Monday, June 18, 2007

Jake's 1st Hospital Stay

I have a feeling it's going to be a long hard road for my 2 little beans. They have both been diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease and are currently suffering with pretty bad cases of bronchioltis. On Saturday, Jake had a fever, was having great difficulty breathing and was having retractions. For those of you not familiar with the term, it means that his chest wall was visibly sinking in with each breath. Frightening to see for the 1st time. So I called our pediatrician and he sent us off to the emergency room. After 4 hours of poking and prodding, taking vitals, breathing treatments, antibiotics, steroids, puking, and lots of crying, they decided to admit him because his oxygen saturation just wasn't what it should be. 3 more hours...then we get a room and settle in around 9PM. He is hooked up to oxygen and a monitor for his O2 levels, pulse and heartrate. He looks so pathetic. Aside from the noticeable bags under his eyes from not sleeping for several days, he was now hooked up to machines. I'll spare you the rest of the details and just say that we are waiting for our discharge papers so we can go home today.

So here I sit with Jake and Emma, who stayed with us last night because our dog, Max would not have been a suitable babysitter for her this morning while I was here with Jake. I am in a strange place right now; not sure how to describe it. The tears are coming as I write this and they are unexpected. From the very moment Jake wasn't breathing right, I think I went into a "mode", became detached from any emotions I might have had about what was happening. For 2 days, I was just here, doing what needed to be done, asking questions, changing diapers, feeding, holding and rocking my baby boy. But I wasn't feeling a whole lot. Only pity - for him, this tiny little creature who has been sick and had trouble breathing for most of his 13 weeks of life. There was one scenario that ran through my head more than once during these 3 days. The scenario in which I hadn't noticed Jake's chest caving in when I was changing him. The scenario in which he continued to be in distress all day and I was too wrapped up in yardwork and housework and feedings and changings to notice. The scenario in which I was so robotic about the things I needed to do that I didn't see the signs - or just plain ignored them. In this scenario, I put Jake down after his last feeding at 9 o'clock that night and he just stops breathing - but I never know.
The 1st time this ran through my head, I dismissed it, very practically, and repeated to myself, "but that's not what happened, so it's fine". But it isn't fine. I could have been so wrapped up in all the little shit that I didn't take the time to see what was right in front of my face, screaming at me. It could have turned out very differently, tragically.
But it didn't. And I thank God for that.
So as I sit here while Emma naps and the respiratory therapist gives Jake another breathing treatment, I feel grateful. Grateful for my doctor, who put me at ease and never made me feel like a crazy, overly-concerned mother; for the ER staff who took such great care of my little man when he was suffering; for all the nurses who took care of all of us while we have been here - they are truly angels of mercy. And I am gateful for my instincts and that I have the humility to listen to them when all logic speaks out against them.
It's hard to do, to listen carefully to your instincts when you know damn well that, if you are wrong, you could look very foolish. And I know now that I will never again be too proud to listen to that voice, screaming in my head, defying what seems logical, and to always act in the best interest of my precious little babies.
And I say to all my friends in blogland...when God gives us the gifts of motherhood, it comes with the additional gift of maternal instinct and the responsibility to use it and act upon it. So the next time you see a bump or a bruise you can't identify or a mark you don't recognize or a freckle that wasn't there the day before, don't ignore it. If it makes you feel anything at all could be wrong, call your doctors, make them listen and don't take any answers that don't put you completely at ease. You owe it to yourself and your childen.

We're going home now. I am happy, and worried, but relieved Jake is OK for now. I can't wait to get home so I can cry.


Anonymous said...

To My Precious Partner,

I want to thank you for your strength and certainly your wisdom and instincts. This has been a major episode in a drama/comedy series that will be very long running and I am in awe of you right now. You asked me on Saturday..."who do you think should stay with Jake at the hospital tonight". And although I wanted to, to somehow feel like his protector, I knew you were the better choice, and I was right.

So go home, try to get them to sleep, and just let it out...cry all you want, you deserve that luxury. Tonight, we'll have a celebratory cosmo to celebrate our family...all together again in our wonderful home.

I Love you,


K J and the kids said...

YEEEEEAAAAAAAA !! He's going home !
I am so glad. I don't know what that diagnoses is ? I'm wondering if that is what my Spencer has ? I need to write it down and ask my doctor.
How is Emma holding up ?

Maternal instinct is exactly right. I think it is an AMAZING power to hold.

You are a GREAT mother. You are GREAT MOTHERS ! What lucky kids you have.

Dee said...

OMG! How incredibly scary. Big hugs to you and your family. I hope the road gets smoother. We'll keep you in our prayers.

Kim said...

Oh how scary! I'm so sorry the lil guy as well as all of you had to go thru that. You'll all be in our thoughts and prayers.

kyky7079 said...

I'm sorry to hear that little Jake has been struggling, and that both babies have had respiratory difficulty. I am also in Awe of maternal instinct - both when I see it in action and when I experience it myself. Thanks for the reminder, becuase I had begun to lapse back into "robotic" life myself.

ECand3 said...

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers - they will surely help.
KJ - no pix. In the chaos, it was forgotten when we came home to pack a few things for the stay when we found out he was going to be admitted.

My Beloved - thank you for your support and loving kindness and for taking care of everything and everyone else - I know it wasn't easy.
I am home now and look forward to a quiet, or noisy, night with my whole family in our wonderful home.

ajs4ever said...

WOW! What a difficult time! You are a truly amazing person! Keep listening to that inner voice and know that no question or concern is too small when it comes to your little ones! I'm so glad Jake is doing better! I hope you have a peaceful night with your whole family!!


amy said...

so so scary! i just wanted to send you and your family healing thoughts, patience, and strength.

hotomiky said...

I'm so glad that jake is ok...

It brings my memories back of what had happened to Mikaela when she was 13/14 weeks old.... umm... will send u email sometime this week or next week...

Your great mother!! Always follow your Maternal instincts!!