Jake and I sat down with him and took his temperature. 104.6! In tears, I called the doctor immediately. I'm learning that they don't really worry too much about fevers, though that's opposite of everything I've heard or read. She was so sweet (LOVE my pediatricians office) but said to just monitor him and it could be from the Croup. We gave him his second dose of steroid and he puked it all up :(. We weren't too worried, as he was given a pretty big dose (though only 2 days worth), and had seen enough improvement in the cough we figured we'd be fine. Dr Duffy had even told us not to worry if he didn't get it all, this was more than enough to help with Croup. He was so sick so we spent the evening snuggling.
That night was a long one. He was just so off. So uncomfortable and fevers would spike every time the Motrin or Tylenol would wear off. Wednesday I ended up taking the day off and we hardly moved. He would cry when I'd go to the bathroom. He barely wanted to read books he was so miserable. We decided it would be best to keep Kailee away, for fear of whatever he had being passed to her, or passed through her to Boston. Hank perked up a bit that evening after a dose of Motrin and daddy coming home, but it only lasted a few minutes. Thursday was a repeat, again had to take the day off. One of the (many) perks of my job is even with a sick babe, I am home so I can usually still get my work done, even if the hours are somewhat spread out, or Jake will switch duties when he gets home. NOT the case for either day. He was miserable and wanted mommy. He threw up twice and our hearts were breaking. Fevers were still 102-103 and it was awful. We called the doctor again that day and the nurse told Jake that the fevers can last 5-6 days and not to worry until it hits 106. 106!!! I'd be calling for an ambulance for him at 106!! YIKES! So, we just kept watching him and giving him all the snuggles he wanted. He wasn't really eating but wanted his bottle CONSTANTLY. He would just ask for a bottle and doze off all day long, not at all normal for him.
Thursday night he slept the longest stretch he had all week. Didn't wake up to get into our bed until 1:30 am. He came in, was pretty warm but wouldn't stay awake to take his medicine. He was SO lethargic. He had a fever of 102 or something near there. He fell asleep abnormally fast, and Jake and I were just watching and listening to his breathing. It sounded different. He was struggling a bit. They were short and shallow breaths, and he was taking A LOT of them. We watched his chest and couldn't see much, but neither of us could fall back to sleep, we were really worried. Suddenly, Hank woke up and threw up. ALL. OVER. OUR. BED.... AND. MY. FACE!! It was AWFUL!! As we were frantically trying to clean it up and calm our sick boy, we looked at each other and decided it was time to take him into the ER. This was too much, especially all of it on top of each other. I look back and think I've never been more thankful for throw up! Had he just stayed asleep, would we have eventually fallen asleep too? I don't know, but I'm really thankful we got that last signal that it was time to do something. Now, we are NOT ER parents. We're not overly paranoid or the type to freak out over an illness. Hank's pediatrician has mentioned to us at least a handful of times that we are incredibly calm parents. I always took it as a compliment and felt like if I just listened to my mommy instincts, then everything would be okay. This was the first time during this sickness my mommy instincts were FREAKING OUT. I quickly threw all of our bedding into the washer and jumped into the shower to rinse off the puke while Jake changed Hank. We got dressed and were out the door in 10 minutes. I did something I'm not proud of, but in that moment it was all I could do. I sat in the back seat with my lethargic baby on my lap. No car seat. I couldn't bare strapping him in there and not knowing if he was breathing. Don't call CPS, I know it wasn't right, but it was all I felt good about in the moment. Granted had it been rush hour, I'd have had to. But it was 2:30 am, we were the only people on the road.
