Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Times When I am Grateful to Be Home: When We Have a Sick Baby

I guess you could argue that this never would have happened on the boat, and I would probably be inclined to agree with you (we never got sick with colds and/or flu when cruising), but when I noticed our sweet Mira's neck swelling unusually - on a Sunday afternoon no less - I was really grateful for a society with 'doctors' on call' and a state of the art hospital.

Let me back up a little...

Mira and Haven suffered their first colds two weeks ago. Sick twins who cannot breath out of their noses and have yet to master mouth-breathing is the tenth circle of hell; it's not the end of the world, not by a long shot, but it guarantees sleepless nights, super cranky babies and lots and lots of middle of the night snot sucking compliments of the Nosefrida (moms of babies - you need this thing!). Anywho... Haven's cold came and went over the course of a week or so and while Mira's seemed to do the same, her demeanor indicated otherwise. Our usually happy, mellow and chilled-out baby was fussy, cranky, and wanted nothing more than to be held. Something was up. We kept chalking it up to teething and remnants of the cold, but day after day she seemed to get worse and not better. She would wince in pain when we picked her up or put her down, and her default mood was fussy instead of happy. My instincts told me something was very wrong, and it was something I couldn't see. I took her to the pediatrician suspecting an ear infection. Nada. He gave her the once over, and even though she was wailing in pain while he examined her (which, I noted to him, was very unusual for Mira who is not a crier), he sent us home. I waited another day or two knowing something was amiss. A UTI? A broken rib? Something she ingested wreaking havoc? Knowing that something was hurting our sweet baby and not knowing what it was exactly was killing me.

This past Sunday she took a turn for the worse, I could not put her down and all she wanted to do was sleep. Typically, a baby who sleeps all day is a dream... but for Mira? This was very unusual and cause for concern. I had no sooner made the decision to take her back to the doctor on Monday when she lifted her sad little head up from my chest and I noticed that her neck, right below her ear, was significantly swollen and puffy. Knowing that's where the lymph nodes reside, I immediately called the emergency line for our pediatrician. I told the on-call doctor our history and what I saw, and she sent me to the pediatric ER here in our town.

Poor swollen baby :(
We've been here ever since. Mira had/has a sizable abscess on her lymph node and needed to have it drained in the operating room and receive a hefty dose of intravenous antibiotics. She is now on the mend and doing well, but we have to remain here for monitoring and more tests.

Lots of cuddle time
Those of you who follow our Facebook Page know all about this little ordeal (thank you so much for the outpouring of love, prayers and well-wishes, it means a lot), but I wanted to write about it here because a) that's
what I do and b) I have been in a hospital room with only one child for over seventy-two hours and I can only watch so much television. (I mean, after being a stay at home mom of three where I literally don't sit down for more than five minutes before 7pm, believe it or not, this feels more like a spa than a hospital.)

Thankfully, due to draining, antibiotics, and some great doctors and nurses Mira is (rather quickly) returning to her happy, mellow little self. She has been *such* a trooper and has hardly complained at all despite being hooked up to IV's and beeping machines and being confined either to my arms or a crib that looks more like a baby jail. She is winning hearts left and right around here with her smiley eyes and flirty grin, and - hopefully - we will be going home soon. While holding my baby while an IV was inserted into her chubby little hand, positioning her writhing body so blood could be drawn, and having her taken from me while she went into surgery will go down as a few of the hardest things I have done, I can say it is a huge relief to finally have some answers for what was wrong with her. There is nothing worse than the lack of a diagnosis for a child you just know is not right.

This whole episode - and the shockingly abundant down time that has come with it - got me thinking. Namely that a) I am very grateful we were here when this happened and that b) nothing, absolutely nothing, puts the world in perspective quite like having a sick child. Everything else is just noise and you'd give up everything and anything you possibly could to ensure your little one's health. That's a whole new level of prioritizing for me.

With challenge, comes growth.

On the mend and smiling again. Cannot tell you how happy I was to see this smile!
Sleeping angel.
Look mom! I'm in baby jail!


MaƱana said...

So very happy she is on the mend! I agree, there is NOTHING more frustrating and scary than knowing there is something wrong, and not being able to figure out what. Having spent time in the hospital with both our children, I feel your pain! It certainly does remind us of what is really important! I was always relived that we were there for something that could be dealt with, and so incredibly sad for those who there for much more serious and difficult reasons :( Sending best wishes to you all... said...

Wow! So glad she is recovering. Quite an ordeal. Looking forward to meeting you all in the BVI. We are returning to our boat Megerin at Nanny Cay Dec. 30th.
Sandy & Ray McCoy

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