We had a scary week with our “Ev’y bear” (as Auntie Chey calls her) last week. She started to show signs of being sick Sunday. By Monday she was coughing constantly and I took her (and Shailo) to our pediatrician. And they sent us home saying Shailo needed his nebulizer but nothing much about Ever. To be honest, I left that day more worried about Shailo than Everly. I couldn’t have imagined how badly the next few days would be.
By Tuesday evening she was so ill she couldn’t keep food or drink down. By wednesday afternoon she was lethargic and hadn’t peed/pooped since the night before. I couldn’t get her to nurse or eat anything. At that point we knew it was time to take her to be seen. I drove to Urgent Care (to be honest, I just didn’t realize how bad she really was otherwise I would have gone straight to the hospital). They knew right away that she was dehydrated and that they’d be sending us to the ER. Before we left they tested her for RSV. It came back positive within minutes. We went to the ER and again she was seen immediately. In her case since she was dehydrated and her RSV was determined to be bronchiolitis- which is inflammation of her small airways, but they couldn’t tell by X-ray if she had pneumonia or not due to dehydration. It was confusing, but basically once she was hydrated we would either see her begin to get better (RSV) or worse (Pneumonia) and then in that case they would put her on antibiotics immediately.
We were driven by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. Her pulse ox levels were very low and they put her on oxygen immediately. They were frustrated the previous hospital hasn’t already done so.
I had a few surreal moments one in the ER and then again at the hospital, where I felt similar, terrible, almost physically painful feelings of fear like I felt when pregnant with our Eisley-girl. I feared we were losing our Ever-girl too. (Ted couldn’t be there with us, which looking back, I wish we could have just made it work because of how terrible it was. It was too complicated… our boys were also sick and we didn’t want to bring that into other families homes!)
Having already lived the nightmare of losing a child once, it was hard to visit similar fears. Like beyond hard. My words cant even express the fear. I had to buckle down and just ride it all out as each twist and turn came to us for Ever! I didn’t want her to sense my fear, so I would sing to her, hum or try to calm her with kisses and soothing words.One of the most difficult things to watch was when they had to put an IV in my baby. The poked, and poked, and poked. She was so dehydrated it was difficult to put an IV in. I held her down through the entire thing. They poked both feet, both arms, one hand… she was so stressed she her clench her jaw, stopped breathing and begin to shake. After everything settled down, and I had a few moments with her to myself. I just held her and cried. Everything inside of me wanted to flip out. My amazing hubby made me snap out of my panicked state. He told me I had to keep it together for Everly. Any other time, I would have probably flipped out at his comment, but this time I just knew he was right (and this was all on the phone).
Ted wasn’t able to be there with me at all. It was “only” all of 3 days but it felt like an eternity. It was terrible, and lonely and incredibly traumatic to be honest. I felt helpless and I knew that all I could do for Ever was to just hold her on my shoulder, the only position she would let me hold her due to her discomfort and tubes, etc. She never got used to the oxygen in her nose or the IV in her arm. They bothered her until the nurses took them out, honestly. Poor, sweet girl was SO stressed out of her mind during her stay in the hospital. The first night in the hospital, Everly was exhausted and would fall asleep only to be woken up and checked on every 30 min and then an hour. She was miserably tired. I even “snuck” into her bed once, just to get her to sleep quickly. I couldn’t sleep that night, mostly due to the situation. How can you sleep when your baby is lying so sick? And see that crib above? Everly wanted nothing to do with it.
After an another exhausting day of little sleep I told Ted on the phone that we couldn’t keep going at this rate. They had volunteers, every once and a while, pop in to see if they could sit with Everly. And occasionally I would say “yes” just so I could simply pee. Once time I actually left the room for a coffee. I couldn’t leave her long, knowing how stressed and confused she was already…I just couldn’t walk away.
Finally the second night, I told the nurse I was going to sleep in the bed with her. And they allowed it.
At that point, when I crawled into bed with her.. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to function the next day without just a few hours of sleep. She needed sleep and she could recover better. I just kept wondering how on earth can she recover when she was stressed more than she’d ever been in her life! How was that healthy for her?
And that night… Everly slept SO well. A total of 6 hours off and on, which Ted laughed at, but still it was more than the 2.5hrs the night before!
Sure enough, the next morning she woke rested, she had slept AND nursed throughout the night. She even took her meds without getting sick and had finally peed A LOT which was good sign! She sat up and played for that morning and was beginning to be like her happy, smiley self. By Friday morning, not even 48 hours later, she was able to get the oxygen off and the Pediatrician told us that afternoon she could go home if she was still on the “up and up”! She said since she was hydrated and no longer needed oxygen, she would likely heal better at home in her own enviroment. I agreed and we were SO ready to get home! I felt nervous leaving, but also felt like I knew the signs now to bring her back if need be.
Above is Ever about to leave the hospital! WOOHOO! The blood tests she had done also revealed she’s severly anemic. So we now give her drops twice daily in juice (or applesauce, etc) like it’s pictured above, until her iron levels are better. Chase had a similiar problem, so that I am not too worried about. Valentine’s Day (well, even still!) I had moment after moment of gratefulness. When you suddenly picture the worst case scenario happening (my mind always goes there since Eisley’s death) and then you end up doing so much better than imagined. I can’t even really express how incredible and amazing that is. I feel more aware and grateful for her more than ever before. Above picture: I was washing dishes with her in the bumbo, like our normal every day life, and it just hit me… SHE’S HERE AND SHE’S OKAY. I cried and picked her up and snuggled her the rest of the evening. In the back of my mind, I’m always afraid of losing another one of my precious babies. And last week really took me, took us, back to memories and places we’d rather not visit again. I am so thankful our sweet Ev’y Bear is still here with us, and thriving! And guess what? One week later and she is 100%. You would never guess she was so sick she was hospitalized just last week! And this little miss has her 1st birthday one week from today!
Two things truly resonated within me this week and I want to cling to them, in seasons of darkness and light:
1. I am a good momma. I’d give anything for them. I feel like God really spoke to my heart this last week and comforted and encouraged me along the way. I don’t want to sound vain, the truth is, I’ve never felt like a good mother. This last week was really interesting for my heart. I want to move forward in confidence in this. I am a good momma to my babies.
2. Good things DO happen to our family. We can’t live fatalistically anymore. I have struggled believing good things for our family lately. I feel like we’re drowning most of the time, so many losses and changes… and the beginning of this year has been incredibly painful and confusing already. I feel that part of the “we can do this” in me just gave up. I was tired of struggle, still am, but I feel energized again. We had a miscarriage already this year, I was “just” almost 7 weeks along. But the grief and pain, stirred up and new, has been so difficult to swallow. Then with Everly so sick I thought “what next?” and “This is our life.” Ted and I have both felt that after almost 5 years of struggle in grief after loss, and then everything in between, we’ve “guarded” our hearts from believing good things like we used to. Walls have gone up in many areas of our lives. Fear based and guarded to have a sense of “protection” and maybe to feel prepared for the next thing to go wrong.
We don’t want to live this way anymore. I don’t know what this looks like. But we’re just going to take it a day at a time. Believing and hoping for good and beautiful things for out family!