hoping for a better, less emotional, day tomorrow. Hopefully, Manny and Gabe can come visit.

Really, this day is a gift. I told Manny right after the accident that I didn't want to go home without Christian. So it's a gift that I got today. Although Christian left in an ambulance and me in my truck, we left the hospital completely in tact and ready for the journey ahead.


Pippa said...

Hugs to you Shauna! And as always sending love and prayers to Christian.

Yes, what a hard day. But I think it was always going to be hard. You have lived in PICU for over 3 weeks and you may not have liked that place but it has provided some level of security with regard to routine. Now... everything has changed again!

Yay for sucking motion! Christian is working so hard to piece everything back together. He's a good boy for you Shauna! He obviously loves his Mama =)

Melissa said...

If you need anything, give me a shout, Shauna! I'm in Peoria -- just West of Phoenix. I'd be happy to stop in and say hello or bring you lunch or just sit with you!

I'll send my email & phone number to Kelli if you'd like to call/email! :)

maz said...

I can imagine it would be completely overwhelming the newness and change to routine moving places (well...I can try to imagine, but know its probably not even close sadly). Bit by bit things will fall into place and things will become more familiar and you'll slot into a new routine - especially when Mr Man starts looking more settled too. I reckon that there must be someone every minute of the day thinking about you somewhere on the planet, so even when you feel alone, you're not - we're all there with you, in thoughts and prayers, if not in actual presence (although...nothing beats a hug from Manny or Gabe or cuddling Christian, I'm sure - tomorrow, tomorrow!!!)

I love the name Lola and the story behind her name! Brand new baby!

And yea to the sucking. Even after a long and exhausting day for Christian, he is still working away...what a little trooper!

Big hugs to you Shauna....

colekd said...

You amaze me with every post. I just love how real you are, and you tell it like it is, but you always always put a positive spin on it. I can't tell you how much I've learned from you alone. That's awesome that you were able to get Christian comfy, and the pacifier story is great!! I hope today goes well, and that you feel more acclimated to your new area.

Many hugs to you & baby Christian :)

Tracy said...

Sending you big hugs. Today will be better after you have rested. That was a big day! Sounds like he is improving each day. I pray for him every morning.


Vixx said...

Hey its the 1st August here in the UK now (1.50am) and itsn't today Christians birthday?? ive been searching everywhere for the date and im hoping im not wrong or way out.

If i have remembered correctly then Happy 1st Birthday Christian, you keep going the road you're going and you will be getting mummy back on her toes running about after you.

Congratulations on making Christian and Gabe big brothers to a little sister, Lola is a beautiful name.

I LOVE reading your blog, the lows right through to the highs, you make me cry tears of sadness as well as happiness - stay strong Shauna, i am in awe of how you are coping.

I firmly beleive that Christian knows what he wants to do and its just his tight body stopping him from doing them, he knows he loved to nurse and he knows he wants to suckle on the hand and pacifier and in time he will.

just a thought tho, when Christian nuzzles in can you have a breast out ready for him to lean against, smell the familiar mummy smell and one day your clever little boy may just take your nipple into his mouth and hold it there ready for the next step of that suckling he has been practising on his hand.

Much love to You, Manny, Gabe and of course the star of the site Christian xxx

PS im mammamoon from FF july/aug groups.

pam said...

Christian is such a gift!!! I am so proud to be a part of your life and journey! It will not be short or easy but it will be WELL WORTH it! You will settle in and this month will fly by!!! Still sending up tons of prayers!

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