Last Thursday we went to the emergency room with Avery for the first and hopefully last time. He had been sick with the flu the week before and was getting better day by day. I was going stir crazy having been cooped up in my house where I had spent about a week cuddling him up and nursing him 24/7. Since he was starting to feel better, I bundled him up and drove to Santa Monica for some window shopping and a little stroller walk to get us both some fresh air. I walked around for an hour and then drove home. When I got home he was asleep in the car seat so I let him stay in there and sleep some more. About an hour later he woke up and when I took him out of the car seat he was really warm. I figured the little guy just got overheated cause I had him bundled up. I stripped him down to a diaper to cool down, but he just kept getting warmer. Within 30 minutes everything changed. He got very lethargic and my normally crawling, standing, sitting baby would only lay on his back. I grabbed the thermometer and his fever was 103. I gave him Tylenol which he promptly projectile vomited (a common occurrence as he hates the Tylenol), so I tried Motrin which he also projectile vomited up. Covered in vomit and a little worried, I put in a call to our pediatrician. While I waited for him to call back I put Avery in a warm bath to try to bring the fever down. I was concerned about the fever, but not scared since while he was sick with the flu his fever got up to 103 a couple of times and our pediatrician reassured me that he would be just fine. However, when I put him in the bath, he started to get really listless. His eyes were rolling back and his body was limp. I pulled him out of the bath and tried to rouse him, but he was like a wet rag. I tried to get him to breastfeed, but he couldn’t latch. My pediatrician finally called back (it seemed like hours, but was really only 15 minutes). He had me check his temperature and see if any of the Tylenol or Motrin made its way in…his fever had gone down to 100, but he was still listless. Concerned about dehydration he told me to go to the emergency room, gave me his cell phone number and told me not to worry, drive safely and that he would call ahead to the hospital so we wouldn’t have to wait. I have never been more scared in my entire life. I am fully trained in CPR and first aid, yet I just remember pacing around my apartment frantically thinking I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do. Of course it was raining (which never happens in LA), and Micah wasn’t home from work yet. I bundled Avery up, put him in the car and tried my best to drive safely to the hospital. It took 45 horrifying minutes and once I got there I was so distraught some random nurse on her break had to help me find the ER (you know the area of the hospital with GIANT neon signs). Long story slightly less long…they were able to get him to keep some Tylenol down, we were able to get him to take in some fluids so that they didn’t have to put in an IV and were sent home with antibiotics for a secondary ear infection brought on from the flu. As we drove home, among exhaustion and relief, all I could think about was all the mothers I know who spent the early days of their babies’ lives in a NICU feeling helpless, scared and raw with emotion. I thought of the moments when they held their babies at home and had to rush back to the hospital in fear of the worst. I couldn’t help but think that the emotion I felt that evening was barely a fraction of a sliver of a glimpse into the pain, stress, fear and gut wrenching uncertainty they must have felt. I immediately wanted to go to each and every one of them and hug them. I will never understand what it must have been like for you, but I do know this: You are the strongest, bravest women I know.
On a slightly more lighthearted note – I was bat-shit crazy in the ER…like you would think I was being admitted for serious life altering OCD. The whole evening is a bit of a blur, but I do believe at one point I strongly reprimanded Micah for placing the diaper bag on the (in my mind) disease ridden floor and then instructed him to go, get the Clorox wipes out of the car which was in valet parking and wipe down the diaper bag and any other offending items he had let touch anything. We stood huddled in a corner hiding from the “germs”. Oh yeah, I even had the nurse wipe down everything in the exam room prior to us being seen…I will say she humored me and put us in the corner exam room next to a boy being seen for high blood sugar (aka low contamination risk). But I mean come on, there are like measles and whooping cough outbreaks a plenty here.
Oh and Avery apparently fancies himself quite the ladies man. He spent his entire time in the ER milking it and flirting with any lady that would make eye contact. For real.
*also I have not forgotten my neglectful sleep training posts – stay tuned for a recap of days 2 and 3 and an in-depth look into our current battle with the artist formerly known as our sleeping baby.