We pulled into the ER with a sleeping babe. He was asleep before we left our neighborhood, another unusual thing for him. We walked in to an empty room, luckily, and checked in quickly. We sat there and I couldn't help but wonder if we had done the right thing. Were we overreacting?! THE ER?! I was so scared but also doubting myself at the same time. They called us back within a few minutes and we were seen by the nurse who took his temp. It was 102+ still. She went to get him something to help and after listening to his lungs, they put a wire on his toe to monitor his oxygen. It was scary low. At the time, I didn't know what number to be looking for, but the machine was beeping. The doctor put him on oxygen and told us to hang tight for about 45 minutes while we watched for progress. That was a LONG 45 minutes. It was the middle of the night, we were exhausted and so scared and it was miserable. I do have to say I LOVED our ER doctor and the nurses. They were wonderful! When they came back into the room they let us know the scenarios. His guess was bronchiolitis, but pneumonia was possible. If they took him off oxygen and he did fine on his own, they would send us home and show us the things to watch for with his struggles breathing. If he did not, they would need to admit us into the hospital. I felt a mix of emotions, but I didn't really think we'd be admitted. He, the nurse and the tech were all in the room and he took him off, and told us they'd monitor it for a bit. He didn't take a step toward the door when the machines started beeping like crazy and he looked at us and said 'there is our answer'. He told the nurse to call upstairs and told us it would be about an hour before a room was ready, we were being admitted. They left and I cried. My poor baby! I was heartbroken and felt so helpless, not a feeling I want to feel again. We waited and when it was time to head up to our room, they brought a wheelchair for Hank and I with portable oxygen. I think that is when the severity of it all hit me, they weren't even letting him off of oxygen for our short trip upstairs.
We got to our room about 5-5:30 am. The first thing you see when you walk in is this big, chunky hospital crib. I tried to hold it in but the tears came. That is not a sight you ever want to see! I was sad for my baby, but I knew deep down he would be okay. It was the thoughts of all the sweet babies who had to lay in that cold hard bed that shattered my heart into a million pieces. I knew we were lucky, this was a sickness, he would recover, as awful as it felt at the time I knew that. But knowing there were so many that would/did not just made me sick. They hooked Hank up to the machines and told us to rest. We were all exhausted, but I couldn't bare to put him in that crib. I held him in the chair, and Jake laid down on the awful hospital chair/bed. We sent a text to our families and then got about 10 minutes of sleep before it was time for the changing of nurses and the morning rush of texts and calls. We have the best family and friends who are SUCH an amazing support system!
Friday ended up being a whirlwind of a day. Visitors, doctor (or lack thereof), nurses and the most miserable baby. :( It was the hardest day by far. Hank just laid in bed or on me with the saddest eyes. It was SO hard to watch. Grandpa Kevin got there early followed by Grandma Merrilee, and then Grandma Andrus. It was so nice to have the love and support there! They brought us food and whatever else we needed and just gave us some company! I needed it and burst into tears when my own mama walked through the door. You never realize how much you need your mom or how much she loves you until you become one! We spent the day trying to keep Hank's spirits up, playing with the toys they brought in (very little playing though) and reading books. We also got a special delivery from the gift shop! Balloons and the cutest giraffe from the Mannings! SO sweet and made him and us feel so loved! THANK YOU GUYS! We were hoping and praying he didn't have to have an IV, he drank enough that we were lucky that way, but it was close. He didn't want his bottle much, which worked out well as the milk can cause thicker mucus and obviously be rough on his stomach. He did eat and drink enough to pass the test, after watching them suction his nose, I DID NOT want to put him through an IV. YIKES! We were so thankful he didn't have to! It was a frustrating day, lack of ANY time with a doctor and just really not knowing what was actually wrong with our baby was SO hard! And just like anytime something like this comes up, our hearts were torn in two for both of our babes. Kailee had the daddy daughter dance at her school that night! We had decided early in the day we did not want to let her down or have her miss it if she didn't have to. As long as Hank was stable (which he was!) Jake would take her. They had the best time and it was the bright spot of our weekend :) She walked in the door and for the first time, our baby's eye lit up! He reached out for her, and cried as she went back in the hall for hand sanitizer! She walked over and it felt like he was jumping out of my arms to get to her, he loves her SO much! She held him and he played with her face and looked up at her with so much love and almost desperate to tell her how sick he was and how happy he was to see her. I cried and pretty sure dad and both grandmas did too! We had talked all day about how he rubs my face for comfort, but he doesn't do it to anyone else. Well, the second sister sat down he rubbed hers! It was the sweetest moment, and having all of us there together is exactly what my heart needed! They ate their dinner there, both grandma's left and it was just the four of us. They told me all about the dance and Kailee fell asleep in the chair while we waited for Jason and Angie to come grab her. It was by far the highlight of our day and entire weekend. Love them both so much, and their bond is deep and undeniable!
