Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mothers Intuition

Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. After much debate on what is too personal and what do I really want to share I have decided to tell our story. I hope our own experience in some way helps someone else and I know it will help me to purge it out of my system. I do need to warn that our story may be a little sensitive to some people - so please read knowing that our outcome could have been a million times worse.
This is a picture of our messy little man Odyn, he is 21 months old. I had gone to the doctors right before Christmas for a case of acute bronchitis (which I unfortunately still have and has now turned into asthmatic bronchitis). Being a mother I tried to keep my cold to myself since I knew that once it starts in the house it's really hard for the cold cycle to stop. Odyn started to cough a little, nothing major. The second day of his coughing I informed my hubby that I think I may need to take Odyn to the doctor. Magically the coughing went away the next day and he seemed fine. There was no fever, no discomfort, just normal child.

We were happy that he was feeling better and relieved that he didn't get my cold, or so we thought. On New Years Eve day Odyn started to cough again, but this time the cough was bad. He was like a barking seal and in fact at dinner he was gagging when he coughed. Before my husband went to work I stated that his cold came back with a fight and that we would have to take him to the doctor first thing tomorrow, even though it was New Years. He had a slight fever so I gave him baby Tylenol and put him to bed.

That night at around 11pm my mothers intuition kicked in and I thought I better go check on him. Just when I was about to start walking up the stairs I heard a very small cry one I have never heard before. I ran up the stairs and said "Odyn?" When looking in the crib I could see he was having trouble breathing. His cry was shallow, he was unresponsive, and his eyes started to roll back. Immediately I picked him up and he was hot. Very hot. His body was completely limp and he was starting to turn blue. I screamed and held him close. Running back down the stairs, while I was telling him that he couldn't do this to me that he needed to start breathing, I grabbed my cell phone.

At this time our oldest son Damien who is 7 and shares a room with his brother, ran down the stairs and was asking what he could do to help. He was crying just as much as I was. It was scary. My first thought was that the ambulance was not going to get here in time, so I called my mom who lives 2 houses up from me. My mom teaches CPR classes and I knew that she would be a lot calmer than I was now. ** I must stress that if my mom didn't live so close and if indeed I thought that the ambulance would get here faster I would not have called her first** The phone conversation was brief and really the only thing I can remember was her asking me if I was okay and me saying no. Quickly I dialed 911 and informed Damien to open the door for my mom.

Panicked, I stated my address. The 911 operator asked me to repeat it. I now know that she was doing her job and confirming the address, but when you child is not breathing, your worried that you won't be able to save him in time - you get mad when your asked to repeat yourself. When repeating my address I spoke so slow and clearly that there would be no way she could miss that information.

At some point my mom was there and instructed by the 911 operator my son was laying on the floor. He had started to have shallow breaths again and a small cry. One phrase that I kept repeating to the 911 operator was that the ambulance had to hurry, that he is so important to me, that they NEED to get here and now. Unaware at the time how lucky I really was because 2 calls came in at the same time for an ambulance in the same town. The ambulance was already in route to the other call. A doctor from the hospital was on her way home when she got the call and was seconds away from my house.
When she showed up Odyn had begun to cry, full hard cries, and for the first time in my life I was happy my child was crying. He was still a little unresponsive but his heart beat was strong and his lungs were producing strong breaths of air. The doctor, after checking on him and getting all my information like how much Tylenol, what time he took it, how old he was, informed me that she thinks his temperature spiked and he had a seizure. She still wanted him to go to the hospital and get checked out and the ambulance did arrive.

Being the paranoid mother I am, I went upstairs and checked on my other children. I even woke my daughter up who amazingly had slept through this whole thing. She was not very happy. I grabbed clothes for Odyn and hugged Damien who was worried. He started to cry and told me he didn't want Odyn to die. I sat him down and told him what had happened and that with his help tonight we were able to help him. It's so important to help your child understand that you too are scared but that you will always be there for them. Calling my husband was the hard part. I called him at work and informed him of what happened. He said he would be there soon no matter what and hung up the phone. My mother stayed at our house with Damien and Aries while I rode in the ambulance with Odyn.

I'm not sure if it was the shock in temperature again but in the ambulance Odyn started the shallow breaths again. He had a trance like stare and started to become unresponsive when calling his name. I quickly stated "He's doing it again!" and an oxygen mask went flying to his face. I started to tickle his foot which made him cry but I told him I wanted him to cry and that I needed him to cry. At the hospital they rushed us in and started hooking Odyn up to the heart monitor. He was breathing but his temperature was 103.8.

My husband must have found a rift in time because he works 20 minutes from our house, the hospital is 10 minutes from our house, and he made it to the hospital in 10 seconds. Just looking at him I knew he was scared just as much as I was and we both choked up a bit. They ran several tests on Odyn. At one point they needed to get chest x-rays. Odyn needed to sit on a little box and I needed to help hold him still. The nurse said just for a precaution that if I had an unwire bra on that I might want to take it off. I looked at her in shock and stated that I was in such a rush I didn't even have a bra on - we both laughed.

