Friday, June 5, 2009

Sick, jet lagged but home

Things have been a little rough here in mi casa. We are running low on fuel, patience and sleep. The boys are on summer vacation and are so gooey over their new little sister that I am finding myself saying things like, "back away from the baby." Honestly, she is overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the newness of it all, overwhelmed with the well wishers, overwhelmed with the show and tell that the boys think she needs to see and totally not digging the American way....yet.
The happy little girl that we saw in China is still in there, but it's harder to find her now. She is grieving and there is nothing we can do to take it away except hold her and repeat how it's going to be okay no less than a thousand times an hour. She spent her second night home just sobbing.....all night long. At 3:30, J took her to the family room and moved from chair to chair till I found them at 7:00 sitting in the recliner straight up, eyes closed. It was the hardest thing ever, emotionally and physically, to hear her cry and to know she was completely inconsolable. We are drained. J seems to be fighting some sort of 'parasite' as Mare would say and he promises to call the doctor in the morning if he doesn't feel any better. My sympathy for the dude on the couch is really low. Try peeing 15 times a day with a baby strapped to ya and then I might have an ounce of sympathy. Told ya the patience was running low in the house ;0)
Eme is showing me signs that all is not well in her world. I know this is an adjustment period and I know that we will be in a better place in 6 months from now, but I really want to get this right with her the first time. Eme can not stand to be more than 12 inches from me and I have actually added a little kid recliner in front of the potty for when I have to go, that's if she doesn't freak when she hears the Ergo come unsnapped. Thank God for the Ergo.
I apologize for the lack of return emails, texts and phone messages. I'm a quick second from unplugging the phone, chatting about how things are going just isn't a wise use of my time. I don't have enough time for my children and sleep as of yet, just not sure how to squeeze in phone time right now. I lost my marbles on the bug guy who kept ringing my door bell while I was trying to get Ems to nap, it's not like I can walk out of the room to answer the door or the phone and it really stresses me out. He apologized and tried to explain his logic that he knew I had to be home because there were no less than 8 boys hanging out in my garage, which would totally explain his persistence with my door bell. I'm sure he thought there was a kind hearted soul somewhere deep in my eyes.
Several girlfriends are bringing dinners for the next week and I can honestly say that it is the most help anyone could do right now. I am just to tired and Eme can not stand to be out of her pouch long enough for water to boil. We were hoping that island time would be a possibility this weekend, cause I could certainly use some island time, but that will have to wait till our girl is a tad more adjusted to her bright new world.
I'm so happy for 2 of my dear friends that just arrived in China today....it truly is the most amazing journey ever and I so loved it all.

36 comments:

Kristine said...

Oh, I remember those first few days... not nice. It does get better but those first few weeks we were so exhasted from jet lag, completing forms but most of all, responding to Annie's EVERY need. I agree that the best thing is to have food brought to you. If you can get someone to come and take care of everything so that you can focus on Eme, that is the best. My best friend did that for a week and I owe her forever!!!!
Hugs!!! You will survive and so will your family even if it doesnt' feel like it now. Oh and unplug the phone, put a note up on the door etc so that people won't bug you!!!

Georgea's Mommy said...

Hang in there!!

Lindsay said...

Not having to cook is a big help, I agree. Hannah was very like Eme: scared, grieving, and velcro baby. Have you tried (will Eme accept) being on your hip or back in the Ergo whilst you do other things around the house. It might help you be a little more hands free whilst still giving her the contact she needs.

It is exhausting and it will get better and easier. Even though Eme is (naturally and normally) grieving she is still letting you both hold and comfort her, which is huge. She doesn't sound like she is fighting you as part of her grieving process.

Best wishes.

A Beautiful Mess said...

It will get better in about a week or so. Get lots of sunshine and I will do my best to email/text you a giggle now and then until you feel human:)

this is for J
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/Giardiasis/factsht_giardia.htm

Joanne said...

