Recovery from this surgery has been up and down. On one hand, she is doing much better than I expected. On the other hand, when she has her "down" periods, they are pretty grueling.
 When she's feeling up, her highs are very high. But when she feels badly, she's in pretty awful shape, and it just rakes at my nerve endings to see her hurting so badly. Though she typically handles anesthesia and medications well, this morning the narcotics caught up with her and she had several hours of severe nausea and misery. I immediately cut out the narcotics and switched to over-the-counter painkillers. It's hard to know exactly how to handle pain with kiddos this age, since it's difficult for them to convey exactly what sort of pain they're in and, like animals, they tend to try to conceal just how much they hurt.
 Here she is reading a Petit Prince pop-up book that her Lao Lao got her as a recovery present.
 It is really quite spectacular - a work of art, and does the original great credit.
 This is my personal favorite part of the story, the part I loved most as a child, and still do as an adult.
Thank you, Lao Lao, for this well thought-out gift. 

Q is recovering bit by bit, and I am so very thankful for her resilient and indomitable spirit that gives her the strength to take in enough nutrition, and rally when she is able. 
Of course she looks beautiful, in spite of the swelling that keeps changing shape around her face, in spite of the faint bruising on the sides of her nose and the unnatural redness underneath the eyes. As for her speech (our main concern with this surgery) it is still hampered by the pain at the back of her throat and into her spinal column. But now and then, when her pain is managed, and she is feeling strong, an entire sentence pops out with the consonants sounding crisp and bold, and my heart flutters with hope. 

"O-KAY Mommy!" she said to me in the bath this morning, with a big, strong, hard "K" that she could never before manage. I could hardly believe my ears, and after high-fiving with me several times, she went on to repeat the phrase until her throat got too sore to manage it.

As for me, I'm on the brink. It is unspeakably hard to see your beloved in so much physical distress. And when she asks me "Why, Mommy? Why?" I just want to strike out at the heavens for doing this to my child. Every cry, every pallid glance, every moan eats away at my nervous system and I am exhausted from worry.

I know it will get better. I know it will. And I know she is already ahead of the curve. But it doesn't make it any easier to bear.


Anonymous said...

awww, you sweet girl,, you're doing an amazing job in a certainly difficult time.You brought me to tears today.I silently read your blog, every post following with such ad miration of your love and devotion.You are such a gifted wordsmith and such a good mum, be strong, the worst is over for now,, try to stay in he moment, can't change the past, you have no control of tomorrow but today is ours right.Would it be possible for me to have your address, if not thats fine but I have a little something i would love to send to Q, just a litle gift to brighten her day. If you choose not too thats just fine,

kenza said...

Oh little Q! With tears in my eyes I wish her and all well. You are in my thoughts. Le Petit Prince is magical... it will work its magic on Q-not to worry.

Carole Cerasi said...

Maia, what a heartbreaking post. And yet it sounds like it's going fantastically well. In a while only the good parts will remain. It must be so amazing to hear your child being able to say things she couldn't before! But how hard to bear her pain...We meant to send Q a card before her surgery, but amazingly, we haven't been able to find big enough envelopes on the little Turkish island we are spending our holidays on. It will come with a gift as soon as we are back in London, on 5th September. As for our adoption, nothing. Our agency in UK is being incredibly unsupportive, and Vietnam is silent. It is now 8 months since we saw her, aged 3 weeks. I just hope it doesn't take too much longer (and does actually happen), because the unknown wait wears one down. I hope one day we'll meet, you with a happy and clear-sounding Q, me with two girls. Meanwhile, we think of you a lot and send you lots of love.

Shaista said...

How's our baby girl doing today?? I know how hard it is for you having watched my own mother go through the nights of watching me in pain.
I think it is so amazing the way you had that incredible day out in the sun with wildflowers just before Q's surgery. Filling her with love and good strong memories. No wonder she was drinking juice and eating salmon in the morning :)
Email me your address so I can send the Q something to add to the pile.
Love you xxxx

Yoli said...

Lao Lao always knows the key to her grand daughter's and daughter's heart. Le Petit Prince is a favorite of Sally's and eventually my son will have enough attention span to bear a reading.

She has come a long way Maia. The grueling operation is behind her. She is now pronouncing consonants she couldn't before. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Be gentle with yourself and rely on Mike on his strength. You do not have to do this all on your own, though I know you probably want to.

Sending you our love and hugs.

Tamara said...

I've been reading along for years, since I was waiting to adopt. I'm so glad this is the last surgery for you all.

I wasn't able to complete our adoption solo, but went through repeated horrible, completely overwhelming losses when trying the usual way to have kiddos, largely alone for both of us, with some chance of losing my own life in the process, and a marriage and life that ended up pretty decimated from it.

I was a MESS watching our baby struggle on screen after we'd crossed the "safe point" into the second trimester, for quite a few weeks, until it ended; the rest of the attempts at parenthood and life I think I likely had PTSD for, really. I've no clue how I kept a job or even vertical a lot of the time.

A local woman who was waiting to adopt with us had her baby at the best case point for us recently, which was 12 oz. when I was preggos the second time, but luckily a little bigger for her peanut. I left unable to speak about it without being in tears and hyperventilating and it wasn't even my child or life being affected directly. Sick kiddos in major ways is really hard stuff.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Tamara, I feel so badly for all you've been through - and all you have lost. We too went through some losses in the process, though we always intended to adopt, so it was not quite as devastating for us.

Just so you know, this is not her last surgery. She will have a couple of years before her next major surgery, if we're lucky. But she will have many more surgeries before she reaches adulthood, some of them worse than this one. She's not out of the woods. But fortunately, she strong, healthy, tough, and has a positive attitude that gets her through these things better than many.

Thanks for your kind words. OX

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Carole, my heart aches for you and your adoption. How hard it must be. I keep waiting to hear good news from your part of the world, and I hope and hope it comes soon. Love to you and Hauie, and your whole family. Hope you are having a beautiful vacation. OOXX

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

sending big huge kisses and hugs to the beautiful, strong, and courageous Q {and her mama}. i've been thinking about her and you so very much. i will continue to pray and send out peaceful/healing thoughts.

Amélie said...

Hope little Q is getting better and better. I am in awe with tears in my eyes, reading these two last posts. Brave, so brave little Q. My thoughts are with you and your familly...