Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oink Oink




As a teenager, all I wanted in life was a Volkswagen bus. To me, they epitomized all things cool. I dreamed of the day I would own an Old English sheepdog that could ride around with me in my eagle-nosed, 23 window VW bus. Then I met my husband. He told me that although they might look great, their engines were crap. Not one to be told what to do, I completely ignored him. I ran out and bought a 1998 VW beetle to tide me over until the day I could own my own bus. Although new, just like the old bugs, my cute like VW was a money pit that never ran right. After months of dumping a ton of money into repairs, I finally traded it in for an all to reliable Ford. To this day, however, ever time I pass a VW bus something in me aches for one of my own....

In other news... The swine flu is not just some vicious rumor. It is all to real and totally terrible. I speak from experience and I speak for all of us. The nightmare started about a month ago. Actually, the story begins the day Lola was born and Richard's throat started to hurt. By that night Richard and I both felt horrible. If we had been smart we would have been proactive and put some masks on around our wee ones, but we weren't...lesson learned. Two weeks after Lola was born, we were sitting on our couch one Saturday afternoon recovering from what we thought was terrible cold and flu. As Lola lay by me on the couch, I mentioned to Richard that her breathing seemed really fast and really shallow. I decide to do a little investigating on Web MD to see if I should be worried about her breathing. As I surfed the Internet, I happened to look over at her laying on the couch and saw that she had turned completely blue. I picked her up and her head flopped backwards. There was no breathing and I felt no pulse. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. All reason left my mind, and I completely freaked out. I believed that Lola was dead. Richard raced to my side already on the phone with 911 and holding the baby bulb nose syringe. He grabbed her, suctioned out her throat and nose, and then began to give her CPR. I could not believe what I was seeing. I could hear myself still screaming as the ambulance pulled up to the front of our house. Rex and Olive came to the front room to see what was going on. They saw the paramedics all kneeling over what appeared to be their dead baby sister lying on the floor.

Moments before they arrived, Richard had gotten her to take a small breath on her own. Immediately, they put her on oxygen and put us in the ambulance. We rode to the hospital, where just twelve days earlier she had been born. It was the worse 20 minutes of my life. I thought I had lived through hell before with the things we have experienced with Olive, but nothing could prepare me for the feelings of terror I had when I thought I was holding my dead child. By the time we had reached the hospital, Lola's oxygen saturation levels had reached 40%. I was worried that she might have suffered brain damage. (They tell me now, that she shows no signs of brain injury.)

Hours later we found ourselves sitting in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) Our baby was finally diagnosed with double pneumonia most likely caused by H1N1. Her lungs were almost completely filled with fluid which had caused her to tire out struggling to breathe. This resulted in her respiratory arrest. For the next two weeks Lola was kept in isolation in the ICU as she underwent intensive respiratory treatments and medication to heal her little body. Born at a whooping 10 pounds, she dropped nearly two pounds during her stay. Today she weighed in at 10 lbs 4 oz. At two months of age she has only gained 4 ounces more that her birth weight. This is a terrible way to start life here on earth and I don't recommend it. After 14 days in the hospital, we were finally allowed to bring our Lola home.

While in the hospital Lola was diagnosed with a heart condition called Wolf-Parkinson-White. This is a condition in which the electrical pathway of the heart can short circuit causing the heart to beat abnormally fast, never allowing the heart to rest between beats. This condition was discovered one night when Lola's heart beat reached 250 beats minute. She now is on a medication that controls her heart rate with the hopes that as she gets older her heart will repair itself. If it does not then a relatively simple heart surgery (as if any heart surgery is simple) can fix the problem.

So, we bring her home thinking that things could finally get back to normal. We were wrong. Three days later, a trip to our pediatrician revealed that both Rex and Olive had the swine flu, and Richard and I were suffering from another strain of influenza. We masked up and called my mother. She came and took Lola to Pocatello where she stayed for the next ten days. The rest of us sweated through 103.5 degree fevers and coughed all over each other. As of today, Lola is her to stay. She is 8 weeks old, and I have only lived with her for 3 weeks. I feel like we are just now being introduced. She is darling. The rest of us are also feeling better. Olive barley dodged the bullet of having to be hospitalized with her swine flu. She began suffering severe dehydration from all of her vomiting. Luckily, her anti-nausea chemo pills got her vomiting under control, until she was able to keep some fluid in. I write this now feeling confident enough to say that we are all finally feeling better.

