Tiago’s first hospital visit

by monicasjungle

Funny how I had a beautiful home birth because I wanted to avoid the hospital, yet we ended up there five weeks later. Thankfully, everything is ok, but it was a very dramatic and drawn out ordeal that I hope I don’t have to experience ever again.

Our hospital story began in the wee hours of Wednesday morning at around 3am. Magglio had been sick (fever, cough, runny nose) and he woke up coughing. When he’s sick, we bring him into our bed to sleep. During this bed-shuffling, I happened to touch Tiago and decided he felt hot, real hot. Took his temp – 101.4. Too hot for a five week old? I decided to call my pediatricians office – they have a 24 hour nurse line. I hoped they would tell me if and how much tylenol I could give him.

Instead, they insisted that I take Tiago to the ER.

Edgar stayed home with Magglio while I hopped in the car. By the time they took his temp again, it had dropped down to 100.6. But still higher than normal. They transferred us to Miami Children’s Hospital, which is an excellent hospital for children.

Once we got to the ER at Miami’s Children, the doctor began to discuss all the tests that needed to be done: blood drawn, catheter for urine, suctioning the nose to test for resperatory illness, and a spinal tap for Menengitis. *gulp* My baby was going to have a SPINAL TAP? Oh.My.God.

I’ll admit, there was a part of me that felt like they were overreacting. I explained several times that my 2 year old was sick, and at best Tiago had just caught the same virus. Really, a spinal tap? It all felt surreal – like we were stuck in a real life episode of House. But we hadn’t visited any Brazilian rainforests or swam in rice patties in Vietnam! No exotic illnesses! The answer was simple: a virus. Yet, they had to ‘err on the side of caution’ and poke and prod my poor little baby endlessly.

I cried during every proceedure, probably more than Tiago. After they finished, they had to leave a tube in the back of his hand for his IV. He was to recieve antibiotics every 8 hours for 48 hours until the barriage of tests came back. After a couple of small hiccups and having to get Tiago’s blood re-drawn on day 2, we were out of the hospital 3 days later.

Doing the spinal tap:

His IV tube:

In his crib/prison, sleeping peacefully despite his IV tube:

Those were long and restless days. I felt guilty that I wasn’t at home with Magglio and Edgar, yet I knew that I had to stick close to the more vulnerable sick child. I missed co-sleeping with Tiago. I missed cooking. Hell, I missed sunlight. Tiago could not leave his room nor the wing that he was in. We paced the halls and read all the posters. I made small talk with the nurses. I sat at the window with Tiago in my arms and showed him the sky and the trees and the cars passing by. Longest and dullest 3 days of my life.

But we’re home now and I’m looking forward to my best sleep ever and gourmet coffee in the morning. Ah, the small things…