Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Our trip to the ER

I would have bet a substantial amount of money that our first trip to the ER would have been for Charlie.  You know- our crazy 2 year old that climbs all over everything and could fall at any moment even with eyes on him all the time.  But nope, our sweet baby Maddie had us all fooled and wanted to make her first few weeks of life interesting I guess!  And boy did she.

Saturday night was like any night with a newborn and almost 2 year old.  Charlie was sound asleep and jimmy brought Maddie up to be fed around midnight.  I fed her and she ate but not for a super long time.  I swaddled her up and laid her in the pack n play right next to my bed and we both went to sleep.

Then at 12:20, I woke up to her coughing pretty hard.  Now she's a loud grunter, especially when she's hungry but I got out of bed to just see if she was ok.  When I went to pick her up, I was alarmed because her swaddle by her head was really wet and age was aggressively gasping for air.  I flipped on the lamp and saw there was a lot more spit up on the sheet where her face was. She's not a spitter upper, so that was my initial freak out.  Then I was holding her in my arms patting her back and trying to get her to breathe normal and catch her breath, which usually doesn't take long.  But something was different this time.  It was a much harder gasp and was starting to scare me.

I yelled at Jimmy and he woke up and saw me freaking out.  I turned her over and held her with one arm and patted her back with another in hopes that gravity would help, but when it didn't...I made the executive call and told Jimmy we are going to the ER- now.  

It's crazy to think back to that moment because it was such a fast decision, but in the 1.5 seconds I contemplated the options in my head - the only two outcomes I could see in my head were sitting at our house and not knowing what to do and she stops breathing completely and then we have lost time that should could have been helped/saved or get in the car and drive to the ER immediately for her to be helped  there.   I instantly didn't like the part where she could stop breathing at our house, so we threw on decent clothes (I found one of Jimmy's t-shirts, he put on basketball shorts), he grabbed Charlie out of bed, we all went to the car with me holding Maddie and doing everything I could to get her to keep gasping/coughing/sneezing...breathing.

We went to a small and newer ER out by our house and the was no one there.  I thought it was closed at first because no one was in the waiting room or at the front desk.  So I went through the doors and saw a doctor and nurses and just cried holding her saying "can you help my baby?".  

And typing about that moment makes me want to cry again.  You feel so helpless, so scared and just fearful that this sweet little baby that you got to call yours for two weeks might not be ok.

Luckily, they were able to strip her fast, suck out fluids from her nose and mouth and her breathing got better but her coloring was still way out of whack and her breathing was still heavy- but she was breathing.  That was great! I was pumping out all the information I could to him about her delivery and then he said he was going to call children's mercy because he was worried she might have an infection from the lack of antibiotics that were in my system from testing strep B positive in my pregnancy. 

As he went off to call them, the nurses tended to her and got a chest X-Ray, urine sample and the worst- put in an IV. After one failed attempt in her hand, the nurse did get one in her arm- I'm just so happy it wasn't in her head like they do with some babies.  Poor girl.

Then we say there and waited for the children's mercy ambulance.  Poor Charlie was just so confused and just wanted to sit on the bed with me and Maddie.  Jimmy called my parents in the midst of all this and they came to pick up Charlie and take him back to our house to sleep while we were headed downtown.  Poor sweet boy, but we are so thankful that we have family close and willing to drop anything to help us.

When the transport team from CMH arrived, we went through everything again while they assessed her and then strapped her on a tiny stretcher and wheeled her away with me walking behind her. Seeing your small, little, two week old baby in a stretcher is sure not something that I wish on anyone.  

I was able to go in the ambulance by had to sit in the front and I cried the whole way there. All 25 minutes.  The guy driving probably thought I was crazy.  But it was so scary, the whole thing. And then having to take her to a children's hospital was just so scary because I have only been to CMH once in my life when I was only in seventh grade.  And now my sweet little newborn was going.

When we got there and got to her room, the nurses were so nice and welcoming, they strapped her to all these monitors...but the good news was, he had a great ride down there and was completely stable at that point.  When I finally got to breastfeed her, you wouldn't believe how happy it made me to hold her in my arms and snuggle.  Oh man.

Then we waited.  The nurses brought is snacks (since it was 3am) and said we would need to wait until the doctors rounds in the morning to get more info.  So we did.  And jimmy slept on a make shift bed and I slept with Maddie in my arms in the rocking chair.  I wasn't about to let her go.

The doctors came around the next morning and looked at her and said for now they were just going to monitor her. The risk was if she was to spike a fever, they would have to do a pretty invasive test on her back to see if she had meningitis.  As if she was exposed to strep B she could have pneumonia (hitch they ruled out) or meningitis. 

