Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby on the Mend

I knew something was wrong on Sunday when Jack screamed from about 2:00am to 4:00 nonstop. He would calm down for a couple of minutes and then start up again. My baby never cries. I chalked it up to teething because he would get the paci in his mouth, suck for a couple of minutes and then cry. I thought maybe his teeth hurt.

Monday, he was a good natured baby. The rough night didn't seem to affect him (although it did me since I was up with him for those two hours). He took normal naps, played with toys and was in a good mood. Monday night, he was back to his screaming, but this time, right after I put him down for bed. From 8:00 to 9:30 he screamed inconsolably. Two nights in a row so I wasn't going to wait any longer. I called my husband and he and I both agreed I would take Jack in to the ER. Jason was still working and I didn't want to wait for him.

I had to listen to my baby scream for what seemed like ages so I could get his diaper bag packed, a couple of bottles ready since I had no idea how long we were going to be gone. I had to put some clothes on him since he was only dressed in a onesie for bed. It was awful. He cried so hard that he pooped. So I had to change him, which just further upset him.

He cried the whole way in the car, which is also unlike him. Once we got into the ER, he calmed down. I had called my mother-in-law so she was on her way to help me and be my support until Jason got off of work. The ER was gross. Not to go into detail, but even with a sick baby, we were still the most normal looking people there.

The triage nurse was so nice. Even though I am sure she was rolling her eyes at me and thinking "stupid new mom, of course babies cry", she was sweet. Jack's vitals were good. He didn't have a fever, which I questioned. He felt very warm to me. He did so great during the exam, even smiling at the nurses.

Lynn came very quickly and she was such a godsend. She was able to distract me from worrying sick and she held Jack most of the time. We had to wait for about 45 minutes for an actual doctor and exam room. While the doctor was nice, I felt like he was just trying to get us out quickly. I talked about Jack's symptoms and explained that although they sounded weird, something was wrong with my baby. His pee has smelled stronger the last few days. Not bad, just stronger. He has been screaming at night, spitting up more than normal, crying and getting angry at his paci after a few sucks and while completely unrelated, the end of his penis was slightly red (he isn't circumsized).

They checked his ears (fine), his belly (gassy sounding), and thought maybe his symptoms were all related to his reflux. Oh, and his penis apparently had an infection. The way the doctor manhandled Jack's boy parts really concerned me. You aren't supposed to pull back the foreskin of a baby who isn't circumsized. He was pulled and tugging and squeezing. My poor baby screamed the entire time.

I left with a very tired baby, two prescriptions and not many answers. We were instructed to follow up with Jack's pediatrician some time this week.

It was a rough night. Jack and I got home at the same time as Jason and the baby didn't sleep hardly at all Monday night. I called into work and spent the night with my baby on the couch. We would get him calmed down, he would fall asleep for about three minutes and than wail again. Jack slept MAYBE three hours from 7:30 Monday night until 7:00 am Tuesday morning. It was awful.

I didn't waste any time calling Jack's pediatrician. As soon as they opened on Tuesday I called. We got an appointment for that morning. Jack was very tired, fatigued and felt rotten as we went to the pediatrician. He slept in he car thankfully.

I love Jack's pediatrician. She sometimes is the only person that listens to me and understands a mommy's instinct. I didn't think the diagnoses Jack had been given were right and I am glad I questioned them.

Jack's ears were plugged with wax so she cleaned them. He screamed which was a sign. I literally had to hold him down so she could clean them and then look in his ears. Turns out, he has a raging ear infection in his left ear. No wonder he isn't feeling good! Dr. D was really mad that they had missed that at the ER. She also checked his penis. No infection. AND, I was right about the foreskin being pulled back. She checked and thankfully it hadn't torn but she told me it should never be pulled back. Not until he's much older.

An ear infection can act like other illnesses. Jack was spitting up more than normal, which is attributed to the fact that he is probably dizzy from the fluid in his ear. He screams at night, which is because it hurts to lay down. He cries when he sucks on his paci because it hurts to suck.

I left her office glad to have some answers but upset that Jack had been misdiagnosed and had to suffer unnecessarily for another twelve hours.

For the rest of the day, Jack was so sick. He threw up almost every time I fed him. This was concerning to me because his antibiotics and Tylenol are oral and he needs to take them in his bottle (he gags and throws up otherwise). If he wasn't able to keep any food down, how would he be able to get healthy and take his medicine?

All day, he slept. He would whimper and cry in his sleep. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I am glad he was finally resting, but he probably was sleeping very fitfully. I held him all day. If I ever tried putting him down, either in his crib to sleep or to change him, he would wake up and cry.

My mother-in-law came over in the evening to relieve me. I needed to get some dishes done, a load of laundry done (I had no clean pants since the Bug kept throwing up), and maybe actually eat something. She held Jack while he slept. Around 7:00, he woke up and finally was feeling better. By that time, he had had his first round of Amoxicillin and some Tylenol and was probably starting to feel more normal. His fever had broken and he wasn't so warm. He was smiling and wanting to play with some toys.

I have to tell you, it is absolutely the worst feeling in the world to watch your baby in pain and sick. I could do nothing to help him feel better except hold him and comfort him. This morning, when he woke up after sleeping for nearly 24 hours straight, only waking to eat, he was a little bit back to his old self. He did sleep most of the morning, but he was finally awake for longer than a few minutes at a time.

I still haven't slept much, or eaten much, but I am hoping since Jack is feeling a little better tonight, that we both sleep a little bit better.

He is going back to Karen's tomorrow and I am going back to work so life is going to return to normal. Jack's first illness is slowly receding. I am thankful that he is now able to keep food and his medicine down. He is still only eating about an ounce of milk at a time, but he has dirty and wet diapers, so I know he's getting enough to eat.

Let's hope that my wee one gets better soon and starts feeling 100%.

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