Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Children are terrifying.



Saturday night Kurt and I took our 4 week old daughter Syndil to Carter's, to meet one of her biggest fans- my manager Bekki. And she wasn't even wearing a Carter's outfit! I felt like such a rebel.

Bekki was holding her, and Syndil was loving it- until she realized she was hungry. I had my moby wrap, but I wanted to wait a few minutes before feeding her. I knew it would hurt, and I needed to wrap my head around feeling that much pain in a public place.

A few old ladies heard her crying, and came over to see the little baby.

"What's her name?"

"Syndil."

"Oh, how...unique."

Awkward pause.

"Her feet are blue! She is cold."

"No, babies feet are just sometimes blue. She is fine. But thanks."

"No, she is cold," they kept insisting.

The whole thing was pretty irritating.

I handed her to Kurt to try and calm down, because when I hold her all she smells is milk. After a few seconds, she settled down, and was falling asleep.

I was talking to Bekki and my friend Tami, and we were laughing when I glanced over at Syndil. Her eyes were closed, but something was off...

"Is she breathing?" I stepped away from the convesation for a better look.

Her face was blue.

And she wasn't breathing.

Quickly I grabbed her, and started patting her back. Nothing.

Kurt felt under her nose for a breath, while I started rubbing her back, hard. Nothing.

"How do you do infant CPR? How do you do infant CPR?"

I as vaguely aware that that was my voice asking the question over and over again, but my mind had already answered it. I leaned her back and was about to start rescue breathing when Syndil took a breath. On her own.

"She's breathing. She's breathing again."

I looked around at Kurt, Bekki, and Tami. It had all happened so fast, maybe 20 seconds on the outside.

Longest 20 seconds of my life.

After a few seconds, her color was normal, and she was looking around alertly. Probably wondering why we were all staring at her.

"...Um, I guess I should feed her."

I was fine, until we got into the car. All of that adrenaline, I guess. But then I broke down.

If your baby isn't even safe in your arms...

You are probably wondering why we didn't take her to the ER right then. Honestly? We didn't even think about it.

It wasn't until around 3am when I was staring at my sleeping baby, unable to put her down that I thought "Oh my gosh, we should have gone to the ER. What kind of parent doesn't go to the ER???"

Then the guilt hit.

This was good, I guess, because I had to put the baby down so I could run into the other room and call my sister Amber. I would probably still be up there holding her right now if I hadn't.

Amber is kind of my lifeline. Kurt is great, but sometimes he is too tired to wake up and listen. And sometimes I just need to talk to my sister.

She reassured me that if I had needed to go to the ER, I would have felt prompted to go there. Obviously, it wasn't just a coincidence that I looked over in time to help Syndil. If I had looked over just 2 minutes later... But I didn't.

I had done some internet research, and figured it was either her reflux, or apnea, and if she didn't have any more spells that night, they wouldn't have been able to figure it out anyway.

(I was right.)

The next day she was fine. Completely fine. Until I tried to feed her before bed.

"Kurt, she won't latch. And she sounds like she is choking when she swallows. Do you hear that?"

She pulled away, and screamed.

"It's probably her reflux. I bet the thrush medicine is making her acid worse."

I tried over and over, but we weren't getting anywhere.

"Here, can you hold her? Maybe if she calms down..."

Kurt picked her up. And her feet were blue.

All the way up to her knees.

I ran and called the nurse line at the pediatricians office.

"Hi, my daughter's feet are blue, and yesterday..." I sobbed into the phone.

They sent us to the ER at the Children's Hospital.




The doctor's saw her right away, because she is so little, and blue feet could mean she isn't getting enough oxygen. We told our story over and over- to 3 different nurses, and 4 different doctors. They ran tests and monitored her for hours. It was 4am when the Attending Physician came in to give us the official word.

"She is fine."

Yup. That's right. It's not uncommon for a baby to turn blue and stop breathing.

I'm not being sarcastic.

Babies with reflux stop breathing sometimes. So do babies with apnea. And sometimes babies do it for no reason at all. Sometimes they remember to breathe again on their own. Sometimes they don't. Their best advice was to watch her closely, but not to lose sleep, because it probably won't happen again.

Probably.

And the blue feet? Sandifer Syndrome. She was cold.

Those old ladies were right.

(but they were still irritating)



So for the past few days I haven't slept for more than 10 minutes at a time. And I probably never will again.

We have an AngelCare monitor, but that only helps when she is sleeping in her crib. Not when she is napping in her bouncer, or riding in her carseat.

Or sleeping in our arms.

My Dad is getting us a Snuza this week. But I still don't know if I'm ever going to look away for more than a second.

Babies are terrifying.



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Thanks Mama Kat for this weeks prompt- "Tell us about one of the scariest moments of your life." When I read it, I thought "Well, that's easy." I probably would have blogged about this eventually. But not today.




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