Sunday, February 6, 2011

It Was A Day Exactly Like Today

Two years ago, on this day, the first Saturday in February, my life, and my priorities were forever changed.

The night before CoCo wasn’t feeling well.  She had a fever and was extremely cranky.  My oldest daughter had a gymnastics meet the next day on the other side of the state.  We had decided that my husband would take her and I would stay home with the sick baby and 3 year old Amélie.  That was a huge deal in our family, as it has been said, we travel in a pack, and up until that day we did.
When I woke up at around 6am to do Mad’s ‘meet hair’ CoCo woke up and was in a great mood scooting around laughing and cooing.  Mr. Sunday and I talked about whether or not I should throw some clothes on the littlest ones and all go to the meet.  I even started getting them dressed and ready for the 3 hour drive.  We were expecting snow, and it is always worse on that side of the state, I finally decided that 6 hours in the car, 4 hours at the meet, an hour in a restaurant, might just be too much for a recovering baby.  We decided that I would stay home after all.  I was so torn, stuck between what was best for two different kids…it sucked.
Since it was going to snow, and I wouldn’t be going anywhere, unless it was an emergency, Mr. Sunday and Madeline took my van leaving me with his pick-up and two car seats sitting by the front door.

They took off and we played for a while.  Then the fever came back.  I gave her some Tylenol.  She got crankier.  Two hours later, she still had a fever, I gave her Motrin.  She seemed to be cooling down.  We sat in the recliner, her sitting in the crook of my arm and she dozed off.  Meanwhile the snow was accumulating.  I closed my eyes. 
I opened my eyes; she was still sitting in the crook of my arm but groaning.  Something was not right.  Her lips were blue, which had happened occasionally since she was born.  But they were really blue.  Then I noticed her hands were blue.  Her feet were blue.  I called her doctor’s cell, panicked.
She was very calm, she said it would be ok and I just need to go right to the hospital and she would call a head and let them know we were on our way.
Still in my pajamas!   Crap!  Carrying a blue baby on my hip I look at the car seats, the inches of snow and the pick-up I hate to drive in good weather.  And I think “FUCK ME!!!” 
I sit CoCo down and she flopped right over, Crap!  I pick her up and put her back on my hip, she is getting bluer, I pick up a car seat while trying to call a neighbor to come help me, and I trudge out to the truck to put the car seat in.  And she is bluer.
I call 911.
My baby is turning blue
Is she breathing?
Yes, but it is not right.
Is she choking? Does she have something in her mouth?
Where are you?
I’m here, at home.  (Are you an idiot?)
You are on a cell phone, I need your address.
Ohh!  (I’m an idiot!)
Snow and all they were there in minutes (it felt like forever), I was holding a blue baby, trying to put on my pants, dress Amélie and generally freaking out.
The instant I opened the door for the paramedics the one grabbed CoCo out of my arms and ran to the truck.  Knowing I am prone to panic, and being pretty self aware, it hadn’t hit me until that moment that the situation was actually as bad as I thought it was.  A cop and another paramedic came in wrapped Amélie in a blanket and carried her out to the ambulance.  I stood in the living room totally blank.
Another cop came in and told me I had to go now, they need to go to the hospital NOW.  “Maybe they should just go with out me.  I’ll follow.”  No.  No, you can’t drive in this and you need to go with them!  He told me.  I went but I didn’t want to.  Can you imagine?  My baby is being rushed to the hospital and I don’t want to ride with her.  The truth is I didn’t want to have to watch her take her last breath.  I didn’t think I had it in me.
They didn’t want to risk taking her all the way to our bigger (pediatric) hospital, so they took her to the nearest trauma center, where I stood with a fully wired, probed and extremely tachycardic baby on my hip for several hours unable to move more than 2 feet in any direction.  My girlfriend came and picked up Amélie, who at 3 years old sat silently on the stool the paramedics had set her on as we came into the trauma room.
I debated what to tell my husband, being that he was 3 hours away in good weather; I did not want to panic him and then have him drive back across the state in a blizzard.  I didn’t want to ruin Maddie’s meet by having them her pull her off the floor after the first event. So I just told him that I had taken CoCo to the ER and that he should come straight home after the meet.  I didn’t want one of Mad’s young coach who was stuck coaching back at the gym to worry as she texted me asking for scores.
So there I stood, relaying texted scores,  going toe to toe with ER doctors, refusing a spinal tap until she was transferred to a pediatric trauma center (she had fluid in her lungs, I did not think that meningitis was likely) for hours,  then for hours at the next hospital by myself…Just me and CoCo.
For the next 3 days I sat in a chair and held her.  Tethered to monitors and IV, she only woke up to scream if I had the nerve to put her down or pass her to anyone else.  But we made it through, she and I, together.
But neither she nor I have been the same since.

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