Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Samren's Story: Part IV

After over 3 weeks our time in Vietnam had ended. It's always interesting to me the parts of a story that are still crystal clear 6 years later, and the parts that are very fuzzy "baby" memories. I really don't remember much at all about the ride home. We flew all the way home with our friends (and travel group members) Linda, Charlie, and baby Naomi. They live an hour from us. I remember taking oh so cute pictures of the two babes once we hit US soil. I remember a TON of Linda and Charlie family and just a smidgen of our family (we kept it small on purpose, after totally overkill when Taevy came home).

When I saw Taevy again it was such a good feeling. She was only 18 months old at the time, but it seemed that she had aged so much just in that 3 weeks. I remember being amazed at how well she said "mommy" and "daddy" when we got home.

It felt so good to walk in our house. When you've contemplated living in Vietnam for an unknown amount of time "Home Sweet Home" is an understatement! The best moment of our coming home day was when I got both of my babies--5 months and 18 months--to sleep in my lap at the same time. God knew I needed that moment. I needed that moment because it said, "You can do this. This isn't too much." I felt so accomplished!!!

We took Samren to the doctor the day after we got home. He was very dehydrated and had lost 3 pounds in the last 3.5 weeks. Down to about 10 pounds at 5 months old. Not so good. But we were able to keep him out of the hospital.

We tried to feed him with every nipple under the sun. He just never really got the hang of bottle feeding. Or maybe he was in so much pain he couldn't stand to eat? We'll never know for sure. Samren would sometimes get 2-3 ounces down in a sitting, but that was a "big" feeding. Most of the time he poked along at 1-1.5 ounces per feeding. So of course we were trying to feed him constantly.

Our doctor wanted Samren to eat at least 24 ounces a day, but said he needed 20 ounces not to be dehydrated. A normal day was 10 ounces. A bad day might be 4 ounces. A really good day would be 16 ounces. We constantly fought dehydration. Compounding the issue was that Samren vomited after every feeding (and lots of times, in between feedings). Not spit up--vomit.

I remember lying on my mom's bed shortly after Samren came home and crying. I just KNEW that something was wrong. Something in my gut told me to be afraid for him. At the time our doctor was still in "He's small because he's Asian and he's not feeding well because he's adjusting" mode. But I knew deep down that it wasn't that.

P.S. I think the lack of pictures in this post is a statement in itself. First photo was taken on the way home with him. Second photo was taken the first week home with him (5 months). Third photo was taken 3 months later at 8 months old. I have exactly two photos (both of Samren) from April 2002 to August 2002. You know my life is stressful when I don't have time for pictures!