20 January 2008

the one about the scariest night of my life...

Eeeeearly this morning I was awakened by the sound of my daughter coughing and whining. I went into her room to discover her short of breath and crying. This quickly turned into her gasping for air and turning purple. I tried to get her to calm down and eventually took her into the bathroom where I turned on the hot water to make steam, in hopes it would open her lungs. It is amazing how much a 40 pound kid can fight you. Greg came into the bathroom to check on us after calling 911 and I was sitting on the floor trying to hold the little one down and get her to breathe. I decided to move her onto our bed after her struggling and walked in to find 6 firemen standing in our living room. The first responder has a great bedside manner dealing with a very scared 4 year old at 2 am after having been awakened from sleep with our call. I know they are trained for this but I am so grateful for their patience and support and the way they treated us and especially the wee one. One the paramedics arrived they started her on a breathing treatment to reduce the swelling in her throat and decided to take her to the ER. Once she and I were strapped to the gurney and loaded into the ambulance we left with Greg to follow. They immediately took us into the ER and then refused my husband entrance once he arrived. I guess he sneaked in when one of the medics walked out. My belief is that the ER was in lock down because there had been a suspected gang incident that landed 2 people in the ER, one was in the bed next to H's and because he had been subjected to head trauma, they wanted him under observation so the curtains were left open. It was terrible and added to the feelings of fear and worry that Greg & I were feeling. Fast forward two hours, 3 breathing treatments and two x-rays and they finally released us at 4 am with the diagnoses of croup.
I'd like to say that she is much better today but she still sounds terrible. I have made an appointment with her pediatrician but the holiday is going to push that off until Tuesday. Why does this stuff always happen over holiday weekends? We have her sleeping propped up with the humidifier and her medicine. I can tell you that even though I am exhausted, I don't think I will sleep very well tonight in fear of a repeat performance. We have explained to her that if she wakes up and its hard to breathe, stay calm and call us. We know better what to do and hopefully can avoid another trip to the ER. BTW, the ER in our town leaves A LOT to be desired. I don't even have the energy to get into that whole rant.
Anyway, as those of you with children know.. they are our greatest treasures. I love my baby more than my own life and last night, seeing her so so very vulnerable just scared the crap out of me. I still practically burst into tears at the thought of it but I am proud that I managed to keep it together and do the right things for her. I know she will be okay but its going to be a rough couple of days (nights). Please send her some good healing thoughts as we fight this yuckiness.
Love, me.


  1. poor lilo heenah. poor momma. poor daddy. i can't even begin to know how you feel, but i can only imagine. and i don't want to!

    supportive hugs,

  2. Oh you poor thing, i so know how you feel, our middle child seemed to get croup at the drop of a hat, if anyone had a sore throat, he would get croup..something to so with the size of their airways. We are very adept at dealing with it now, children are supposed to grow out of it, but he is about to turn 8 and still gets croup and waking up to the seal barking sound is revolting. We find the calmer we can keep ourselves and him, turn the steam on in the shower and get a dose of Nurofen or Paracetamol in him to help try and reduce the swelling and then decide if we have to do the run to hospital to get the steroid mix( which by the way tastes disgusting). Be proud of yourself that you did the shower steam thing and kept it all together because I know all you wnted to do was cry yourself and have someone fix it straight away. Our little ones are so precious, it sucks when we haven't got the power to make things all better! As soon as you can get some sleep you will feel a little better and know that you are a wonderful Mum and you coped well in a crisis, because I also know that you will only be half sleeping if at all, listening to every breath and cough your gorgeous one takes for the next few days. I have watched some of the most entertaining home shopping programmes in the middle of the night during these times....I resisted the tuxedo paint roller system though.....Such a long comment sorry, hope you feel a little better, KN Linda Lilly Cottage

  3. Oh Heather, I'm so very sorry!! You must have been terrified! I know the croup well...I used to get it every winter and my mom would run our old vaporizer in my room at night. I'm proud of you for keeping your head...I probably would have panicked big time! I will be praying for both you and your sweet little one!

    *Hugs* Dara

  4. Oh no! I'm so sorry!
    As moms we always do our best to protect the little ones and keep them safe. It is always so scary when something like this comes up that we have no control over, and it happens when we least expect it.
    Sending you all big hugs!

