Because I am a nurse, I naively assumed that when my babes were sick, my professional side would kick in and I would be calm and steady while I checked fevers, looked at symptoms objectively, medicated appropriately and called the doctor only when my own skills were exhausted. Instead, when I ended up in the ER last night with sick baby boy, I was crying almost non-stop and asking the doctor ridiculous questions such as how high did his fever have to go before they discharged us. (what?!)
Grant left for Pittsburgh on Sunday to start his new job and because the closing on our new house was delayed a week, I stayed in State College with the babes to finish up the move and wrap things up with our life here. To help with the chaos of packing and solo parenting, Purslane decided this would be a great time to start crawling out of her crib. This marvelous development = almost a hundred (we counted) times in two hours returning her to her bed and a frantic internet search to get advice from other parents on the best way to handle this. Of course, most of the blogs talked about children who got out of bed "almost a dozen times!" and parents beside themselves. Grant and I just looked at each other and shook our heads. Pursy has always been an over achiever. The first night was pure hell but we stayed firm, kept putting her back in bed and drank more Diet Coke (for Grant)and coffee (for me).
So yesterday as we were winding down a day of packing and trying to keep Pursy entertained with empty boxes as her toys are all packed, I noticed Little Man was flushed and just kind of lying in his swing staring into space. I checked his temp and he was 102 rectally. Of course the parameters that I had memorized at the pediatricians office went out of my head and I grabbed the internet. Anything more than 100.4 for babes under 3 months get a call to the doctor. I wasn't taking any chances. I grabbed Pursy out of her high chair where she was calmly eating dinner, threw her in the car after shoving snow boots on her feet because they were the first things I could find in the disaster that is her room. I called my dear friend Ann on my way out the door and told her to meet me at the hospital to pick up Pursy. I got in the car and forced myself to drive slowly. All I could think of was bacterial meningitis, RSV and other horrific unlikely causes of an infant's fever. I was terrified. All I wanted to do was talk to Grant but he was too far away to do anything except worry. So I turned on the Indelible Grace CD and listened to the hymn Dear Refuge of my Weary Soul and prayed hard. I was at the end of my strength and just asked God to be with my baby boy.
Becki met me at the hospital and stayed with me the whole time. Ann swept Pursy away and it was amazingly wonderful to know she was taken care of. Three hours later, we were being discharged with a reduced fever, normal lab work and unremarkable chest X-ray. Purslane had been dealing with a cold for the past week, and the doctor think his little body just couldn't handle the virus. He went through a normal work up and handled everything like a champ-except the lab draw during which he cried so hard his little mouth was wide open and no sound was coming out. My heart was literally breaking and all I wanted to do was grab his little body and run for the door. But we got through it, and one by one all the tests came back normal and his fever went down to normal. The nurses, techs and ER doc were wonderful- talking to him and giving me information.
We got home and Pursy was asleep in the car after playing hard for three hours with Ann and Dan. She stayed asleep while I transferred her to her big girl bed- and stayed asleep until 5AM. Thank God. I brought Knox into bed with me, propped up on his Boppy pillow where I could watch him breathe all night long. He slept soundly, waking up only to eat and go back to sleep. I finally talked to Grant and let him know that all was well. First trip to the ER over with.