The biggest disappointment of the day was that Alicia had come down with a tummy bug, so wasn't able to come down for the weekend as planned. Aside from that, it was a lovely day (apart from the weather!), and we even managed to get some
pictures of everyone with Samara, with her NGT out! After the service, our friends daughter Megan, who was almost 19, and has DS, got to have a cuddle with her. I got a couple of pictures. Here is one of them. It was really nice to catch up with Andy and Dorothy (Megans parents) and just have a chat about things. It's amazing how much has changed just since she was born. They had to wait 6 months for her diagnosis to officially come through! I also got to chat with a mother from the mums group at church who has been given a high risk for Down Syndrome with the baby she is expecting in June.
2 days after the dedication, Michael had to head back home to do that dreaded thing called work! He caught an overnight bus up to the airport, so he never got a chance to see Alicia again - which tore him up a bit!
The rest of us continued catching up with family and friends over the next couple of weeks. We also bought some NZ lollies. That was the real reason for the trip. New Zealand has good junk food! Seriously though, it was really good to see everyone again, but hard too, not knowing when we will see them all again.
Just to make things interesting, on the Tuesday before we came home, Christiana whacked her fingers against the door frame, and was in quite a bit of pain. It didn't really settle over the next couple of hours, so I thought I'd better take her to hospital for an x-ray. As we were heading out to the van, I stumbled on the step and broke my ankle in 2 places!! Turns out, Christiana's finger was fine. She had it splinted for a couple of weeks, but it wasn't broken. As for me.....well, that was a different story! It kinda put a damper on the rest of the holiday. I didn't really go anywhere after that. But, I must say, it sure made things breezy for the trip home. I was whisked through customs, taken on to the plane first, then rushed through customs again at the other end! I also got to sit right up front where there was more room. Don't know if it was worth breaking my ankle for it, but hey, you've gotta love any advantages you can get in international airports!
Despite the seasons changing from Summer to Autumn while we were away, it was still pretty hot when we got home. Not much fun when you're in plaster for 6 weeks. I divised all sorts of ways of itching it. Don't know that the hospital would be impressed, but at least I got a bit of relief. Living in Australia, my biggest fear was getting fire ants in the cast! We have them living outside our house, and I worried about it every time I went out the door! Thankfully THAT never happened.
The next few weeks were pretty boring, and I got major cabin fever. Michael had to take time off work every time Samara or I had appointments at the hospital, which was a bit of a hassle. Good thing his bosses are pretty understanding.
The one outing I did have was to the Picnic on World Down Syndrome Day. I didn't get around much once we were there, but it was good to get out, and also to meet some other parents, adults children & babies with DS, and siblings. It was a beautiful day - not too hot though! The girls all got their faces painted. Even Samara!
3 weeks after we got home, Samara came down with RSV. She was really struggling to breathe, and had to go into hospital and on oxygen for a few days. Aside from the pain of seeing her suffering, we had the added hassle of my ankle. I still couldn't drive, and I couldn't stand to look after her either. So each day, Michael would drop me and a couple of the girls at the hospital in the morning (he was staying there overnight), then pick us up after work. Here she is in the giant hospital cot. (Made her look little again). One thing I have to say - I am so glad we live in a time when apnoea monitors are easy to come by! It certainly helped me sleep better when she came home. Mind you, all of our girls after Sara (#2) have been monitored, as Sara had apnoeas for at least 10 years.
OK. It is 2am. Probably time for me to get some sleep, insomnia isn't a lot of fun. But at least I have the internet to keep me company while everyone else sleeps.