Erica and I got back home safe and sound. She has been a really good patient and came through the surgery like a champ. She slept a lot and began sucking down big bottles. So in spite of getting her sack (MMC) being removed she has picked up a half a kilo, about one pound while we were in Shanghai. Thank you so much to Dr Bao and the nurses of SCMC. I am also so grateful for the volunteers who came by and spoiled me so very much. The food was wonderful and I loved the conversation. Thank you for all your prayers on their behalf.
Christopher and Erica were released from the hospital at the same time. He looks so good. He is up to 4.1kg right now and after we spoke to a orthopedic surgeon he recommended that he gets really good nutrition and lots of love. Hopefully that will strengthen his bones and give him a fighting chance. The next 6 to 9 months are going to be a very critical time for him. Christopher for his part is chowing down. It is as if he knows he needs to drink more. He was being so fussy an hour after he drank a 4 oz bottle and Toni and I both could not understand why. It turned out he wanted more milk. He is having huge bottles very close to each other. He drank a third more milk in 24 hours than he needed so I hope that this continues like that.
There are always such interesting stories in the hospital. This time I met a Tibetan mother who brought her daughter to have a tumor removed that weighs about 2.5kg (6 pounds), a train trip of 56 hours. The tumor is actually a parasitic twin that did not form properly and has been using Hua Na Bai Mu's nutrients. The father wanted the mother to get rid of the baby but the mom refused. The tumor got bigger and finally a friend started a website, which was found by some people in Shanghai, who donated the funds for the surgery and tuition to pay for Hua Na Bai Mu's education. The surgery is scheduled for next Monday. I used Cindy's camera and went to take some pictures. Hua Na Bai Mu is one really beautiful and friendly baby! Being as IT savvy as I am (NOT) I can't figure out how to get the pictures off the DVD.
We will be going back to Shanghai on November 1. Three babies will be having surgery by three different doctors. Rose is scheduled for November 4 with Dr Buckmiller and her team who are going to do mostly cleft lips, more than 30 babies. Cailean in having Dr Bao remove his MMC which will be rather simple because he does not have nerves in the MMC nor does he have hydrocephalus like Erica did and Nathaniel needs some minor surgery.
It is amazing how the babies have changed in the 10 days I was gone. Sean is now walking steadily. His hair has grown and I hear he has been really grumpy with his new teeth coming in. Nathaniel is pulling himself up and standing and then cruising along the sofa. Rachel and Jeannie are both walking but it is still a little wobbly. For the first time I saw Rose crawl this morning, she started while I was gone. Lily is sitting up well and she is also crawling. The best news is that Heather is beginning to weigh bear. I am so happy about this because we have been waiting for a long time to hear. Her legs have been so weak in the past. She had no muscle tone when she first got here but over the last eight months that has been slowly improving.
In the meantime, we were given some props for Halloween costumes and I hope that we will get those photos done for you to see before the day. We are copying our favorite characters on the Wiggles.
I am going to work hard on catching up on the emails which have clogged up my box, so please be patient with me.
Life, love and laughter,
Starfish Foster Home