Monday, October 29, 2012

Baby Charlie

As many of you know, baby Charlie was admitted to hospital yesterday because of rapid respirations and heart rate. He's had a few episodes of rapid breathing this past week but because it always returned back to normal breathing patterns we thought it was just Charlie's 'normal'. Yesterday morning, very early, I noticed his breathing was really rapid, but this time it didn't stop. I called my Dr's office and they indicated that we should go to the ER because at 11 days old rapid breathing isn't quite so normal. I was truly panicked, so I wrapped up Charlie and sped off to Maine Med. The ER was great. They got us right into a room and we were seen right away. Rich was with Rafi and as soon as I had spoken to the Dr. to see what we might be dealing with, I called Rich and told him that we probably needed to get coverage for Raf and that he should be at the hospital. Once again Margaret and Mike came to our rescue and Raf went to play with Addie and Calla.

Meanwhile at the hospital Charlie was going through a battery of tests. He had a chest x-ray, which was just truly, truly dreadful. He screamed and screamed and I sobbed and sobbed as I held his legs down and the other tech held his arms over his heard. He then needed to a catheter to get a sample of his urine and then an IV. The poor little boy was so brave, and as soon as each painful procedure was over he was back to being his calm self. 

I, on the other hand, was a wreck. One of our friends happened to be on duty as a nurse and it was good to see her. All the Drs, the ER docs and the family practice docs who came to see Charlie, were great. We were told that they were thinking two things... the first is that Charlie might have pneumonia. The chest xray has been inconclusive because he was shrieking but they might have been able to detect something on one of his lungs. Because I was strep B positive when I had Charlie then the chances of him contracting pneumonia are greatly increased (though I did receive two rounds of antibiotics during labour). The other possibility is that Charlie has some congenital heart defect. All the Docs agreed that this was less likely because frankly Charlie looks GREAT. He doesn't look sick, he's eating well and gaining weight, and he has good colouring, and more. But the heart rate and respirations are red flags. 

Given all of these possibilities Charlie was admitted to the pediatric wing and they're treating him for suspected pneumonia with antibiotics while testing him for heart problems. He's being monitored, too, which is reassuring as they really don't take any chances with little guys this small. He had an EKG yesterday and on the first look the Dr. thinks it looks fine (has to be reviewed by a cardiologist, which I'm not sure it has been). Other reassuring signs is that the heart was not enlarged on the chest xray and his oxygen levels have mostly remained between 98 and 100%. Again, all reassuring. No sign of a heart murmur on examination, either. So today we're waiting on the echocardiogram, and I'm hopeful that it will come back showing Charlie's heart is normal. We had so many ultrasounds to check on his heart and i'm hopeful, too, that all of those normal looking images are indicative of good news.

If it is an infection then we're catching things early. These little ones have a hard time dealing with infection so treating him before we know exactly what is going on makes a lot of sense, right now.

I stayed at the hospital last night and Rich and Raf joined me for dinner. This is horribly confusing for Rafi who wanted his brother to come home with him. It's also very difficult for me to be away from him, especially since I was in the hospital last week having Charlie. Hopefully we'll get good news soon and we can return to our new normal with 2 boys.

Charlie is coping very well. He is being constantly monitored with all sort of wires and IVs, and last night his IV backed up so at midnight we were having to get another IV, which is just a horrible thing for a little one to have to get done.  The hospital is great, though, and we have our own room and I have a bed in there so Charlie slept on my lap last night, which I was very thankful for.

We've had such amazing support from everyone here and all of our friends and family. I only worked out how to get online this morning so I apologize for the mass texting, emailing, and FBing - and it's been too hectic to make actual phone calls. I'm sat here with Charlie nursing and Rich and Rafi should be in shortly for a visit. Hoping, hoping we get some good news today, even if it's just ruling out a few things. I'm not sure how we'll proceed if his blood cultures return normal. 


  1. I'm glad to read this update, it sounds like they're taking good care of Charlie and he should be well soon. I am so so sorry you have to go through this. On my run this morning, all that I thought and prayed was "dear God please let Charlie be OK" and I just want the 4 of you to be snuggling at home soon. xx

  2. Alex, thank you for the update--Oh, I just feel for you so much! Please let me know if there is ANYTHING at all I can do for you. I don't want to intrude at this hectic time, but I do have some food for you all, too, and am happy to bring it by the hospital or wait until later in the week. Please just let me know what you prefer, if you are able. (If not, it will keep! That is fine, too.)

    xoxoxoxo fingers crossed for the best possible news today!

  3. Really appreciate the update too. God I'm sending you so much love and wishing you soon have some definitive answers. So glad he is being so well cared for and that he has his mama there. Love all of you. X

  4. Hugs and lots of healing energy to you and Charlie! I will be thinking of you all and praying for a speedy recovery.

  5. Huge hugs to you all. This must have been gut-wrenchingly frightening for you all. I spent a week in the children's hospital with Patrick when he was a baby so I empathise completely how horrid it is to hold down your precious baby for painful tests and procedures. Big massive hugs for you Alex.
    I am holding you all in my thoughts and hope that Charlie will be given a clean bill of health (but with an explanation of his symptoms) and you can soon get back to bonding as a family of four at home.
    Take good care of yourself and much love. xx

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  7. so glad for this happy news, sweetheart. laura and i have you all close in our hearts xoxo