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The Hospital Home Stretch

Today marks two weeks since the call from our international adoption doctor, telling us that Elvie would need to be hospitalized the following morning. These two weeks have been tough, but they have been incredibly good for Elvie. Infections have been identified and treated, and plans have been made to stave off further infections until her big surgery to correct her birth defect can be done months from now. Because of the way her birth defect affects the positioning of her internal organs, we will have to administer antibiotics as a prophylactic measure until Elvie is well enough and strong enough to undergo the major corrective surgery that she needs. But other than that, by the time we leave, she will have a clean bill of health. That feels amazing.

What we are waiting for now is for Elvie to finish up the intravenous antibiotics that she is on for the four bacteria that caused her urinary tract infection. Her last dose will be Friday, and our team of doctors indicated this morning that they can have it done in time that we can be discharged before the end of that day. This makes me incredibly happy, but also incredibly impatient. I didn’t expect to feel this way, especially after my weekend break, but there are several factors that influence my current emotional state.

First, it’s simply been a very intense four months getting Elvie home, and to top that off with a hospital stay is asking a lot of our patience. At first, it was easy to be here because we knew that Elvie needed it so much. The days flew by with tests and more tests and then medications as the medical team figured out what was wrong and how to treat all that ailed our tiny baby. Elvie was still behaving very much like a newborn in those days, needing to eat very frequently, then sleep shortly thereafter. The momentum that got us home carried us through that first week at the hospital, sleepless nights and all.

When we found out we’d have to stay longer, it felt like a pretty big deal, but Jarod stepped up right away to take most of the overnight and weekend burden for a few days, and the added benefit was that Zinashi got to have a little bit of normal life thrown in as part of the deal. Coming back to the hospital after the break was bittersweet, knowing that Zinashi really wanted us all at home and wanted her normal life back, but knowing at the same time that Elvie simply has to be at the hospital. I was resolved to do a good job of finishing up these last days, and I still am.

But it was a rough landing back at the hospital. Elvie has been trying to work into a normal sleep schedule, with longer stretches of sleep at night and definite napping periods during the day. This would be fantastic, except for the fact that it is very hard to maintain a sleep schedule at the hospital, let alone establish one for the first time. Last night and all day today, every time Elvie has been ready to drift off, someone else has arrived at our door, ready to do some necessary task. It started at 10pm, continued at midnight, and 2am, then 6am, then on and on throughout the day. By the time the last interruption arrived, I simply felt done. The hospital has been good for Elvie, but I have very little patience for being here anymore.

Luckily, there are only four nights to slog through and the days in between, and then we’ll be going home. I hang onto that hope with both hands, tightly. I want to be home. I want everybody together. I want to do our own laundry and cook our own meals and stay in our pajamas all day if we want to. I want to simply be a family for a little while, with no big distractions. I’ve got four days to go, and I’m pretty sure that even though I don’t feel like making it, I can do it. I have to. And then family life at home will feel all the sweeter for working so hard to get there.

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More on Babble:

Common Health Problems in Adoption

Managing Our Lives During Elvie’s Hospital Stay

Becoming Elvie’s Mother

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