Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We are growing...by one

In case you didn't know....we are expecting. So if my head seems like it's in lala land... It's because we're now entering the 1st trimester of paperwork, homestudies, and background checks. Fingerprints, medical evaluations, and forms forms oh and more forms! And we are so excited that we are growing! By one more I might add. And this time....wait for it.....A GIRL! Yes we are now entering foreign territory in this family....as we have four boys I have no idea what to expect when expecting a GIRL! Can I say that I'm over the moon excited that now when all the boys are skateboarding or digging for worms or doing "boy things" I now will have a little girl that will get to go shopping  be right there doing those same exact things as her brothers...just in pink. Okay not all pink. But hey is it bad I'm saving some sleeper pajamas from her brothers to pass down? Little baby girl will have FOUR older brothers to protect her. And can I say being daddy's only little girl.....she is in for a lot of lovin from all of us!! At this time I will not be sharing any details online about baby girls adoption process. But please feel free to ask us in person:)

Catching Up

Its hard to believe that Kai has been home with us for ten months now!!! Wow. Time has flown by sooo fast and we have gone through so many changes in the past ten months. From learning about sickle cell disease, numerous hospital stays, first spleen crisis at a hospital in Puerto Rico, to moving from Puerto Rico back to the states, staying with family in Michigan for a few months to find a house...while Scott was living/working in New Jersey finding us a house.  It was just a crazy crazy time. 
Kai had a second serious spleenic sequestration on my birthday (March 10th). He was admitted to the ICU with an enlarged spleen, severe fatigue/anemia and heart failure. Thankfully this time we were at a hospital who took immediate action. Kai was immediately given new blood. We were at the hospital for blood work three times a week at Memorial Children's Hospital in South Bend, IN. He was then put on a three week blood transfusion schedule by our hemotologists. 
 On May 7th he had an operation which removed his spleen. Which was causing a lot of the life threatening symptoms he was having. After a full month recovery we noticed significant changes in Kai. This was the fist time since he came home that he started to gain weight. He no longer had a yellow tint to his skin which was a symptom of severe anemia. His skin started to glow and his cheeks started to fill in. His personality changed from a grumpy most of the time, fatigued boy, to bouncing of the walls, chasing his brothers, getting in on the fun boy.
 Since he came home he's gained a significant amount of weight. 12lbs. in ten months, grown two shoes sizes and went from a 12-18months to a 3t. He's now at 48% for height and weight for a three year old. Right on track! Below are some pictures just to see the physical changes in the last ten months. And of course the birthday pictures!! We couldn't imagine life without our little man.
Kai on the second day he was home. That night he was admitted into the ICU in Puerto Rico with a hemoglobin number of 3.2. By the time he had his blood transfusion 18 hours later it dropped to 2.8. An average person has a hemoglobin number of 12grams. 

Kai after his second blood transfusion in ICU at Centro Medico. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Starting to feel better. He was released from this hospital four days later. It was horrible. Makes me thankful for our hemotologist in Indiana and New Jersey.

July 2013. Two months after his splenectomy he's feeling great!
Kai just celebrated his birthday on October 23rd. He turned 3 years old!! Can you see the differences?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

And this is the face of a kid who's feeling good!!!

Updates and hospital time

I'm going to get to Scott's time in Congo with Kai...the gotcha day pictures and his almost two weeks in country. But I wanted to post some recent updates first as the past four weeks since we brought Kai home has been a whirlwind!!! Some of you may know we relocated to South Jersey (which should be classified as a whole different state apart from northern New Jersey...and because somebody always asks..no it's not like the tv show, the Jersey Shore)  for my hubby's new job as a civilian fire fighter working for the Coast Guard. We said adios to active duty military, hola to civilian world. It's pretty nice. We're feeling pretty free, but the transition for our family of six.... has. been. pure. craziness hell. We are staying in a temporary rental for a few weeks as we finalize our home purchase.  All of the kids are out of whack. We left warm beautiful Puerto Rico..oh how I miss you..and we are freezing. And we are bored because we can't go outside because we are freezing. And poor Kai. Coming home from Congo, to Puerto Rico, to New Jersey. Yes he's freezing too and makes this cute little mad scrunched up face when the wind hits him. It will get better. We are taking it a day at a time and I couldn't make it here if I didn't have beautiful caring friends in our life who keep us entertained with toys and coffee so we're not sitting in our rental all day going nuts. You better believe I'm already planning our escape to Puerto Rico though. 
Now to a more important topic then all of our chaos. Kai is doing fantastic! He's gained 4 lbs since he's came home and is such a ball of constant energy. I haven't posted this yet or these pictures. After Kai came home 6 days later we went to a check up at our family doctor for what we thought would just be a physical before our move to NJ where we would take him to the international adoption clinic at CHOP. The doctor did the normal check up and he wanted to run a couple of blood tests while we were in the office. Something didn't look right when the blood test came back and they asked to run it again. His hemoglobin was 3.5. The average persons hemoglobin is 12. Anything under 8 is considered dangerous. The doctor called for an ambulance and I rode with Kai to Centro Medico. If you ever are in Puerto Rico and need to go to the ER, don't go to this one. The doctors came in and asked background history. Which of course we knew nothing. We did know that Kai may be possible sickle cell. While he was at our agencys transition home he was administered to the hospital and had a blood transfusion for what we thought was for malaria. He did have a test done for sickle cell. One test came back positive. The second time the test came back negative. So it was a thought in the back of our minds for the past month that he could possibly have sickle cell anemia. The doctor felt that his spleen was very enlarged and she said it felt like it was sickling and they needed to do blood work right away.
Mama and Kai in the PICU room during second transfusion.
 Two hours later the nurse came in for blood work. 12 hours later they moved Kai to PICU and he was confirmed he had sickle cell anemia and needed a blood transfusion. One blood transfusion Kai was starting to perk up. He was starting to laugh, and chat in his swahili/french/2 yr. old babble. Second blood transfusion....he tried to jump out of the crib. He was feeling so much better and sooo good! Four days later he was finally released from the PICU and now he is on daily meds to help manage what could turn into a "pain crisis." I'm going to commit a whole post to Sickle Cell Anemia in the next post because I want people to be informed and aware of what Sickle Cell anemia is. Even if you are curious or happen to know somebody who has it but you don't know anything about it. That was us a few weeks ago! I'm no expert, but we are learning as we go.
starting to feel good!
He's a trooper, and of course keeping it cool in the PICU with his hat. He wanted it backwards;)