Saturday, June 21, 2014

What a Week!

My last post seems like years ago. Our last day in China ended up not being our last day in China. We sat on the runway in Beijing waiting for 6 hours for our plane to take off. Fuel pump problems and the pilot being on duty for too long before takeoff ended up canceling our flight. Our real last night in China was spent at an airport hotel.  Missed planes and cancelled flights left us sleeping on the floor in the Detroit airport and spending another night away from home in an Atlanta airport. Almost 68 hours after leaving the Garden hotel, we finally walked through our front door...20 days after leaving and finally with our sweet Ava in our arms!!

I planned on posting hilarious pictures of us sleeping on airport floors and other odd places during our crazy journey to get home. I was going to blow the whistle on Delta for the poor treatment of our littles and their total lack of empathy for their special needs. I wanted to post about how God used our sweet Sunday School class to renew our spirits and remind us that He would not fail us. I wanted to post pictures of my FOUR miracles finally home and tell all about the perfect day that God gave us on Tuesday. It was a glimpse of His perfect plan for was so good!!

That post won't happen for awhile...because Wednesday happened and my Lily, our joy, got so very sick. There were hours during that day that I thought we would lose her. Trent says that this blog is my release, and this early Friday morning as I sit at Children's Hospital...I need the release. I really want to lay in the floor and scream and scream and scream, but I'll type instead. Warning up front, it's a crappy story but God wins in the end. He picked us up and carried us through once again.

Wednesday morning, Ava (still only answering to Yu Fang, but Ava's easier to type) and I woke up earlier than everybody else. She was so happy and gave me lots of hugs and kisses. I made her some noodles and she ate and we played. Huge step for us because by the end of our trip, she was a total Daddy's girl. That's so common in adoption, but it's the first time our new child hasn't bonded with us both equally. Kinda broke my heart, but I could see improvement since we were finally home.

Lily woke up asking for water. As Ava played Barbies, I snuggled with Lily and helped her drink her water. Around 8:00 am, she complained with her stomach. Thinking she was hungry, I made her some toast with hot sauce...gross, but it's her favorite!  We sat on the couch and she started to writhe from the stomach pain. I rubbed her little belly and thought she might need some Miralax...very common for her because of the MD. Reece had gotten up and got everything ready for me since Liky was in my lap whining from her tummy ache. The whining and writhing are very unusual for Lily, who NEVER complains. By this time, she is very pale and her lips are white.  We make a dash for the bathroom and she gets sick. I'm thinking our sweet girl has her first stomach virus.  After her second vomiting episode, Trent calls the pediatrician and the nurse says they want to see her. They usually always want her to come in because of her MD.  She gets extremely sick one more time before I'm out the door on our way to Hoover. I kissed Ava, hating to leave her but Lily was so sick. I knew Ava would be more satisfied at home with Trent and the bigs.

Lily slept all the way to the pediatrician. She dehydrates so easily, so I'm certain at this point that she's already dehydrated. By the time I carried her into the pediatrician's office, she was lethargic and barely talking.  I'm hoping to get something to stop the vomiting and get some fluids in her. I packed a bag before we left home thinking we may end up at Children's Hospital for fluids. I'm cool with that, I can handle it...seriously, I really thought I could :)

By the time they had done a blood draw and gotten a urine sample, Lily was even more lethargic. As I laid her back on the exam table from taking her to the bathroom, she was barely responding to me or the nurse. I watched her heart racing and could see it pulsing in her neck...way too fast and she was almost panting to get her breath. I opened the door and the doctor was in the hallway and came in quickly when he saw my face. My friends know I don't have a poker face, no doubt he could see the terror and panic. As we shook her and tried to get a response, he raised up her arm and jabbed her armpit several times. She didn't even flinch. He quickly says it's time to get it the ER, silly me says...ok, tell me the fastest way to get there. Nope!  The ambulance is called and I'm trying not to panic. I call Trent who is an hour away and my Daddy who works nearby.  By the time I'm on the phone with Daddy, I can't talk I'm sobbing so hard. They both head for the ER.

As I watched Lily sleep the scariest sleep I've ever seen (heart racing, panting, and one arm twitching), I hear the siren. As long as I live, I won't ever forget the feeling of knowing that wailing was for MY child. I followed the stretcher out praying and crying. There is no way to describe how I felt...but I know any parent understands. It's your worst nightmare.

Lily woke up a little during the ambulance ride (by the way...the sirens and lights mean get out of the way, when did people stop moving for emergency vehicles??) and asked the EMT questions.  I was so relieved.  They took her straight back to a room in the ER and by the time a nurse came in, she was unresponsive again. The doctors suspected her appendix because of the high white blood cell count...36!!!  Normal is around 10.  They told us there had to be infection somewhere based on those numbers and her symptoms lined up with appendicitis. 

