# Thursday, 23 October 2008

Post-Succos update and some new pictures

It's late, and the Mrs would not be happy if she knew I was doing this right now. Unfortunately, she's back in hospital with Chaya Devoira... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I mentioned last time that they had come home in time for Succos. That was wonderful. The fact of having a built-in succo for the first time made a big difference as well, as Chaya Devoira would not have been able to stand the cold and draughts of our old shed-type succo, so at least the Boss and baby could sit in the succo with us.

I even managed to get a picture of the four little girls (and a panda), although you can't actually see a great deal of the Lady In The Limelight in this one...

Four little girls and a panda

In case you were wondering, Chaya Devoira is wrapped up in the blanket that Chana Liba is holding! It's actually quite hard to get a decent picture of her, but I managed a half-decent one here...

Chaya Devoira

Unfortunately, the tube up her nose does little for the charm of the picture! I know I'm biased, but she's actually a very beautiful little baby bli ayin horo, but she doesn't seem to come out well in pictures.

Anyway, we had a lovely couple of Yom Tov days at the beginning of Succos, and pleasant, if uneventful Chol Hamoed days. All seemed to be going well - obviously too well...

On the Sunday of Chol Hamoed, the nurse came for her regular visit, and weighed Chaya Devoira. She was very concerned that instead of putting on weight, she seemed to be losing the little she had. Given that she needs two fairly major heart operations, it is critical that she gains weight now. The nurse said we should get her down to the hospital to have her checked.

We should have known what was coming. I guess a week of relative normality at home can make you forget the roller coaster. After a couple of checks, the doctors decided that she needed to stay in hospital for closer examination. They wanted to keep an accurate check of how much milk was going in, and how much was coming out. At least this wasn't erev Yom Tov or erev Shabbos as we've had before. We had a little more time to prepare for Yom Tov in hospital this time, although that didn't make it any easier for the Mrs.

Nechoma Bryna, Aryeh Yehuda, Eliyohu and myself walked to the hospital on Sh'mini Atzeres afternoon. This was about an hour each way, but worth every step for the expression on her face when we walked in. I hope you never have to spend Shabbos or Yom Tov in a hospital, but if you ever do, you'll understand how hard it is to feel the Yom Tov mood. For everyone around you it's a normal day. Nurses are bustling in and out, televisions are on around other people's beds, and you're sitting their in your Yom Tov clothes, trying to muster up some feelings of kedusho. Boruch Hashem, she had a cubicle to herself, which helped cut out a little of the outside world, but it was a far cry from Yom Tov at home. I think we managed to raise her spirits somewhat.

It's now late Thursday night, and they've been in hospital since last Sunday, with little prospect of an early release. The doctors have said that they aren't letting her out until they see an increase in weight, but as they don't really know why she isn't putting on weight, we aren't sure how long this stay is going to be. Boruch Hashem, we have coped well here, but the strain is beginning to show. Hopefully things will ease up a little next week when the children are back in school, and there is a little more order in our lives. We all love holidays, especially when there's a Yom Tov, but it throws out the routine, and that can make situations like this one harder.

As mentioned above, Chaya Devoira was supposed to have two heart operations at five or six months of age. The idea of waiting was to give her time to gain some weight, and have more strength to survive. In a bizarre Catch-22 situation, one of these operations is designed to regulate the mount of blood flowing into one of the arteries, which would help her gain weight (I'm not 100% sure how this works, my medical knowledge is already being pushed beyond its limits). If her weight doesn't increase soon, they are going to have to do this operation at a much earlier age, which is a fairly frightening prospect. We have to daven that they find a way to build up her strength beforehand.

Anyway, I'm going to end with another gratuitous picture. This one has the added benefit that you can actually see a bit of the baby!

Aryeh Yehuda, Simcha and Chaya Devoira

Too tired to type any more tonight, so I'll leave it there. Again, we would like to thank everyone who sent such lovely e-mails. I'm not sure we live up to some of the comments you've made, but we won't argue about that! If anyone has any time to say Tehillim, we would very much appreciate it if you could daven for Chaya Devoira bas Sharon Yehudis sh'tichye.

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