"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Sorry to have been out of touch for a little while. Hospital stays tend to be a bit time consuming. We are finally home! I was so glad to see everyone and to actually sleep in my bed. Victoria was glad to have all the IV's and wires taken out. Poor baby has bruises everywhere. I think they tried to get an IV started in about 5 different places until they finally got one in her chest.

The best part of the trip was meeting so many nice people. Becky, on the right, has been following my blog and e-mailed me. She lives in Philly and asked if I needed anything. Normally, I would try to be polite and not ask for anything, but this time, I was pretty darn hungry. The care at Shriner's is wonderful, but the food is kind of scary. Becky brought me lunch AND a cookie!!! Thank you Becky!

Here is the view from my window. Every new nurse who came into the room warned me, over and over, not to go outside after dark. I figured we had enough excitement going on inside the hospital, so we didn't do any thrill seeking.

It took four people to pick Victoria up the first time. The cast is heavy! I have gotten used to lifting her now, except it is a little scary to carry her up the stairs. The important thing is that I can't lift her by her arms or the weight of her might yank her hips back out. Yikes! I am amazed about how something can seem so overwhelming, but once you have to do it, over and over, you can do anything!

This is Dawn and her son from China. We had a great time talking.

The hospital lent us a carseat called the "hippo". It is enormous! Victoria was not too thrilled with it. The plan is for us to come back to Shriner's in four weeks. She will be sedated again and the doctor will try to move her socket deeper into the hips. Then, she will be re-casted for another five weeks. This wasn't what I expected, but, after my initial freak out, I think this is a good plan.

Her legs are spread 28 inches wide, so we needed the Suburban wheelchair model. The ice pack is to help with the swelling. Poor baby.

I asked the doctor to take a picture of her hand before they put on the cast. She has two pins in her thumbs. They actually had to cut the bone in her thumb to rotate it. They took skin from her wrist and grafted it onto her fingers so she could have more flexibility. The good news is that once the cast comes off, she won't need to have any dressings done like Francesca did.

Here is some scary looking dinner. I think they thought Victoria was going to be eating a variety of food, but so far, she has regressed back to white food only. We have to syringe yogurt into her mouth. She doesn't even want Pedisure. Hopefully she will feel like eating soon.

This is what happens when Mommy draws on Victoria's casts with non-permanent marker. 

Victoria has such an amazing spirit.

She grabbed the stethoscope away from the nurse and promptly put it on her heart. Such a smart girl!

My friend, Carla, who also adopted from Ukraine, was in a different hospital with her baby in Philly. She had been there for weeks, so she took a taxi over to Shriner's and we had a Philly Cheese steak party! Thank you to my friend Catherine who drove in downtown Friday traffic to get these for us! Yum!

We have tried everything to get Victoria to drink on her own.

Here we are in Chicago for our layover. Tylenol with Codeine and Valium are definitely good friends of ours here!

Getting on the airplane was a bit tricky. I had to walk across an open bridge onto the plane. I am scared of heights anyway, but to carry a baby in a cast across the bridge was tough. The aisle was narrow too, so I had to kind of tip her sideways. She was such a trooper!

Francesca was quite worried about Victoria. Little does she know that in three weeks, she will be in casts again. My goal is to be done with casts by June, so we can enjoy the summer. I am hoping Victoria starts sleeping soon. She is very vigilant, watching everything around her. After all, look what happened to her the last time she fell asleep!

When Mommy is tired, everyone gets chocolate cake for breakfast!


This is the first time I have been able to hold Victoria this way, with her legs around me.  Now that her hips are re-located, we can snuggle. She doesn't like me to sit down, but wants me to walk around with her this way. My back may need a brace soon! I also had to take out her pain catheter today. I had to slide one finger under her cast, peel off the surgical tape and gently pull out the catheter. The nurse informed me that I had to see the black tip at the end of the catheter, or it was bad, very, very bad. I think I have gotten about 100 new gray hairs just today.

Since I was so tired, I let the girls pick out whatever they wanted for dinner at the grocery store. I have never seen them so thrilled. They got a "Hungry Man" frozen meal. They talked on and on about how it had mashed potatoes and a brownie. I may never need to cook again!

Victoria is quite the diva. She will only take a taste of something and then she pushed it away if it is not to her liking. Tomorrow my husband will be at work and I am on my own. Things are going to be fine, right? Just fine! Thank you all for all your prayers and thoughts!


