I feel the need to write this because I have a responsibility to my AN community. You guys have prayed right along with me for my son and for that I’m eternally grateful. I’m also writing this for friends and family because I just can’t answer texts, calls, emails, messages, etc. right now.
Here’s what’s going on.
This past Saturday, Scott and I had an amazing day with Everett. We gave him a bath, which he loved. He trialed off the CPAP (his oxygen machine) for forty five minutes and did an awesome job. We could’ve done even longer but didn’t want to stress him out. He was happy as a clam, wide awake and the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. We were thrilled.
Then, overnight the sink next to his crib was on the fritz. Our NICU is completely open. So they moved him into the isolation room while a plumber worked on the sink – which was loud. They figured the isolation room would be good because he had topical MRSA anyway ( a lot of the babies do – hospitals) and give us some more privacy. We are, after all, the longest residents of the NICU at this point.
I wasn’t happy about this. I didn’t want him to be alone in there. Especially because it’s harder for the nurses to keep an eye on him. So I went in on Sunday and noticed he was having a bit more “events” than usual. Events are drops in his oxygen level or heart rate. Nothing too significant, but enough that I noticed. He also had a thick mucous coming out of his mouth. It was clear, but very thick, like egg white. I told the nurse this was not typical.
Later in the day, after we removed his onesie and unswaddled him, the nurse noticed his left lymph node was a bit swollen. I immediately went into panic mode. I left the room, got the charge nurse and told her to find the attending (the head doctor) to come look at it.
She felt around and confirmed his lymph was swollen and that he had an infection. I was hysterical. I was terrified. Infection is not good for any baby, but especially a premature baby. She said it was probably minor and she would start him on antibiotics immediately. I felt it was more serious and constant terror overcame me.
We went home that night but one of the doctors called me at 2:30AM and said we needed to come in. I’ve never been more scared in my life. Everett had to go from CPAP, to NIPPV (more assisted breathing machine) and eventually he had to be intubated. The swelling on his neck had advanced in a matter of hours and was pushing on his airway. We stayed at the hospital from 3AM until 7PM. I can’t even repeat some of the conversations we had with the doctors. I don’t even want to think about them. I will just say that he was in critical condition.
Yesterday morning (Tuesday) they did an ultrasound and found a tiny abscess in his neck. Originally they planned to drain it, but it’s so small that they think the antibiotics will take care of it. They plan to do another ultrasound today (Wednesday) to monitor it.
I called his nurse a few hours ago and she said he is doing well. He’s on less oxygen and the swelling is going down. She is doing a repeat CRP test (this measures his level of inflammation and was previously very high) and I will call to see what the results are in about twenty minutes.
We’ve had a lot of scares in the NICU and this is the most serious. His doctor told us that prior to this happening, he was doing so well that he was two weeks from coming home with us. He WILL come home with us. There is no other option. It just may be longer, which is fine.
At this point, we are not out of the woods but he is getting better. He is fighting the infection. He is getting healthier. Please pray, send positive energy, love and light to my son. Yesterday his doctor shook his head and said, “One thing’s for sure, he’s a fighter.”
And he is. This kid has been through so much in the past 11 weeks. And he’s made it through all of it. He is incredibly brave, strong and getting better everyday. He is our miracle baby. He will make it through this. He will come out even stronger and healthier. He will come home with us.
How fitting that his middle name is River and Everett means brave as a wild boar, strong, hearty. God is he ever.