I've always been a wader, never the kid who whole-heartedly throws themselves off the diving board into the pool. Nice. Slow. Steady. Yes, that describes me much more accurately. So I figured it would be nice if my introduction to parenthood would be a little bit more like the kiddie pool rather than the high dive.
However, yesterday threw me in the deep end in a big way.
Let me just preface all of this with the wise words of Sami's sage nanny: Sami is fine. It's true Sami is fine. His mama on the other hand...
On Thursday morning, I was at home with the boys. Kevin had left around 7 AM to head out to the countryside about an hour & a half away to help out at an English camp. It was my second day of solo motherhood. Everything was fine until around 8:45 AM when Sami was getting ready for his morning nap. He was a little fussy, as most babies are when they'd rather be asleep than be subjected to whatever their well-intentioned mothers are trying to get them to do to hold out until their designated nap time. But then the fussiness wasn't just fussiness. It was a gasping for breath. It was contorted swallowing. It was clenched fists. It was a tiny twitching foot. I thought he was choking, though I didn't have a clue what it would be since he had been in my arms for the past 5 minutes. To be honest, I thought he was dying, though I certainly had no clue why that would be happening either.
Thankfully, my friend YL, who has been helping us around the house twice a week, was there. She held Sami while I sprinted to the building across the way to find my friend who owns a car to get her to take us to the hospital. The elevator was in use, so I sprinted up 9 flights of stairs to her house, only to find her not at home. Once I made it back home, I decided to knock on our neighbors across the hall to see if they could take us. These are the same neighbors who provided us with Creepy Winker, Lover Bear, and the Happy Me Too bunny bank. The same ones who hadn't paid much attention to us until we brought the boys home.
Well, I had their attention now! The husband (who I later found out had only just gone to bed at 5 AM for some unknown reason) let us all pile into his car to take us to the hospital. And I mean pile in a very literal sense. He drives a teeny tiny Audi sports car whose backseat is virtually nonexistent. But I wasn't too concerned with arriving comfortably. I just wanted to arrive!
By that time, Sami was doing a lot better. He was breathing again but was still extremely lethargic. We arrived at the pediatric ER and instead of going through the typical Chinese procedure of registering and putting down your treatment down payment before seeing a doctor, we barged straight into an examine room. I tracked down a nurse and explained the situation to her. We were quickly seen by a doctor, who poked Sami with a popsicle stick to see how responsive he was.
By that time, our other American friends in town had helped us get in touch with a doctor in the states. Both he & the Chinese doctor seemed to think that Sami had had a seizure. It was a very surreal moment. Here I am, in my third week of motherhood, in a Chinese hospital surrounded by kids with IVs stuck in the foreheads, being informed that my brand new son has had a seizure. This was not the day that I was hoping for.
Both doctors also advised for us have further testing done on little Sam. We could have stayed at the local hospital but we would have had to wait until the afternoon until the CT scan expert was available. Or we could have hopped on the new mag train that only takes an hour and a half to get to Beijing and seen a doctor that speaks English. We chose the second option.
We were planning on coming to Beijing on Friday anyway, so all we really had to do was pack in half an hour and get to the train station to change our tickets up a day. A bit easier said than done but we made it. Once we got into town, we took a cab to our friends apartment, while Kevin stayed with Micah and I took Sami to the international hospital.
We were there for about three hours or so. They did a physical exam on him to rule out trauma as the cause of the seizure. They also did a CT scan on him, which revealed some abnormalities in the gray & white matter of his brain. Our American doctor told us this could be because of malnutrition from when he was little, which could also suggest that it could correct itself. But we're also aware of the fact that it could be something worse. The next step for us is to have an MRI for Sami when we are in Thailand the next two weeks.
During this whole experience, God has been good to remind me of a few facets of his character:
GOD'S LOVING CHOOSING OF US--As I sat in a taxi singing over Sami and then later held his little band-aid clad hand while he laid on a hospital bed, I remembered that I've only really been with this boy for three weeks. We were but near strangers before. Yet I love him so deeply & so dearly because I've chosen to do so. How much more has our Heavenly Father chosen to love us. Chosen to sing over us. Chosen to hold our hands.
GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL CARE--This whole incident could not have been surrounded by more providence. The fact that we've been planning this Thailand trip for months. The fact that I wasn't home alone when Sami's seizure occurred. The fact that, though I feel a world away in China, I can still get quality care for my son.
So that is where things stand for now. In the meantime, Sami continues to be the happy, rolly, baby he's always been. I will try to post an update as soon as we know more in Thailand.