Our Hospital Stay

Most of my friends and family know that my newborn and I were in the hospital for a couple weeks. Not because she was born at 35 weeks but because when we came home my 3 yo decided to give her RSV. RSV is nothing but a cold to children and adults but can be deadly to young babies. Especially my poor Emmie who was only 1 1/2 weeks old. 

Friday, April 7th 2017, my husband and I were getting ready to go to sleep when I could hear Emmie struggling to breathe. I held her for a while and was pretty much convinced that I was going to be awake all night just staring at her to make sure she was still breathing. Over the course of about an hour she stopped breathing twice and turned blue. My husband insisted we take her to the emergency room. Emmie and I went to St Mary's around 2 am on the 8th. We were taken back immediately but it was 3 hours before I got to see the doctor. In the mean time, they hooked her up to a pulse ox and her oxygen was in the 80s. I've never had a baby hooked up to anything before so I wasn't aware that that was very bad. They finally had the doctor see us and he was wanting to transfer us to Egleston Children's Hospital. I didn't really see what all the fuss was about. I'm used to going to the ER and having them send me right home. The nurses told the doctor that their NICU could handle it so we were transferred up there. 

Once in the NICU at St. Mary's, they hooked her up to oxygen and a feeding tube, which she promptly ripped out when I went out to the car to get something. Her stats were staying up so I was hopeful this would just be an overnight thing. The nurses tested her for RSV which came back positive. After xrays, she was transferred to the pediatric wing of the hospital. We were the only ones there and there was only one nurse on staff. Emmie and I were in a room together and I was convinced this was still a one or two day thing. The on call doc came and checked on her and told us maybe we could go home Monday. Ok. I can live with that. 

Nothing really got bad until around Monday. Apparently RSV hits its peak around day 5 so we were on our way up. Monday and Tuesday were probably the scariest of all days. At night her stats would drop for no reason. Her heart rate would plummet into the 50s when I fed her. They finally put her back on oxygen which helped her O2 stats considerably. Our pediatrician checked on her every morning and most evenings and I could tell she was worried. 

The IV came out of her foot and they had to stick
her 7 more times with no luck so it went in her

Wednesday morning (4/12/17) Dr. Martin (our ped) came in and told me we were transferring to Eggleston or Scottish Rite, whichever had room. I was definitely taken aback. I've never been in this type of situation and everything happened really fast. Within an hour the Scottish Rite transport team was at St. Mary's prepping her for transport. There were two specialty NICU techs and a driver in possibly one of the nicest ambulances on the planet. It was an ambulance specifically for NICU/PICU kids. I got to ride with the driver down to Atlanta.

Once we got there we were admitted to the NICU in Scottish Rite. Their NICU has 35 beds and most are out in the open in the middle. We got lucky and got a "private" room right off the main area. You could still see and hear everything going on but at least we had our own space. Emmie was on high flow oxygen and they inserted a feeding tube. I had been pumping for her anyway so they were able to feed her. At that time I had asked the nurses what they thought the timeline of us being there was and they said 1-2 weeks. 

When we were at St. Mary's I was able to sleep in the room with Emmie but you can't do that in the NICU at Scottish Rite. I mean, I probably could have but there was just so much going on I knew I would be in the way. They have small pods there called Sleep Rooms. The NICU floor had 5. Each room was basically a fold down couch and a table with a lamp on it. I was just beyond blessed to have a place to go to sleep every night. The women at the information desk knew my name because I had to go down every day to reserve a room. You could go into the room at 5:00pm and had to be out by 9:00am which basically means I had to pack up all my stuff every day and take it to the lockers. It all became a routine as the days went on. 

Eventually Emmie was lowered from high flow cannula to low flow and eventually off oxygen entirely. The feed tube was removed the day before we were released on the 24th. All total we were at Scottish Rite for 13 days. Everyone who worked in the cafe knew who I was and came and gave me a hug when I left. As touching as it is that people care so much about you, I never want to be that well known in a children's hospital ever again. 

I hate that we had to go through this but at the same time its an experience I'll never forget. Every day for two weeks I watched hundreds of children walking around in hospital gowns rolling along IV poles as if it was just another part of their body. I sat in the waiting room with the parents of a baby that died that night in the NICU and I made a new friend whose
baby is still fighting after being delivered early due to a car accident. My baby could have died if it wasn't for medical intervention but these other kids are far sicker than my sweet Emmie ever was. 

Here are most of the pics I took during our stay. 
At St. Mary's getting snuggles. I hated all the tubes and wires.

Our room in the NICU at Scottish Rite

Our bed in Scottish Rite NICU

IV clotted pretty much as soon as we got there.
Thankfully we didn't need it anymore.

Low flow cannula!!

One of her first bottles after having to use the
feeding tube.

Happy Easter!!!

No more oxygen!!

One of my favorite nurses said she HAD to have a bow.

Mommy's favorite dress.

We got moved to the annex a few days before discharge.

Jack and Henry came to visit. There's a TON of fun stuff to do.

Happy we are going home today!!!

Headed home!!


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