Spring Break proved to be different then I expected. I had big plans to do a cute little 5 month photo session with my sweet little Snug, Benny. (For those of you that don’t know, I call him Snug because he’s forever wanting to be close) So, change in plans, little Snug came down with a respiratory infection causing him to run a fever to have severe congestion. None of the traditional remedies were working for us to clear his congestion, he had a really difficult time nursing and getting him to ingest Tylenol was extremely difficult. Since bottle feeding and nursing hadn’t been an issue thus far, I decided to bottle feed him so he wouldn’t dehydrate and it was easier for him to get fluids than nursing. He was feeling miserable and when he’d finally fall asleep, we were very scared because he wouldn’t open his mouth to breath…. .. .. We sat and held our breath as we watched him retract in and out for 10 seconds at a time and then finally gasping for air; after a while we began gently jostling him to get him to take a breath. I didn’t know what to do. You hear so many scary stories about babies who don’t wake and I didn’t want that to happen to him, so I took him to the ER around 9PM. It was my first time going to the ER with my child by myself and I felt so alone; I thought it was best for my husband to stay home with my oldest son, Caden. They checked him for RSV and pneumonia and ran a catheter down his nose to pull the thick mucus out that we were not able to reach. It was awful watching him scream; I felt helpless and wanted him to feel better. They admitted us into the hospital and it wasn’t until 2:00 AM that I had a place to lay down; I was exhausted and Benny was still having these apnea like issues.
I was angry that nothing was being done to help him as he still struggled to breath. I sat there most of the night making sure he’d gasp for air; while the nurse monitored his oxygen levels. We woke that morning around 6:00 AM and Benny was shivering and still had a fever. I felt sick to my stomach thinking about parents with children who are chronically ill or with very serious conditions, feeling stressed and fearful most times; how do they deal with that? The next morning a pediatrician from Associates in Pediatrics came to see him and said his oxygen was good and that he will get better with time, they inserted a catheter again and removed more mucus for him and it did help. The doctor said they would observe him for the day to make sure he was OK to come home. That afternoon, his fever finally broke. The nurses continued to help us get more mucous out asked us to video tape the retractions in his chest to show the doctor when he returned to check on him, so we did.. believe it or not, this was actually an improvement in his breathing.
I called my Mom and Dad, and they comforted me. Thankfully my Mother in-law was there to keep me company as I tried to relax on less than 2 hours of sleep. We waited for my husband (who was taking my older son to Lego land as promised) to arrive and for the doctor to return; all the while the nurse continually assured us that he would return for us.I was worried sick because I couldn’t get my son to nurse and I didn’t want our breastfeeding experience to end. Things were going so well for us and we were benefiting so much from nursing. I repeatedly asked for a lactation consultant to help me understand how to keep my milk supply up and to help get my son to come back to me to nurse and she finally came around 3:30 to advise me, but no show on the doctor. It wasn’t until 8:30 PM that another nurse, Patty, came in to ask if we were sure that the doc was coming…. EXCUSE ME? I was sooooo frustrated beyond belief. Patty, felt awful and it was obvious. She called the new doc on call and she said that Dr. Wynn Sheade wasn’t coming back for the night. Since they weren’t going to do anything for Ben, I just wanted to be at home with him. Needless to say, we left. My mother in-law had an hour drive ahead of her and yet she stayed the whole time with me; I’m so grateful for her being there to keep me company.
The next day was much better; Ben’s sinuses were draining and we were able to use the saline and aspirator to help remove the mucus. I spent the entire day just bonding, watching him rest, cuddling and inviting him to nurse. We bottle fed him until he was ready and THANKFULLY, around 4:30 he came back to nurse I was so relieved and he seemed relieved too. Here’s some of the photos on that day we reunited.
Looking back, I think, phew.. it was only a little infection. I think I did the right thing making sure that he was monitored during his apnea like episodes. I’m so thankful for his health and that we’re able to nurse again. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of my family. Children amaze me. They’re so resilient and they’re such a gift. This was him only a couple days later taken with my Iphone. Look at his smile……