The clock in the corner of my screen reads 1:17 AM. There are two sleepers next to me: My Darling on my left and the Pudge on my right. I'm up anyway, listening to my baby breathe, so I figured I might as well update my humble home on the web.
What a day.
What a few days.
On Wednesday, the Pudge was a little run down--just a little fussy, a little stuffy-sounding, but no cough or dripping or anything. Ah, well, I thought, she's a baby. Sometimes babies are fussy.
By around midnight, she was starting to spike a temp. We gave her Motrin (not a product plug--it's just what we happened to have on hand) and she fell into a fitful sleep. I fell into a fitful non-sleep, as mothers are wont to do when their little ones are under the weather. The last time I looked at the clock was 3:45.
Thursday was a tough day. She was even fussier, and I was giving her Motrin throughout the day to keep her temp down. When it works, it works well; she resumed playing happily, babbling at her siblings and being adorable as usual.
But last night, everything changed. Last night, her breathing became labored. Her fever didn't respond as well to the Motrin. She went from being ok to being just plain sick. We ended up giving her a tepid bath at 1:30 in the morning to help her body cool down enough to get her the rest she needs. And even then, it was fitful for her and worse for me. I didn't close my eyes until around 5:00. My Darling took the Pudge downstairs with him and snuggled her on the couch. Being upright seemed to help her breathe better.
I put in a call to our doctor. My Darling, knowing that there was no way I was good for much of anything, took the day off from work, intending to go to his second job this evening.
When the doctor called back at around lunch time, I described to her what was going on with my Pudge. I told her that she has a fever, and how when she breathes hard, like when she's crying, her ribs can be seen because of the skin sucking in around them. She didn't need long to say, "You need to take her in. We don't have x-ray equipment up here, so just head to urgent care. She needs chest x-rays."
Oh, that is not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear, "She probably just has a cold. She'll be fine."
We headed to town with our dear one. She was so brave and good. We got to the hospital, and found ourselves donning those ridiculous masks. She would not keep hers on, and she was already miserable enough without me making her wear something over her little face. Then we sat in a room and waited. And waited. And held her through a throat swab and rectal temp, and then waited some more. Finally, we were taken to radiology for x-rays.
Her chest x-rays were torturous. The first one went ok, I thought, but then she was crying and crying...and with her breathing the way it is now, her cry is a raspy grunt barely louder than a whisper. The tech, whom I knew in high school, was kind enough to let me wear the heavy lead apron and hold my baby so that they could get the films they needed.
We waited some more, and received the good news that the x-rays look good--no pneumonia, thanks be to God. The strep culture came back clear, so no strep, either.
But they are no longer running the tests for H1N1. It's too expensive (around $300), and takes so long that by the time the results come in, the patient is either recovered or being treated in the hospital for complications. So they are now doing what they call "empirical treatment," which means that with certain symptoms, they run less expensive, faster tests, and then treat for H1N1.
My baby has the swine flu.
We're keeping a very close watch on her breathing, because if it doesn't improve, we'll have to go back in for more x-rays, and possible admission. So many people are already praying like mad for my little Pudgy Bug, and we're hopeful that it won't come to that. For the first time in recent memory, our family will not be going to Mass. I hate thinking it, I hate writing it...but it is the prudent thing to do. In a parish with lots of pregnant Mamas and elderly people, we don't want to put anyone else at risk. And My Darling did not go to his second job this evening.
The clock now reads 1:35. I'm sure I'll be up for quite a while yet, watching my baby breathe.