So we sat there and waited.  They wanted to monitor her for 24 hours...so we did.  Tracking every feeding, diaper change and making sure her heart rate, oxygen levels and beats per minute were all staying at good levels.

Let me tell you what- sitting in that hospital like that.  You just feel helpless.  You can't imagine leaving your sweet baby for a second (I actually didn't leave her room until Monday right before we left) but then you think about your other baby at home that you know is missing you and you are missing him.  You want to leave but you want to stay to make sure that everything is ok with your sweet baby.  So you just sit there.  In clothes that you have been wearing since you went to bed on Saturday night, no make up, haven't showered since Friday and using a toothbrush from the hospital. 

Sitting there you just think about so many things.  You think about those parents that sit there with their terminally ill kids day in and day out and you want to cry.  For them, for their kids and feel silly that you are upset about such a short stay on the hospital.  You play through scenarios in your mind about how you got here...like what if I put her in the elevated rock in play versus the flat pack in play that night- would that have made a difference?  Or what if she did stop breathing at home- what would I have done?  And then you go to the worst case scenario in your head and you lose it and start crying while holding your wired up baby in the middle of the night.  So much time to sit and think and be thankful that everyone that walks in is so nice and so optimistic and that everything is pointing in the right direction!!!

Needless to say, it was quite the emotional roller coaster, but we are so happy with the results.  With all the positive things that came out of the stay, it seems like she was literally just choking on spit up and just could not catch her breath.  So that made us feel a bit silly for taking her to the ER in the first place...but then going back to the moment that she wasn't catching her breath and it wasn't stopping anytime soon and wondering if she ever would catch her breath- I knew it was the right thing to do. I refuse to take any chances like that on my kids.  And it felt good that our pediatrician said on the phone to me that we absolutely did the right thing!!!!  

So ultimately, the outcome was very positive and she is doing great right now. Had a great first night back and home and her brother was thrilled to see her and us!!!  But talk about a scary couple of days and lots of time to realize just how important family is and how precious life can be!!

Some hospital pictures of our sweet babe:

Maddie in her crib sleeping away

Just so crazy that her age is "16 days"!!!!

My sweet girl snoozing away with all the cords hooked up to her.

The IV going in and coming out had to be the worst part.  Just such a little arm!  And then she had to wear the poor board on her arm to keep it somewhat straight.  Not easy to nurse with!

I hope I don't have a picture like this of any more of our children.  And this is nothing!

Where I "lived" for 36 hours.  Slept here, nursed here, sat here watching her and holding her.

The amusing part of our stay!?  Jimmy went out to get us a red box Sunday night so we could pass the time. When he opened the DVD player he thought this said "Spring Break" Bikini Bottom Adventures.  His face when he pulled it out and read it was hilarious.  He was like "what kind of place is this?!?  Well - turns out it is really Sponge Bob square pants and the Bikini Bottom Adventure. Haha. I think we were just delirious tired so it was seriously so funny at the time.

We were so thankful for all the text messages, phone calls, emails that we got from family and friends.  A pastor from our church came to visit and actually read to us my favorite bible verse and prayed over our sweet babe.  But most of all - my parents seriously went above and beyond.  I made Jimmy call them when we were at the ER because I was a mess and knew that me crying on the phone to them wouldn't have helped, but they came immediately and swooped up Charlie and went back to our house to stay with him Saturday night, all Sunday and Sunday night and then took him to school on Monday morning. Pretty much they had a blast (tiring blast for them, but Charlie loved it) and we were so happy to get Charlie pictures on a regular basis because we sure missed him a lot.  From his cheeto face to pictures of him trying out the big potty, I think he had a good time given the circumstances.  We couldn't wait to pick him up on Monday after we got discharged.  He was excited to see us and gave baby "addie" lots of kisses.  So pretty much they were rockstars.  And I was a mess, so it was nice to have hugs and kisses from your own parents to reassure you that it really was going to be ok.  And thankfully, it was.

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  1. And now I'm bawling. What a terrifying and horrible experience. I'm so glad everything worked out for the best! A great reminder to give our babies extra hugs today, tomorrow, and always.

  2. Oh my gosh, Brittany! I am so sorry that you had to experience that. I was getting so worried reading that post. So happy that you are all home and okay. As I read this, I couldn't help but think about potential hurdles down the road for me too. I have a 20mo. old and just found out yesterday that I am expecting our 2nd. I am a nervous wreck and just hope that I can be a strong mama like you. Keep up the quick thinking and acting...Here is to a smoother ride with those sweet kiddos from here on out.

    The McGuire Family

  3. Oh my gosh, I am SO sorry you had to experience this!! My heart was breaking reading this. I am so happy Maddie is OK, and you definitely did the right thing! It is always better to be safe than sorry.