Sometimes a mother just has this gut feeling. I can't quite explain it. I can't attest it is always spot on. But most of the time... probably 97% of the time... my gut feeling proves me right. Thattttt or I'm stubborn. ;) Regardless, this was one of those times...
While getting ready for church on Christmas morning, the kids are all running around getting dressed, eating Nerds (thank you, Santa!)... yes, not the best breakfast... it's Christmas (in my best ghost-of-Christmas-present voice from Scrooged ever)...and I happen to catch Rowdy put a Nerd in Meg's mouth. No biggie. I quickly remove the candy and ever-so-sternnnnly explain to Drew we don't put things in Meg's mouth. Ever. Got it. Good.
Off to church. Home to change and open gifts. Meg chilled in her sling thing watching when we opened gifts. Dave and I prepped for Christmas with my family and my mom's family. My sister, Megan, comes a little early. Changes Meg. Meg does a huge belch slash gag slash who knows what. Nothing unusual. She sometimes has a hidden burp. Didn't think too much of it.
I'm not entirely sure what triggered me to check on her, but she was sleeping a lot throughout the morning and afternoon. For whatever reason, I noticed her hands and feet were more blue than usual. Still not too alarming. But what did get my gut rolling was her breathing. Now... I'm not one to be rattled or worry too much about the kids getting hurt or being sick. I just don't make a fuss because usually it's nothing. Nash is near death daily from falls off the couch, paper cuts, biting his tongue... I could go on and on. BUT I didn't care for the grunting she was doing. My first thought was those darn Nerds! Maybe Drew put another Nerd in her mouth?
Two feedings later and her grunting got worse and she started to drool. Anyone in the medical field doesn't care for difficulty breathing accompanied by drooling, and really *not* something to mess around with, especially with infants. Then I was worried. Dave and I packed Meg up and headed to the ER. I didn't even get a chance to say good-bye to the kids (or anyone for that matter). I didn't want to get anyone excited over nothing, and I sure didn't think we would be admitted!
After what felt like hours and hours and hoursssss in the emergency room, we were admitted to the Peds floor. The poor girl went through so much in the ER. Even seeing the things I've seen as an EMT, I opted to leave the room for the catheterized urine and what they told me they do allllll the time, don't be worried Mom, she'll be fineeeee... lumbar spinal tap. Dave and I tried to do what any parent would do... get as far away from that room as possible! Well, I couldn't stay away as long as the procedure took and we found ourselves in the waiting room too close for my ears. You guys... hearing your baby scream in pain from rooms away, knowing you can't do anything... I'm still not sure how I held it together. I kept looking at Dave asking him... what are they doing!? why is it taking so long!? should we go in there!? That is for sure nothing I ever want one of my children to go through again!
*sigh* fortunately all the tests she had to endure came back negative. We battled fever spikes for a couple days while in the hospital. Meg received a couple different antibiotics for nearly 3 days via IV (and was sent home with a 7-day course). She was kept so long because they wanted to rule out anything bacterial... pneumonia, meningitis... and I'm quite certain her age had a lot to do with all the testing and length of stay.
After 3 days and nights of putting her down for only probably 15 minutes at a time, we were able to go home. I'm sad I missed almost all of the kids' Christmas vacation, but more glad little Miss Meg was healthy. I'm just glad she wasn't worse. She had no breathing problems, aside from when her fever would spike, and we were sent home with ONLY antibiotics. Bummer that she has a hospitalization on her chart from now on, but what do you do. Four of our seven children have been hospitalized and I'm not liking those odds! Many thanks to those who thought of us, prayed for us, visited us, and helped with the other kiddos while we were in the hospital. We greatly appreciate all of it!
patiently waiting in the emergency room for test results
thankful for only one poke
our crazy neighbor, Linda, and Casey and Homer visited
the highlight of our days... daddy coming to talk with Meg & keep Mom company
the crew came to visit. teaching from their wonderful Child Life Services at the Children's Hospital
the kids thoroughly enjoyed the ginormous playroom
my view for most of the days
and then she was disconnected from all the machines!
and we walked as far away from the crib as possible!
obviously excited to have her home :)
Final Diagnosis: viral pneumonia
We're so glad to be back to normal around here. Thanks again to everyone for their help, visits, thoughts, and prayers!