Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The rest of the story

Thursday - Daddy and Annabel arrive

The day started with a call to Scott when I woke up. He and Annabel were enjoying a Grand Slam at Denny’s in South Carolina after driving through the night. Annabel had slept most of the night, and Scott stayed awake partying to Springsteen. After their breakfast break, they continued on their 20 hour journey.

Before heading to the hospital, I stopped by the hotel’s breakfast buffet for some southern biscuits and gravy. I recognized the front-desk manager from our stay for Annabel’s adoption. By the end of breakfast, I was reacquainted with several more of the hotel staff. They even have a picture of Annabel in the break room!

Before going to the nursery, I visited M in her room, and she invited me to stay with Caroline in the room with her that day. We had a great time talking about everything from curd cheese from Wisconsin to the merits of different styles of tanning beds. Later in the day, MR, Annabel and Caroline’s birthfather, and J, her 4 year old birth brother, joined us. I held and fed Caroline all day while getting to know her birthfamily better. Like her sister, Caroline loves her formula and loves to snuggle.

Caroline's hearing test

Scott and Annabel made into Tampa a little after 5pm. The last few hours of their trip were rough. Annabel had the beginnings of another bout with the stomach virus, and apparently no men’s rooms in Florida fast food joints have changing tables. I met them at the hotel, and after a little freshening up, we were off to the hospital for Scott and Annabel to meet Caroline.

Due to nursing shift changes, we weren’t able to see her right away, and we stopped to visit with the girls’ birthfamily in M’s room. Annabel and J had a fun time together. We chatted for awhile and signed the necessary papers with our attorney Amy so that custody could be transferred in the morning. We had a quick peek at Caroline, and then back to the hotel so Scott could sleep.

Friday - Now a Family of Four

Friday morning, Scott, Annabel and I were off to the hospital to officially welcome the new addition to our family. We were more prepared this time – we had a carseat AND an outfit for her to wear home from the hospital! And the discharge instructions didn’t seem so overwhelming this time.

The pediatrician told us that she suspected Caroline was more like 38 weeks gestation when born based on her assessment of several factors including the definition of wrinkles on her feet, lack of the fuzzy hair that cover most preemies’ bodies, and presence of breast buds. That - and the fact that she weighed over 8 pounds.

First time in the carseat

Right as we were putting Caroline into the car, my mom and dad, having just arrived from Austin, pulled up to the hospital. They were enchanted by their new granddaughter - Annabel, not so much by her new sister. She sized her up suspiciously from her car seat as we made our way back to the hotel. The stink eye continued for the rest of the day.

Outside of the hospital

Annabel figuring out that Caroline's coming home with us

The rest of Friday we didn’t do much – just started settling into a routine in our hotel.

Saturday – Lunch with the girls’ birthfamily and moving to St. Pete

On Saturday, Scott, Annabel and I picked up the girls’ birthfamily at their home and headed for lunch at Chili’s. We were touched to see so many pictures of Annabel displayed around the house. Annabel and Caroline have 2 a birth brother, J, 4 who we first met in October at M’s sonogram. They also have a full birth sister, H, who is 10 and a half birth sister, A, who is 11. They are great kids and we all had a good time. Annabel wasn’t feeling that well so she wasn’t her usual bright and cheery self, but she still played with the kids and posed for pictures. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to them, but good to know we’ll be in touch through letters and email.

Saturday afternoon we packed up the minivan and rental car and moved over to St. Petersburg – a little less than an hour away from our hotel and the hospital where both girls were born. We found a great last minute 3 bedroom, 2 bath rental house a block from the water. It was built in 1928 and was recently restored and is just beautiful. If you ever find yourself needing a place to stay St. Petersburg, check out The house has plenty of room for all of us, and most importantly, it allows us to keep Annabel and Caroline separated.

After we unpacked the car into the house, we decided we should take Annabel to the night-time pediatric office to check out her symptoms. She, er, evacuated all over Scott and the waiting room floor. Here we learned about her ear infection and sore throat. We got a prescription for antibiotics and hoped that Annabel would feel better soon.

Sunday through Tuesday – Enjoying our time together

By Sunday, we had really settled in, with the house fully stocked with groceries and everything in its place. I felt like we were finally able to relax - at least as much as you can with a sick little girl and a newborn. Of course, everything’s a lot easier when the grandparents are here to help!

At the doctor with Mommy

Caroline went to the pediatrician on Monday for a check up that is required by the interstate clearance process for adoption. Mommy and Daddy made a rookie mistake in that we’d over-bundled her for the hour long drive there, and when the nurse took her temp, she was at 100.4 – a temp considered high enough for a trip to the emergency room and a battery of tests including a spinal tap. The doctor did her exam and rechecked her temp a few minutes later and it was fine. She thought she was still a little too yellow, and she did a bilirubin test. It was high, but the pediatrician said we didn’t need to come back for a recheck unless we thought she wasn’t improving. She knew that Grandpa was a pediatrician and that Caroline would be in good hands.

Annabel when the Tylenol is working!

Caroline with Grandma and Grandpa

1 comment:

Andi-bo-bandi said...

Annabel is too funny with that evil-eye! I hope she warms up to her new little sis soon! You all look very happy, especially the grandparents. :)

Can't wait to meet the new addition!