This latest break in blogging was caused by an impromptu trip to the hospital. On Friday, at our follow=up appointment with the pediatrician, we saw our actual doctor (NOT her younger, "you know CPR, right?" counterpart) and our doctor listened to our tale of woe for approximately 5 minutes (minus tears on my part, even) and said "wouldn't you feel better just going to the hospital; if it were my child I would!" at which point I wanted to shout out with glee. In a half an hour we were admitted, and I was elated to be able to go somewhere where E could be monitored by people with lifesaving machinery and know-how at their fingertips.
All in all, we spent 48 hours in the hospital, monitoring E's oxygen saturation and heart rate. In comparison to the other babies on the floor, he looked like the picture of health, of course, so the doctors were happy to linger in our room and theorize about what might be going on. In the end, it was decided that E has such a bad case of reflux that the coughing part of the virus he picked up from us has just overwhelmed his system, leaving him coughing up stomach acid that he can't handle, which results in his coughing/choking/sputtering/not breathing fits. As his cough finally goes away, he should return to "normal," though it pains me (and him) to call his awful reflux symptoms normal. Eventually it was decided we should watch and wait, continue his current meds, and return to the hospital if things get worse, because they appear to be getting better, as in fewer and fewer episodes since Wednesday.
As far as hospital stays go, this was one of the best I've ever had. I was so relieved to be there, it was like a vacation from the worry that has been plaguing me lately. I have also decided someone needs to market a pulse ox machine to the general public. There is nothing more relieving with a small baby than to be able to look at a screen from a bed across the room and see that yes, your baby is still breathing just fine, with his heart beating regularly! It was even nice to spend so much time alone with E, who has recently begun to smile and make noises in response to us. J did come to the hospital with me from the pediatrician's office, of course, but the husband met us there, and then they went out and watched the Blue Angels outside and walked around the city until dinner time and then went home (J did get a mystery fever that day but it was gone by the next afternoon). They came to see me on Saturday afternoon as well, and that day the husband and I traded kids for a few hours to get me out of the hospital room (J and I wandered around downtown and shopped a little) and they left again in the evening. Sunday morning, we were discharged, and they came and picked us up after the first hour of church.
Now E seems much better, so we hope most of the worst is behind us. And we've learned some valuable lessons:
--our doctor is the best! Her partner, not so much.
--when you think the hospital might be the best place for you, don't hesitate to say so.
--always keep a change of clothes for everyone in the trunk.
--and keep a packed toiletry kit in a drawer at home, just in case.
--don't leave a load of wet towels in the washing machine for three days (hello, mildew!).
--be grateful for your healthy babies!