Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maaike enters the world

Maaike (Micah) was born at the end of May 2010, a whopping 7 days late. Everything about her delivery was as normal and textbook as her brother and sister before her. The only unusual thing was the location I suppose. Three months prior to her birth we had sold just about everything we owned and moved to Beijing, China. She was delivered at Beijing United, an international hospital that has a great reputation among expats.

After a taxi ride to the hospital and about 5 hours of active labor Maaike made her grand appearance. 8 pounds, 14.5 ounces. 21 inches long. As they wisked her over to the warming table and started to patch me up I over heard the doctor saying something to my husband about possible laser treatment and "it's not that uncommon," and "it's strictly cosmetic." For some reason I was imagining that she had webbed toes or fingers. I would blame it on the drugs, but I hadn't had any. When they finally brought Maaike over I could see that what they were discussing was her lower lip and tongue. The doctor called it a port-wine-stain, aka birthmark.
It wasn't until the next day or two later that I felt a rather large bump under her left ear. The doctor's new assessment was hemangeomic tumors. That would explain the dark coloration on her lip and tongue as well as the growth we were feeling. The doctor advised we get an MRI to be sure of the tumor placement and to make sure there weren't any others. the hospital we were at didn't have an MRI machine, but Maaike could be taken via ambulance to another hospital. I was assured that she would be taken care of as they would be sending a wet nurse with her. I graciously declined the wet nurse as I felt just fine to take her myself.

The other hospital was contacted, but the MRI would not be available until the next Friday. Just for good measure we had an ultrasound performed on Maaike's mouth and neck. she slept through the whole thing, blue jelly in her mouth and all. The tech stopped counting the cysts at 10. The tech, doctors, and ENT started discussing the possibilites right there supposing I didn't speak Chinese, but I do. My husband Sid was gone caring for our other two children, so I was left to wonder what it all meant.
Our pediatrician, Dr. Alexander, was an American and as soon as he got the report he "after hours" advised us to get her to the States as soon as we could get her passport together, before any of those cysts started to grow. He also advised us to carefully guide the Chinese pediatricians to the same conclusion so that they might think it was their idea in the first place. This we did.

Sid called the US embassy and the next morning we had two representatives in our hospital room expediting Maaike's passport. It was ready just the day after that. It would be another two days to get her visa for re-entry to China.

At nine days old Maaike and I would board a plane bound for Utah's Primary Children's Hospital. Little did we know there would not be a return flight.

Monday, August 23, 2010

So Blessed

The original plan was to bless Maaike on the 4th of July in Beijing. My wonderful parents bought their tickets back in December so that they could be there. As it turns out I was at the hospital with Maaike, two days out of her trach surgery. So instead of going out to help us settle and adjust with a new baby in China my parents flew out to rescue Sid from single parenthood and pack us up for another international move. We don't know what we would have done without them. Now, other a month later and on the other side of the world, Maaike finally got her turn. My parents were able to make a trip once more to be here with the added bonus of my sister and her family from Chicago. It was wonderful to celebrate all the blessing we have received in the past couple of months and to call on the Lord to continue blessing our sweet baby girl.
After the service we met back at our farmhouse, under the big oak tree, for a family lunch. It was wonderful to have both sides of our families together and to thank them for all the love and service they have given us.
The road is still unclear for Maaike, we meet with a pediatric radiologies this week to look at some possible treatments, but one thing is certain. Maaike is one very loved and very blessed little girl.