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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vulnerable

Baby Dhis typically sleeps in her nursery, but Monday night, she was excessively fussy, so we put her in the car seat as her pediatrician suggested and put that in her bassinet next to our bed. David went to sleep downstairs to escape the sounds of an unhappy baby and I stayed in our bedroom. In the dark, I heard her fuss a little so I used a small flashlight to check on her. She had dropped her binky and was rooting around for it. SuperMom solved that problem for her. I turned off the flashlight and thought to myself, "ok, no more checking on her or you'll never get to sleep."

A couple minutes later, I heard her moving around. I ignored it at first but then realized that it sounded like a lot of ruckus (1) for her age and size and (2) considering how restrictive her car seat is. I shined the little flashlight on her and saw her eyes were wide with a panicked look and her body was jerking trying to turn over. I dropped the flashlight and turned a lamp on. Her face was purple. (Purple!) Her eyes were wet, her mouth was frothing, and she was writhing around struggling to breathe.

Baby Dhis has had 5 or 6 choking episodes before, but she was always red-faced, not purple. I was alarmed but thought "we've been through this before, I'll just turn her face-down and she'll be fine." I flipped her over and patted her back. Nothing. I patted harder. Nothing. I reached in her mouth with my finger to clear some of the thick liquid. Nothing. Her face just got darker and she kept jerking as she tried to breathe. That's when I ran out of the bedroom with her in my arms and yelled "SHE CAN'T BREATHE!" David ran up the stairs and tried the same thing I did. After a couple more attempts, we heard her gasp for air. She was still struggling but was getting a little air every so often. She struggled for another minute to get bigger gulps of air. I've never seen her struggle this bad or this long. Her body calmed down a little as she cried weakly in between mini-breaths. Then, her face went to the opposite end of the color spectrum and turned scary pale, and she became listless.

We ended up speeding to the American Fork Emergency Room. By the time we arrived, she was acting and looking better, but we registered her anyway because I wanted to know what was causing these episodes and if she had any damage from this particular one. I expected the E.R. staff to tell me either what they suspected the problem was or "I don't know, keep an eye on it." Instead, they surprised me by saying they wanted to keep Baby Dhis overnight for observation. I felt simultaneously worried and relieved.

In her hospital room, the nurses began hooking her up to monitors and taking her vitals. Considering that it was now hours later since we arrived at the hospital and time for her to eat, Baby did not like being poked and prodded! She screamed, she kicked, and she batted the nurses' hands. As soon as the nurses finished what they needed to do, I snatched her up and loved on her. I felt like a Mama Bear licking her Cub. I dare say it's the first time I truly felt like her mother.

David and I squeezed onto the hospital bed to sleep. Baby wouldn't sleep in the big steel cage, so she slept on top of Papa Bear's belly. Though I would have preferred sleeping in my own bed, I felt pretty comfy squished into that hospital bed with my little family. I fell asleep with a little smile on my heart.

I so wish I would have had my camera with me at the hospital. That morning, David went home to get our toiletries and I asked him to get said camera. Alas, poor tired hubby forgot it. (But he did get all the makeup items I requested! Good job, honey!)

The doctor scheduled an upper GI test for the baby just to make sure there weren't any "anatomical errors" in her digestive system. I got to watch Baby Dhis on a video x-ray as she gulped the contrast fluid (the liquid shows up on x-rays). So cool to see her as a skeleton drinking! I viewed her on the radiologist's monitor and saw her jaw move up and down and watched the liquid drip down her esophagus and move into her stomach. SOOOO COOOL! I even got to see the little teeth waiting in her gums. Wish I would have had my camera! (Psst... This x-ray photo is not of her.)

The procedure was also helpful in that I got to see exactly how food settles in my baby's body. In her case, the food goes straight to her stomach but then doesn't stay there, it starts sliding back up to her throat. The radiologist tipped the baby up just a couple inches and I watched gravity pull the food away from her throat. For now, it pretty much looks like she has an exaggerated version of infant acid reflux, which she'll (hopefully) grow out of in the next few months. Simple problem, we just need to keep her from choking due to it.

I felt relatively calm through the whole experience. It was only until last night when we were back home that, as I watched Adhis fall asleep in her bassinet, I cried. I realized then that she is irreversibly woven into my emotions and has commandeered a sizable portion of my heart. I am vulnerable.




[Posted song: "Vulnerable" by Secondhand Serenade]

17 comments:

Lyns said...

Wow! What a night! There is nothing more enjoyable or miserable than being a mother and you felt it all in one night! I'm so glad everything was okay. Now, all you need to do is continue to stress and worry. :) She'll keep growing and become less fragile. Just hang on mama!

