Thursday, December 3, 2009
What a crazy month - finally an update!
Where do I even start??? I am kicking myself now for not updating this sooner, lol.
We received placement of Ariannah on Friday October 30th. We went to pick her up from the previous foster parents in Indiana. I sat with her in the backseat on the car ride home. It was so surreal that I cried the whole trip. It was just like bringing a newborn home from the hospital. Ariannah did great the first weekend home with us. She was somewhat lethargic and fussy….but we assumed it was because she was scared. Who wouldn’t be in her situation??? She was in a new home, with new parents, and two crazy dogs kept trying to lick her!
Little did we know that she was VERY sick. On Tuesday (barely 72 hours after we got her) we took her to a visit with her biological mother at the social worker’s office. The social worker commented to Derek that Ariannah looked “swollen” and that her belly was very large. He suggested we take her to the local Children’s Hospital. We knew her stomach looked large, but we thought it was because she was on 23 hours continuous feeding through her G-tube. We didn’t have much to compare her to.
We soon found out that her liver was the size of a grapefruit and that she could have died in a few days. Her white blood cell count was elevated, she had blood in her urine and bowels, and the liver caused her stomach to be pushed up through her esophagus (it is called a hiatal hernia). The stomach was now pushing against her diaphragm, making it hard for her to breathe. The cause of all this was a medical error by her pediatrician! Ariannah was getting 3000 calories a day pumped into her stomach using 120 cc of formula per hour for 23 hours out of the day. Her body could not process all of the food and therefore she was losing weight. The doctors kept increasing her feeds…making her sicker and sicker!
We were at the hospital for 5 days. They drained her liver and gave her antibiotics. Luckily she recovered quickly, although they say it will take months for her liver to heal itself. She was such a trooper and I couldn’t believe how much strength and determination something so small could have. The 5 days in the hospital were great for Derek and I. It gave us all a chance to bond and Ariannah learned quickly that she could trust us. By the time we left the hospital she was already calling me “Mama” and would cry anytime I left the room. She is definitely a mama’s girl.
Ariannah is now hooked to the feeding machine for 10 hours every night and then we feed her through the G-tube 4 times during the day. She is down to only 1000 calories a day. And still gaining weight! When we got her she weighed 15 lbs 11 oz and she is now weighing 19lbs 1oz. When she turned 1 she was less than 10 lbs. Then she only gained 5 lbs in 6 months. She has now gained almost 5 lbs in the first 3 weeks we have had her! She is growing so quickly!
In the past two weeks she has started scooting more and can even get herself from the sitting position into the scooting position without help. She is active and such a joy to be around. She has a silly personality and loves to make people laugh. Her favorite game is “Fetch”….she will throw anything you give her and then laugh hysterically while you have to bend over to get it. She also likes to shake her head no when you are scolding her. Such a feisty thing she is!!! But more than anything, she loves to cuddle and give kisses. Derek and I are truly blessed and couldn’t have asked for a more perfect daughter. Derek texted me at the hospital one night and told me that he already loved Ariannah like his very own. The pain from my miscarriages will never go away….but in all honesty, I understand now why they had to happen. I can’t imagine a life without Ariannah. I hope you enjoy the new pics of our beautiful princess.