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UPDATE: Adoption = Brain Scan, No Cats Part 3

Update on today’s earlier post:

While our girl was getting the best sleep of her life, a nurse walked me through the labyrinth that is the hospital to show me the pediatric waiting room. I asked about food (having skipped breakfast in solidarity with the hungry child) and she took me back down to where the restaurants make everything smell less like a hospital.

I asked if eating in the waiting room was okay. “Absolutely! No problem at all. You’re probably starving, right?”

After scouting around, I found Au Bon Pain. (Side note. If you’ve never been, but have opportunity, GO. They have the BEST sandwiches. Split roasted chicken breast on ciabatta bread with tomato pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and asiago cheese. Stop drooling on your keyboard.)

Managing to get back to the waiting room on my own was something of a feat for this directionally-challenged gal, but I made it. Another couple sat on the other side of the room. Bright colors and shapes assaulted me from every corner, and high-pitched cartoon mouse laughter pierced the air. Personally, I thought the environment was a bit over the top, but I was stressed and hungry.

I bit into that sandwich and relaxed happily into my chair, then noticed the couple staring at me with accusation in their eyes…in that “perpetrator alert” kind of way. Mouth full, I had no way of saying, “I’m supposed to be here; what’s your issue?” I turned away a bit to imagine privacy and looked straight at the huge sign: “ABSOLUTELY NO FOOD OR DRINK in this room. Think of the children. They have empty stomachs.”

Now, the nurse told me I could eat in here, but these people didn’t know. I managed to choke down the bite in my mouth and explained. They laughed, waving away my guilt and exchanging glances. “Suuuuuuuuuure the nurse gave you permission.” There were no children present, so I stopped enjoying the food and scarfed it as quickly as possible, lest a mournful, hungry child should appear.

A nurse whisked the skeptical couple away (I ineffectively tried to hide the remains of my meal) and then came back for me. Our girl was fine and in recovery. I had an overwhelming urge to apologize and explain about the food, but instead mashed my guilty conscience back into his school locker (that’s where I keep him) and followed her.

Baby girl was arching her back and banging her head on the mattress when I arrived. The nurse said it was normal and asked me to hold her other arm while she took out the IV. I could barely hang on. Evidently children coming out of anesthesia acquire some kind of crazy supernatural muscles. Or, maybe they’re always that strong but they hold back. Anyway, we managed to still her long enough to get the IV out and a bandage on her arm.

She began thrashing again, asking for help to wake up (which was a bit heartbreaking, since I couldn’t do anything to assist). After calming down, she started asking questions about whether she was recovering and how many days she’d slept. Being a caring, amazing, empathetic mother, I thought of her future prom date and pulled out my cell phone to record, since the nurse said some kids say really funny stuff coming off the sedation.

I had somewhat mixed feelings when her coherence arrived quickly. (No prom footage.) She will be grateful one day. Her brother was disappointed, since he managed to be extremely loopy during his heart surgery sedation and was hoping to hear a good story.

We left the hospital in true glamourous Princess fashion: wrapped in a blanket, wheeled out in a green carriage with an entourage. Okay, actually it was a wheelchair and the entourage was just the nurse and me, but she thoroughly enjoyed the ride and returned the thin cotton blanket with a grudging air.

The nurse left us to wait outside the hospital (valet parking sounds cool, but it wasn’t as glamorous as I’d expected). I pushed the chair to a metal bench and sat beside her to wait for our vehicle. A woman, 40ish, walked past us pushing an older woman. I said, “I’m pushing you now, but one day, you’ll probably have to push me—just like that lady.” She turned to me in surprise. “I was just thinking that!” Smiling, she patted my hand.

We stopped at the grocery store to get chicken soup and popsicles. Nothing cheers her up like soup-in-a-cup and sugar on a stick.

As I write this, she is fast asleep. So far, so good. Hoping to have some answers in a few weeks.

Our journey so far, if you’re just tuning in:

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