Heidi said...

Wow! How scary. I'm so glad that she's all right. Isn't it funny the little moments that make you feel like a Mommy. I feel soo overwhelmed some nights when I go kiss my girls goodnight. Overwhelmed with love and fear that I am in charge of them.

mom adhis said...

Hoorray! Another hurdle jumped.
You are a great mom. And Adhis Lia is a trooper. I am sooo proud of both of you and happy to share life and experiences. I am glad you got to watch her eating process now you have a better understanding of her needs during feeding...and why it takes her a while to feel satisfied. How maybe burping upright might be more comfortable for her. Life is GREAT. :)
I love you all. David is a cool Daddy too! He is a strong and calming support.

Jenn said...

What an experience. I'm glad to hear everything is alright. Anna had to sleep in her car seat the first 2-3 months due to reflex. Sounds like the GI was an insideful :) experience.

Amannda Ashby said...

I am so glad that everything is ok with baby Adhis. Good thing she has got such great parents to look after her. I'm sure it wont be your last scary experience. I recall one day I was at a friends and Connor ended up outside chasing a horse around with a sharp stick. The idea of anything happening to your child truely makes you aware of just how much they have changed your life forever!

brittneyboucha said...

scary night! We got to have the cook x-ray done for lou to check for reflux too. It is cool. However the diaper that comes a day or two later from the icky stuff they drink will shock you by how much comes out and how thick it is. :) alyssas was an explosion to be exact. lou was then put on 2 medications we gave to her 3-5x each every day. we will keep you in our prayers. lou says "hi baby, you cute"

Jennica said...

Oh, my goodness...my heart is still racing from reading your experience!!! You guys handled that so well and I am glad you have some closure as to what she was struggling with.

Brooke said...

Wow, that sounded just like my life 3 years ago. Teagen also had acid reflux. He was so bad....he couldn't lay down flat in his crib otherwise he would choke. He slept in his carseat(sitting up) for the first 7 months of his life. We always had to change his diaper before he fed him because he couldn't lay down. And he threw up all the time. I had many nervous break downs where I thought he wasn't breathing and we took him to the ER. Once I even called Sis. Tenney to come rescue me. Hopefully she doesn't have it as bad as Teagen. But you're such a great mom I know you can handle anything that might come along!

Kat said...

I'm glad to hear that she is ok. It is truly a very scary experience having to take your little pieces of your heart into the emergency and not know what is going on. Brinley is on Prevacid for her reflux. I hope your little one won't have to do that. Hopefully she grows out of it soon. We're praying for you! Love you!

Kristen said...

As if you needed another reason to lose sleep over the next few months.

I'm stressed right now cause I think Nicole ate a bug and she has a fever (maybe from teeth). I'm not sure if reading this made me feel better or worse!

Zach slept better in a bouncy chair than his carseat. Just a suggestion. Or maybe it's supposed to be bassinet? Hmm. Good luck, loveya!

bananaberry128 said...

soooo darling. I love your funny stories. I am so happy for you and your new addition. Keep smiling!!

We're Wingin It said...

I am so glad you figured out what that was. I was a little surprised when she struggled when I watched her. It is always good to have some answers.

What a scary night! And poor little girl! She is probably uncomfortable with the reflux like stuff going on. I hope this gets better quickly, for both of your sakes!

Kristen said...

How are the Adhis' lately? I've been thinking about you and checking for an update. Getting any sleep?

I love that you call her Baby Dhis. Does that make you UH Dhis?

Reminds me... my brother's kid is named Dallin Hardy. They purposely gave him a middle name starting with U so his initials would be DUH. =o)

Adhis said...

Less sleep than before. She STOPPED SLEEPING between feedings. She seriously doesn't get even 6 hours of sleep a day. What's that about??? We have an appointment with her pediatrician later this week.

Kikibug said...

OH MY, I was freaking out reading this. This is one of the parts about motherhood that is just SO powerful... WORRY, mixed with amazing amount of LOVE.
I hate being scared for my children and I don't handle those situations well at all, but you did FABULOUS!
I hope you are able to get some sleep soon. I am stressing about no sleep thing. I have 15 weeks to sleep when and how I want.

bananaberry128 said...

You always captivate me; with your writing, your sense of humar. You should write. Like a "Baby Dhis" short stories book.
She would learn how well put together you are and have such great qualities that have touched others. YOU ROCK!!!

Kami said...

I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU! LOve your little Dhis! wish I was there to hold her. Love your photos. Love your blog. Love your writing. Glad I found your blog.