  5. oh Heather! what a scary night for your sweet girl ... as well as her Momma. Lots of love sent your way. Heather

  6. Oh my goodness heather.
    My sister-in-law's son, ben gets Croup all the time and it is very scary.
    Her husband is a paramedic so she is always one step ahead of the battle becase he knows what to do--I can't imagine your fear--oh, well, yes I can. My Natalie was 6 months old when they thought she had meningitis because she had such a high fever. They had to do a spinal tap on her little 6 month old body.
    I learned my limits as a mother because I had to leave the room.
    My husband stayed with her and he said it was just awful.
    I feel for you sweetie.
    Get some rest and cuddle with your baby--also, croup takes awhile to get better. My nephew still has symptoms from the croup and he got it over a week ago--
    Stay strong!

  7. (...crying now...)
    Oh Heather!!! I am so scared and relieved and freaked for you! Saying prayers and hoping you never, EVER have to go thru something like this again!! Your baby is going to be A-OK!!!! xoxo

  8. Oh Heather!! (teary eyed here) Bless H's little heart!! I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers!! (((hugs)))

  9. Oh sweetie, I can't even imagine how scared you were. I think you behaved like any mom and dad should. ((((((((Heather)))))))

  10. Big hugs to all of you, you did great. Been there, done that, many times. Keeping them calm is the key and then freaking out as a mom later behind closed doors is exactly how I handled it. After the hot steamy shower, bundle up in a blanket and head outside for some cool night air(advice from a MN ER doc), the contrast is really helpful to the lungs and it's kinda nice sitting under the stars.

  11. My goodness, Heather. What a scary scary situation. So glad your little dear is ok. I hope you're all able to get some sleep.

  12. Heather - such a scary thing to go through - with four kids, I've been there, and done that too many times to count, but it never makes it any easier to handle! Hang in there! My thoughts are with you! Jamie V

  13. Oh that is so scary, I hope she is doing better this afternoon! you did an excellent job keeping it together. hope you guys are okay!

  14. Oh it is so distressing when our children get so sick. Great work with the steam from the shower. Hope she is all is better now.

  15. I'm so sorry about this experience. I know how frighteneing it is to watch a child struggle and not be able to make it go away. Congratulations on your 500 plus post. What an amazing accomplishment, but then you yourself are a wonderful artist..

  16. Hi Heather, Ive spent many a night at the hospital with a sick child. Nothing compares to the desperation and loss of control a parent feels in those situations. I had to rely totally on GOd! I dont know how people with out faith get through things like that!
    I'm glad your daughter is alright and Ive already sent up a quick prayer for a peaceful and restful night!

  17. Sassafras & LuLu1/21/08, 2:17 PM

    Sorry about your little one. It is surely hard to sleep as a mamma with worries, we keep watch like guardian angels over the night time, don't we! Praying for your family and for a healthy and speedy recovery.


  18. Hi Heather I really feel for you. It is such a helpless scary feeling to be in that situation and it is a feeling you never forget. One of my three boys has stopped breathing on me four times throughout his life (I tell him one more and I am sending him back for a refund) all have been for different reasons eg choking, convultions etc. I just try to use it as a wake up call, to stop and smell the roses, to not take life and family for granted and to enjoy every moment you spend with your children (they grow up too fast).
    Best wishes Linda

  19. Oh my gosh...I"m teary just THINKING about this happening to my own and how you must have felt/feel. Sooooo sorry you endured this and the poor wee one. Very scary. VERY Scary. You were so brave and strong...great job, Mama! This makes me think of the scene in Anne of Green Gables where Anne helps Diana's little sister get through a dangerous bout with croup. I would have done the same thing as you....the steam, etc. Well keep up updated. Sending a prayer up for the three of you....hugs, cheryl

  20. Oh Heather,

    I hope that things are better. That is above and beyond extraordinarily scary. Sending lots of hugs, good thoughts...


  21. I so sympathize...and wish that all is well by now, I agree that everything always happens on the weekend or a holiday. God Bless.

  22. Oh Heather! A big hug of support to you, Greg, and Hannah. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for all of you. Thank goodness it wasn't worse. I will send healing, loving thoughts and prayers your way and I very much hope and pray you do not have a repeat performance.

