It was a Monday morning and Veronica had been having cold symptoms for a few days. I worried, as I always did when she had a cold, and debated with myself about whether or not to call the doctor. I thought I heard wheezing, but I couldn't be sure. I wondered if she was having trouble breathing or if I was over reacting. And I just didn't want to be one of "those" parents who called the doctor every time their child had a runny nose. (Truthfully, I had already become one. Veronica has been on multiple "sick" visits when all she had was a simple cold. But I have been constantly reassured every time I have brought her in that the doctors and nurses are happy to see her and ease my worries. I love our pediatrician's office!) What finally prompted my call was that I was nearly certain that I saw a color change in her hands. They looked almost a bluish gray. But even still, as I drove to the pediatrician's office, I kept telling myself that she was probably fine and I really didn't need to be bringing her in.
When we arrived, Veronica was immediately seen and had her pulse ox taken. Sure enough it was only 93. They tested for her RSV and the flu (both negative) and we did a few nebulizer treatments which provided some relief. But after about two hours, her blood oxygen saturation level still hadn't come up. So it was off to the emergency department we went. This had been one of my worst fears since the day she was discharged from the NICU. But it was almost as though I had expected it at some point, as though having a micro preemie automatically meant at least one hospitalization post NICU discharge. She had been doing so well since her NICU days, it was as though I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it finally had.
As we waited to be seen in the emergency department, Veronica was in good spirits. She was running around and dancing to music. Surely we would be seen and sent home. She wasn't even acting sick. But hours later, after multiple nebulizer treatments and a chest x-ray, she was admitted and diagnosed with pneumonia. It was a long five days, and Veronica was on oxygen for most of that time. So we were back in familiar territory, watching and waiting.
The good news, is that a few days after after she was discharged, we followed up with a pediatric pulmonologist at the recommendation of her pediatrician. While he acknowledged her pneumonia and her response to it were likely related to her being born extremely premature, he did not believe she would necessarily have any long term lung issues. He was also quite impressed with how well she has done considering how early she was born. Hooray Veronica!
|In the pediatrician's office, where we stayed for about two hours.|
|In the emergency room, where we stayed for about five hours.|
|A one-hour nebulizer treatment. I had never even heard of such a thing!|
|Veronica did NOT like it.|
|Waiting, waiting, waiting....|
|This is where Veronica spent her time, all day, for three days.|
|There was lots of napping (for me too!).|
|I'm not ashamed to admit that after a day or two, I allowed her to eat in the crib.|
|Playing on mommy's IPad.|
|Chest PT - Veronica seemed to enjoy it which was a blessing.|
|Gifts and a card for Valentine's Day.|
|Freedom! After three days, we were allowed to venture out of our hospital room.|
|I went out to eat with the other five while Andrew stayed back at the hospital.|
|Theodore ate a 1/2 lb burger and got his picture taken.|
|Linus and Sebastian got out their "Veronica" shirts that we made when she was in the NICU.|
|After four days in the hospital, I finally found our that they had a high chair!|
|We celebrated my 41st birthday (yikes!) in the family lounge.|
|My birthday cake from Costco. We shared the rest of it with the nurses.|