Chloe has been sick for all of February and then some. We were at a friend’s house late on the last Saturday of January and when we loaded our sleeping baby into our cold car, she wasn’t a happy camper and started crying. It was this horrible screechy cry that turned into a sort of barking cough. The next morning she woke up congested and cranky. She spent the week dealing with her cold and by Friday night she was not happy no matter what we did. We put her to bed early, but she got us up often. The next morning, she was still unhappy no matter what we did for her, so we took her in to Urgent Care. She had another double ear infection. We were hopeful that after a couple days of amoxycillin she’d be feeling better.
Not so fast…. She just seemed to feel crummier as the week went on. Her cough got worse and she just wasn’t a happy camper. Friday morning she woke up with a wheeze, so I took her in to the doctor again. She was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis and we were sent home with a nebulizer to give her albuterol treatments. She screamed through her entire first treatment, and put up a bit of a fight for her second treatment, but by the third she just hung out and cuddled while we gave her the treatment. Again, we thought she’d be feeling better in no time.
But Sunday morning our poor little girl woke up feeling just miserable. We usually cuddle first thing in the morning while she wakes up, and instead of waking up, she fell back asleep on my chest. When she woke up again, she sat next to dad to cuddle and fell asleep again – sitting up.
The whole morning went like that. No matter what we did, the poor kid couldn’t stay awake. She loves to stand on the couch and look out the window. But she just didn’t have the energy for it.
She hadn’t eaten any solid foods since Friday morning and she was down to about 16 oz. of breastmilk a day instead of 22 oz. Monday at daycare she threw up all over the table at snacktime, so we headed back to the doctor that afternoon. Since she’d had a low fever for a few days, the doctor decided to get a urine sample (which meant a catheter for my poor baby!!) and a blood sample to test for infection and see how dehydrated she was. The tests didn’t indicate an infection, but the doctor did think she was dehydrated enough that she needed to be admitted to the hospital to get IV fluids.
So we hurried up and waited over at the hospital for her IV. We got there at about 5:30. It was 6:30 before we’d gotten through the whole admission process and 7:30 before they attempted to put an IV in. There were 2 nurses on the Pediatric floor that night. They each tried, and failed, to get an IV in her foot. At 8:00 we were back in her room, she had gauze and Bugs Bunny band-aids on both feet and she was asleep in my arms. The nurses called the NICU and EMT’s to try to get someone up to help get her IV in, but they weren’t available right away, so we waited. At 9:15 the nurse came in and told us that an EMT was on his way up, but they were going to get another baby’s IV in first, but we should only have to wait another 15-20 minutes. We could tell she needed a diaper change, so after 15 minutes I woke her up and changed her, thinking we’d be headed in to get her IV soon and she’d be better off if she started out awake. So we waited and she was happy for about 15 minutes, but then wanted to go back to sleep – understandably so, because it was almost 2 hours past her bedtime!! When the nurse finally came to get us a few minutes after 10:30, Chloe Mae had been back to sleep for about 45 minutes and was not happy to be laid down on a table, with bright lights shining in her face while she was poked, prodded and finally stuck with a needle. Finally, 5 hours after getting to the hospital, Chloe had an IV.
We finally got her calmed down and asleep, but the night that followed was rough. With mom squished into the crib with her to cuddle her, the nurse came in and decided that she absolutely had to replace Chloe’s ID bracelet RIGHT NOW that had been removed 4 hours earlier when they’d first tried the IV. Apparently that couldn’t have waited until a half hour later (shortly after we’d gotten her calmed down again and back to sleep) when the same nurse came in to check her vitals, again waking up our poor sleeping baby. The same type of thing seemed to happen all night long, with the nurse coming in the room to check her temperature, then back in another half hour the listen to her breathe or ask us a question.*
Immediately after getting her IV, Chloe was given a bolus of fluid, followed by maintenance fluids for a few hours. When she still hadn’t had a wet diaper after a few hours, she was given another bolus. She remained on maintenance fluids until about 9AM when the doctor turned down the levels to see if Chloe’s appetite would pick up. The doctor also ordered a chest x-ray at that time, because Chloe’s fever had gone up overnight and the doctor just wanted to further rule out infection. We finally got the results of that at about 2PM – it was clear – so they started the discharge process.
Chloe’s 9-month check-up was already scheduled for this Friday, so we’ll be headed back to the doctor then to see how she’s doing. Until then, we’re monitoring her every move to make sure nothing gets worse. If her fever gets too high, she starts eating less or sleeping more we have to call the doctor. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about any of that and she’ll be back to her cute, smiley, happy self soon!!
*It was very frustrating that we were there for 5 hours before Chloe got her IV, partially due to staffing issues, and then we got almost no sleep, because the nurse seemed to be making unnecessary trips into the room. We were told the nurses round every hour during the day and every 2 hours at night, but not an hour went by that the nurse wasn’t in for something and it seemed to me like she could have been a lot more efficient and combined a few of her overnight interruptions. However, that said, I certainly appreciate the hard work of the nurses who took care of us, but it was just a very frustrating experience in an already stressful situation.