The next day he seemed a little better, but I still felt this nagging. I called my mom and told her that I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. She told me to listen to my feelings; in her experience, a mother's feelings are usually more indicative than any test.
The next day I knew I needed to take him in again. So we did. His cough was worse, his little body shook so hard with each one that it just about broke my heart. After the nurse took his vitals and monitored his oxygen saturation, she called in the doctor right away and then it all just went crazy. He tested positive for RSV, which, in older kids and adults is nothing but a bad cold. In a baby, though, especially a newborn, their little airways are so teensy and their lungs are so new that RSV quickly can become serious.
The doctor gave him a nebulizer treatment and listened to his lungs for a while and then told us to go home and wait for a call from the children's hospital in the city. As soon as a bed opened up, Will would be admitted.
We drove home and I felt this (somewhat sick?) sense of gratification. I had known something was wrong. I was right. I don't know, maybe it was because it was the first time I've felt my motherly instincts really kick in. Anyway, it was weird.
Got home, turned on Frozen for the kids, packed a bag and ate half of a bag of dark chocolate chips. 'Cause that's how I roll.
That afternoon we arrived at the hospital and our little boy was worse than ever. He coughed and coughed and then would just lie limp. It was so hard to watch.
Steven got Will and I situated in our room and then left to pick up our other kids from a friend's house and take them home for the night.
I struggle with not tucking my kids in at night. It drives Steven crazy sometimes… when we get a babysitter I have to make sure I've tucked them in before we leave. OCD? Needless to say, that first night, I really missed my kids and my husband. I held Will as much as I could for comfort but he needed to be on the crib to be treated and monitored. That was hard too.
Will's oxygen levels kept setting off the alarm (I mean, like every ten minutes) and eventually my body figured out how to sleep amidst the BEEP BEEP, opening and shutting door, parade of sweet nurses and worried residents who came in at each alarm.
I quickly fell in love with our nurses. My heck, nurses make all the difference between a good experience and a bad one. We had the best nurses ever and I loved the way they loved Will. It was so comforting to watch their experience help my baby when there was little to nothing I could do for him.
We were in the hospital for five days. The days consisted of lots of beeping, lots of respiratory therapy and nebulizer treatments, lots of me standing next to his crib trying to help him into positions that would make it easier to breathe, and lots and lots of snuggles. I feel like I got to know my little dude during these five days. It was nice, in a way, to have time alone with him. He had all of my attention, all the time. Pretty sure the nurses think I'm agoraphobic because I barely left the room (the truth was, I knew I'd get lost if I tried to go anywhere), but mostly I didn't want Will to be alone.
It meant so much to me that when he was so uncomfortable and sad and probably wondering why he'd signed up for mortality, nursing and holding him would calm him down and help him sleep.
I can safely say that it was a sad, sweet, trying and ultimately humbling experience.
Willobee, we love you. Thanks for being a fighter.