  1. Bless you! I know you are a tired mommy. I hope time flies while the casts are on and that she continues to cope with them so well. That precious sweet smile/grin of here just kills me!
    God Bless you all as you go through these trials.

  2. God bless you, such a strong Mom !

    She has her beautiful smile in every photo and that just shows her spirit showing thru. She is such a lucky girl !

    Praying for all of you

  3. So glad you made it home safe and sound, and I'll be praying for Victoria's recovery (and your sanity!) this week. I'm a little bummed that Becky got to bring you lunch and a cookie and I didn't. I was so close to emailing when I saw you were in Philly, but I didn't want to seem stalker-y. Next time, I'm doing it!

  4. Bless you, and bless Victoria! She is an amazing girl.

  5. Catherine, you are my hero. Give sweet Victoria a big hug. Bless her heart.

  6. Your blog makes me so happy! To see you doing SO MUCH GOOD is heart warming. Keep strong - you are the best Mommy I've ever seen!!!

  7. Hooray! Welcome home, Victoria! Hope you are all getting some well-needed rest!

  8. Thanking God your home! Prayers for the trials ahead!


  9. You are amazing. Very , Very brave!

  10. Praying for all of you!
    Sweet Victoria! There will be no stopping her when she starts moving again! You may THINK its tough now!! HA! You know where she is all the time! SOON she will be at full tilt! Can't wait to see it! She is soooo amazing! Sheri

  11. So glad you were able to get Victoria home OK. I love her chubby cheeks. She has gained so much weight since coming home from Ukraine.

    BTW, my mom made all our food from scratch growing up. Yet I was so excited when we occasionally got TV dinners. It was thrilling!

  12. Oh, my friend! Praying for you strength and healing for Victoria! I used to eat TV dinners occasionally as a kid and I thought they were the best! Yummy ;)

  13. WOW!! Ya'll are AMAZING! I am happy you are home and Sweet girl is recovering. I'll continue to pray.
    who got the Tylenol w/ codine and valium, you or Victoria? ;)

  14. Becky strikes again! she has become one of my favorite friends and now we love going to philly cus we get to see her! Sophie didnt eat for about a week after her osteotomies either. of course they dont exactly offer a child friendly menu. I mean who asks for a cheeseburger when they dong feel good? what little kid wants cajun catfish? and while the mac and cheese is divine its only available on friday! ugh! So glad you are home. looks like everyone is doing well! Sophie gets her external fixator June 6. the excitement never ends does it? hugs

    1. wish we were going to be at Shriners at the same time!

  15. Welcome home, Catherine and Victoria! We're all praying for healing and pain-free days for all...

  16. It's amazing that Victoria is still smiling after all of that. I guess anything is better than the orphanage - amazing what a little perspective can do.

  17. I am de-lurking to say that it's remarkable that of all your posts about Victoria, she's smiling more in this one than in any of the others. Can it be that she knows the surgery is helping her? Or that going through it marked some kind of turning point for her? It is so wonderful to see her looking happy! Good luck to all of you getting through the next few weeks - though after that surgery and plane ride, it must seem like gravy...

  18. So glad you are home! There was someone on the facebook page Pediatric Durable Medical Equipment that was giving away a hippo carseat for the cost of shipping. I don't know if this is a one time thing to have to use for Victoria or not, so thought I would pass on the info.

  19. I remember when you had to change dressings the first time. One of the best posts and should be required reading for all parents who have to do that. Soon all this cast stuff will be second nature. Do be careful of your back and smooch Victoria's cheeks for all of us.

  20. Francesca is so sweet to be worried for her sissy! And shhhhhhhhhh! I've done cake for breakfast before too!

  21. Ah, we have the Hippo carseat, too! That is ONE SERIOUS Spica cast - and you are IncrediMom for getting out the catheter. . . Prayers for all of you.

  22. Haven't been on your blog in a while... all I can say right now, is - is this the same girl (the you mentions that has such an amazing spirit) that everyone was worried about because she would NOT SMILE for sooo long! God is amazing! She's like the opposite now, it seems! Smiling through her ordeal! Praying she will recover quickly and that all her and F's surgeries are successful!

  23. Catherine - Life has been so busy since coming home last summer I fell out of reading blogs. Just saw on the living room that you had posted and came over to check you out. WOW - I would not recognize Victoria. She looks wonderful - in spite of the casts, etc. Just wanted to say hi and congrats on your little girls. They both look wonderful and so happy! You have come a long way baby!!

    1. great to hear from you Mary! How are you all doing?


Sorry, I have to moderate comments because of spam!