Saturday, April 13, 2013

Not getting better

So, this all started on a Friday afternoon, when I took Christian into the ER.  Jake went home to spend the night at home with the girls and I stayed at the hospital with the baby.  I didn't get much sleep, and the baby was pretty much doing the same.

I started getting worried after talking to a friend about how RSV can get really bad really fast.  I hadn't ever experienced a child with RSV before, so I didn't know how bad it got at all, especially on a baby so small.  I had my dad come to the hospital and give me a father's blessing on Saturday night, which was so comforting.  I think that blessing, along with all the prayers of others, is what got me through this whole experience.  After my dad gave me the blessing, he told me that he KNEW Christian would recover from the RSV because it was confirmed to him in that blessing.  We cried and I felt relieved.

(Hooked up to all of the monitors)

The oxygen alone wasn't doing much to help anymore and so they switched him to a blender, which is oxygen blended with forced air.  I talked to a nurse and told her about my concerns.  She assured me that he was doing just fine and that I didn't need to worry too much.  But an hour or two later, people showed up with an x-ray machine to take x-rays of the baby's chest and to take blood samples.  No one told me why they were doing this and I started getting frustrated.  The x-rays once again showed that he probably had pneumonia and they started him on an antibiotic right away.  

That night, he seemed to improve and I felt relieved on Sunday morning to see improvement.  I thought we were on the road to recovery.  But shortly after, his oxygen levels were dropping again.  The Respiratory Therapist (RT) decided to put him on Hi-Flow, which is heated/moist air mixed with oxygen in the nasal cannula.  By Sunday night, he was still not improving.  I asked the RT what he thought since this was his area of expertise and he said the baby wasn't improving like he'd like to see.  I felt like no one was telling us what was going on and was really, really frustrated.  I felt like I didn't really know what was happening with my own baby.  So I started asking a lot of questions.  I just wanted people to be honest with me about how my baby was doing.

He looks so tired here :(

The Hi-Flow wasn't working like they'd hoped it would, so they moved us to the ICU to be put on the CPAP machine, which was the last thing they could do before transferring him to Primary Children's Medical Center.  Just transferring him over to the ICU (Valley View Medical Center doesn't have a NICU), his oxygen levels dropped so low and it was taking him longer and longer to recover when his levels dropped.  It was scary and I was starting to get really nervous about what was happening with my baby.  They were constantly suctioning his sinuses to help clear his airways.  And his stomach was getting big because of all the oxygen he was on (at this point, I think he was on 80% oxygen, which is really high).

When Dr. Newbold drove into town that night (Sunday night), he came straight to the hospital to see Christian.  His retractions were pretty bad at this point and I was scared that he was working so hard to breathe.  I felt like it was only a matter of time before it became too hard for him to breathe and he'd give up because he was too tired.  Dr. Newbold had an NG tube put into Christian (goes into the stomach) to help relieve some of the pressure of the oxygen that had built up in his stomach.  I had to stop breast feeding at this point so that Christian wouldn't aspirate on the breast milk.

Sunday night was horrible.  The baby's oxygen levels kept dropping and, like I said before, it took longer and longer for him to recover.  We had to blow oxygen right into his face when his levels would drop.  I hadn't had much sleep the previous two nights and I wasn't getting any sleep again, which was definitely wearing me down.  I felt like it was time for Christian to be transferred to Primary's.  The CPAP wasn't helping at all.  Christian's heart rate would get so high and his oxygen levels would get so low.  I couldn't stop crying.  It wasn't good.  One lady came to draw his blood and I told her she'd have to wait.  He had just recovered from one of his many episodes (being suctioned, crying, oxygen levels dropping, struggling to breathe, blowing oxygen into his face), I knew all his poor little body needed was rest and he definitely wasn't getting it.  She seemed annoyed but I didn't even care.  I finally had to step in and protect my child.  He couldn't keep doing this same cycle for much longer.

By the time the nurses were changing shifts in the morning, I was a basket case.  I will forever love the nurse that came on that morning.  Marjean Carter.  I know her daughter and so she knew who I was.  She asked me what I thought needed to happen.  I told her that I didn't know, I'm not a nurse or a doctor.  She looked at me and said, "No, you do know.  I believe in Mother's Intuition.  What do YOU think needs to happen."  I told her I thought he needed to be transferred to Primary's right away.  She said, "Okay" and turned around to make the phone call to the doctor.  The relief I felt at that moment was so immense.  I KNEW that's where Christian needed to be.


Sheena said...

What a powerful story... I am so sorry you had to go through that. I hate when the nurses and doctors know the condition of the baby and don't inform the family. I am so glad you had a nurse that listen to your feelings. Im anxious to hear the rest of the story even thought I know the ending.. Love you and hope everything goes well with his surgery!

Deirdra said...

Oh Michelle! What an ordeal. I am glad he got the care he needed. To see your own little one suffer and to feel so helpless is the worst feeling in the world! Prayers for your family with his upcoming surgery.