Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tough Choices and Child Abandonment

Several weeks ago my husband and I made plans to go away for a long weekend with friends up north. Sans children. We arranged for my parents to watch the girls and the dog, and we originally thought we'd bring them over Friday late afternoon and pick them up Sunday. Then we find out that we could technically leave sooner, like Friday morning. So I ask my mom if that works. It would. Then, one couple was so enthusiastic, they wanted to leave Thursday evening. I ask my mom again, and she was fine with it. I think I was more nervous about leaving than my mom was to watch them, but it was our first trip away since Lena was born, and she's not exactly the easiest baby on earth.

On Wednesday evening, I hear Lena cough a little bit over the baby monitor. Offfffff course she gets a cough before we're supposed to go away. Her cough was really loud and barky. She slept fine through the night but around 5:30 on Thursday morning, she wakes up and she has the most horrible wheeze I've ever heard.
She's pretty worked up, so as I'm trying to calm her down, I called the pediatrician's answering service. I'm waiting for like 10 minutes, and saw screw it, I'm taking her to the emergency room. I knew it sounded like croup, but it was taking so long for her to calm her breathing. I took her outside, but it wasn't cold enough to change her breathing. Marcus convinced not to take her to the ER, she was calming down, just give it a little more time. Her lips weren't blue, but her face was quite pale. As she coughed again, the whole routine started over again. Once she was calm again, I called the on call doctor again, got a hold of him right away this time, and he said I could either go to the ER or wait until the office opened in a couple of hours. Since Lena had fallen back asleep, I decided to just wait. I had taken a video to show her doctor in case her breathing was completely fine by the time she had her visit. Knowing that I had plans to go away, I wanted to find out how serious the thought it was and if it was still ok.

That's not crying, it's breathing. Scary sounding, no?

Of course when we went to the doctor's office, she was much better sounding. They did prescribe her a steroid and I don't know if they would have done it based on her current condition or based on what she sounded like, but I am SO glad they gave us something. The doctor encouraged me to go away for the weekend, and the croup is much scarier sounding than it is, and my mom would be able to handle it. 
So not only was like "hey mom, watch my kids. watch them sooner. wait now watch them even sooner. here's my sick kid! oh and my dog too!"

Turns out, everything was fine! My mom told me that Lena did great, slept all night was mostly chipper. 
She told me she wasn't lying either. I was able to get away for a nice long weekend without feeling *too* guilty about it.

So basically this is a PSA for new moms whose kids haven't been sick yet. This is what croup can sound like. Ask for a steroid and you won't be terrified. Because I know everything there is to know about all babies and all respiratory illnesses.

Would you still go away if your kid got sick in the last minute? Am I horrible mother?!


  1. Since you asked, no, I probably wouldn't, but then again I don't have family who would ever watch my kids for a weekend (sucks to be me) so it's a moot point.

    My daughter got croup a few times as a baby (we went to the ER once which was pointless since there was nothing to do) and yes, the steroids were the best ever.

    FYI, at four she still gets a little "spasmodic" croupy with colds and viruses, which not like real croup, but a croupy cough just at night when she's sick. So I guess be prepared, once a croupy kid, always a croupy kid?

    And, pardon me, but how is Lena not the easiest baby ever? She sleeps all night even when she's sick? Sounds easy to me ;)

  2. Lena has finally turned a corner with being a lot easier. She has been a great sleeper on and off, but mostly good now. And at 10 months (a month ago), she started to scoot around which made day time MUCH more pleasant. She was a bear all of the time. Good thing she's cute!