That night, we slept together in the crib. Yes, I climbed in that crib with my baby. I couldn't let him go! They tried taking him off of his oxygen but it didn't last too long. They had lowered it a few times during the day from a full liter, to 0.25 liters and he had done great, but being off of it didn't last too long. They decided to leave it on and let his little body rest. I did start feeling a little sick that around 1 am after a check. Jake switched me for a bit and stood there with him. I laid on the awful chair bed and slept like a rock until they came back in at 4 am to check him again. Jake was on the floor on a play mat at that time, poor daddy! Hank slept through his check and slept until 5:30 when they came to suction him because of his oxygen levels. We then all slept again until after 7. It was a MUCH better night and we all got some much needed rest.
Saturday morning we had a knock on the door, and someone from the front desk brought in two Smith's bags full of bagels, cream cheese, orange juice and fruit. The only clue we had were two Broncos cups :) Josh! Thank you so much to you and Heather and kids for the breakfast! It definitely brightened our spirits! :) Much needed! Jake convinced me it was okay to leave for a bit to shower, I was getting an awful cold and needed some meds too. I finally did and my heart raced the entire time I was gone. I checked on him twice! He told me the new doctor would be in between 9:30 and 10:00 so I rushed back to be there for that. FINALLY a good doctor! He was amazing! He sat with us, explained everything, all the viruses, Hank's symptoms, etc. I was worried that he was still running a fever, still miserable and he answered my questions. He told us all about bronciolitis, and said that everything they were seeing was consistent with that. BUT, it had been going on long enough that if we didn't see consistent improvement by Sunday, they would take X-rays to make sure they weren't missing anything. Jake and I felt much better about everything after that. Hank did show little signs of improvement throughout the day so that was encouraging! Still on oxygen and still fevering, but his spirits were up a little. Grandma Andrus came by early to see us and brought Hank his favorite books from her house and his favorite snacks! Then we had surprise visitors! Lindsay and Neil walked in the door! I cried again, we are SO blessed! They brought bags of groceries and treats for Jake and I (SO needed and appreciated!) and toys and books sent from Grandma Merrilee for Hank. :) The Robbins side of my family were all attending Mama Mia at the Capitol so they couldn't stay too long. We were supposed to go too, and so bummed to miss it but we were where we needed to be! After they left, Jake left to shower and Grandma Andrus left with him. I had a few quiet moments with my babe. He just snuggled me and we tried to play and read books as much as he could. Daddy came back and then we had another special set of visitors! Uncle Aaron and Aunt Aubrey came to see him too! They brought a Thomas book and toy and treats for Jake and I! Honestly, in the most awful of circumstances, what would we do without our families?! It was so nice to sit and chat with them, Hank was instantly obsessed with his Thomas book, and we were so appreciative of them driving down to see us :) Thank you guys, SO much!!! They left and we had some friends offer to bring us dinner. Brandon and Jamie THANK YOU!!! They brought us yummy Porcupine and stopped by to see Hank too! Really, how blessed are we?! They stayed for awhile and then the Robbins family showed up. Grandma Jeri and Grandpa RonDell and Riley and Chey. All with more gifts and treats for us and Hank! Ri and Chey brought him the cutest tractor, he loved it! And Grandma Jeri had a sack full of goodies, per usual! :) As sad as we were to miss the play, we were so thankful for them stopping by afterwards! Everyone left around 8 and we climbed into bed shortly after, absolutely exhausted! As good as it was to get a couple of hours on Friday night, Thursday night had finally caught up with us! They brought us in a standard hospital bed and that was much more comfortable for mommy! I stayed in that with Hank and Jake was able to sleep in the more comfortable of the two awful beds ;). Also during the evening and night my mom went to our house and did ALL of our laundry, bought us groceries and vacuumed! Is there anything better? She's amazing!
