When you're growing up, or at least when I was, and my parents would do something I though was weird or over-protective, they would always tell me "Someday you'll understand." That someday came this week. Dean and I have been in Oxford visiting my family for almost 2 weeks now. Last Tuesday, he started coughing. I called the doctor in NY. They told me it was a cold, to steam him and watch his temperature. On Wednesday it was a little worse. I called again. They told me to steam him and watch his temperature and that it might get worse before it got better. By Wednesday night, after steaming, he was wheezing and my mom and I had decided he was going to walk-in hours at the local pediatrician's office. We got there at 7:15 Thursday morning. The next two hours flew by in a blur as they listened to his chest, took a nasal swab, poked his little finger for a blood test and passed us from the nurse practitioner to the doctor. At 9:30, I walked out of there with orders to have Dean admitted to the hospital. He was diagnosed with RSV or Repiratory Syncytial Virus. This is apparently a very common illness in young babies, especially those born in the winter months. If it's not caught and treated early, it can turn into pneumonia. The doctor told us the easiest way to treat it was to put him in the hospital for 24 hour observation and breathing treatments. So off we went to Baptist Memorial, me crying all the way. Remember my mom had a kidney transplant 3 months ago, so she can't even go near a hospital or doctor's office unless she's wearing a mask. Her transplant coordinator wouldn't even let her pass through admissions. So Dean and I went up and got settled in the room (I'm still crying at this point) and I called Marcus to tell him our 9 week old was being hospitalized. The word terrifying does not even begin to describe how I felt. Long story short, they took more blood, out of his little foot this time. If you've never had to hold your baby while someone squeezed blood out of his little heel, you are a lucky parent. They set up a croup tent over the big hospital bed and Dean had to sit under it to receive straight oxygen. He also received breathing treatments from a tiny nebulizer. I was able to get into the tent with him and also to sleep with him in the bed. (not that we really slept much...) My dad and my grandma arrived about an hour after we checked in and it was great to have company. After a few hours in the tent and a couple of breathing treatments, Dean started to bounce back. By the next afternoon, he was his usual, charming self, batting those long eyelashes at all the nurses and causing them to melt. We were released Friday night with our own tiny nebulizer so we could continue breathing treatments at home and orders to sleep with a cold-mist humidifier. We will go back to the doctor Monday afternoon to see how things are progressing. He is feeling MUCH better now and his cough is almost gone. He is such a brave boy when he does his little breathing treatments. He never cries or fusses, he just takes it like a man. The doctor told us we wouldn't be ready to travel on Tuesday, so I changed our flight to get us home on Friday evening. We miss Marcus terribly and I know he's dying to set eyes on his little boy just to see that he's ok. (we web-camed for a bit last night)
I knew I adored my little boy even before he was born. You've all seen the picture of me holding him for the first time, and if you can't see the absolute, unconditional love in my eyes, then you must not be looking at the right picture. I love Dean so much. But I had no idea how much until something was wrong with him. I know this isn't the last time he'll ever be sick, which is a scary thought in and of itself. I am so thankful that he has pulled through this so well. (babies bounce back fast!) Somehow, I feel closer to him after this ordeal. (16 hours in a croup tent together will do that...) There is no better feeling in the world than going to pick him up when he wakes up and seeing that big, beautiful smile just for me. I get it now. And if anyone tries to take blood out of his little heel again anytime soon, I may slug them.
PS: RSV doesn't affect adults as seriously, it just manifests as a bad cold. A cold which my mom, dad and I all have. Niiiiiiiiice.
PS2: As horrible as the hospital ordeal was, I just have to tell you that my little boy looked SO adorable in his tiny peach hospital gown. ADORABLE. And no, I didn't take a picture. :(