That's when I remembered that they had told me to take his temperature under his arm pit and not his ear. I don't know why I didn't think about it the day before, but you know, sleep deprivation. And all those papers they give you when you leave the hospital about when to call if your baby has a problem? I always just brushed those aside because my babies have never had any of those problems. Until this one. When I finally found the right thermometer and took his temperature it was 102.2. That's when I really started getting worried. I called our doctor and the after hours nurse said to take him to the Emergency Room. That is what I thought, but I wanted some validation.
I took him in at around 10 pm and said that my baby had a fever. How high? 102.2 How old is your baby? 8 days... that's when they immediately took him back to look at him. They began sticking things in every part of his little body--a rectal thermometer, a urine catheter (twice), a nose swab, an IV in his little arm and worst of all, at least for me to watch, a lumbar puncture. I almost passed out when they did the lumbar puncture. Ew. Thankfully, the fluid was clear and didn't look infected. They also did a chest x-ray and gave him two types of antibiotics. At some point the doctor came in and said that it was looking like it was probably a UTI, but that we needed to be admitted to Primary Children's Hospital. It was 3:30 am before we were able to leave the ER. Luckily, they let me drive him myself instead of transporting him in an ambulance (like we need any more medical bills).
Once we got to Primary Children's, everyone that entered the room took great care to wear a mask, cover and gloves every time they saw Wesley. And there were lots of people coming in to look at him. That lasted until the next day. The first time they took his temperature up there it was 104.2! Yikes. At least I felt validated in taking him in. He really was sick. They gave him some tylenol and the fever started coming down. I was so extremely tired after staying up all night with him. I was so thankful when one of the techs offered to hold him so I could sleep a bit. I got 2 hours of sleep that night. When I woke up, Wesley not only had all the monitors on him, but they also had oxygen going. Poor little guy!
For the rest of the day he did not want me to put him down. This was especially hard because I couldn't move much further than the uncomfortable rocking chair because of all the cords he was hooked up to. My phone had died and I didn't have a charger, so somebody found something that would plug into the computer across the room to charge it. But I couldn't reach it while still holding Wesley. The phone in the room had a tiny cord so I couldn't reach that either. Frustrating, especially since I needed to let people know what was going on.
Later that night they moved us to a different room with a more comfortable bed for me. Unfortunately, Wesley still didn't want me to put him down much so I held him most of the time. We ended up being there for four days, and I felt like I couldn't leave him because of nursing. He also seemed to want to nurse every hour for like 5 or 10 minutes. So he was basically just snacking and not getting a full meal. It was so exhausting to me to have to feed him so often. I would sleep with him in the chair as much as I could, but it was very tiring. I was so happy to have Jared and the kids visit, as well as my parents and sister, and some good friends and a sister-in-law come. It definitely helped pass the time and give me a break. Jared took the whole week off to take care of the rest of the kids at home and our neighbors were so kind to make our family dinners that week.
They found out on Monday morning that his blood culture came back positive for E. Coli. They think that he must have first gotten the UTI from stool getting into his urinary tract, and then because he was so little, the infection got into his blood stream. However he got it, I was so grateful to have caught it before something worse happened. The infectious disease team said that E. Coli is one of the most common infections they see in infants and that it would be pretty routine to treat with the right antibiotic. But they wanted to make sure that the bacteria wasn't reproducing and so they needed two new negative blood cultures in order to let us go home. Since each one took 24 hours, we had to stay until Wednesday.
He was definitely responding to the antibiotics because he hadn't had a fever since Sunday and everything else looked good. We were able to take his oxygen off on Monday, but still had a bunch of other wires and cords to deal with. They had to give him the antibiotic through an IV, and since they don't last that long, they had to give him three different IV's.
Before we could leave, they were going to put a PICC line in his arm so that we could give hime the antibiotics at home. PICC lines last longer because they go directly into the main vein near the heart. Since he was so little, they had to take him down to a special area in the hospital where they could look at the line with an ultrasound while it was going in (the vein they used was only 1 mm in diameter). They also weren't sure if they were going to need to sedate him or not. Because of that, he couldn't eat for 4 hours before the procedure. That is so sad for a newborn, especially one that wants to eat every hour! Two hours before he could have 2 oz. of Pedialyte but that was it. Then, when they tried to give the last dose of antibiotics through his IV right before they took him down, his IV started leaking. They called the IV team up to get him a new one and within 5 minutes the team of 3 were there and done. That's all they do all day so they are pretty good at it.
Anyway, it was not easy to leave little Wesley when they were putting in the line. Luckily, they didn't have to sedate him. They only gave him a little sugar water on his pacifier and he stayed still. If they had needed to sedate him we would have had to stay another day in the hospital. He's my only baby that has ever taken a pacifier, even though I tried with all of them. This was a huge blessing in the hospital when he really needed comfort during some rough things he had to go through.
Once we got home, a home health nurse came to teach us how to give him the antibiotics through his PICC line. It was going okay until Friday when we could not get anything through his line. That was kind of scary. We had about 5 nurse visits to resolve the problem. We ended up putting some Cathflow into is line (1 ml was $100!) and then had a nurse come take it out 8 hours later. It is supposed to break up anything, like blood clots, in his tiny line. After that it went a bit smoother. We found that if he is in certain positions or if he is tensed up or or moving at all, then nothing will move through his line. We are very ready to be done giving them to him! Over all we have to do 33 doses, one every 8 hours. Hopefully when we are done, he will be good to go, although they say his immune system may be a bit compromised for a while.
This kid! He really is such a sweet piece of heaven in our home and a very good baby. We all love him so much (but probably nobody more than me!) and hope that he will be healthy from here on out.