October 19, 2012

Why We’re Still in the Hospital…

Malnutrition is no joke. It affects every function of your body and serious malnutrition can rock your world when you try to correct it. That’s why we’re still in the hospital.

Abiella came home weighing 15 pounds. She is almost 2 years old. For the majority of her life she ate (best we can guess) a no-calorie, “porridge” type filler, that was probably void of any nutritional value. She probably received 2 or 3 feedings a day with perhaps no liquids (other than what was in her porridge.) Because of this, she is at a high risk for what’s called, “Refeeding Syndrome.”

Refeeding Syndrome is when a body is SO malnourished that consuming nutritional substances can cause a number of serious complications, including cardiac failure. You can read why here. This phenomenon is commonly seen in starving children, those recovering from anorexia, etc.

This means it is not safe for us to begin feeding Abiella a balanced diet until we’ve maintained a successful transition under strict supervision in a hospital. What does this transition look like? Well, it means feeding her nutritional formula through a feeding tube that runs day and night, and letting me feed her two small portions of rice cereal a day by mouth. In the meantime, blood is drawn every 8 hours to look at her electrolytes, potassium, magnesium, etc…. These labs tell us how her body is reacting to the new diet and if the “refeeding syndrome” is showing its head. Depending on each lab result, doctors either increase the amount of food she can receive (via tube) each day and/or supplement her with additional vitamins. They also have her hooked up to a million electrodes to monitor her heart and observe how it is handling the new diet. It’s a lot of mumbo jumbo that I could continue to talk about, but the bottom line is it has been hard.


abi in crib


Abi is a real trooper but MY GOSSSHHHH. Adoption studies show to try not to leave your home for 2 weeks and to not take your new child to places with major stimulus (malls, grocery stores, etc.) for months! Now, 2 days after landing in America, baby girl is getting poked and prodded by a bunch of white people, woken up every 4 hours to have a cold thermometer stuck under her armpit, and gone through a series (as in 9) tests sending her through x-ray machines, radiation, etc., etc. ,etc. Since I walked in this building Monday morning for Abiella’s first doctor’s visit, (Our pediatrician’s office is in the hospital) I have not walked back outside…

To say Abiella's had a few hard days is an understatement. She’s bruised, and sore, and working hard to maintain her spirits. However, despite some major blows, she's still finding some time to be happy...

abi smiling

…which is saying a lot… Over the past few days, she’s blown through 4 IV’s b/c her tiny veins can’t take it and now they’re just pricking her every time they need blood (and sometimes THAT doesn't even draw blood…and they have to do it again) Someone literally mentioned to me today about the idea of putting an IV in her scalp… Um yeah- you’ve got to be kidding me.

BUT Abi’s marching forward. Luckily we have had an incredible team of doctors and nurses and PT and OT come in each day and give her baby massages which she seems to adore… and today, despite the 15 chords attached to her body (feeding tube, IV, and 10 electrodes) we managed to get her in our laps and hold her… all day.

She responded quickly and loved the affection… which is a blessing.

…So if you think about it, pray for our little one. Her first week in America is turning out to be quite a challenge…

sean and abi hosp

However, we remain exceptionally grateful that we're here in America together, getting her the health care she needs.

Let's just hope we can get healthy and back home quickly :) 

Signing off from the children's hospital...
mama mae mae

32 comments:

Kaity said...

Poor Abi! This is why I'm so passionate about world hunger issues- breaks your heart how any child could go through that. But praise God she has YOU as a Mommy. Praying for you all- your baby girl is beautiful <3

Courtney said...

Praying for all 3 of yall to be covered by God's healing hands and for Abi's little body to accept the nutrients well!

Kara said...

Oh, Mama Mae Mae, thank you for sharing this with us. You are an amazing person, as is your husband. Abi is so lucky to have you. You will make it throught this and you will be a much stronger family for it.

I am sending you all the positive energy I can find and the biggest hug in the world!

HUGS!
Kara
@HeidiNae

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness. I just caught up on the whole story and I'm in tears!!! I'm just so thankful she's in the US and getting MUCH needed medical care. That poor little thing, she's been through so much! Praying for all of you!