  23. VERY glad it all turned out ok!!!!

  24. Oh Heather!!! How scary!! I am so glad she is ok!! And so glad to know you are ok too!! Take care of each other!!
    Maybe this story about something similiar will make you smile a little.
    When Kenzie was 5 she got "fifth's disease" aka "slapped face syndrome" as it looks like your child has been slapped on both sides of her face. It is also upper respiratory and yucky. For some reason, Kenzie got it far worse than normal and one day she was suddenly gasping for air and could not breathe well at all. I was a single Mom then and we lived in a little house out in the country. I knew it would take the ambulance far too long to get to us, so I loaded her and Trin in the car (Trin was 3) and was flying down the road to get Kenzie to the emergency room. I am pretty sure I even ran a red light. I know I was going really fast. Then my little Trin pipes up from the back seat in that loveable little 3 year old voice. "Mommy, you should not drive fast, I saw on the news last night that a whole family was driving fast and got in a assident (her word) and Mommy, the whole family died" I reassured her we would be ok, but Mommy had to hurry because we were worried about sissy. So there I am rushing as fast as I could safely go, terrified that Kenzie would stop breathing before I could get to the hospital, and there's my three year old in the back seat in her car seat telling me over and over "Mommy, you really should not drive fast". LOL Can you imagine it?
    Anyway. I am so glad you and your sweet girl are ok!! I hope she mends quickly!
    ~Cerri xoxo

  25. Oh Heather........we have been through that same scene, but it was many years ago! I remember how horrible it all was and am thinking about your terror! Croup is very scary and sounds even worse:( Your little girl is in my thoughts and prayers......you too mom! hugs, Linda

  26. OMG Heather, I just read your post about your scary night with Hannah. I can imagine how terrified all three of you were. As I was reading, I thought it sounded like croup and you certainly did the right thing taking her into the steamy bathroom. Quick thinking on your part, that's for sure. It is a horrible feeling to see your little one so vulnerable. I hope Hannah is feeling better today and you will all be able to get some sleep tonight.

  27. Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry that you had to go through such a terrible experience! Having a 2 year old I can only imagine how nuts I would have been in that situation! I hope your little girl is on her way to feeling better..she is in my prayers for a speedy recovery. xo natalea

  28. I feel your pain. My daughter was a preemie and has lung issues. I woke up just last night to that cough. Because of her lung issues we have a nebulizer at home. So I was up giving her a treatment. By the sounds of it, I'll be up most of tonight too. It is so scary and my advice is just to stay calm as you said in your post...I also do a lot of praying too. I will keep you in my prayers today.

    Your a wonderful Mom!


  29. oh my heart goes out to you !!!

    I have been there many times having had a son with asthma who was also alleric to his own cold virus.
    We were in the ER many times and the poor kid grew up with a nebulizer next to his bed !!

    He would have spells with his asthma and croup at the same time...no air in, no air out !!

    Thank goodness he outgrew it by the time he was 10, and life has been fine since with only an ocassional need from his inhaler !!

    but I know what you went through, how you felt and how relieved you were once she was breathing normal again.

    hugs to you all !!!

  30. Oh you sweet thing... I totally feel for you. It's the most horrific feeling of not being able to help your child breathe and have the paramedics and the ER experience! I've been through that twice with my son... IT's been a few years now, and he isn't on regular breathing treatments and we haven't actually had a winter episode for two years! Yay! I sure hope she's feeling better... Take care y'all!

  31. Heather, I had tears in my eyes as I read your post. I heart goes out to you and your family. I hope your daughter gets better quickly.

  32. i so hope that she is getting better and that you didn't have to go to the ER again. oh my goodness what a scary experience that must have been for all of you.
    i am sending you peace and healing energy...

  33. Oh Heather! I know how terrified you must have been- that sound (stridor) is scary! My oldest has had it 3 times, but never needed the medics. We were lucky. Good luck! Hang in there!

  34. oh Heather, how scary for you and your sweet girl...i am sending bushel loads of healing thoughts and prayers that she is all better soon!!!

  35. OH my god, it's been a few days but I've just read this. I'm sorry this happened to your little peanut. Aunty Joleen is sending all her love and kisses. I hope you can get rest this week. xoxo

  36. Heather!

    I just read this post! I can't imagine how scary that must have been. Glad the little one is doing better!


  37. Booo. That is a horrible night. I've read your blog from top on down so I know your little one is ok--but boo! We went through all that "croup crap" with my son. The first time was pretty similar to your experience. I feel for you :o(

    Smiles, Karen

  38. Heather-

    How unbelievably scary for everyone! Big hugs coming your way! xo-Mel