Oh, I remember those first days too - tough! Routine, routine, routine ~ that will make your girl feel comfortable. I bet in a weeks time, she will settle in. On our 3rd day home from China, we were all out front, kids playing, Anthony runs to me screaming - he broke his arm!! Ambulance came, my parents came to watch Mia & Eddie as "A" and I were off to the hospital. I look back and wonder how we (I) survived. But, you do...amazingly, you do :) Hang in there...I totally sympathize...

Colleen said...

Oh T.... I remember these days like it was yesterday. This is such a TOUGH adjustment time, and then add to it the 3 boys that are just so excited to finally have a little sister, but can't understand so much why they just can't be near her. She will find her way to adjusting to everyone...in due time. For now, sadly it has to be YOU that bears the brunt of it all. I feel bad for J being sick...but when we got home and Jim was sick - I could give a shit. How sad huh?

DOn't worry about not returning a call, text or email. We all understand how it is. As much as this is so hard on you now...you are doing the right thing. I wish I did things SO different because maybe I wouldn't be dealing with the stuff I am now...

Love you and thinking of you.

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I hear the first few days are SOOO HARD.. thinking about you girly..
Thinking of you ..
Thanks for the update..
BIG HUGS..

Mindi said...

It will get better, I promise!! I remember those first weeks home too, they were such a blur of crying, diapers, bottles, crying, maybe 2 hr nap, crying, all the while trying to care for my older child and make sure she didn't feel neglected either.

I actually did what Kristine mentioned, I taped a note to my front door that said "new baby, please do not ring doorbell...if you need to knock do so QUIETLY"...it works!!!

It will get better and believe it or not, someday you will actually look back fondly at these first precious weeks and wish them back.
Hang in there. Hugs from Ohio!

Catherine said...

((hugs))

LaLa said...

Oh sweetie...Coby literally screamed all night the first week home...I thought we'd all go nuts!! Sleep when you can and take care of YOU!!

Karen said...

Those first few days home are the worst. Two months from now, everything will look great. Two weeks from now, you will at least feel like normal, physically. Two hours from now, you'll wonder why those boys can't be more helpful around the house. Two minutes from now, you'll want to kill the next person who says "time will take care of things." But it is true. Unfortunately, only time will reset your life back to normal. We have 3 sons, now 21, 20, 17. Our daughters are 5 & 6. Our 2nd dtr had been held the entire first two years of her life by a nanny. Once home, my oldest, not liking her new sister, is crying. The new daughter is wanting to be held every second. I'm sitting in a chair, one girl on each leg, crying, thinking I'm never going to get anything done ever again in my life. Our new daughter didn't want her dad at first, either. I was in college and had to attend classes as soon as we got home. Once she had to reckon with her dad, she realized he was an alright guy. More fun than mom, actually! For now, LET THE HOUSE GO. I know how hard that is because I have sons and know the slob factor is exponential. Keep the meals easy. Let the boys do a little cooking and cleaning the kitchen. In two weeks, when you feel better, give the house a good scrub down and it will be good as new. And so will you! Your daughter is beautiful and life will return to normal as you knew it before, only better.

Jewels of My Heart said...

Oh, T,
I am so sorry your little one is grieving....I know it breaks your heart too...
Everything else you described is not out of the ordinary if that helps..... you will all get through it together. I will pray you can all get some sleep too! I know how that takes it's tole. When Hannah had been home for a few months, I remember STANDING at the kitchen sink, loading the dishwasher and I fell asleep! It was only for a second but the fact that I fell asleep stand up like a horse was both hysterical and alarming. lol
It will get easier though. It is so wonderful that you understand her needs and you are doing what needs to be done for her healing and security. You know how to help your daughter and you are doing it. That is a precious gift you are giving to her.
Sweet Dreams and a smiling heart to your Eme

Dawn and Dale said...

