Friday, February 19, 2010

RSV and our NICU stay

I am so happy to report that our little one is doing fine, but we did have a stay in the NICU this week.

Last Thursday I noticed Drudoc coughed when I picked him up out of his crib. I didn't think much of it until the coughs kept coming. By Friday afternoon we found ourselves in the Pediatric urgent care. The attending doctor said that he did not have whooping cough nor pneumonia but just a cold. She indicated that it should last 7 days with it peaking its worst by day 3 or 4. She said we could take him up north for the weekend and that she wasn't going to give us a nebulizer, she thought he'd be just fine.

Saturday morning came and we were supposed to head to Sonoma County, but just as I was loading him into his car seat he vomited all over himself, me, and the carseat. I decided that this little boy needed to be home to have the best chance of overcoming this cold. So Berilac went ahead without us.

Saturday evening I called Berilac and asked him to drive home (an hour and a half drive) because poor little Drudoc had been coughing without stopping for nearly 30 minutes. I couldn't find a comfortable position for him ... he was starting to vomit up every other meal and coughing is what was triggering that. I needed to help him stay upright in order NOT to gag and vomit his food ... but he's so heavy, I couldn't see myself holding him upright all night long.

Sunday things seemed to stay the same, along with Monday during the day.

But by Monday late night/early morning I noticed that Drudoc was laboring to breath. His respiratory rate was 65-75. The on-call nurse asked us to bring him in immediately. We took him to Pediatric urgent care, when we arrived they took his oxygen levels and his sat level was between low 80's to low 90's. The attending Pediatrician told us that they would need to admit him to the NICU. They took a nose swab because NICU was not currently taking flu infected infants. We waited in an observation room with poor little Drudoc getting oxygen and trying to breath through his incredible congestion. My heart was breaking as I'd never seen Drudoc cry so much ... he really didn't like the cannula or the oxygen monitor at all. When the swab results came back negative (for RSV or flu) they sent an ambulance to transport us to the hospital.

We arrived to the NICU on Tuesday morning before noon. Nurse Lilly encouraged us to get some lunch while she took samples for some tests they needed to take - a couple of blood tests and a few swabs, as well as an X-Ray. Berilac and I went down to the hospital cafeteria and I sobbed through my turkey burger. The nurses and Berilac were trying to encourage me that I didn't do anything to cause this, but I wasn't concerned about being a bad mom or doing something wrong - I am very confident in how much precaution I take with the safety of my son - rather, I was crying because I was scared I was going to lose my son. When you've lost 4 babies ... you more easily find the possibility of losing another.

When we were back from lunch the blood results had come back and they were all normal. Drudoc was hydrated and didn't need an IV, nor did he have an infection - so he didn't need antibiotics. The swabs came back negative for flu A and flu B as well as for the H1N1 ... but it came back positive for RSV. Evidently, the original swab was not as specific as the NICU swab. Now the staff knew that their role in our case was just to support him as he recovered from the virus ... "time is the tincture" was their saying. They really only needed to suction his mucus (nearly every other hour) and provide him a low level of oxygen. They told us that compared to the many cases they see in their level 1 NICU, Drudoc's was a mild case. Severe enough to be hospitalized, but mild compared to most they've seen.

Berilac and I spent the evening there - we left around 12:30A that night. We went home and tried to get some rest. The staff kept encouraging us to take advantage of this time, with our son being under some amazing care.

The next morning, I thought I felt a sore throat upon waking up. I headed down to the hospital to breastfeed Drudoc, while I was there, I mentioned my possible sore throat and the staff asked me not to come back if I think it was a real sore throat (and not just a dry throat from sleeping with my mouth open). I went home and took a nap. To be safe, Berilac headed to the hospital without me that evening after work to care for and feed our little one (all the while I was pumping and providing my breastmilk for Drudoc to consume) ... my heart was breaking as I sat at home missing my boys.

This morning, both Berilac and I woke up with sore throats! We called the NICU and they asked us to bring down the milk, but to avoid spending time with Drudoc, so I pumped and headed down. When I arrived I was fortunate enough to catch the doctor after her rounds. She indicated that Drudoc had gone nearly 24 hours without oxygen support and he hadn't needed to be suctioned since last night. She told me I could take home my little one that afternoon.

Even though it was a short stay, and things weren't as dangerous as they could have been, I was so grateful; I went out and bought supplies to make a thank you gift basket for the staff. They took such good care of our little boy, and he's doing so much better thanks to God's healing and their gentle care.

I'm so happy to report that Drudoc arrived home late this afternoon and is now sleeping peacefully in his room. We are sequestering him there until his well baby visit on 2/24. No visitors, lots of handwashing, and lots more prayers.

I'd like to thank all of my friends and family who prayed for us over these past couple of days - we are so grateful for your love and support. And thank you Lord for keeping our little boy safe.