However, what I didn't expect to do was practically fall asleep on the edge of her pack'n'play listening to the sound of her breathing and purposely stimulating her reflex to make sure she's still ok.
I'm already learning what her different cries mean and about the time when things will happen (like a steamy diaper an hour after eating), which is why when she let out a blood-curdling scream Friday around 12:30 pm I knew that something was wrong.
She was running a slight fever, wasn't going down for her usual naps, and seemed to be in pain when any kind of pressure was placed on her tummy. My mom and I had even mentioned that her belly seemed really big lately and I had noticed that she seemed extra gassy. She's a pretty easy baby usually so this type of behavior was not normal.
We called the doctor and he fit us in within an hour. After examining her he suggested that we head to the ER since she is so young. That is when I started to get more and more nervous. We headed straight there with me crying the whole way there while sitting in the backseat with her. I ran through a whole range of emotions most of which revolved around the fear that I had done something wrong that resulted in her getting sick.
While in the ER she continued to cry inconsolably. We were seen by an intern first who didn't seem too worried. Then, the doctor on duty (whom we had actually met before, thank goodness) came in and just observed her while asking us a few questions. Right away he told us that he was going to admit her for testing because she was not acting like a healthy baby.
Doesn't that little gown just rip your heart out?
The doctor ordered blood work and a spinal tap. The spinal tap sent me over the edge. I called my mom, who was in the waiting room, and asked for my dad to come in. They weren't going to let him come back at first but I pushed her to have him tell them he was my pastor (which is the truth). That worked.
I was so scared for our girl. They tested for bacteria in the blood and meningitis. Both cultures had to sit for 48 hours before anything could be determined. X-rays of her chest came back normal, but her belly was VERY distended and full of gas. She was started on antibiotics immediately.
So, in the hospital we stayed. It felt kind of like we had never left in the first place since we were back 3 weeks after we left the first time. She was so exhausted that I had to wake her (rather meanly) for a few feedings. However, she roused on her own for her 7 am feeding which was a sign that she was starting to feel like herself again.
Saturday and Sunday brought about the return of our Charliebabe. She was acting like herself again and not showing any signs of the distress she was displaying on Friday. All of her tests came back negative. They discontinued her antibiotics Sunday afternoon so they could observe her for any signs of her fever returning.
We are in the clear! Her IV line is going to be removed any time now and we are going to head home. I am so excited to get my Charliebabe home but still very nervous and even more cautious than I was before.
No parent should have to see their baby (of any age) hooked up to monitors and machines, but I'm so grateful for the amazing care and attention we have received from the nurses, doctors and other staff.
Life as a parent is never dull, huh?
**Coincidentally enough, the intern who saw Charliebabe first at the doctor's office was the same intern who did the ultrasound that determined she was breech and then sat in on her delivery. Small world!