Two ERs and a PICU

Parenting is full of adventures.

As if adventures weren’t enough to keep you on your toes, life throws in a little something extra.  Not only do you get good, happy adventures, but you along with those you get a side of big bad scary adventures.

How’s that for keeping it real?

The Hubs and I got our first dose of the big bad scary variety last week.

In less than seven days, we had two emergency room visits, and one 2.5 day stay in the hospital (pediatric intensive care unit.)

The good news is, we made it out with ONE happy baby girl.

Phew.

Long story…

Last Tuesday I noticed that our Aria was feeling pretty warm.  She’s been pretty warm since birth, and we keep our house at about 80/82 during the day, so I really didn’t think it meant a fever… But I’ve been a pretty anal new Mum anyways, and check her temp whenever I feel the warmth is more than it should be.  That day when I took it (rectally) she popped a 100.4.  Her pediatrician told us that until she’s 3 months old, we need to call if she hits 100.5.

So we spent the day keeping her in just a diaper (we usually do this at home anyways since it’s so warm in our house) and wiping her with cool cloths.  Sure enough, the temp came down.  Later that night though, she got as high as 100.6.  Pediatrician was called, and we were advised to take her to the emergency room.

Although I was terrified, I truly thought we would get there and be told that she didn’t have a fever and was fine.

Alas, she did.

The scariest moment of my life was when the doctor came into the room, asked us if the pediatrician had told us what the protocol is for high temps in tiny babes (ours hadn’t) and proceeded to go and close the exam room door.  That’s when you know the bad news is coming.  It’s in the movies like that.  Well, let me tell you, doctors really do that, and it’s freaky.

The deal was, tiny babies have like zero immune system and if they catch even a small infection, it can wreak havoc in very short amounts of time.  So the protocol across all medical rulings is to run a full sepsis evaluation and admit to the hospital while waiting for the tests to come back (2-3 days.)

So even though we had an otherwise seemingly healthy baby (she was acting normal, just the fever, and she looked a little flushed/had glassy eyes), she was about to undergo a lot of tests and pokes…including a lumbar puncture.

Let me just say, this little girl is just about the strongest person I’ve ever known.  She underwent all the tests without us in the room (we had to be down the hall) and although she screamed (we heard it all, and it was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever felt) the nurses commended her on calming down immediately after each procedure.  When we were let back in, our girl got right into her Momma’s arms, and I just knew that she felt safe and comforted.  She went right to the boob, and forgot all about the nasty procedures.

The only thing that didn’t go as they planned was her IV.  Unfortunately, they did all of the other pokes first, and saved the IV for last.  This meant that every time they went to insert the IV, she would tense up (from all the previous trauma) and her veins would tighten.  Three nurses tried to get that IV in on both hands, both arms, both feet and two different spots on her head – with no luck.  So instead, she got two shots of antibiotics in her legs.

After that, we were transferred (via ambulance – I got to ride with her, strapped to the gurney with a baby sleeping in my arms) to the closest hospital that had a pediatric bed available.

We spent the next few days in the hospital.  I spent the whole time worried that there really was something wrong – first time parent syndrome.  Luckily, every single time a nurse or doctor would come in to check her (at least every 4 hours) I felt a little bit better.  Her fever had broken, and she was looking so much better by just the next morning.

After two days we got the word that her cultures came back negative, and later that morning we took the bravest, most perfect little girl home.

The first thing The Hubs did was bathe her and get her back in cloth diapers (she was in sposies while we were admitted so that they could accurately weigh her diaper output.)  We both decided during this stay that we hate disposables.

So a sad, scary story turned out to be not so bad.  We couldn’t have been more relieved!

Now, time for the second ER visit…

This one isn’t as much of a story, but worth mentioning.

This Monday we had a small scare when Aria started making a strange noise (called stridor – google it.)  We took her to the pedi who didn’t get to hear it (darn mysterious noises that hide from doctors) and wasn’t concerned at all when we explained the noise.

When the noise started back up once arriving home, we decided to take her to the ER.  Alas, after two hours there, she couldn’t reproduce the sound…and the doc felt comfortable sending us home.  We had strict orders to stay alert and call if something changed.  Other than the noise, she was completely normal, smiley, giggly…and all their monitoring/tests weren’t showing a problem at all.

Thankfully, since coming home she’s been fine.

We either think that she had a reaction to dust in the air (I had just vacuumed when this started) or it is a result of potentially having reflux.  She’s had pretty much every symptom for reflux over the last few weeks, so I’m thinking that it might really be that…we’ll discuss with her pedi at her 2 month appt and hopefully get some advice.

I am SO happy that both adventures turned out for the best.  Both times I was scared out of my wits.  But we are extremely lucky, and very thankful for happy endings.

I’ve been very clear with Aria though – no more getting admitted to the hospital until she’s having her OWN baby.

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8 thoughts on “Two ERs and a PICU

  1. Poor mommy and daddy and baby Aria! Hopefully no more hospital visits till she has her own baby 🙂

    • I agree, Cara. That beautiful doll has some lovely outfits that need to be recorded here, because she’s growing so fast… she wears them once and then *poof* …next!
      I also agree with Jaye; the most scary event that I can remember for a very very long time. And through it all, Ariadne was a trooper.

  2. I started tearing up when I read “lumbar puncture”. Poor Aria. Poor you. Poor Fay family!!! I am so so SO glad to hear Aria is well now. You had me so worried the couple times you mentioned the ER over the last couple days. *hugs*

  3. I hated reading this 😦 Im so not looking forward to this kind of stuff.. Im glad your all doing well though! And I agree with the above statement – more pictures please!

  4. So glad everything turned out okay! Poor baby girl went through so much, but I’m sure she forgot all about it as soon as she was wrapped up in your arms and/or feeding. I hope she stays well!

  5. Oh love, I’m so sorry! E had a temp at 2 months, but it only got us a cathedor and blood cultures first, before moving to the Lumbar puncture (thankfully we didn’t have to go that route). So glad she’s feeling better!!

  6. This is just HORRIBLE!

    My husband is a pediatric nurse in the ER and he HATES when little ones show up with fevers – he know they’re going to have to start poking and running tests. 😦

    I’m glad that she’s doing so much better!!!!!

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