A Hospital is No Place for a Baby

Toby finishes his round of antibiotics tomorrow – the end of a tough couple of weeks that included three days at the Children’s Hospital.  There is no fear so strong, so intense, or overwhelming as the one associated with your child’s health and well-being.

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Toby woke on a Friday morning with a lump on his right jawline the size of a golf ball.  It was hard and immoveable so while it seemed to cause him little pain, the doctors wanted to see him that day.  We were in the pediatrician’s office within the hour where we saw two doctors (one pulled in for a second opinion) who told us they thought it was an infected lymph node.  They prescribed us an antibiotic, drew a huge circle around the lump with a magic marker, and told us to report to urgent care the following day for a follow-up.  With the same [hypothesized] diagnosis from that doctor, we returned home on Saturday filled with uncertainty and hoping that the lump would shrink by Monday.  When it hadn’t, and with new symptoms – stuffy nose and cough – we headed back to the doctor so that Toby’s pediatrician could check him out since she had been unavailable on Friday.  She, like the other doctor’s thought it was an infected lymph node, but also, like the others, was surprised by the size and the density, and was unable to completely rule out the terrifying diagnosis of a tumor.  So, she ordered some blood tests, really just to calm my nerves, and said she’d call us later.  Around 4pm, I received the call that Toby’s white blood cells were sky high and that she wanted us to check in to the hospital right away.  I was shaking so intensely when I got off the phone, it was all I could do to steady my hands enough to swiftly pack a bag for the three of us, knowing nothing about what we needed or how long we were going to be there.

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Long story short – Toby did have a severe infection in his lymph node.  He’s doing great and the lump is almost gone. We were in the hospital for three days.  Simon and I switched off holding Toby throughout the night, one in a reclining chair and one on a bench-type bed. We had a great team of doctors that put up with all my neurotic questions, ordered blood tests early in order to quell my anxiety, and treated Toby like a king.  And Toby – well, he was incredible!  He smiled, laughed and flirted with all the nurses.  He rarely cried and rarely complained.  He even put up with the 5 attempts and 3 nurses it took to replace his IV when it fell out.  Our baby boy is amazing.

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It’s a shame that it took a hospital stay to get me back into blogging mode.  It’s been way too long and my only excuse is that life has taken over.

Toby just turned 10 months which I seriously cannot believe. TEN MONTHS! And, he doesn’t sit still – this is us trying to take his 10 month photos…!

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Here’s a quick recap of that last few months:

  • Right before 6 months, Toby started sitting independently.
  • At 7 1/2 months, he started army crawling, slept through the night for the first time (we lost that somewhere along the way, unfortuantely…!), and started saying da-da-da-da-da-da-da!
  • At 8 1/2 months, he started crawling on his hands and knees.
  • And somewhere between then and now, he mastered pulling up everywhere and on everything, started saying ma-ma, ba-ba, and ga-ga, developed a healthy appetite for foods of all kinds, and has sprouted 3 1/2 teeth.
  • We also braved our first international flight and took Toby to England to meet his uncle, extended family, and all his daddy’s friends as well as spend some quality time with his gran and grandad.
  • I was really excited about Toby’s first Halloween (who doesn’t love a cute kid in costume!?) but alas, we missed all the parties and neglected to get a costume since he was in the hospital up until the day before. Luckily, we were able to pull together a make-shift costume and turned him into a piece of salmon sushi!
  • We’ve had a couple visits from his grandpa, who I would wager is the proudest grandparent to ever exist, and one from his grandma as well – who I am working with, slowly, to rebuild a relationship.

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What sucks is that we stopped breastfeeding at 8 months.  It never came easy for me, and as time went on, I had to introduce one extra pump session after another in order to to cover Toby’s needs for the following day. It was causing so much stress and never allowed me to relax in the evenings.  My hubby was being so patient and supportive while putting up with my anger, frustration, and tears. Finally, I pretty much stopped letting down for my pump, which led to a breast infection, which led to a huge drop in my already meager supply, and that was that.  I was producing maybe 5-8oz per day and it just stopped being worth it.  It made me so very sad to stop.  I felt like a failure. In many ways, I still do.  But, I’ve learned to accept it.

I’m so looking forward to the holidays – I love this time of year and can’t wait to decorate our new house, dress Toby in silly Christmas sweaters, and roll around with him in the snow.

I’m also excited to embark on….Round #2 of IVF!!!  We have an appointment set with our doctor in December to talk about next steps and our hope is that we’ll get started early next year!  Im anxious just thinking about it, but oh so excited about the prospect of growing another life inside, feeling the first flutters of little kicks, and giving Toby the gift of a wonderful sibling. I simply cannot wait.

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4 thoughts on “A Hospital is No Place for a Baby

  1. Okay, friend. It has been way too long. And my heart dropped as I was reading…oh, thank you for not leaving us in suspense for too long. I’m so sorry that your baby (and you guys) had to go through all of that! There aren’t words for that. Please, please, please let’s get together as soon as Thanksgiving is over. We need to chat babies and new babies, IVF and plans. Please let me know if I can do something for you guys as you recover from the hospital. Food, coffee, etc… Also, please give yourself grace when it comes to breastfeeding. YOU put those amazing rolls on that gorgeous boy and now you will just do it a different way. Love you and hugs!

  2. Whoa! I’m so glad he is doing better now. How scary! And also, I think it is just wonderful that you made it 8 months breastfeeding! That’s great for you and for him and you should be very proud that you stuck it out that long and against difficult obstacles. 🙂 And IVF #2?!! So exciting!! Best wishes all along the way. I look forward to reading more updates. *hint hint* lol. 🙂

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