The Worst Mothers Day Ever
Happy Belated Mothers Day. We happened to have some really great news yesterday.. A not only has an ear infection, but a throat infection too! Yeah, little A hasn't been feeling well for the past few days so we spent the first part of Mothers Day at an (incredibly busy) hospital seeing the emergency GP trying to find out what's actually wrong with him, along with lots of other poorly babies.
Thankfully, he's well in himself, still running around like a madman, so we were prescribed antibiotics (banana medicine, woo!) and just about managed to make our celebratory meal on time.
They say to alternate calpol and nurofen every few hours when you have a sick baby. Well, throw that advice out of the window, just give them a helium balloon. As we speak, Archie can barely see through the gunge in his eyes, and he periodically slips on the multitude of snot running from his nose, but he's happy as larry and practically jogging around our living room chasing a 'Special Mum' balloon (that he doesn't realise is actually attached to the back of his shirt).
I woke up to the sound of Archie breathing pretty fast (he was asleep in the cot at the end of our bed). This had happened a couple of months previously and it was due to his temperature becoming very high so I whipped him out, but he felt cold. He started to cry and I asked Mr J to get him some Nurofen as he clearly wasn't well and I immediately called the emergency line.
When Mr J returned, A refused his medicine and started to cough but it was as if he couldn't get to the end of his cough, and he started to choke on what we assumed was mucus. At this point, I was on the line and told them that he couldn't breathe and she told me she would send an ambulance.
After what felt like an eternity, Mr J was able to get A to be sick (by patting his back and holding his arms above his head) and we noticed he'd thrown up a partly digested raisin. I assume the coughing had caused him to bring it up from his stomach (he'd eaten raisins the day before) and it had become lodged in his throat.
He immediately cried and was severely shaking and stiff; his lips were blue; he wouldn't move and I noticed his feet were cold. All I remembered was previously hearing a paramedic say that it was a bad sign when a little one's feet or hands were cold, so I was in a real state of panic.
Minutes later, we saw blue sirens and I ran outside to greet the ambulance; I remember being barefoot standing at the end of our drive waving them over and feeling as if every second was lasting at least 5 minutes, I was petrified for my baby boy.
Two lovely ladies came in and by that point, I was quite hysterical. They told me that the crying was a very good sign and they took A's temperature, which was only 37.8. A high temp, but not dangerously high, we expected him to be in the beginnings of a febrile seizure but that wasn't the case, so what was it?
They asked to hold him and asked me if he sounded as if he was in pain; I said that he didn't, he just sounded extremely distressed. They said we were going to have to go to the hospital and to grab anything we might need, bottles etc.
It's an impossible task to think when your mind is full of the worst fears imaginable. I ran to find socks as I was barefoot, but couldn't find anything, so I grabbed A a top and bottoms and raced downtairs after them and we got into the ambulance.
They told me to sit on the bed and hold A and they attached him to the heart monitor and gave me an oxygen mask to cover his mouth. I remember the paramedic saying that his heart rate was abnormally fast and seeing 200 and something flashing on the screen. He was still shaking and crying at this point. Finally, something kicked in, my panic (slightly) subsided and I knew that I needed to be strong for Archie, my fear was his fear, so I started to talk to him. I told him that everything was going to be ok, that I wasn't going to leave him and that he was being brave.
All I can remember whilst saying those words is the paramedic pressing her finger onto his foot and the white fingerprint staying there for so long, I know it's a bad sign when it doesn't return to normal colour quickly, but I put everything to the back of my mind and concentrated on calming him down.
They told Mr J to drive behind the ambulance and said the sirens would be on, I kept talking to A and cuddling him and he eventually started to calm down but was still shaking violently, his heart rate started to lower.
We arrived at the hospital and I carried him into a room with lots of doctors and nurses waiting. I laid A on a bed and they started to attach him to the monitor and give him more oxygen. They removed his vest and took his temperature which was now above 40° - dangerously high. They were all fantastic and did a series of tests such as the heel-prick test, taking bloods and chest x-rays.
It was all a complete blur at this point and unfortunately I started to feel nauseous and faint and had to quickly drink some sugar-water, I think I was crashing after the adrenalin. I remember them weighing A and talking to us and after a little while, Archie had calmed down and people started to leave and we saw the paedatrician.
He told us he thought Archie was fighting a really nasty flu-like infection. In a way we were scared, but relieved it wasn't something more serious, such as meningitis. He said that they wanted to keep him in overnight to keep an eye on him, but as long as his temperature decreased, and his condition didn't worsen, he'd be ok.
We were moved to a ward and thankfully the worst of it was over, A was just very very tired and finally fell asleep in the cot. I stayed with him (and slept for a grand total of 30 mins) and Mr J had to go home, but returned a couple hours later with some clothes for us.
Archie was walking around the corridor of the children's unit, stealing toys from the ward opposite and charming the pants off of every nurse and doctor that walked past. I could've cried with relief when he woke up, he seemed like himself again. A doctor came round and checked him over, said his x-rays and bloods were clear and that he'd suffered something similar to a seizure from a fast-rising temperature. She said the shaking he experienced was his body's way of trying to cool down, but that we could take him home.
He's still very unwell, and very up & down, upset and sick, but he's one hundred times better than how he was last night. I'm just praying now for a drama-free night and for A to get better as soon as possible.
I wanted to write this to share with others how quickly things can change and health can hit a decline, especially a baby's health. I've never experienced as much fear and blind panic in my life as I did on Mothers Day night. I even asked my brother to watch over him and begged him to let A stay with me. I cried alot, I almost fainted and felt physically sick seeing my son in that way. Life is short and we should feel grateful for every minute of it.
To Mummy's & Daddy's, always use your instinct. I'm usually wary of calling the doctors as I've been told I 'over-react' or 'he'll be fine' etc. I have no idea how I knew so fast, but I called the emergency line immediately, knowing that something was really wrong even though he didn't appear to be too bad at first.
I'm still on edge and I imagine tonight will be one of the worst in a while, now I know I could fall asleep to a perfectly healthy boy and wake up to a very sick one. I'm praying the antibiotics help and that he doesn't go downhill again. Above all else, I will fight until my last breathe to do anything I can to keep him safe, and as a parent, that's all we can do.
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