Richard and I have started to joke that our children are like my beloved VW buses. They are darling to look at but their motors are crap and they are always in need of repair.

In all seriousness, I have to end this post by giving all the credit to my husband. In my greatest moment of need he was there to save the day, and save Lola's life. I know that if I had been home alone that day, the ending of this story would be very different. He saved her life. I watched him do it. As I stood there totally helpless, he breathed life back into my baby. Days before, I might have brought her into this world, but he gets all of the credit for keeping her here in it. Richard, I love you, and everyday I thank God for you. Thank you for saving my baby.

14 comments:

The McKinlay's said...

wow, no one can ever accuse you of having a dull life. We were so worried about lola and was so relieved to find out she was doing better. Hadn't heard about the rest of the story. So glad you are all doing so much better. Wish your mom had let us know. We would have loved to meet lola. God has a purpose for your little family. We love you all. p.s. Richard, you did good.

karrie jo Winder said...

I am so happy little Lola is home with you and doing good! There is nothing worse than feeling helpless. You're an amazing Mom and you do AMAZING things everyday. Your kids are very lucky and blessed to have you as their Mom. That being said, when in the world are you guys going to catch a break!!!

Penny said...

Oh my! You have been through more than I knew about. You are one strong woman. I am so glad that your family is now together and well. The best days are yet to come!

Brenda said...

Oh Cami, you always make me cry. I'm glad you all are finally feeling better! I've been keeping up with you through Jude and I've been checking your blog often to hear from you about it, so thanks for posting!

Amy Hawken said...

I already knew the whole story, and yet I still burst into tears reading your blog. Can't wait to meet the healthy and happy Lola at Christmas. Love you.

Anonymous said...

I am dying for you, but so glad you are such a strong family. I am sure that what you went through was brutally hard, but luckily you guys are so blessed and God's hand is there during your rough times. I love you guys so much, even though we are away and am grateful for your health. Give those kiddos a hug from the Moylett's...

P.S. We still talk about Gus all the time...I even bought Declan a stuffed dog that looks like him and we call him Gus.

Kyra Black said...

Camille! What a scary time you have had! This flu is terrible and super contageous! Most of our ward was out with it over the past few weeks. Mya had it and Gary had it. One night I called the emergency because Mya's temp had gone to 104.1. They told me not to bring her in unless her temp was 105 or she was turning blue! I could not believe it! My cousin is a nurse and she said to always take your kids in if you feel you need to. That is my advice for everyone! Take them in! Don't wait for them to get to the worst stage! Love and hugs to you and your amazing family!

Aimee said...

wow. wow. I don't have anything witty to say except...wow. Glad to hear things are better. Thanks for the reality check. I have kept Mary out of preschool because I fear her getting the swine flu. We have been hermits for 5 weeks now. Guess the countless hours of Dora have been worth it. ;)

Megan Herzog Berglund said...

Glad things are getting better for you all!...You are in my prayers!...

Molly said...

Hi Camille! It's Molly Jorgensen(your old partner in crime in skipping sunday school and YW). I'm not sure how I wandered onto your blog but I'm glad I did! I've heard little snippets of your life from my mom but it was good to read it first hand. I'm so glad you guys are feeling better and all seem to be happy. You look great. Congrats on the new baby.

The Photography Boutique said...

I love your litte fam. Hope you all are feeling better soon! Hope to see you at Christmas!

The Hunt's said...

oh. my. gosh. i was stricken with panic the entire time. i'm so glad everything is ok and that lola is on the mend. way to go richard.

Team Russi said...

I just stumbled across your blog. Wow, I am so glad to hear that everything worked out and your Lola is home with you, safe and sound.

Heidi said...

Your life stories are amazing Camille. Eric and I sit and read your blog and crack up laughing...only to find ourselves with tears streaming down our cheeks moments later. You are an incredible writer and should seriously consider authoring your lifes stories. I'd be glad to be your editor...as I love reading your work! You are great...keep the blog going.