I planned on writing this post last week since some comments were made about a cliff hanger… so I apologize for:
- Leaving the teaser – it really wasn’t my intention
- Not writing the post earlier – back at work, new baby…you get the idea
Last post I left off coming home from the hospital for a somewhat calm start to our family of 5. It didn’t go as planned.
We got home and everyone was excited to be in one house again. After the hugs and kisses Kate sat down on the couch to feed McCauley and the girls went to go eat upstairs and finish their TV show (Chuggington) and I started to make lunch in the kitchen. The only thing odd at this point is that Nella and Cora were upstairs watching TV on their own (it was a Godsend because they didn’t realize any of the following happened). This isn’t something we typically do, but their show was about to end when we came home so we said they could finish it. As I’m getting out some sandwich stuff out I hear some commotion coming from the couch. I take a peak and Kate is patting\hitting McCauley on the back and GG is walking over pretty briskly. I asked if everything is OK and Kate says no – McCauley is choking. I run over (honestly thinking its burp or something) until Kate asks her mom to call 9-1-1. When I hear that I realize Kate is actually trying to do the baby Heimlich to get whatever it is dislodged. Kate (still holding McCauley) moves a little so I can attempt to clear her airways. I hit her on the back pretty good and some gunk comes out…very thick, mucusy….blech. Although some came out she’s still not breathing right.
We continue to try and dislodge more stuff and GG is on the phone with the EMT’s to get some folks over. We have a volunteer fire department a few minutes from the house so they arrived first. Kate looks up and there are 10 firemen from the station are in our living room along with an off duty fireman neighbor who came over when he saw the address on the call. At this time McCauley was breathing, but taking labored, shallow breaths. Also, anytime Kate would attempt to sit her up she would stiffen and stop breathing. Kate was talking to one of the fireman and we’re deciding if an ambulance ride is in the cards. Another 5-10 minutes goes by and the ambulance shows up and as Kate and EMT are deciding what to do McCauley’s spits up a HUGE amount of the same stuff. Enough that we would have probably taken Nella to her doctor if she would have spit it up. At that point the decision has been 100% made and we’re going off to a different hospital (Levine Children’s Hospital) to have McCauley checked out. Kate starts
loading up to go in the ambulance and I hop in my car to try and beat the ambulance to the hospital.
The ambulance ride was pretty uneventful and Kate was starting to feel OK with the situation, happy that McCauley was now breathing easily and more like herself. She gets to the ER and we head back to a room to get checked out.
- Saved by the Bell Timeout: Back to the beginning of this blog, Kate was getting ready to nurse McCauley because she last ate around 8 or 9 o clock in the morning. This time is important.
A few doctor’s come in to ask a few questions and try to determine what happened. They each took great time and care with us to make sure they understood what was going on and try to decipher what happened. McCauley is starting to get very hungry at this time but we don’t have any milk with us (we weren’t planning on going to the hospital) and Kate couldn’t feed her because she was too full. On a normal day, McCauley was having trouble feeding due to the amount of milk that Kate was producing – and we were a little apprehensive to feed McCauley since she just had a weird choking incident. We asked a few people for a pump so we could get some milk into a bottle, but for whatever reason the ER could not get one.
Around 4:00 we are sent to the observation floor at Levine’s children hospital for overnight monitoring. McCauley still hasn’t eaten and Kate was in a lot of pain at this point. We get into our room and ask for a hospital pump. I make it clear, if I need to go to the maternity wing or NICU desk to get one, I’ll do it. My baby needs to eat (a 3 day old should eat every 2-3 hours and it has been 8) and my wife needs to get comfortable. Thankfully a few minutes later a pump arrives and Kate is able to feed McCauley. A little while later our youth pastor brought our things for the evening and some good friends who live close to the hospital brought us some delicious dinner. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. At times, though, it did bring back memories of the NICU with Nella,
as McCauley was hooked up to leads and monitors. We were thankful that the alarms at Levine weren’t the same sound as the NICU alarms at Presbyterian – that may have made the night feel more nerve-wracking for us (I think all NICU parents can agree that you never quite forget the cadence and sound of those NICU alarms). Overall the nurses and doctors in the children’s hospital were fantastic and on the ball about everything.
Since McCauley didn’t have any other issues throughout the night, we all decided it was safe to go back home the next morning. When we spoke with the medical team during rounds we determined that McCauley likely retained some amniotic fluid from the birth. Kate’s labor was so quick the fluid was likely not expelled during delivery – the doctors said McCauley probably didn’t get “the squeeze” that usually gets the fluid out of their system. McCauley was eating fairly well and didn’t lose much weight in the hospital, so there really wasn’t much of an indication that she retained fluid and needed to be suctioned. So, when her body tried to get rid of all the fluid – it was just too much for her and it startled her so she breathed it back in and the fluid likely got stuck in her airway which caused the choking and retracting that sent us to the hospital. Thankfully, the doctors felt that she expelled all the fluid during her episode so we can sort of put this experience in our past and not worry too much about it happening again.
So…we went home the next morning to again start our life as a family of 5. This time it would go smoothly…or as smoothly as it can go with 3 kids under the age of 5.