Tuesday, June 05, 2007

fear, relief, exhausted

I have been planning on writing this post all morning, but I just couldn't think of what to call it and then I just decided to go with the feelings of the last week.

Last Wednesday night around 10:30 we took Al to hospital as his breathing was pretty rugger ed, and having a history of asthma in the family we thought he might need some assistance. We took him to the local 24 hour GP clinic and he was transferred by ambulance to the great big children's hospital with Gaye in the ambulance and me following along in the car behind.

At this point he seemed sick but OK but they insisted on the ambulance as they said 'babies this small can go down hill very fast' they were right. At 11:00 they put him on oxygen, at 1:00 am he stopped feeding very much, at 3:00 he showed no interest at all in feeding. At 4:00 I finally convinced Gaye to have a rest in a chair next to the bed, we had been up all the night and he had been restless with his cold all week, it was clear she was going to have to stay in hospital with him for at least a few days. She fell to sleep and I sat in a chair with Al in my arms watching him. Suddenly his stats dropped, the machines went off and he went completely limp in my arms, I called to Gaye to get the nurse, she woke up to see him completely limp and clearly not breathing, the nurses and doctors came running. He got himself breathing again. This happened again four more times in the next hour. It was terrifying, I cannot say how terrifying. My knees literally knocked, my heart was in my mouth the whole time. I was completely full of fear. I am trying to forget the way he looked at that moment and Gaye's face in the following hours and days.

They put him on a drip (Gaye cried as much as he as the cannula went in) and took blood.

We found out from the specialist later that when small babies get this virus their brains can swell and they can forget to breathe.

He came home yesterday after 5 nights in hospital and five days of oxygen and iv fluids so his system was supported while he fought the virus. He is much much better, but still not himself completely, he has a dreadful cough. He has lost some weight and some muscle tone. But he is improving everyday.

I went out and bought one of those hideously expensive baby monitors that monitor the baby breathing, we didn't think we would sleep without it. We also bought another heater (outrageously expensive) as the Dr said we have to keep the house at 21 degrees. My credit card is full to bursting. But right now I would sell anything I have to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Gaye is sick now too, I am still unwell, Thomas has a cough we are all exhausted. But we are home and together and it will all be okay.


Mikhela said...

How utterly dreadful for you. What is the name of the virus he had? And to think I thought that once you have given birth to a healthy baby your worries can slow down a bit - how naive.
Warm healthy wishes to you all.

The Fonaholics said...

Oh my god, i hope you are all feeling better soon. I know this situation all too well, working in an emergency dept at a childrens hospital... but believe me that is the best place to be, so dont hesitate in taking him back if you are at all worried, skip the GP and adults hospitals and get an ambulance straight to a childrens hospital.

Lo said...

What a horrific scare. I am glad Al is home with you, and glad you spent the money on the monitor.

J-Le said...

oh god, i'm so relieved he is ok. take care of each other.

Anonymous said...

How terrifying. I am glad he is on the mend. I bought a monitor and I'm sure it saved my newborn's life at least once. It went off one morning when she was about 3 months old and I ran to her cot finding that she would not respond. I picked her up yelling her name and with all the stimulation she started breathing again. Thank God.

I hope your little one picks up soon.

Aussie Mum

Shelli said...

oh my goodness - sending healing prayers your way!