First, because this is likely to be a short story that I make long and I want you to get this tip, the one thing you should know that I had not even thought about before meeting with the doctor...she mentioned casually "Bekalu should not be bathing with ANYone until we get the results back from all the tests. After he bathes the tub should be cleaned with bleach." errrrrrrrrrrrrr, ummmmmmmmmm, eek. At this point Bekalu had been home 2.5 weeks and I couldn't WAIT to have my babies in the bath together. Finally. So yeah, they took a bath together almost every night. Lovely. So now we are bathing a bleaching over here. Oh how I long for two bathtubs.
I think I'm still traumatized from the blood draw. Bek seems to have forgotten all about it. In fact, the moment it was over he passed out for about 10 minutes and when we woke up it was as if he had already moved on... He was all smiley and cheeky and giving the doctor high-fives. She mentioned that babies don't have it in them to be mad. hmmmmmm. Maybe? The end of our appointment she apologized for the "extra stick" and in my head I thought "ssssssssssssssss" (as in extra stickSSSSS)
They took four huge vials of blood for all the testing that goes on, and it's "easier and faster" to draw from the jugular vein. Let me just say, this was not fun for anyone involved. Easier and faster would not be words I would use to describe this procedure. Poor little guy. The first stick was his left jugular vein. He was on the table with his head hanging off into her lap. There was another student in her 4th year of med school assisting. Rolyn was asked to lie on top of Bek to keep him still. I was on top of Rolyn reaching around to hold Bek's arms. He screamed. No, no, he HOWLED. It was horrible. And he is so strong that he could not be held down and the vein was punctured rendering it useless.
Stick two: Left arm. For this try they broke out the papoose. My heart rate suddenly increased. One of my earliest childhood memories is being released from such a device. I had to get three stitches in my head and my father almost walked out of the ER with me because they could not hold me down for three measly stitches. The papoose was brought in and three stiches were stitched. I still remember the feeling when they released me....
Back to Bek... They strapped him in and he was still howling. Stick number two painfully and painfully slowly filled one vial of blood before Bek won again. He literally forced the needle out of the vein and broke free of the papoose to get his thumb in his mouth. POOR BABY!
Stick three back to the jugular but this time the other side. At this point it was as if he had all but resigned himself to the blood draw. He still struggled and howled but he had lost some strength in his fight. I was so relieved when we were done and he was soaked with sweat and limp from exhaustion. He curled up and passed out. Little love.
The rest of the appointment went great. Dr. Aronson is a pro and her practice is solely children who have been adopted. She spent the next hour+ checking him out head to toe and asking questions about all the things he is doing. She did a consultation of our referral paperwork back in August so she has been with us from the start. She stated emphatically "The scale and measuring tape in ET were clearly wrong. Which is fine, and is to be expected really. But THIS is NOT the same boy in your referral paperwork." I just smiled and said ok, but in my head I was thinking THANK YOU Gladney. THANK YOU amazing and loving nannies who took care of my son for eight months. It affirmed why we chose this agency. After seeing the care centers and the work that Gladney and Gladney families do for the children of Ethiopia (and not just the ones who will be adopted) with my own eyes I knew we had made the right choice. 100%. Dr. Aronson just gave me affirmation yet again.
Her assessment was "He is perfect." A fact I could have told her myself, but it was nice to hear from a doctor who has likely seen it all. She said he seems to be advanced in the amount of "words" he's using and the inflection in his babble made her very happy. She did not expect to get any crazy results back from the test they were running. We left with referrals for five other doctors to see. So we're not over this yet...but we feel great about the physical health of our boy.
My favorite part of this story is the four days of testing that required stool samples be dropped off at a lab. Favorite part? Really Heather? Yes! This has by far been the easiest thing we've done so far in this whole adoption. For one Bek completely cooperated with giving us the goods and get this...the lab for drop off is only two blocks from our apartment. :)
I'm looking forward to Bekalu being in the "all clear" and soon will be visiting the "normal" pediatrician, like a "normal" boy...for well visits of course!