With Carys I vividly remember saying.... "Back away from the baby" in sometimes a not so nice voice...to the boys and Charla...MANY times!!! I was in protection mode for Carys and her breaking heart and then MY heart would break in guilt over pushing the other kids away from me and her for what seemed like DAYS and DAYS!

This was by far the hardest part when we brought Carys home. How do I meet the needs of ALL my family members right now???!! It was a bit overwhelming for me but we worked it out!! I'll be praying for you guys T!! :D

Vicky said...

If you could get her used to being on your back, just for cooking or essential housework times it might help.

Japanese people think it's cruel to let babies cry and they spend long hours on mum or dad's back as they do housework. You can chat to her as you go but you need to watch out for things to the side of you that baby can swipe as you go past!

I spent most days cooking or meeting the kindergarten bus with a grumpy younger brother on my back, it saved both our sanity!

Keep strong. This is such an unsettled time for you all but you have a lifetime ahead of you and these days will last such a small percentage of that whole, wonderful whole!!

Sandra said...

Yes, those first few weeks home kicked our butts. I know it's hard. It will get better, but trying to find a way to deal with how things are now, is hard I know.

jennifer_gree90 said...

Just a reader of your blog, you and your family are an inspiration.

Sugar Momma said...

So sorry things are feeling rough right now. It is hard. There is just no way around it. It will get better...sounds like you are making all the right choices. If you need to unplug - do it! Take all the time you need to get to a new normal. I feel you - however neither of our daughters were as fixated on me as you are enduring...which I imagine is both over the top wonderful and draining the life out of ya I am sure. Hang in there...this too shall pass. You are really making the right choices and sometimes those aren't the easiest but they pay off far greater than the easy way out...if that makes a lick of sense. (((Hugs))) On the flip side...I hope you won't kill me for saying this...it really is a great problem to have - that she is attaching to you so tightly that she can't bear life without you...it is actually a great thing - try not to focus on the days ahead look more at the hours and minutes...take it in small bite sized chunks...your journal is going to be extremely helpful to those coming behind you...I wish I could have read your thoughts prior to our trips.
Perhaps a rainbow drink and chocolate potato chips would help ;)

Special K said...

You know where to find me if you need anything. Hang tough... and please stop cleaning the damn floor.
LOL!

Michael, Barbara and Mia said...

my heart goes out to you at this time. I so very remember that time. Mia cried the entire trip in the airplane from LAX to Orlando. When I got off, all my family and friends were waiting and I literally handed Mia to my mom and walked away. It scared my Mom, but we were fighting a cold, tired and just wanted to be home. To add the the craziness, we headed home to find out a hurricane could possibly be headed our direction. I had to shop and bring things in, while my husband and father shuttered up.

Hang in there.......

Barbara

Daniella said...

just hugs...

chicknboy said...

like everyone else has said -I feel for you. Those first few days/weeks home were awful -for everyone involved. The little girl we fell in love with in China seemed so far away once we got home. The grieving was FAR worse at home than it was in China.

praying for some sort of "normal" to settle in soon.

ah yes -dinner delivery is THE BEST thing right now.

Kudo said...

Hang in there it gets better every day. By day 3 things started to smooth out for us. Benadryl is not just for airplanes. A bit of Tylenol helped us too when we got home to take the edge off. It is so hard but by day 10 everything will be 100% different.

PIPO said...

I feel ya, sister. Oh, how I remember. In some ways I think it had to be easier that I DID do it all alone. Less distraction.

I was happy to put my house on lockdown...it's the only way we survived.

Brighter days ahead...and not as far off as they may seem right now.

Kristy said...

Oh you poor sweet thing, I am going to say a prayer for you right now. T just know that in due time everything will work itself out, it may take na while but God will make it all happen in due time. God bless you and your absolutely GORGEOUS family.

Love and blessings, Kristy

Kristen, Mark, and Miranda said...

Oh, my. We are having an easier time, but today I was SHOCKED at how much work it is to care for 2 toddlers. And I can relate to feeling like you miss the little girl you knew in China. Phoebe is a different little person here-- a bit angry and aggressive, really. This has to get easier. We will settle in. :)

Mary, Jason, & Maya said...

