Thursday, October 13, 2011

A healthy baby update

Thank you for your kind words and messages (both in comment and email form). I was so freaked out when I last wrote.

That day got worse, in fact, when my pediatrician decided that the best course of action was to go to the ER to get checked out. So off we went. It was better than I would have expected. I suppose when anyone brings a two week old baby into an ER, everyone will do whatever they can to ease the parents' worry and to keep the baby safe. That's what happened. They ran a bunch of blood tests to find out if she had low blood sugar, jaundice, and myriad other disorders and conditions. All came back negative/normal. They also did an ultrasound of her brain to ensure that there was nothing structural going on to prevent her from waking up and breathing normally. Again, the results came back normal. Lastly, they gave her IV fluids because she was a tad dehydrated, and they decided to keep her overnight and monitor her to get a full picture of what might be going on. Once more, all seemed normal. Her color improved as a result of the fluids and she had no apnea or low heartrate episodes during the period of observation. They also got a report from the heart rate monitor and found that there "may" have been a few low heart rate episodes, but there were no credible apnea episodes. I forget the words they used, but it was something like "the data is very poor for apnea."

In other words, E got a clean bill of health and we were able to take her home the next day. I felt better, but still stressed. So stressed, in fact, that I called the pediatrician yesterday because I thought I saw her breathing hard and having chest retractions (a lactation consultant saw them, too, and though she said there was nothing to worry about, I couldn't get them out of my mind). I'm glad I took her in yet again, though, because after looking E over thoroughly and hearing my long story, here is what the pedi said, paraphrased, of course, but in quote to indicate that this is how it sounded to me:

"Rachael, E is a perfectly healthy baby. She's had a slightly rough start, but there is nothing wrong with her. She has been monitored more than most babies of her age and she is fine. You need to make the switch from seeing her as a sick baby to seeing her as a healthy infant. Take her home and love her--that's all you need to do. If there were something serious going on, it would have shown itself by now. Relax and stop worrying."

So that's what I'm doing: I'm trying to treat her like a normal baby and I'm doing my best to put all thoughts of her being a sick baby out of my mind. I do feel relieved that she's been evaluated in multiple ways and nothing has been found. We're keeping her on the monitor, just in case (and as the pedi said, because it will allow me to sleep a bit because I can rely on the monitor to tell me if something is wrong). But otherwise: we. are. normal.

Phew. I'm feeling like I'm still dodging ppd here. I'm planning to call my therapist to check in and chat about the stress of all this worry--hopefully it will allow me to release some of the tension. But for now, I'm mostly sane and relaxed and hopefully, we're moving forward.


  1. I really love what your pediatrician told you. I hope that you can truly take it to heart and that it will help you to shed some of the anxiety. If I could go back and say something to myself when I was in your shoes, it would be exactly those words. I only NOW know that they applied to us but I didn't see it that way....and I did not manage to dodge ppd. Another mistake I made was not to recognize the signs and seek help right away. At the time, it all seemed logical - dead baby, stress, depression......
    I hope that you are feeling much better.

  2. Catching up on my blog reading and Whew! I missed a lot!! Congrats on Baby E and I hope you are recovering well.

    I'm sorry there have been some scary episodes, but I think the pediatrician is totally right. (((Hugs))) Hang in there!