About a week and a half ago, Will started running a low-grade fever and was a little grumpy. He didn’t seem to have any other symptoms, so I gave him some Tylenol and kept an eye on it for a couple of days. Then he started coughing and sniffling and a couple of times he coughed so hard I thought he was going to throw up. Finally, I called his pediatrician and she had us come in, where she told us he had bilateral ear infections and croup. Sometimes you think you are being the cool, experienced mom who doesn’t call the doctor every time her kids sniffles. But really you are being a deadbeat mom who doesn’t call the doctor when her kid has an ear infection and croup. Whoops.
Shortly thereafter, Bridget started sniffling and struggling to breathe through her nose when nursing. I was worried about her catching what Will had, but she had no fever and no other symptoms so I mostly just salined and NoseFrieda-ed and sat in the bathroom with the hot shower running to help clear her out. However, things soon moved into her chest and she developed that barking seal cough. Hearing a tiny baby cough like that is pitiful.
We’d planned to take the kids to the aquarium Saturday morning and Will was very excited to “see bish!” I was nursing Bridget one last time before we packed it up and she launched into a coughing fit that she just could not seem to stop, gasping for breath, her red-rimmed eyes watering and bulging out. I called the pediatrician (even though I’ve called them approximately 73 times in the last two weeks) and they told me to bring Bridget right in. Poor Will- just kidding little man, we’re going to the doctor instead. Get excited!
The pediatrician was confident that Bridget had RSV, and told us to take her straight to the ER at the children’s hospital. (Mid-appointment moment of levity: As the doctor was examining Bridget and she was wailing, Will got super upset and slapped the doctor’s leg, shrieking, “NO HURT BRIDGIE!” While I would discourage him from hitting people, especially his doctor, it was adorable to see him “protecting” his little sister.)
My parents met us at the hospital to collect Will and kept him all weekend for us. We spent most of the day in the ER, where Bridget received a couple of albuterol treatments to no avail, and was then put on supplemental oxygen since her levels kept dropping below 90, the threshold for acceptable. Seeing your little one with tubes up her nose and wires dangling from her body is heartbreaking.
Around dinnertime, her levels stabilized but we were admitted anyway because they require 24 hours of monitoring after receiving oxygen. Bridget was a champ, slept like a dream in the hospital despite the incessant checking of vitals, and made it all night without requiring supplemental oxygen. We still had to hang out all day Sunday though, and were finally discharged around dinner time. When her nurse unhooked all her wires and tubes and set her free, Bridget gave her a huge smile.
I’m so grateful to have my little girl home and on the mend!
Everyone is still sniffly and congested, but we were confident we’d turned the corner and were wrapping up this sojourn to Sickville. Until we found Will covered in dried vomit in his crib this morning. Poor thing had no idea what happened. “Doodle [the dog] pooped in Will’s bed!” he told us. Um, no. But good guess. So we are apparently not out of the woods yet. Bridget’s baptism is this weekend, so I’m hoping and praying the plague decides to depart before then!