I have never been one to run to the doctor all the time – even after a fearfest on WebMD where you’re likely to be told you have cancer for any symptom from a hangnail to a headache. I do go for what I need – annual blood tests, check ups, pap. So I didn’t want to be one of “those moms” that freaks out over everything and runs to the doctor.
The baby has been congested this week in her chest. It started Sunday. No snot, no fever, no crying – just gurgled breathing and coughs every once in a while and bubbles. I check the baby websites and they all say that newborns are especially susceptible to chest colds and other ailments in the chest because their respiratory systems are still adjusting and developing. So I’ve been sitting with her in a steamy bathroom for 10-15 minutes a day and running the cool air humidifier all day in the house. That’s all you can do. I feel horrible for her. Even with a smile in her face just hearing the way she sounds makes my heart break for her.
So when does a mom who’s trying not to go overboard decide to get worried? Apparently it doesn’t take more than a comment and a call to the doctor. “RSV is big this time of year and it’s bad on newborns”. So I google RSV. RSV in adults and children is usually just a cough or mild cold symptom. For infants it can be far more dangerous and they suffer worse from troubled breathing. Severe RSV in infants requires hospitalization. Contact your doctor right away… Yup, okay. That’s all I needed to see. So I call the Pediatrician and the nurse doesn’t even check with the doctor for me – regardless of her lack of fever and otherwise happy usual self – she says she needs to come in right away if she’s gurgling in her chest.
Insert panic mode.
So we have an appointment in an hour to get her checked out. And subsequently I also feel horrible because I didn’t think rushing her to the doctor was necessary at this point. So I guess being one of “those moms” isn’t really by choice but actually by necessity. The other unfortunate side of this is that with us we can just get some meds from the drug store or a prescription from the doctor. For children they can too. But for newborns, they can’t. They’re still too young. She’s too young to know how to cough to clear her chest and she’s too young even for Baby Vicks to help her breath easier. That’s why the Pediatrician warns us EVERY time we’re in her office: Keep her away from germs, try to avoid too much contact, watch for fevers because a fever in an infant is serious and require hospitalization. I have taken her temperature every time she’s even a little fussy just to be sure. But, apparently even without the fever it’s serious too.
This year has been an epidemic of germs. The flu has been bad even for those that got vaccinated. It seems like every time I turn around someone else is sick all the time. We have avoided going anywhere and avoided bringing her anywhere to try to keep her safe from it. Guests haven’t come if they were still or recently sick. I have been a mad cleaning woman on my first day back at the germ infested office yesterday making sure my whole space is a disinfected little bubble and keeping everyone out. And yet here my baby sits, sleeping like an angel but sounding horrible.
I’m so sick of sick. And right now I’m mad at sick too for rearing its ugly head to my not-even-two-month-old-daughter. Dear Sick: Take a f&#$*%@ vitamin!