This passed week was filled with emotions that I didn’t know existed until they hit you like a truck. They’re feelings that, unless you have kids, you probably have not felt yet, and I don’t wish on any people.
On Wednesday, we noticed our new daughter Amelia was not acting herself. She was less than a few weeks old, and for the most part she had been a pretty mellow baby. If she was hungry then she’d fuss, but never scream or have an agonizing cry. On Wednesday she started showing signs of something bothering her. She was not eating very well, she was very fussy, and again she began letting out more than just normal cries.
Jen called me during the day and asked me that I take her temperature. We had done so in the morning with no issues, but when I took it this time, it was about 102.8. I at first read it as 101.8 but learned later at the hospital that you’re supposed to add a degree to it when it’s done under the arm. So I called my wife and let her know she was running a fever and we decided, after advice from the doctor’s office to take her to the ER.
We took her there, and one benefit of having a sick newborn, if any, is that they get a little more critical attention than say if we had brought in our 2-year-old son who was not feeling well. Their fragile state makes it pretty important to be seen as soon as possible.
So they took her back after taking her temperature again, which it was still high. They got us in to the room and one of the training nurses from SLU came in and began asking us questions in regards to what we had experienced with her. About half-way through her questions, a doctor came in and informed us that, because her fever was high and she was so young, they had to take certain precautions and run some tests. Those tests included drawing blood, running a catheter for a urine sample and unfortunately, a spinal tap.
It was the sound of those words that made my wife get upset, I’ve always been pretty tough, but I’d be completely lying if I didn’t myself begin to feel overwhelmed with the thought of it. The doctor said that because of this, we’re going to start seeing about 3 or 4 people show up to begin the tests and that it can happen pretty quick. They asked us if we wanted to stay in the room during all of this or leave. We chose to stay as we did not want to leave Amelia. So they began running the tests, and it’s that feeling of helplessness because there’s nothing you can do. The fact that she is such a little thing too just escalates that feeling of helplessness.
I was able to keep composure until after the tests were done and I wanted to call my parents to let them know what was going on. I completely lost it and had a hard time telling my dad, whom answered the phone, what was going on. Jen did the same when she called her mom to let her know the situation.
Jump to today (Friday) and I’m happy to say that I received a text on my way to work informing me that Amelia was going to be released from the hospital, but on fever watch.
It’s incredible the feeling you have when there is something wrong with one of your kids. That whole idea that you gain this incredibly different love then you have ever know is completely true. You can try to imagine how you’d feel, but you can’t know the true intensity of the feeling until it actually hits you.
I’m extremely appreciative of the hospital staff that acted quickly but also compassionately as two parents sat there trying to keep it together. It really does help the process as much as it can.
Now Amelia is back home and doing well and it’s something she’ll never remember, but it sure was an crazy little bit.