I sit here today holding my handsome and healthy baby boy. Just two days ago, this was not the case. A 911 call, 7 first responders and eventually a trip to the ER would change everything. In a matter of minutes our entire evening changed.
The story is simple, but terrifying. Our 4-month-old son has been breast fed since birth. He recently hit a growth spurt and my milk supply has been trying to keep up. This week after our nightly nursing session it was obvious that he was still hungry. With hesitation and a little bit of heartbreak, I made a couple ounces of formula to supplement. Within minutes of introducing just a few ounces of formula our night took a dramatic turn.
It started with what can only be described as Darth Vader-like sounds coming from our little man, though still happy and content. Next, he started spitting up very small amounts and babbling in an odd whisper, which is unlike his usual loud and adorable coo. I knew something was wrong. My husband knew something was wrong. We quickly called 911. Within minutes the local fire department and paramedics arrived at our house. They examined him and spent time explaining that it seemed like an adverse reaction to the formula. At that time, he didn’t warrant a trip to the ER. However, a mere 5 minutes after they left he developed a fire red blistery rash in odd places. We called our pediatrician and were encouraged to head to the ER.
My husband left immediately with our baby boy. With the help of a kind neighbor and our amazing family I was able to leave within minutes and head to the ER. When I arrived the rash had gotten worse, but it appeared things were ok. I picked up our sweet boy and seconds later he was projectile vomiting. Then, he turned blue. Scared doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions I was feeling. I quickly rambled something to my husband about needing a doctor. I remember yelling for someone to help. Seconds later a room full of hospital staff were there to help. I stood there watching as they hooked him up to monitors to ensure all of his levels were stable. The doctor tried to explain what was happening. I’m not sure I listened. I was terrified. This terrifying ordeal would happen one more time while in the ER. There are no words to describe your child’s lips and feet turning blue. Even writing this I’m tearful and shaken.
The best part of this story is that with the care of the doctors and nurses, a strong dose of Diphenhydramine, and a long night in the ER, we took our happy and healthy baby boy home. I left feeling extremely emotional, blessed and overwhelmed. Today, we sit here waiting for our follow-up with a Pediatric Allergist. Praying my milk supply will get us through until we can determine the cause of this horrific reaction.
This whole situation has made me a nervous and emotional mess, just ask my husband. I can’t stop thinking about doctors, first responders, nurses, parents of kids with allergies, and any parent who has watched helplessly as their child lay in a hospital bed.
Here are a few messages for the miracle workers who have blessed my life in the last week:
Doctors, thank you for your knowledge and skill as you work endlessly to treat and assist our sick kiddo. Your determination and dedication are priceless. You are lifesavers, literally.
Nurses, thank you for your strength and heart of gold. You are able to take a chaotic and dangerous situation and make it seem manageable. You are the angel of the ER and operating room. You make our kiddo feel loved, important, and more than just a patient in room 1312. You have heart and passion that are admirable and appreciated.
EMT’s & all First Responders, thank you for your fast response and watchful eye. You come into uncertain situations ready to save lives, even if that means risking your own. You are the role models I want my kids to see. You radiate dedication, hard work and compassion. Thank you for showing up and making a difference.
Parents of children with allergies, I don’t know how you do it. I have so much to learn from you. You all look so knowledgeable and efficient in handling things. While I’m sure your journey has been challenging, emotional and overwhelming, your strength and dedication are inspiring.
Parents of healthy children, count your blessings daily. It only takes a moment for things to change. Be prepared without being fearful. Most importantly, never take the health of your beautiful child for granted.
As for us and our story, we start on a new road of allergy testing and Pediatric Allergists. We are entering a world we have been lucky enough to avoid with our other two children. I’m overwhelmed, emotional and heartbroken. I will do all I can to advocate for the health and wellness of my sweet baby boy, just as all the parents before me have done.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.