Other than the checks every few hours, we all slept pretty good that night, but especially Hank! He hardly woke up even for checks and they didn't have to suction him at all! They decided when they came in at the midnight check to try taking him off of his oxygen, which was only at 0.12 at that point. He did pretty good! It dropped a few times but not enough to have him back on! He was off oxygen the rest of the night with no alarms! YAY! He woke up Sunday and was so happy! He slept REALLY good, wanted his food and was actually showing some personality! FINALLY! We might actually get to go home!! We were sitting in there about 8:30 and his monitor went off. His oxygen had dropped below 80, which is scary low. She rushed in, put him back on at 0.25 and it wasn't enough. She ended up having to up it to 0.5 and we were devastated. What happened?! He had done so well through the night and now he dropped again while awake?! We were so sad. The doctor came in and explained that we were going to take the day and watch a few things. We'd watch for him to either drop and come back up on his own (or with a little help from oxygen), or he would steadily drop and not necessarily come back up. That was when we really needed to be concerned. He explained that sometimes their levels go down and back up, and it's just a sign of getting better. We were hopeful that was the case. He wanted him on oxygen for a bit and then we'd try again around 11 and see if we could get a good steady 6 hours with him off, and some while sleeping when it is common for your levels to drop a bit. They came in about 11:45 and took it off. I don't think Jake, my mom or I took our eyes off of it for awhile! He was doing really good and had more energy than we'd seen and took a LONG nap too after a head massage with lavender from Grandma Merrilee! Grandma left and Grandma and Grandpa Andrus came to see us for a bit. It was a better day for Hank and other than a few dips in his levels, he seemed to be holding pretty steady. I wanted to go home so bad, and had seen enough improvement I felt comfortable with it for the first time all weekend. We finally got the okay from the doctor and agreed that we could go home after watching him for another hour or two. We watched the first half of the Superbowl on the awful hospital TV (poor Jake) and gathered our stuff up! Hank dipped a few times and every time Jake and I would panic, we did NOT want to stay another night! Finally around 6 the doctor reviewed his levels and told us we could go! We got our release papers and got out of there as fast as we could!!! We were SO happy to go home!
We got home and Jake changed his clothes, and what do you know, a Patriots come back! He was one happy guy to have his little man home and his team win the Superbowl! Hank couldn't get to his toys and books fast enough, and even though he was exhausted and still recovering he was so happy to be home and you could see it!
That night he slept for a solid 12 hours! We had a follow up appointment with our normal pediatrician that morning and we felt so good about it! We knew he'd need another suction, but other than that he seemed on the mend! He did have another fever which really bothered me. We got to his appointment, and they checked his oxygen. It was a little low, so they wanted to suction him to see if it would come back up. It was in the 87-89 range, and they want it above 90, preferably around 94-95. They suctioned him and checked him after. Still right around 90-91 but Dr Duffy was comfortable with it. We talked about his fevers and he was concerned. He checked his ears and said 'are they treating him for an ear infection?" ... NOPE! He checked his other one and said 'well, he's got a double ear infection!'. I was SO mad! THAT is why he couldn't kick that stupid fever!! Poor baby! They checked his ears in ER and when we were admitted, but not since. He sent in his prescription and explained to us that it was pretty common for these follow ups for his patients to have ear infections. He told us it frustrated him too, and that he trained all of his students to check for that before releasing these babies. We felt awful, but glad to know the cause and to get it fixed quickly! We were finally on the mend!
Seeing your kids sick has to be one of the worst things in the world. I hate it. Seeing a baby sick who can't tell you what is wrong or hurting is pure torture. I am not emotionally strong enough to see my kids suffering. I HATE IT! I don't know how I would have gotten through it with out all the love and support we received from our families and friends. From the meals and treats, to the toys and books, to the texts and phone calls. THANK YOU just doesn't feel like enough! But even more than all of that, I could have never gotten through without Jake. He was right there every step of the way. What man stays in those conditions overnight TWICE (technically three nights) when our house is less than 10 minutes away? My husband and our kids' daddy. We are SO lucky to have you, Jake. You are my rock! I love you more than words! So thankful to have such amazing people around us, and to have our sweet baby boy back! I never want to experience anything like that ever again! And we couldn't be happier to see this face again!!