If you’ve read my previous blog ‘Tomorrow is another day’ you may recall that I said ‘She holds my hand on shopping trips, doing as she’s told and not running off’, well you can ignore that statement now. Back in January, on ear infection number 9, the doctor finally referred Rae for an ENT appointment. The appointment came through in February and Rae was so well behaved throughout the hearing test and appointment with the specialist and it was decided the best thing for her would be to have grommets put in both ears. Then it came time to leave the hospital. I hadn’t taken anyone with me to the appointment because, well, I’m 33 years old, and I can handle a two year old. Or not as it turned out. First I had to pay for the car park and the machine was just inside the entrance doors. Rae decided she didn’t want to leave and tried to run back into the hospital. With one hand holding onto a wriggling child and the other one trying to type my PIN number in I smiled politely at the old ladies waiting in reception laughing and cooing over the cute little girl with the blonde curls trying to get away from her mummy. I waited for my ticket to come back out, whilst clamping Rae between my legs, and nothing happened. I wanted to get away as quick as possible so somehow got some change out of my purse and put it in the machine, not caring if I was paying double for the car park. Rae then decided to change from playfully trying to run off, to stamping her foot and refusing to move. Crouching down I tried to reason with her ‘There’s chocolate in the car if you be a good girl’. She didn’t care. I ended up carrying her out like Baby carried the watermelon in Dirty Dancing, except this watermelon was kicking and screaming. Halfway to the car my arms couldn’t take it anymore so I put her down. She then sat on the ground in her pretty pink coat and refused to move. ‘Mummy is going Rae, bye!’. That didn’t work. So it was back to carrying her. Finally getting to the car and, of course, with it being a hospital car park with limited spaces, a man was sat in his car waiting for my space. Rae turned into a rag doll, refusing to get in her car seat. At one point she slithered out of my grasp and lay on the floor in the leaves and dirt. I kept smiling at the man in a ‘aren’t two year olds a delight’ kind of way but he didn’t return my smile. I was on the verge of going over and asking him if he wanted to come and put her in her seat as it would take half the time but I resisted. Eventually I got her strapped in and drove away. ‘Choc choc please Mummy?’
The operation didn’t take long to come through, and we’d had two more ear infections in the four weeks since the ENT appointment so I knew this was the right thing to do for Rae, and last week me, my Mum and Rae were at the hospital for 7:30am, with Rae not impressed she couldn’t have her bottle of milk before we left the house. Rae was so good with all the nurses, letting them do whatever they needed, never crying once. I wasn’t surprised, she had them all wrapped around her little finger within minutes of meeting her. When the nurse came to get us from the playroom, me and my Mum gathered all our bags and coats up and by the time I turned around Rae had just walked off with the nurse, not bothered about waiting for us. We were taken to a ward and informed what was going to happen next. At half 9 it was time to go to theatre. The next bit was the bit I was dreading, Rae being put to sleep. The nurse was showing Rae a book of animals, using it to cover Raes hand while the anesthetist put the cannula in. This still didn’t bother Rae, she was just trying to look over the top of the book to see what he was doing. He then showed her the syringe and asked her if she wanted some hedgehog milk in her hand. She nodded and then in a matter of seconds her eyes rolled back and she was gone. My breath caught in my throat but I managed to hold it together and not cry, although I don’t know how, and then I had to leave her. Less than an hour later a nurse came and got me and my Mum to take us to the recovery room where Rae had been taken. I heard her before I saw her. Rae had not woken up happy. I walked in to see two theatre nurses trying to hold her down on the bed. She was like a wild animal. I got on the bed with her but she didn’t even register I was there. I got hit, head butted, and scratched by the cannula. I stayed on the bed with her whilst they wheeled us down to the ward, finally having calmed her down and she’d fallen back to sleep. She didn’t sleep for long and just lay on me for ages before finally sitting up and wanting to walk around. A nurse bought her some water, then some toast. She didn’t leave a crumb from the two slices of toast, then asked for more and ate that too. At 1pm they told us we could go. While we were waiting for the nurse to get us the ear drops we went to the playroom. Anyone watching Rae run around would never have guessed she’d just had an operation 3 hours earlier. But then I looked at her and her lips had turned blue and she was shaking. I told the nurse and we were taken back to the ward. I wrapped a big blanket over her dressing gown and the nurses kept taking her vitals. They said she had gone into shock. I was so glad my Mum was with me because I couldn’t have handled this part on my own. Rae fell asleep and half an hour later woke up fine, and once they’d checked her over again we were allowed to leave.
At home Rae kept drifting in and out of sleep. She had a drink of milk then fell asleep on me again. My sister came round and bought us a chippy as me and my Mum had barely eaten all day. I passed a sleeping Rae to my sister so I could eat. Rae then proceeded to vomit all over my sofa and my sister (sorry sis) but once we had cleaned her up she was back to her normal self (and I still ate my chippy, I was too hungry to let that put me off).
The difference in her was almost instant. The morning after the operation I asked her what she wanted to wear, not expecting a response. Rae answered ‘A dress’ having never said that before. Since then her speech is just getting better and better. Normally Raes counting to ten went a bit like this ‘two, nine, nine, nine, nine’ and so on. Six days after the operation she counted from one to ten properly. Even though she’s always been a great sleeper she used to cry out once or twice a night but she hasn’t woken up at all for the last 4 nights, sleeping 7pm until 8am last night! She seems happier in herself, which makes me sad for how bad her ears must actually have been for the best part of the last 18 months. If you’d asked me on the day of the operation if I’d put Rae through it again I’d have said no, but seeing the difference in her in such a short amount of time I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
That’s one question I get asked about the adoption a lot – ‘Would you do it again?’. And I mean A LOT. I find this question so hard to answer. What exactly am I being asked? If I say no will people think I’m saying I regret Rae? Are they asking would I adopt again on my own whilst having a two year old? Then the answer is definitely no. Ask me again in five years time and the answer might be different. Are they asking if I had any issues with the adoption process? Again the answer is no. Or are they asking would I go through everything I’ve been through to adopt Rae again? And of course the answer is yes. Again, and again, and again.