Praise God, he saw fit to make our hospital stay short and uncomplicated! We came home early this afternoon and have just been resting and enjoying the peace and quiet. Esther is doing much better today. No fever, much less neck pain, and no headache that I can observe. She is eating like a horse (yes, hay and oats ;), and her tummy seems to be feeling better too (no throwing up). The real upturn seemed to be when the other girls came home this evening.
Eva and Hope played at a friend's house all day (thanks, Gibsons!), but came storming in the door around 7:30 tonight. Hope's first words, "Mama? You're home?!?" Eva attacked me with a hug, then ran to smother Esther. Hope wanted to give Esther some big lovin' too, but Eva was sooooo protective of her time with her. She really, really wanted to be alone with Esther, and I could hear her whispering to her about how sweet she is and how much Eva missed her. I also overheard her say, "I bet you're glad to be back with us. Not with those noisy doctors and nurses!" Eva is probably right, but in defense of the "noisy" doctors and nurses, we had WONDERFUL caregivers. I was very pleased and impressed with all of their bedside manor and tenderness for the sick little babe.
No exagerating, after the snuggles, caressing, and laughing with the older girls, Esther finally seemed herself. She was more alert, smiling, and following the girls with her eyes as they ran around doing their thang. As a person from a small family (with my sister and I spaced 6.5 years apart), I am really amazed at how much of a bond my three have already. It's cool.
So, Esther's meningitis turned out to be viral. Caused by some unknown virus (perhaps hand, foot, and mouth which Hope had last weekend) that decided to settle in the lining of her brain. For now, she is happy and doing well. She does have a mild cold and her system will be recovering from the massive amounts of IV antibiotics she was on at the hospital (just a precaution in case the meningitis turned out to be bacterial). We leave for Christmas in Colorado in about a week and have out of town company for four days coming up, so we covet your prayers for our family. We are tired, the house is unkempt, and Esther's health is still on our minds. We are psyched for Ryan and Stephanie and Thor to visit, and psyched to head to Colorado, but still it is a little overwhelming. Pray for complete recovery for Esther and an extra measure of God's grace for me to be an effective home manager, wife, and mom over the next few weeks.
Such a minor blip as this (in the grand scheme of things...) has resulted in our family feeling incredibly loved! I had 99 emails in my inbox today (including facebook and blog comments), most of which were friends and family writing with encouraging words and offers to help us out. We have people bringing meals (thanks Wetzels and Fredricks!) and childcare lined up. Wow! We are so blessed. Thank you, everyone!