I'll just reiterate what everyone else is saying. The first few weeks are horrible. While it may not seem like it, you are so many steps ahead of most people, because you're being proactive. By taking this process very slowly, Eme will reap the benefits down the road. Your family will reap the benefits. Just hold on. Once the sickness and jet lag passes, things will be a bit brighter. You're doing an amazing job!!!
Mary

Randi said...

It is so hard to come home to kids who are so excited to see Mommy and new sister. The first few weeks are the worst. I remember how excited I got the day Emma went to play in another room for 5 whole minutes! Good luck with it all.

Susie said...

My thoughts are with you as you and Eme try and adjust to new life struggles. You are a strong spirit, and Eme seems to be as well. I know you will make it! :)

Melinda said...

Thanks for your honesty! I always appreciate that about your blog. As everyone has said "hang in there." I am sure it will get better soon!

M :-) said...

Oh, I so remember those first few days/weeks. You are SO incredibly tired. You are SO incredibly emotionally drained. We came home sick, and then M got sick and then our boys got sick. It was a nightmare. Plus we were dealing with a little girl who was grieving terribly - and there is NOTHING you can do to take their pain away. There were days when all I did was cry. It is HARD - but it will get better. Many (((hugs))))!

Pink Velvet Mommy said...

I think we all remember those first few days home, and I can say there were moments when I just wanted to scream, and hide for even just a few minutes. Every single task seemed like climbing Everest that first week home.

I promise it will get better sooner rather than later, I know you know that deep in your heart, but it helps to be reminded during this TOUGH time of adjustment(for everyone) I wish I had advice, but it is what it is, and it does get better(dramatically) in a rather short period of time. We only use our carrier about an hour a day, and have learned that when Hayden wakes up she has to be held and cuddled for a bit before she can get started....no diaper changes, no getting in the car or changing clothes....just be held by her mommy and cuddled!!

You and Emme will get there, and turning off the phone is a great idea, and let me tell you those meals were the best gift anyone gave us. If people keep offering....keep taking. We had 3 weeks of meals, and it made all the difference in the world.

Our peditrician said that the jet lag recovery is typically 1 day for every hour of time change(so 2 weeks) and that is about what it was for us.

Sending you good thoughts and vibes!!

Diana said...

I do not know how you are doing it..4 kids, 1 sick husband AND Jet lag is enough to make anyone lose it but you have a baby who is adjusting also...
Sending lots of hugs, prayers and good thoughts to you:)

J said...

I'm not sure I can add any other words of wisdom here. So I won't even try. The adjustment period is so varied for each girl. I just hope and pray that each day get's better and easier (and it will). Sounds like you have an amazing support network and by all means, use it. You need your rest and strength for taking care of Miss. Em.

Steffie B. said...

You are going through what many of us have....it does feel like hell those first few days.....give yourself as many days as you were in China to flip back here....go to bed at night as soon as you can....you have to take care of yourself.....I know you have several friends that have btdt....but email with any questions if you'd like.....it WILL get better....we've been home 1 1/2 months.....and I feel like I have the routine down and that things are running smoothly.....it takes time.....I think you are doing great.....and YES...get J to the doctor.....it's not something he wants to mess around with if he did pick up something....thinking of you...
Hugs,
Steffie

Melissa said...

I am sending you a lot of prayers during this adjustment period for Emme and the rest of your family. I have no advice , but you are such a great Mom and you seem to be right on target with all the things you are doing. I read a lot of blogs and some people don't really seem to get the grieving period thier children are going thru, but you are making it all about her and giving her what she needs. Blessings to you!

Angela said...

I have no words of wisdom, as we have not gotten there yet, I'm sure it is hard (tenfold) and I do not look forward to that part.
I will be keeping you in my thoughts, and hoping that things start getting better by the minute!