Friday after Thanksgiving Geneva started getting a little bit of nasal congestion. She seemed uncomfortable so I sprayed some saline in her nose and was able to suck out some mucus. She appeared more comfortable but that night didn’t seem to sleep well. The next day I noticed that she was uncomfortable again and the area in between her collar bone was going in and out, which I had read earlier was a sign of respiratory distress. It started to worry me so I cleared some more congestion and then it seemed to stop. At the same time I called the doctor who said if it happens again call back. Monday morning she was doing it constantly and with all the googling I was doing I was going out of my mind so I called the doctor on call who asked for a video.
He viewed the video and told us we needed to go to the emergency room. I have a 5 and 7 year old and this was our first trip to the ER. They did a chest xray but no pneumonia. They did and EKG, which she passed. They hooked her up to monitors to watch her heart rate and oxygen levels, which seemed decent, still though they wanted to admit her for overnight observation. They were on the fence because admitting a newborn to the hospital exposes them to more germs, but they felt that was the best choice. They were partially concerned it was a cardiac issue. So we spent the night in the hospital where we had a roommate, an adorable little blond 3 year old with Down syndrome, who had unfortunately had quite a few hospital stays under her belt already. She was in this time to receive, I think, antibiotics for tonsillitis. Geneva did well overnight and the next morning a team of seven doctors came in to discuss her, some of these were residents, but it was a lot of people, which made me feel more comfortable. They diagnosed her with bronchiolitis due to an upper respiratory infection which means the small airways in her lungs are inflamed. They sent us home, despite the fact that she was still having retractions, and told me to keep an eye on it. This is stressful as a two week old should not be in the hospital. People have been wanting to visit, but I was declining them because she was so young and it’s cold and flu season, not to mention the fact that she has Down syndrome which makes her more susceptible to infection, and this was my rule before the hospital stay. Newborns need to be protected in their first 3 months of life; adding the fact that it’s cold and flu season and that she has Down syndrome makes her more vulnerable. Now we will live in our cocoon at least for the next 3 months, because this is what the pediatrician warned me about. Even a fever of 100.4 in the first 3 months is an automatic trip to the ER and I don’t want to have to take her back there.