Bad, bad mummy

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I have mega mummy guilt. I have done Callum a real disservice over the past few days. On Thursday, he started getting Oliver’s cold, but it just started with the sniffles. By Friday night, the cough had started. On Saturday, I began to notice how much more he was sleeping and that he was eating less than normal. On Sunday, I took him to a walk-in clinic.

I chose the walk-in clinic because it’s relatively close to our house and I seem to never have to wait when I am there. However, the doctor did a very brief assessment of his symptoms and pronounced a chest infection before he had even listened to Callum’s chest. Anyway, because I had already assumed that’s what Callum had (from the cough and the wheezing), I was happy with the diagnosis, and filled the prescription for the antibiotics.

On Monday, he seemed a bit brighter when he was awake and was coughing less. When we gave the boys a bath, Mark was concerned about how Callum was drawing his chest in when he was breathing, but I was like ‘well, of course he’s struggling a bit, he’s got bronchitis’. He was, however, still not eating much (we’ve gone from breastfeeding + 3-4 oz formula per feed to only breastfeeding and about 2 oz formula per day forced on him – he’s rejecting the bottle) and sleeping a lot. Sunday and Monday night were wonderful for me – he was sleeping roughly from 10pm to 9am with a brief snack around 4am.

Tuesday, we were scheduled for his 2 month check up and immunizations. I knew he might not be able to get the immunizations if he was sick, but obviously I wanted our proper doctor to see him after the cursory assessment on the weekend.

She weighed him (hefty 14 lbs 6 0z) and then observed his breathing when I gave her the whole story. And she said he needed to go to emergency immediately because he was struggling too much. To reassure me after I felt like I had been kicked in the gut, she said that the doctor should have seen it on Sunday. But really, I shouldn’t have gone to that doctor. Or I should have gotten another opinion.

Not only did I feel like the world’s worst mother, I also had to deal with the fact that Mark was in Montreal (again) on business until late that evening, and I had to pick Oliver up from daycare. Thankfully, I got a hold of my mother, who was able to come down and help me out. They let her leave work early.

So off we went to the ER at the hospital he was born at. They didn’t seem as worried about him as my doctor had been, and basically, although he was congested, his blood oxygen was 100% and all other stats were good. He was in emergency from about 2pm until 6:30pm, which was enough time to be assessed by a few different doctors, monitored by the nurse, get a chest x-ray and get one mask treatment of ventalin.

We’ve now got a puffer for his lungs at home, administered through a little face mask that he hates. We got a cold water vaporizer too, but I am not sure it’s doing anything other than making a lot of noise while we try and sleep. And he’s off the antibiotics since it’s probably a virus. Through all this he’s smiling away. And when we got home last night, I did manage to get him to take some formula, but he’s still not eating that much. I think he’d probably weigh a lot more if he hadn’t stopped eating for a couple of days in England (when we all got that norovirus and he just slept a lot while I vomited), and if he hadn’t been sick now.

I truly feel awful though. I should have been more worried. I mean, I was worried, but not worried enough to take him to hospital like I should have. I actually don’t have any experience with sick newborns since Oliver never got sick until he started daycare. And now Callum gets all the daycare germs way before he gets there. So I was sort of thinking, well, he’s just going to have to get over this since you aren’t supposed to give any cold medication to infants now, and surely the antibiotics will help clear the congestion. And I was constantly making sure that he was breathing and didn’t turn blue and seemed content (which he did). But now I know better.

We’re obviously just glad that he’s okay. And I got to spend an interesting afternoon around some ER nutcases (that would be the patients, not the staff).

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