I can't sleep. It's 1 a.m. and I took a Tylenol PM at 9 p.m. hoping to be passed out by 10 p.m. but guess it's not strong enough. It's a tough thing to be going through some trauma with a newborn, because I don't have a lot of wiggle room for behaving like the Zombie that I feel I am right now.
Monday afternoon was the scariest afternoon of my life. I relived part of my biggest nightmare as a mom, part of a nightmare that I had already lived. I put Wembley down for her afternoon nap. She had been fussy and spitting up a lot and I felt conflicted about putting her down because I knew I would have to wake her up in 30 minutes to go pick up Briz from the bus anyways, but she hadn't napped well that day and I knew she needed sleep. I swaddled her in her baby sleep sack, layed her down in her crib, put her binky in her mouth, left the door open and walked downstairs to respond to an email and get my broccoli out of the microwave. I have a breathing monitor and a video monitor. I sync the breathing monitor up to an app on my iphone, but my phone kept dying all morning, so I thought that I would just work for a bit while I had the video monitor on. My ipad for my video monitor was upstairs in my room, so I thought to myself, "I'll go get it in a few minutes." Let me preface this with saying that I have worked really really hard on not being too anxious with Wembley. The first week I was home was really rough for me. I had a few panic moments where I woke up thinking she maybe died in her sleep. I knew that I would experience this and I figured I would worry more than necessary. So I have tried extremely hard to challenge this anxiety over and over again, reassuring myself that at the very least, there is no way that it could happen twice. Normally I carry my ipad or phone around with me and watch it like a hawk everywhere I go. But I was obviously starting to feel a bit less worried and a bit more confident the fact that I had no monitor on for five minutes. Anyways, I go downstairs. She cried for about 5 minutes, which is normal and what I do to get her to sleep. She stopped crying after 5 minutes, perfect, got herself to sleep. But I got my broccoli out of the microwave had the distinct thought to go check on her. This is nothing new, I get this thought probably at least every other day, and generally I just assume that it's not some special prompting, but my own worrying. Either way, I have learned that it's worth it to respond to it because then I have no doubts or questions if something did happen. So I go up to check on her. I look in the crib and see that she is face down and her head is sort of wiggling a little bit. I pick her up, not really knowing that she wasn't breathing, and when I see her, I am startled. Her face was blue, she looked horrible. She was dripping in sweat, and I go into panic mode. She immediately coughed and cried a bit and then started spitting up some. My first instinct was to turn her over, and start patting her back. I didn't even know if she was choking, I just did it. I pick her up once I can see that she is breathing, and I just say over and and over again in a panicked sob, "Not again not again not again! Don't die Don't die Don't die." She was breathing but she looked like she was on the cusp of death to me. I thought somehow I could just will her to live. Once I could see she was obviously breathing, I didn't know what to do. I took her downstairs, got down on the floor, and had the thought that I should call 911. I called, and was stupidly embarrassed at how I sounded. Between the shaking and the sobbing I couldn't get words out. I remember the operator asking me my address and I felt like it was impossible to say the whole thing. During that time, I saw that Wembley's color was returning a bit, she now just looked extremely pale and she had labored breathing and was just limp; her eyes kept rolling back. I kept telling the operator that I didn't want her to pass out, and she just kept telling me the ambulance was almost there. The ambulance got there, and took her and started doing tests. I had text Nick by this time demanding him to call me since he was in a meeting and didn't answer his phone. First thing I told him was that Wembley was alive and okay, because I knew when he heard my voice that that would be his biggest fear. I then tried to summarize what happened. The ambulance tried to talk to me, and then a neighbor brought Briz home from the bus and to the front door. Nick called me back wanting to know more on his tortuous drive. Briz ran upstairs into her room, slammed the door and hid under the covers. And the ambulance asked me a lot of questions about her. They kept telling me she looked great, and I just broke down and in broken shaky cries said, "My last daughter died of SIDS." They all sighed and felt sad. They sat with me for a while and I wasn't convinced she was okay. I kept asking if she had any damage from lack of oxygen. They said she looked great, that I could always call them back. They told me to call my pediatrician and to watch her closely for the next few hours. I called him right after they left. I spoke with the receptionist and didn't know how to explain my reason for calling. They got me to the nurse and she told me to go straight to Doernbecher up at OHSU. Nick got home right after and we headed up there. Wembley was having a really hard time staying awake, but again, was just limp. No crying, no expression, just eyes trying to roll over and no movement in her body. I sat next to her in the car, with my hand over her chest to make sure she was breathing. She fell asleep. When we got to the hospital, she woke up and immediately started acting like herself.
When we got to the ER, they were wonderful. They took us immediately back and ran an EKG on her. She was so great. She smiled and talked to all of the nurses and doctors. She was loving the attention. Then after a couple hours a doctor came in, said everything looked great but that they wanted to keep us overnight to run some tests and to monitor her. I was surprised but extremely relieved. It was so sad having her hooked up to all of the monitors (which are constantly going off) and in this big oversized hospital crib. But she was so amazing. She hardly cried and just seemed to love all of the new faces. I got asked a lot of questions about what happened and about Holland, and that was hard. I felt like in so many ways I was reliving the other scariest day of my life. I felt so much guilt and also anger towards a lot of the doctors that were teaching me about the SIDS prevention tactics. I wanted to scream, you idiots I already know all of this!!! The one thing that ended up helping was meeting with the speech pathologist. He did a radiology test to see how she swallows. You could see the major acid reflux happening and then the aspiration. He gave me gel stuff to add to her bottles to make them more thick and easier for her to breathe and swallow. Then they put her on some more heavy duty acid reflux medication to help control the constant vomit. They believe what happened is that she aspirated on her spit up, rolled over and couldn't gain control over herself to move. So one of the big things to help prevent this from ever happening again is to control the spit up and aspiration. It has already been a huge difference in helping her eat better. And that helps me feel slightly less worried.