Carolyn said...

Sending prayers and wishes and everything else I could possibly send! Abi is such a lucky little girl, and I can't wait to read a post about her being healthy and at home! :)

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

I'm sending all my love to Abi!

Liz Luscomb said...

Oh wow! This is so bittersweet. I love that she is becoming healthier by the day, but my heart breaks that it has to be done in the hospital setting. Hang in there! She WILL be better in no time and resting in her new home.
You are in our prayers!!
;)

Brooke said...

Praying for your family!

Annabelle said...

I send you my love and prayers Mama Mae Mae! May God continue to bless you and your family!

Meagan Rigney said...

Oh my gosh, that put tears in my eyes. There is nothing worse than seeing your child in pain and not being able to help. Thank God she has amazing parents willing to go to the ends of the earth (literally) to help her have an amazing life. I am in awe of you:)

Ellen A. said...

Sending lots of prayers for sweet little Abi that she continues to get healthier each and every day and that she gets to go home soon! You are so strong!

Samantha said...

No matter what she goes through to get well, it's better than what she had before. She has such a bright future and even if she can't be at home, she knows her mommy and daddy. God bless your family!

megan james said...

love love love love love you guys!!!

Sassy Smack said...

sweet lil babe!!!! she's the strongest lil chick i know! still praying every day. tell her aunt ash and uncle jason love her!

love you guys!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

It's Sooo Fluffy! said...

I'm so glad she's getting moments of happiness! Hope she's strong soon!

Katye Y said...

You and Sean are truly amazing and inspirational people. Let Abi's bright smile get you through those tough moments. She'll be resting in her own bed, in her own room, in her own house with her mommy and daddy in no time! Lots of love, lots of prayers. Please let me know if you need anything at all!

Anonymous said...

Praying for your sweet baby girl.

Anonymous said...

Love,
Lindsay N

Love the Ocean and Lake said...

Each day is one step closer to more answers and a healthier baby girl...You and your hubs are amazing. Your little sweet pea is just where she belongs....God Bless your family...all of you...Abi is lucky to be surrounded by so much love..and prayer...

Hope P said...

Abi has a beautiful smile! Her whole face lights up when she smiles. I can't help but smile too!

Shug in Boots {Beth} said...

<3 prayers xoxo

tiff@thecoffeehouse said...

Thinking of your family. Praying for Abi. Praying for you all. Lots of happy thoughts coming your way!

Becca said...

So so glad your sweet girl is in your arms!! praying for y'all!!!

vintage grey said...

Praying for sweet Abi and you!! xo Heather

Kenzie Smith said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family. I can only imagine how hard it is for you guys.

Britt said...

I just found your blog a week ago and have been so touched by your story. What a blessing for Abi to now have loving parents and good medical care. And what a blessing for you to see her sweet smile in the midst of all this! I will be praying for y'all and hoping to see her improving soon! God bless!

Melodee said...

awe sweet girl!!! I can't imagine how difficult this must all be, even though it's for the best:) very soon you'll all be home dressing her up in cute pink outfits and having tons of fun!!!

Jessica said...

I have prayed for you guys often. Love and blessings!! <3

Elle to Elle said...

I feel blessed just knowing your story through blogland. Mommy definitely has to take care of herself though! Abi needs you, so you still need your rest, fresh air, etc. Thank God baby Abi is getting what she needs. Such a beautiful family. The love all 3 of you have shows!

TDM Wendy said...

Many prayers for you and Abi. So great to see you guys holding her. So great. We had to put an IV in our daughter's head and it was actually a relief. Details here: http://hagenhoopla.blogspot.com/2008/10/drama-details.html
She was younger so I don't know if that makes a difference, but I wish they would have just done it in the first place.

Amanda @ Eloquent English said...

Thankfully you all are here together now!!! I may not always comment on your post, but I do enjoy reading your encouraging updates. Prayers from NC... xoxo

Anonymous said...

I love you
Lindsay D