Ruby’s 1st ER trip

I sit in a hospital room, number 467 to be exact, at Madigan Army Medical Center. It seems way too much like a situation we had just shy of 2 years ago. The only difference was that was Billings Montana and the hosptial patient was our now 2 year old daughter, Kenniston. This time it is Ruby, our 3 week old newborn. Her twin brother, Jack, thankfully hasn’t been admitted to the hospital. I should start back to two days ago. We had promised the two older kids, Vincent and Kenniston, that we would go to the zoo at the end of the week if they made good choices through out the week. They made a few good choices (though we would have prefered a few more, but hey whatever) so after much preparing the nigh before we fled out the door only 20 minutes after our desired 10am time. It was one of only a handful of outtings that we had with our entire family of 6. On the way to the zoo 3 week old Ruby was pretty fussy, which was odd, but we chalked it up to her being tired in the carseat. We got to the zoo and I immediately put Ruby in my Moby wrap and got the other kids out and ready to go. We all walked around the zoo for a while and I begin to realize Ruby sounded pretty congested. She was sneezing and fussy. I tried to nurse her, but after a lot of frustration she screamed in protest. After a short picnic lunch we packed up the family and left the zoo. Thankfully the big kids didn’t realize that we were leaving earlier than planned. As soon as we got home I checked Ruby’s temperature and it was raised, but still only 99.7. I called the pediatric clinic and talked to a nurse. I wanted to make sure that there was anything I needed to watch for. They told me to watch for a temperature of 100.4 or greaater, wheezing, nasal flaring or any sign of labored breathing. After a few hours I noticed that Ruby felt warmer than she had all day and she hadn’t eaten in a while so I went ahead and checked her temperature again. This time it was 100.7. I was told to take her to the ER if she spiked a fever. Knowing the ER trip could be an all night (or longer) affair we decided to pack up a few things and ask a friend to come over to watch the older kids. We headed to ER just after 8pm. We got to the ER and were seen right away. Because of Ruby’s age and situation (a high fever for a newborn) the doctor’s ran a full blood screen and a whole battery of tests. She was admitted to the hospital and we were in a room by midnight. It broke my heart to see them put a catheder in her, then again when they had to try multiple times to get an IV started, then again when they did a spinal tap. I held back tears as they tried many times to get an X-ray of her chest as well. This poor girl was put through the ringer all night long. All I wanted to do was hold her, but everytime I got her calm from the previous procedure, the crew of nurses and doctors came back to take her away to do another procedure. I started to feel guilty for comforting her knowing that she wasa about to be poked and proded again. In the end she had to get an IV on her forehead! She is still a beautiful little baby even with the IV hat she has to wear. Once we got to the room we were told that the bloodwork takes 48 hours to clear, so we should expect to be at the hospital until Monday, longer if the bloodwork came back with anything unusual. As the night wore on some of the labwork came back, thankfully everything was leaning toward a virus. Ruby’s temperature was still fluctuating between the 98 range and the high 100 range. I was also worried because between Tuesday and Friday she had lost 6 ounces, but the doctor’s said she seemed to be eating ok, so it wasn’t an issue.
So, Monday morning the ped. doctor came in and told us that Ruby has Para influenza (I am pretty sure I misspelled that word).  It is the virus that causes Croup.  Needless to say I am glad that we stayed in the hospital to watch her for any breathing issues.  Thankfully none have showed though!  We will go home now and watch her and Jack, because as we all know, their birthdays aren’t the only thing they will share through out their life.
Updated: April 14, 2008 — 8:45 pm

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