Trent carried Lily with the nurse for an ultrasound.  As they returned, the doctors and nurses started working in a frenzy.  Somewhere along the way, they checked Lily's blood sugar which was horribly low...31.  The ultrasound didn't show any problems with the appendix.  They started IVs in both Lily's hands and they are hanging maintenance fluids, dextrose, and a strong antibiotic. I worked part time doing speech therapy in a hospital when the bigs were babies, so I'm following what's happening.  Then I hear the doctor say sepsis and my heart almost stopped.  I followed her into the hallway and asked if she thought Lily was septic.  As she shook her head, I fell against her in tears, begging her to save my baby.  Sepsis is a toxic response to infection, it can be fatal.  For a tiny little girl with a progressive muscle is really, really, really bad.

The doctor called Trent out into the hall and explained what was going on and then we told my Daddy.  My bigs and Ava knew something was wrong as they sat in Lily's room.  As Trent and I sat on either side of Lily with my Daddy standing vigil in the corner, Reece started to sob.  Mary Ashtyn was red faced and trying to hold it together.  Ava just sat and took it all in.  What must she think about family at this point?  Bless her heart.

I looked and Trent and whispered, "I'm not ready yet".  I have known since Lily's MD diagnosis that she could have a shorter life expectancy.  She's taught me to enjoy every minute God gives us with her...but I wasn't ready to let her go.  My sweet little girl that has made us so much better and stronger than we've ever been was so sick.  It was the most desperate and helpless feeling. I prayed over and over for God to let me keep her. 

The doctors did chest x-rays that were clear and sent Lily for a neck and stomach CT...they had to find where the infection was coming from.  One doctor came in and said that Lily was a puzzle, and they were doing everything they could to figure her out.  After hours of her not responding, she finally woke up a little after 3 bags of fluids.  She talked to us a little and kept her eyes open for awhile.  The CT scan did show that her appendix didn't look normal.  Appendicitis??  Sepsis??  We really didn't know anything and were transferred to the Special Care Unit with very few answers. 

Around 11:30 pm, we found out that Ava couldn't stay in the room with us since we weren't on a regular  floor.  Another thing to worry about as Trent and Ava left at midnight to find a hotel.  My newest daughter really didn't know what a mother was and now I've spent a whole day away from her.  My heart was torn, but I couldn't leave my Lily.  At this point, I'm realizing it's a very good thing that Ava was such a Daddy's girl since they were forced to spend so much time together.  I just sat and sobbed after they left...both of my sweet littles were facing so much. 

Around 3:00 am, Lily really woke up!!  I'm not sure how many bags of fluids she was given, but it was a lot and the nurse said she was on strong antibiotics.  I do know how amazing it was to hear that sweet little voice waking me up to go to the bathroom.  We laid in her bed snuggling and talking about her surgery.  Sweet girl was nervous!!  Would it hurt? Would she have to wear hard pants again??  (She had hip surgery in 2012 and wore a body cast for 6 weeks).  Would her belly button be an outie after surgery? 

Fast forward to after surgery, Lily's appendix was removed and didn't look that bad.  The doctor didn't think it would account for her extremely high white blood cell count.  The plan was to take Lily off all IV fluids and antibiotics and recheck her numbers the next morning.  Lily came out of recovery wide awake and ready to eat.  She did away with a popsicle and drank some Sprite.  We spent the day worrying about what the lab work would show.  What if her white blood cell count was still high...what next??

Our sweet night nurse, the same one who had braided Lily's hair in the early morning before surgery knew how stressed I was.  As Trent and Ava left for the night, she cried with me.  I will be forever grateful to her and how she took care of us.  Bless her, she did the blood draw around 12:30 am, knowing I wouldn't sleep until I had some idea of what we were facing.  When she flew into Lily's room around 1:00, I couldn't believe it when she said 9.5.  9.5...NORMAL white blood cell count!!! 

By the time the sun came up, Lily was eating breakfast and we were waiting to come home!!  

I can honestly say that my faith and trust in God has never been tested more than over the past week. As I sit in my den with my kids scattered around me, I can honestly say that we would not have made it through this week without God!  He proves over and over again that He is enough to carry us through anything.  Even if there comes a time that He doesn't answer our prayers the way we want, He will still be enough. 

"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

These miracles will always remind me of what God can do, even on the hardest days!

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have it's full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" James 1:2-4



  1. I found your blog on a mutual "blog friend". What a week you had! So happy to read that your beautiful daughter is okay!

  2. Sending Prayers your way! You poor things! What a crazy time for your family. What a good thing you did by calling the Dr. right away. I would have probably thought it was something she picked up in China and would have tried to treat it myself. What a blessing they caught it in time!

  3. I am so happy to hear that Lily pulled through and is doing well. You are a SuperMom for getting through it so well. Hopefully, you'll get a little down-time to recover from everything you've been through, even if it's only for 20 minutes!