I awoke last night to the cry of a baby, but it was only a dream. I looked at her empty cradle and sighed, how did this become my life? I am thankful, amidst what seems like chaos, because my baby is alive, her prognosis is good, she will eventually come home. Those are all wonderful things that some parents haven't heard. There are babies in the NICU right now whose future prognosis is unknown. Tonight I am thankful amidst this unexpected trial.
Our little peanut was diagnosed with RSV Saturday morning at the Cooks urgent care clinic. Her X-rays were clear and she didn't have a fever. We were released on breathing treatments, saline drops, and instructions to suction her nose like crazy, Saturday evening I picked up her medicine and gave Abby her first treatment around 10:00 pm. I then gave her a warm bath and then prepared her for bed. During her feeding ar 11:00 John and I noticed her struggling to feed. I also heard a "crackle" in her chest. She then choked on some milk, went limp and we had a terrible time getting her to respond to us. She began to turn blue and then took some short shallow breaths. By now her color was an ashen gray. John and I discussed taking her to Cooks and about the time we decided to call my mom to stay with the boys, Abby coughed up some milk and then began struggling to breath all over again. In earnest we got ready to leave and debated calling an ambulance, but really weren't sure if we were over reacting or not. She had been diagnosed this morning and they didn't seem concerned.
We left the house around 11:30 and drove to downtown FW, she began having a few more spells and John finally flagged down a police officer to escort us to the ER. We'd never been to Cooks and had a general idea where the hospital was, but we weren't positive. We were immediately moved to an assessment room, then a triage room where Abby was looked at by a pediatric ER doctor. After a two minute exam he said he was moving her to a warming table, said she was going to be admitted, and was going to put in an IV. Once we got her on the table, he immediately saw her stop breathing on the monitor for a few seconds. That was when everyting started happening so fast. Immediately he said she would be intubated, then about 12 doctors and nurses arrived and began working on her. We were ushered to a private family room and Dr. Lemon came back in about 10 minutes later/ He said Abby was intubated, on paralysis medication and we were able to see her. Over the next 30 minutes they assessed her, worked on getting fluids into her, removed air pressure from her stomach which had built up, and tried to get her blood pressure under control.
Once Abby was stable we were then taken upstairs to the NICU where we were introduced to her new nurses and the doctor. The staff were so warm and wonderful, it made the shock of the past few hours a little easier to handle. Around 5:00 am John and I felt comfortable with everything and I went home to get some sleep, John stayed by his little peanut until I arrived the next afternoon.
Throughout all our prayers and the shock of seeing our child intubated and on a vent, John and I both felt the "peace of God which surpasses all understanding." We truly have so much to be thankful for: God kept her alive until we reached the ER, He gave us a great and assured doctor who acted quickly, He has provided family and friends to walk us through this, He has provided modern medicine which has saved her life. we are the fortunate ones, our little girl will be coming home within the next month, she shouldn't have any long term effects from the virus. That is more than some of the parents in the NICU. We are blessed and thankful tonight - even though her cradle is empty and its hard to not be with our Abby 24/7, we have confidence in the One who is holding her little hand and singing over her. We intimately know the author of life, the One who created our Abby and loves her more than we do - Jesus Christ!
We may be struggling right now from lack of sleep and the stress which has unfolded, but we know where our hope is fixed - "praise be to God for His indescribable gifts" - the gift of our little peanut Abby!