Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Kane Health Update

I debated about whether I wanted to share Kane's health scare on social media or not.  It felt private, and I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I really didn't want to talk about it.  But then I found myself feeling lonely, especially during that night in the hospital when it was just Kane & I.  I wanted the support of our family & friends.  And with all the bad that may come with social media at times, it's also the easiest way to reach out to multiple people at once.  Also, this is part of Kane's story; and right now with his story really only just beginning, it feels like a big part.  This blog is my journal.  It's his baby book.  So here is one part of the ever growing story of his life.

Since his birth, Kane has been a very relaxed, chill baby.  He just fit right into the family.  But then a day or two before he became sick, I noticed that he was a little too chill.  His awake time seemed to be decreasing instead of increasing, and even when he was awake he was so mellow.  I thought I had remembered Liam & Finn being more active.  I realize newborn babies don't do much, but they should be moving their arms & legs around like they have no idea how to control them.  And there should be a variety of facial expressions, but I just wasn't noticing any of this from Kane.  Deep in my gut this kept bothering me, but all seemed well.  At nine days old, we made our first trip to the pediatrician for a check up.  He was perfectly healthy, putting on weight, & crazy long.  Our tallest kid yet!  I mentioned his lethargy to the pediatrician, but again, we all assumed he was just a relaxed baby.


That evening, Kane declined quickly.  All he did was sleep.  And he would cry if we even moved him just a bit.  And he wasn't eating.  I would have a letdown with my breast in his mouth, and the milk would just pool there.  He was completely uninterested.  And then he got a fever.  I put a call in to our doctor, just wanting to ask what I may need to keep my eye on.  Since we had just been at the office only hours earlier, I didn't feel the need (or want) to take him into a place filled with germs again.  While we waited for the doctor to call us back, we took his temperature which was 100.2.  This was close to the scary number for newborns which is 100.4+.  When our doctor called back and heard how high his temp was, they told us to immediately go the children's hospital to get him tested for sepsis & meningitis.  I started bawling immediately & was so scared.  Kane was on my chest & Finn sitting next to me.  He asked "mama, why are you crying?" and I didn't even know how to begin telling him his brother was so so sick.

We immediately called our neighbors to see if they were home and could watch our older boys even though it was already 7pm.  We left dinner hot on the table, and I quickly packed my diaper bag.  Grabbing anything I thought I might need, knowing that I probably wasn't coming home with my baby that night.  It was a long long 25 minute drive.  Conor & I both cried; not knowing what path this drive would ultimately be taking our family on.  We called our parents for support and to keep them informed, but otherwise there was a lot of silence, processing what was happening and what we could do about it.


It was a bizarre feeling walking into the hospital.  After having his perfect home birth where we had avoided all the extra handling & intervention, we were now right there anyway.  It just toyed with my emotions.  We were admitted quickly into a triage room since they didn't want a newborn around all the waiting sick people.  His temperature had skyrocket in a short amount of time, which had me completely on edge.  We met our first team of doctors, who informed us that Kane would need urine & blood tests, as well as a spinal tap to rule out meningitis.  I just lost it at the thought of my 9 day old baby getting a spinal tap.  Kane did not like being moved at all, so seeing him go through it all was heart wrenching.  Thankfully I was able to hold him between all procedures, but the times he was out of my arms were brutal.  We were told that we were looking at a 36 hour minimum stay, because that is how long it would take to let cultures grow and completely rule out sepsis & meningitis. And potentially much longer should any of those life threatening things come back positive.  We anxiously waited for white blood cell counts to come back, as that was going to dictate whether we were sent to the NICU or not.  They also started antibiotics immediately, in case it was a bacterial infection.  I value the virgin gut of a newborn and was devastated about the antibiotics, but I also knew that it absolutely was not worth the risk to wait.  Thankfully his white blood cell count was good, so we were admitted to an observation room on the emergency floor.

The hours ticked by, but my tears did not dry up.  While I didn't let my mind wander to the worst case scenario, I was still terrified.  It is so hard to see your baby, your brand new baby, so sick.  Hurting so much.  Knowing we would be in the hospital for awhile, we decided to fly my mom in the following morning.  We needed the extra help with the older boys as well as support at the hospital when Conor couldn't be with me.  Already it was getting late, so Conor left Kane & I at the hospital around 10:30pm to go stay with the boys for the evening.  That was the loneliest night ever!  I was not allowed to sleep with Kane in my bed (the monitors wouldn't even reach that far), and he absolutely refused to be put down, so I spent the entire evening in an uncomfortable rocking chair.  I somewhat dozed off between 2-4am, but otherwise I was awake, barely.  I felt delirious at times.  Utterly exhausted (emotionally & physically) but unable to sleep.  Needing to pee, but unable to listen to my baby scream for those minutes I would have to put him down.  Looking at his IV that seemed bigger than his whole hand, watching the monitors & listening to the scary beeps when his breathing seemingly quickened far too much.  It was a lot to handle especially alone.  And it was hard being away from my other boys.  I kept wondering how he got so sick.  Did we not wash our hands enough?  Were the few visitors we had too many?  Could I have prevented this? Did I do this to him?


Morning finally came.  I knew that breakfast & my mom were on their way.  And then finally some good news.  Kane had tested positive for a virus (enterovirus).  Likely, this was the virus I had in the weeks leading up to delivery, or just something that got passed around our family shortly after Kane was born.  His doctor explained that while still possible, it would be ridiculous for him to have a virus as well as something bacterial.  It was the first time I could relax.  Kane could fight a virus.  We were no longer looking at something that could have long term affects.  We were told they were going to watch Kane for the rest of the day, and continue to watch his cultures just in case, but that if he was eating well, he may be able to go home that evening.  After only a 24 hour stay!  I was still skeptical though, because Kane wasn't eating.  And his fever was still so high.  Even Tylenol was barley bringing it down.

