Thursday, February 23, 2012

Not Just a Transfusion Day

Yesterday was E's 2nd US transfusion.  It was a really early day, and to say that E is not a Morning Person is really putting it lightly.  Just like her mother.

We had a new set of nurses yesterday who told us they had been "warned" that E is the cutest thing ever and that they would want to take her home.  Just as predicted, everyone wanted to put her between two slices of whole wheat toast and eat her right up.

The transfusion itself went really well.  Because E has teeny tiny veins with lots of scar tissue, she saw the IV Team right off the bat to get her line in.  It took about 30 minutes of searching by an expert IV person with a fancy red light to find one, but when she did, she got it on the first try.  We all breathed a sigh of relief.  After that, things went really well.  E only needed a small transfusion because after 4 weeks her hemoglobin was 10.4!  For you hematology buffs, you know what that means.  For the rest of you...that is AWESOME! 

Mama, what's up with these mitts they put on me?
What a minute...they are getting hot!

Hey, nurse...this cuff is a litte tight!
Since we were in and out so quickly (relatively speaking) and we were lucky enough to have such a beautiful sunny day in the mid-50s, we took a ride up to Newburyport.  E loved going in the little shops, hanging out at a cafe, playing at the playground, and we are pretty sure she saw the ocean for the first time.  She seemed very excited, and kept saying "wawa" (water).  It was really nice to turn a transfusion day into something special and memorable.  What a minute...who am I kidding??  Everything with E is special and memorable.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thank You, HeartWare!

A little "Thank You" from E to HeartWare for the yummy fruit bouquet and teddy bear!  It arrived right at lunch time and sort of derailed her healthy lunch when she saw all of those chocolate covered delights...Mama was fighting a losing battle.  It was all delish!

Yes, I did eat all of the chocolate off of the fruit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweets for our Sweetums

E has had a fabulous few days with visits and presents from both sets of her grandparents and her favorite auntie, as well as a trip to a farmer's market, shopping at the mall, some running around outside, and a delivery of a larger-than-life-sized Hello Kitty balloon from her great-aunt and uncle.  She's gotten more Valentine's cards and emails this week than P and I got in our lifetime.  She's just too sweet to resist! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gotcha...Plus One Month

I think I'll just let the pictures do the talking, but suffice it to say that we are absolutely AMAZED at the progress our incredible daughter and family have made in the past month. We met a scared, inconsolable, grieving little girl, and today we have a happy, giggling, thriving daughter. She is everything we dreamt of and so much more. Her laughter fills our little house, and her smile could light up the world.


We love you, Emmilene!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

X's and O's

I have never asked or told E to hug or kiss me.  I figured that in her own time, she'd decide when she wanted to plant one on me, and when she did it, it would be because she wanted to, not because she was directed to.  I figured I would be sitting on a beach somewhere on Cape Cod in late July before it happened.

Then it did.

Out of nowhere.

We weren't having one of our cuddle sessions, we weren't kissing her favorite baby doll, we weren't even playing at all. 

We were getting ready to go to Home Depot.

I sat on the bottom step of our stairs, getting ready to put my shoes on.  E came over, carrying my Uggs.  I started to put them on, and she started tugging on them to help me.  Then all of a sudden, out of the blue, there it was...a kiss!  So faint, so tiny, I actually didn't know what it was.  I thought, "It couldn't's much too soon," and went on with my other boot.

Then it happened again.

And again!

I tried to act all casual, as if the world hadn't stopped turning on it's axis, but inside, my heart was racing like it never has (sorry, P).

I looked into her huge eyes, and she had an ear-to-ear, yet somewhat shy grin on her face.  And she kissed me again.  This wasn't a kiss on a boo boo, it was just a kiss, well, just because.  A kiss that she wanted to give me, for whatever reason.

We have only known E for under a month.  I am astounded, amazed, SHOCKED at the transformation that this incredible little girl has undergone.  She has changed from a scared, sad, inconsolable girl to a loving, smiling, happy one.  I am also amazed at the transformation that this family has undergone in the past month.  We can't even imagine our life before E was in it.  She has brought us such joy in the short time we have known her, in both the hard times and the carefree ones.

And when I think back to those very dark and trying days in China, I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined that she would kiss me on her own, less than a month after Gotcha Day.

Every day E reminds me that I am the luckiest woman in the world.  They say "a kiss is just a kiss."  Not when it comes from your daughter.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Here's a quick video of E playing Peek-a-Boo.  We tried this with her in China with NO LUCK, but she picked it up in no time after playing it with Nana about a thousand times the other day...

Here's another funny little snippet...


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mama's Turn

So, last week E had 7 needle sticks and one bag of blood and yesterday I had one needle stick and 4 bags of blood.  Yup, FOUR.  Let me tell ya, that's a LOT of blood.  As I shared early on in my blog, I have thalassemia intermedia, a different but equally (sometimes more) complicated version of what our E has.  My thalassemia renders me very anemic all of the time because I do not get transfusions like E does.  As a result, illnesses can hit me very, very hard.  On the plane ride home from China, I came down with an awful illness with nearly a 104 temp...I tried to slog through it because having just arrived home with our new baby, I couldn't exactly lay on the couch and drink tea all day.  But it really knocked me down to the point that even taking a shower was exhausting.  I wasn't getting better and then this week I was hit with another virus.  Being so anemic was just not allowing my body to heal or fight anything off or get better.  So, yesterday I landed in the ER getting massive amounts of IV antibiotics and then the huge transfusion. 

It was an interesting role reversal, and despite the fact that I felt like I was on the brink of death, overall, it was actually a good experience for us as a family.  E came to the ER and watched everything, had to see my IV, watch them take my BP and do an ECG.  Once I was all settled, P took E home for some fun time with Baba, which went very well, so it was good bonding for them!  When they came back later to see me, I was all hooked up getting my transfusion two rooms down from where E had hers last week.  E came in to the room and immediately knew what was going on.  She pointed to the blood, to my IV, to the BP monitor.  I had the same nurses that E had last week, and she immediately recognized them.  I think it was good for her to see me there and to be there herself but NOT be the one getting stuck for once. 

When the nurse took out my IV at the end of my very very very long transfusion E grimaced at the tape coming off.  That was her LEAST favorite part of her own transfusion last week.  She motioned for the nurse to put on my bandaid, and like I have done for her 1000 times in the past week, she came over and touched the bandaid, and kissed my boo boo.  She's kissed it about 50 times since we've been home.  At dinner she put down her fork to roll up my sleeve and kiss the boo boo, during her bath she had to kiss the boo boo, and during our nightly cuddle time, she kissed it 10 times.  She's still checking on my boo boo periodically and kissing it today.

It's odd to say that having thalassemia is a blessing, but it is.  It's something that my daughter and I share.  I can understand what it is like for her on a level that few others can.  And, we can be there to kiss each other's boo boos forever.

ps-to those of you wondering, YES, I feel much better and I LOOK much pinker!  Four bags of blood will do that to you...