How can a sniffly nose turn into a complete nightmare?
Caroline is 3 weeks and 2 days old. For someone so tiny she sure has had some big and scary adventures.
I knew I would be documenting the life of Caroline but I had NO idea she would have such a HUGE story at 9 days old.
I shared my birth story. Which had a few adventures in itself. It went nothing as I had planned(births usually don’t go as planned). But it was way off the charts of anything I thought would happen.
First off, after Caroline was born she still had fluids from the womb in her lungs and she would cough it up and choke on it. Talk about a terrifying experience. She came out so fast that she didn’t spend anytime at all in the birth canal. Which is where the fluids usually come out of their little lungs. She was there for less than 10 minutes. So no time to clear out.
We had our first appointment with her pediatrician(January 31st 2017). It went GREAT. My main focus was her gaining enough weight since she is exclusively breast fed. I wasn’t sure how much milk I was producing and so I wasn’t sure if she was getting what she needed. I prayed she had at least hit her birth weight. She had! She not only gained her birth weight back but she had hit 7lbs even. She was 6lb 14oz at birth and leaving the hospital she was 6.5lbs.
She had some congestion and so I did mention this to the pediatrician. I told her I had been sick from the moment she was born and her daddy and sister had just got over a pretty bad cold. She listened to her lungs and said she sounded great. She said I would just have to let it all pass on its own. She had no fever and her lungs were clear. No signs of anything serious. She did tell me before I left that if baby C were to run a fever or stop eating to call them back.
The night of February 2nd was terrible. She had started coughing a little and she just wasn’t acting like herself. I got no sleep from staying up watching her sleep and picking her up and snuggling her every time she let a little cough out. Something didn’t feel right. I struggled to get her to eat at 2am. She ate. But she could hardly breathe out of her nose. It seemed she was breathing really hard. I did know that sometimes newborns breath harder and then slow down and even stop breathing for a second. Because their breathing isn’t regulated yet. But this just didn’t seem the same as that. It felt wrong. I held her the rest of the night and patted her little back when she would cough. I felt so bad for her. 2am came and passed…so did 3am…4am…5am…6am… She wouldn’t eat. What in the world? My champ breast feeder..My baby who had put on so much weight from not missing a single feeding to sleep…ever.
I got up, got Allie ready for school, got her to school and came back home. Caroline was snuggled with Matt in bed. I sat in the bed and cried. I wasn’t feeling well at all and I felt sick over the way Caroline was acting. Matt heard me crying, woke up, and called out of work. He told me to make an appointment for Caroline and then we would take me to urgent care. I called her doctor and told them what was going on. They told me to bring her in at 11:20am. It was 8:30 at this time. We got ready and went to urgent care. I got meds and we headed to Caroline’s doctor.
They took us back pretty quickly. The nurse took her weight and such and then her pediatrician came in. The minute she saw her she asked how long she had been breathing the way she was breathing. We told her around the middle of the night. She immediately went and took her oxygen levels. I sat down and words became pretty blurry. She said some things to Matt and me that I don’t remember. The words that are burned in my brain are “You’re not going home. You’re being admitted. We aren’t going to have you drive her. An ambulance is on it’s way. It will be taking you to North East Georgia Medical Center for holding until CHOA can come transfer you to them.” Excuse me? CHOA? As in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta?
I didn’t even know what level her oxygen was. I was making phone calls to family and Allie’s school. We were making plans to get Allie from school to her dads and figuring out what I would need Matt to pack and bring me at the hospital. I would be riding in the ambulance with my very sick newborn.
The ambulance got there extremely fast. We left and loaded her and myself up into the ambulance. It felt like it took forever to get to the ER in Gainesville. I just wanted to get where we were going and know what the heck was going on with my daughter. Someone make it better. Make her better. That is how I felt.
We got there. They got her in a room immediately. They hooked her up to the oxygen. They hooked her up to all kinds of monitors. They took her clothes off and put her under a heat lamp. Monitors were beeping around me and the room was 85 degrees and hot. The room was spinning and I felt like I was going to throw up or pass out or both. They took blood. They gave her an IV with fluids. They took some tests to see what she had. “We are testing her for RSV.” They told me. What? No way. She can not have RSV. That isn’t suppose to happen to us. She was perfect. SHe is perfect. She can’t have RSV.
The test seemed to take years to come back. Thank the good Lord my mom was there with me. She had met me at the hospital.
The test results came back. RSV positive. Shock. I was in shock.
The ER doctor came in and told me that they had spoken with CHOA and the chopper would be there in 25 minutes. Chopper? What?
They came in and did chest x-rays on little Caroline and a few other things I can’t remember. Everything was very foggy at times. My mom asked if I would be able to ride in the chopper with Caroline. The doctor said sometimes they allow a parent and sometimes they don’t.
The flight team came into the room. They brought with them this box on a stretcher with all kinds of machines on it. I had to sign a few things and was told I would be able to ride with them. Thank the Lord. She asked if I was afraid of heights. I totally am terrified of heights. At that moment when your child is fighting to breathe…fear of heights mean nothing. Nothing matters in those moments but getting your child where she needs to be and getting it done now. Caroline was extremely pale. The flight team had asked me if she was normally that pale. I said no and they didn’t say another word. They got her loaded up and we made our way to the chopper.
I never would have guessed my first ambulance ride and chopper ride would be all in one day. And I never would have guessed it would be because my 9 day old baby was extremely ill.
It took 20 minutes to get to CHOA(Egolston). The longest 20 minutes of my life. I wore headphones and they kept me updated on how she was doing. I could hear them talking to the people at CHOA giving them directions and telling them how far away we were and such.
We finally landed. They got us to a room in the ER. They were holding us there until they saw Caroline and determined how bad of shape she was in and where we would go. They hooked her up to fluids. They hooked her up to all the machines that beeped. It was so scary. I begged them to bring me a pump. Since we were exclusively breast feeding and she had not had anything to eat since 2am and it was 4:30pm…I was running a fever and so engorged. It was terrible but it didn’t matter compared to everything else going on. They brought me one and it got my mind off things for a few minutes.
Matt was there and we sat and waited to have a doctor come in. When the doctor came in she explained things to us(Most of it a blur) and she told us that they tested again for RSV and it was positive. The way she was looking we would be headed to the PICU.
We got our things together and they got ready to transfer us upstairs when a room opened.
Thanks for reading,
I will post more parts later. This post will be a lot of posts put together. After all, it is so hard to wrap up 2 terrifying weeks in one long post.