After all the test and his fever went down we were informed that Odyn had pneumonia. That the medicine they gave him, an inhaler, nebuliser treatments, and amoxicillian would work fast. We had nothing to worry about. He slept in my arms at the hospital and I was nervous to take him home. Both my husband and I agreed that we weren't ready to put him upstairs in his crib and that we would take turns sleeping next to him in our bed while one of us slept on the couch. All weekend we switched baby duties and set our alarm every 4 hours just to make sure no one needed Tylenol. It felt like we had a newborn all over again.

Little by little things are starting to go back to normal. Odyn doesn't have a fever anymore but is still coughing.  He is the one who insisted to sleep in his crib last night. I informed him it was bed time and he immediately started to walk up the stairs. He gave me the look that I was not going to stop him and I wasn't. He didn't need to know that I slept on the couch so I could hear him. We made sure Damien understood everything. He  was made aware of how great he was. This didn't stop him from sleep walking the next night, which he does when he gets stressed or scared.
I have to say we are very lucky. Lucky that I went with my instincts, that I listened to myself, that the doctor was so close to our house, that my cell phone was charged, that my mom knows CPR, and that everything worked out the way it did. This was great lesson that I should always listen to myself. Things have started to get back to normal. I have started something new and harder in crochet, like I did in the past, to keep my mind off of what ifs. My hope is that in someway this story will help you. That if for some reason you check on your kids more than you think you should, or if you are get a sinking feeling and need to call to check up on someone, that it's okay. What if someway someday this helps save someone you love.


Carole said...

Oh my gosh my heart was racing reading this story. I'm so glad it had a good ending. You are so right trust your instincts. It doesn't matter how many times you have to check on him.
I'm sighing in relief! and I'm sure you are too!


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness Amanda what an absolutely horrendous time you've had, you poor thing. No wonder you've been out of sorts.
It's true what they say, a mother does know best!
You have to try and not look back though Amanda, what's done is done and there's no point in torturing yourself with what if's. Your little man is going to be fine.
You have been very brave sharing this with us and in doing so you may at some point help someone else
Take care of yourself and give Odyn a huge hug from me!
Lots of love and best wishes,
Vivienne x

eddunsmore said...

Thank God your story has a happy ending. Cathy

Anonymous said...

You are the best mom I know. :)

Intuitive Girl said...

What a fantastic story. I'm so glad you trusted your instincts. I'm so glad your story had a happy ending.

Naturally Carol said...

I am so pleased this panned out the way it did for you and that you had the wisdom to respond to your feelings that night! I hope that all of you will be over this awful bug very quickly now. With many hugz and much concern...Carol.

Jaime Haney aka ArtsyFartsy.Me said...

Oh my Amanda! I had tears streaming down as I read this even though I knew it was ending ok.

I live way out and have often thought that an ambulance could never make it in time let alone get us to the hospital which is 45 minutes away. I felt your pain and panic. I am so glad little Odyn is doing well.

My mother always told me that we each have our very own angel sent by God to protect us. Yours and Odyn's was there and so was God that day.

I'll bet you may have a few gray hairs after that scare. I hope you're holding up alright. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging us to trust our instincts.

*✿* millie meadowsweet *✿* said...

a mother's worst nightmare. my heart was beating like the clappers when i read through your post, praying liitle Odyn would be ok. what a sweet little man he is.
i think a mother's intuition should always be taken seriously. our natural instincts are very reliable.
Damien sounds like a very compassionate and sturdy young man, bless him.
thank God you are all safe.
i think writing about it as you have is healing, it is quite a shock you've had there. also other mothers reading it will recognise these warning signs in their little ones and know to trust their instincts.
you are very brave and obviously a very loving, protective and dedicated mother.

take care all of you and be happy xxx

love and hugs


silverpebble said...

I'm tearful with relief for you. I am so so glad he is on the mend. I just saw your anti 'what if' blanket. Be good to yourself.

We went through something similar with my eldest -she had a very high fever, then fitted for 5 minutes and was unresponsive for several hours afterwards. She recovered but we were in the hospital for a week.

manda's challenges :) said...

When my newborn daughter was 6 weeks old she too was rushed in your heart races ten to the dozen and you go into overdrive i feel for you my daughter was kept in all over Christmas back then diagnosed with bronchialitus from what i recall, i'm pleased to say she's 12 now and have had no major panics since, she was kept on those nubulizer treatments for quite some time but doesn't and hasn't had them for some time now big hugs for you. You did the right thing thank the lord for intuition's xxx

Rubyred said...

Oh my goodness, what a horribly frightening time for you!Phew,so glad all is well now!
Rachel x

Erin said...

Oh my goodness what a horrible night for your family. I am very happy everyone is doing better!

Lola Nova said...

My dear, what an ordeal! Your story had me in tears and brought me back to similar feelings I have had. You poor things. Thank heavens he is alright and know that soon you will be peaceful again. It is a horrible shock to your whole body I know.

I remember a night a couple of years ago when I woke up in the middle of the night and just had a "feeling". I checked on my girl but she wasn't in bed. I went to the front room and saw the door wide open! I ran outside screaming her name and ran down the street. I caught her just as she was turning the corner A BLOCK AWAY! She couldn't sleep and wanted to go to the park. Thank goodness for mother's intuition! We have also had a mad rush to the hospital for a choking baby too.
Hugs to you and to your sweet family. Be kind to yourselves.

pinkfluffywarrior said...

What a scary time for you, and your family. So glad everything turned out ok. xxx