Conor, the boys, & my mom arrived around 9:30am that morning.  I was able to share the good news with them and hug on my sweet boys.  Both seemed truly concerned about their brother; lots of hugs & kisses for him.  Liam had his first soccer game of the season that day, so our plan was to keep a normal day for the older boys, while my mom stayed with me at the hospital.  She took over holding duties so that I could catch up on sleep.  And I was actually able to.  I took three solid naps over the course of the day.  If I wasn't trying to feed Kane, I was sleeping.  It was a relief to not be the only person who could comfort and snuggle him after our long night together and while Conor painfully tried to keep everything as normal as possible for the boys.  Anytime Kane had to be examined, he would wake up so I took those opportunities to try and nurse him.  He was never very interested.  I was really starting to worry about what these days of not eating were doing to my supply.  I know how critical these early days are, and how he needs to be on my breast as much as possible.  Without him nursing, my body wouldn't know to keep producing milk.  I was starting to show the signs of early mastitis, so I decided to ask for a breast pump.  I was overly emotional about the whole thing.  It was a silly, but my post partum hormones were real, and my baby was sick, and I just wanted to feed him.  I just wanted to do that one thing.  I pumped 3 oz off one side in under 5 minutes, so that put me a bit at ease about my supply.  I'm pretty sure 9 day old babies don't eat anywhere close to 3 oz in one feeding.


But somehow, somehow, throughout the day, he did improve.  He did start eating again, and eating well enough to go off of his IV fluids.  He started opening his eyes and looking at us.  It was such a relief to see even the slightest improvements.  Our doctor felt comfortable enough to send us home!  Conor put both older boys to sleep at the house, before joining me at the hospital around 9pm to get discharged.  I teared up watching them remove the IV and the monitors, turning off the machines.  I was able to put him back in cloth diapers (no more daiper weight checks!) and in some clothes to go home.  Our night nurse walked us to the door, and I was almost sad to leave her.  Some very special people helped us through some pretty dark hours.  Our 24 hour stay felt like days.  I couldn't believe it had all happened in such a short amount of time!  And we feel so fortunate.  Many families never get that good news.  They don't get to come up for that breath of fresh air, just a mere day later.  I still think about and pray for those families.  

We've now been home for 2 days, and things have been going well.  We love seeing him spend more time awake, more time engaging with us.  Seeing his little body wiggle in all those crazy uncontrollable ways.  Hearing his coos & hiccups.  And watching for those little smiles that are starting to appear, whether intentional or not.  We're still doing lots of resting, just trying to get him back to full strength.  Today was our first fever free day which is something to celebrate.  Soon this will all be behind us.  This nightmare.  But for now, I have a little bit of PTSD.  I'm terrified he will decline again.  But I have faith that he is a strong boy, and that we are doing our best for him.  Thank you all for the kind words, prayers, thoughts, support.  I love our community of people near & far.  I felt the collective hug from everyone, and for that I am so so grateful.

14 comments :

  1. Oh Laura. Seeing your posts on social media broke my heart, but this was hard to read. Wow. What an emotional experience. Thank God Kane is better and you guys are home. Hugs and love to you.

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  2. Oh dearest darling friend, I am so so so so sorry you had to deal with such a horribly tough few days. I can't imagine the fear and pain you all experience, I'm just grateful you are now on the other side with a happy baby. <3

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  3. Omg Laura. So so scary. Beyond relieved to hear that he is on the mend!!

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  4. My heart is breaking reading this, thinking about how scary this was for you and Conor and your mom and the boys, and knowing, like you said, that so many families go through things like this all the time. Hope you are ALL on the mend physically and emotionally! Sending virtual kisses to sweet baby Kane <3

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  5. Thank the good lord, oh my goodness! I've been so worried but am now overjoyed that y'all are back home and on the mend! Reach out if you need anything - a hug, chat sesh or virtual caffeine! (hehe)

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  6. Oh my, I just can't imagine going through all that. Plus all those hormones. You are a wonderful and strong momma, just what Kane needs. So glad to hear he's getting better!!

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  7. So sorry to hear you all had to go through this. We had a similar exprience with my son when he was 6 weeks (cannot imagine it at 9 days!)
    He had to have a spinal tap to rule out meningitis as well, so sad to see your baby in that kind of pain and you are helpless. Fortunately, my son is happy and healthy at 6 years old today and hoping the same for Kane!

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  8. OMG OMG OMG. My heart lept into my throat reading this. I am so glad to hear Kane is doing better. That is a terrifying experience and I am so sorry you had to go through that!

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  9. I absolutely can't imagine going through this. You are such a brave mama. I'm so so so happy he's doing better! Grow Kane, grow!!

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  10. So, SO glad to hear that he is doing so much better! I still remember the moment you told us, my heart sank knowing just how little he is. But he is a fighter and he's doing amazing!

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  11. I'm so so so happy he's doing better, Laura! What a terrifying thing to have to go through! <3

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  12. My gorgeous friend, you are a very strong and brave mama. I cannot imagine the fear and pain you have experienced these past few days and the pure relief knowing your baby boy is on his way to good health again! Sending you so much strength, love and prayers x

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  13. Oh, how hard!!!! I will keep praying for his health! I am so thankful your mom could come.

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