OMG. I can finally breathe (and so can the babies). We have finally turned the corner in what has been the ROUGHEST week since the twins were born. Early last week, Brecken started coughing a little. Enough to get my attention, but not to cause any concern… After all Jackson had been coughing in and touching their faces for a week, so they were bound to catch a little cold sometime. The very next day, his cough was awful and wheezy and he was running a low-grade fever. This was clearly more than a cold.
After work, I packed up the boys and went to a local urgent care for help. Poor Breckibear looked absolutely miserable! It was here they confirmed he had RSV. The doctor basically told me he tested positive for RSV, handed me a two-page printout of information about the diagnosis with one hand still on the doorknob and left and walked out, leaving me with so many questions and fears. I may not be a first time mom, but I sure felt like it, as this is our first go-around with RSV. Not to mention, Brecken struggles with his oxygen levels on a good day (that’s a whole other story I’ll tell you about later), let alone adding RSV on top of it—I was worried. That piece of paper wasn’t going to be enough for me.
I grabbed a nurse and after explaining that we’ve had some oxygen trouble with Breck in the past, they gave him some oral steroids to help his cough and hopefully keep things from getting worse. Scared and a little frustrated the doctor didn’t give me more time, I left the office listening to Parker start to cough behind me in the van. Nooo!! The last thing I needed was two babies with this junk.
The steroids did wonders for the severity of his cough, but did nothing for his oxygen levels. I’ll just admit it. I’ve totally become the crazy baby vitals lady. Instead of sleeping, I spent most of the night starring at the app on my phone connected to the Owlet Baby Monitor on his foot, constantly reporting his oxygen levels and heart rate. I felt so helpless and scared watching his O2 levels drop, yet had so much comfort knowing the alarm would sound if it dropped below 80 and I happened to fall asleep.
I try really hard not to be a total freak when I’m worried about my kids’ health. Most of the time whatever I’m concerned about turns out to be “normal”, so I try to keep my inner WebMD Freak at bay. However, I decided to call our normal pediatrician the next day when I saw his O2 drop to 86. I was prepared for her to tell me that it was normal with RSV and that it just needed to run its course, like that damn handout said. Not this time. She wanted him to come in right away, so we did.
Over the last several years, we’ve gotten to know our regular doctor very well and love her dearly. I could tell she was concerned when she looked at Brecken, our normally happy, smiley, crazy-haired little baby, now lethargic and struggling to breathe, with a thin layer of dried snot covering the majority of his face.
With his oxygen at just 90%, she told me she was going to have him do a breathing treatment in the office and explained she was going to try to keep him out of the hospital. The hospital. These words sunk to the deepest pits of my stomach. I realize now this is somewhat common with RSV in babies, but there’s little comfort in that when its your infant is lying limp on the table struggling for air.
Not only is the thought of an infant being hospitalized terrifying, but the “what ifs” and questions
of hospital logistics were swirling my mind as poor Brecken kicked and screamed through the entire treatment. With tears streaming down my face, there I was, alone in a tiny room, trying to hold a mask over my tiny 4 month old baby’s face while he was screaming and flailing the entire time. It was traumatizing for both of us.
The horrifying breathing treatment helped a little. We were up to 92%. A number that still
freaked me out, but this slight improvement was enough to give our doctor hope he would continue to improve with more treatments and not require in-patient oxygen support. We are now the proud owners of a brand new nebulizer machine! Brutal.
For the next 36 hours, I continued to be the crazy baby vitals lady and had the boys both wearing their monitors around the clock. It took a good 24 hours on breathing treatments with scary oxygen levels before Brecken’s started to improve. I did a little happy dance and had to take a screen shot to show RJ once we got back up to 100%!! It was glorious 🙂
Poor Parker was just a day behind Brecken in needing breathing treatments, but thankfully, his oxygen levels never dropped. The breathing treatments did get a little easier for them both, but we are still far from achieving a state of acceptance with them.
Once we got out of the scary oxygen level period, the puking started and Parker developed a raging ear infection. Their tiny little tummies were so filled with mucus and they were coughing so hard they would gag and upchuck every. single. drop. of liquid they were given. We had to switch to Pedialyte almost exclusively for 48 hours in order for them to keep anything down and not get dehydrated. All the while, poor Parker was screaming in pain from an ear infection that wouldn’t be identified and treated for another day. Our house was chaos. We were all miserable.
I was beyond thrilled to slowly introduce formula again and not have any projectile vomit! It has seriously been the most tiring week and I’m so glad it’s almost finished. Today I return to work and the babies to daycare, leaving behind a massive pile of puke-filled baby clothes and towels empty Pedialyte bottles and carpet that absolutely needs to be shampooed, but am grateful to have FINALLY turned a corner and have the babies act like themselves again! Praise God!
Now if we can just get them to sleep again – well, Brecken to sleep again… Parker never sleeps. Haha. …. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to sleep.
I once again thank God for whatever amazing genius invented the Owlet Baby Monitor! I was so scared watching his oxygen get lower and lower through the night and morning on his Owlet Baby Monitor.
This blog was originally published on Team Sumrall http://teamsumrall.