Saturday, September 27, 2014

Passing tests, winning hearts.

Subtitle of truth: All words, no adorable pictures. Fair warning!

Primrose completed the first three of four big labs today: an ultrasound, an x-ray and a contrast enema x-ray (boo-ya, it's always a good blog when you can use that word!). Toby and J were off at swim team, Isaac was building elaborate balloon-and-yarn games in the front hallway, and I had just put our girl down for a nap after a long morning. It was the perfect moment to call in and start scheduling some of the un-fun on our medical to-to list.

The scheduler surprised me after offering a date two and a half weeks away by mumbling casually that if we could get to the hospital ASAP they could get all but her MRI done today. Isaac was a champ, helping me grab her shoes & socks and a bag of toys. He held open all the doors and pushed all the elevator buttons while I carried the drowsy princess to her waiting staff.

It's never easy to see a kid cry and hold them down anyway, but it was harder to do today than it ever was with my boys. They always had us there with them any time something difficult had to be done, and we have always known what the general result would be. All we know about our daughter's medical experiences comes from dry translated paperwork we've been given. On FangFang's Chinese Child Welfare medical report, it says she didn't have a foster mom until she was four months old and then it was "for the professional care and enjoy the warmth of family." She had already been in the hospital twice by then and the second time was for two different kinds of post-operative infections. It's hard to believe that living in the orphanage didn't contribute to those problems no matter how much they have improved over the past 20 years.

After her fosters were on the scene the report starts to say things like, "her mother usually takes her to the park" or "her mother says she likes aspermous watermelon" which we take to mean seedless, and YES ma'am, she really really does. Is it odd that I love to see the word "mother" in report without the qualifier "foster"? I hope this baby knew love and assumed it would always be her own. She's certainly had practice at bonding.

Thanks to two other empty open handed mothers tonight, she will forgive me for holding her down. I imagine it's possible she's accessing that pragmatic resignation we have benefitted from and that I never want her to need again. Her hitching hoarse-voiced cry stuns me, but I can't help but welcome finally getting to it. I was surprised to feel something like joy being able to stroke her hair and hold her little body along with the nurses in the nautical candy-painted x-ray room. Selfishly, I was almost eager about the whole thing, raring to take my spot and give her everything she could want. Everything except of course to get up and leave that awful radiology place where they do such uncomfortable things to her.

The results came while we were at a park afterward (way to be prompt, amazing OHSU pediatric radiology department!) watching her slide and run and squeal. She has all her organs, and initial reports show all functioning well. Can you believe that? I don't yet. I haven't cried much, and I feel like maybe I haven't breathed much since she came home. I'm doing a bit of both tonight.

We went right out and had a celebration dinner where she ate my whole veggie burger and all the tomatoes from my salad. Then we promptly bought her and her ecstatic brothers an aquarium. It seemed the thing to do.

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