This past Thursday morning, I was undressing Mary Aplin for her first “post yucky belly button thingy is gone so you can finally have a real” bath, when I noticed that the little bald head resting against my cheek felt a warmer than normal. I took her temp, and it was 100.1. I went and checked my “Discharge Instructions” from the hospital, vaguely recalling seeing something in there about what temperature should lead you to call a doctor in a newborn. You see, I have this fear of seeming like a hypochondriac to medical people. I think it stems back to Dr. Lees making me feel like a big faker as a child in the pediatrician’s office, but that’s another story. I find what I’m looking for, and apparently, you aren’t supposed to call unless the newborn’s temp. is above 100.4. So, I go on about the day.
Later, I hear a little cry as she wakes up from her afternoon nap. I go into her room and scoop her up, and as soon as that little head touched my cheek, I knew we’d exceeded 100.4. Sure enough, her fever was 101.3, so I called the doctor’s office. Mrs. Ohs, a dear family friend who Jeremiah lived with that year he was playing cowboy in Montana, happened to be at our house for a visit. I was trying to cook a fun dinner that night in her honor, so I asked if she would stay with Mary Aplin and Pace (since both were napping) while I ran to get a couple of things at the grocery store. Freedom!!! While I was shopping, the nurse called me back. I’m expecting her to tell me what dose of Tylenol you can give a 2 week old baby. Instead, she asks me if I can re-check the temperature immediately. “No, I’m at the grocery store…” I reply, and I feel a knot begin to form in my stomach as the condemnation comes roaring through the phone line. “Well Mrs. Maddox, a fever in a baby of Mary Aplin’s age is very serious. You need to take her to Children’s Hospital ER immediately. I’m calling ahead to let them know you’re on your way.” (Translation:Why, negligent mother, did you leave your infant and go to the grocery store when she is obviouly ill. Take her to the doctor, now, and not when you finish your ridiculous grocery shopping) I would also like to add that my phone is beeping and about to die while she is talking and putting me on hold to confirm things with my doctor. I was frantically asking the kind workers at Publix how I could get to a phone to call the evil nurse back if my phone did die–rendering me an even more neglectful mother who takes a semi-dead phone with her while she is abandoning her sick newborn. I am really nervous about going back to Publix after the scene I made. There were actually two people who tried to shove their cell phones on me, as I dashed to customer service with my full cart of groceries, to get to a phone.
I, thankfully, was able to leave Pace and all my groceries that needed to be put away, with Mrs. Ohs. I zipped to the ER telling myself that the nurse was just being precautious and that my sweet Mary Aplin just had a low grade fever and was going to be perfectly fine. In the meantime, that knot in my stomach was growing bigger by the minute, especially since my doctor husband wouldn’t answer his phone OR my pages that I had typed 911 after. The knot got larger as I noticed all the horribly (honestly dirty) and sick children crouching in every orfice of the waiting room in the ER. I concluded that if Mary Aplin wasn’t deathly ill when we came in, she certainly would be by the time we left. The knot grew larger when a nurse came in and told me that they would be performing a “lumbar puncture” (surely they could find some other phrase to use besides something that brings visions to a mother’s mind of a poking holes in her tiny baby’s spine), drawing blood, putting in a cathater to get a urine sample, and starting an IV for antibiotics. I was still holding onto the need to NOT be the dramatic, over-exaggerative mother until the doctor came in and added that we would also have to stay in the hospital for at least 48 hours. The dam broke. There was only so long I could hold it together on my own.
I soon found consolation in sweet Mary Halsey Maddox. She was in Jeremiah’s medical school class, became one of our good friends, and is now doing her residency in the ER at Children’s. She came in and assured me that every doctor and nurse who cared for us was the best. Then she assured me about all the prcoedures that were going on, and paged Jeremiah to let him know that he REALLY needed to come, and that I wasn’t just being a hypochondriac this time 🙂 While we waited for the test results to come back, we discovered that the hospital was at full capacity, so we would have to spend the night in the (dirty) ER. This turned out to be OK, since Jeremiah was on call at Children’s that night. He would leave our room, see a consult, then come back. I actually saw him a lot more than I would have on a normal night on call.
All the tests came back, and Mary Aplin has a urinary tract infection, which is apparently pretty serious in babies as young as she is. They told us that we would have to stay in the hospital for 7 to 14 days to do intravenous antibiotics. Since they have virtually no immune systems, these infections could potentially spread to their blood streams and can even cause spinal meningitis if you don’t catch it early enough or treat it properly. You also worry that something didn’t “form right” (why does that sound so country as I type it?) when you see infections this early. They did an ultrasound, and Mary Aplin does have all of her organs in the right place. However, there was some fluid in one of her kidneys, so they are doing another test Thursday morning to make sure she does not have reflux. This would mean that when her bladder contracts, some of her urine is going back to her kidneys. Even if she does have reflux, they say it would probably resolve on its own as she grows.
SO, if I could end with a few more prayer requests for you 🙂 Pray that Mary Aplin doesn’t have to stay on long-term antibiotics or have surgery. Pray that Pace, who is staying with Mrs. Ohs at our house, will behave and not think that she has been abandoned by her parents since Mary Aplin has gotten here. Finally, Mom is definitely going to Savannah to meet with Gene Hall this weekend!!!!!! so keep praying for HEALING and to see God’s glory through all of this. Love you all and greatly appreciate your encouraging notes and phone calls. Does anybody else feel like they have way too much drama in their life????
Abby, Oh I am so sorry about all of this. David spoke with Ms. Ohs yesterday and she told us what was going on. We’ve been praying for you all already. I will continue to pray for your parents this weekend as I know this is a HUGE meeting!!!!!! I wish there was something I could do physically for you all. I am here for you if you need anything! I think of you daily and hope to catch up sooner then later. I have joined the blogging world so feel free (in your free time..Ha!) to check it out. davidandtegancorrie.blogspot.com
love you all! Tegan
We are praying for all of you. Wish there was something I could do for you physically also. Drama is the spice of life girl.It’s going to all be in Gods hands.I Love You..Robin
Hey Abby! I just want you to know that I am praying for y’all! I hope Mary Aplin is feeling better. It’s always so scary when your baby is sick and you feel so out of control. Mimi (my grandmother) flew back with us last weekend and I just read her your blog about Gene Hall. I had skimmed over it a couple of weeks ago, but this morning I read her the entire thing. I had chills reading it and what you wrote was such a huge reminder to me that God is so big and that we underestimate the gifts that he gives to people, his servants. I can’t wait to hear what happens this weekend during your mom’s meeting. I just want you to know that you, Mary Aplin, and your mom are on my mind and in my prayers!
We’re praying for Mary A. and your Momma. Love you.
I am praying not only for your wonderful mother but Mary Aplin and all of you as well! Oh how I could so relate to you trying to get up with Jeremiah! Memories just flooded back to me-Tim wasn’t even able to be at Brookwood when I was about to deliver his first born-it gets better, I promise!
I am home alone now clinging to a verse that YOU gave your mom and she gave to me-Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer”. She is the living picture of that verse- I love you all. Kathy Gannon
Sweet Abby!! I’ve been so wondering and worrying about you! I’ve been thinking about you and all the drama you’ve been going through and asking God to have sweet mercy on you!! Justin and Tommy have been up since 3:45am (when Tommy thought it was appropriate to give Justin a wake-up call… he’ll be married one day and learn) anyway, they’ve been praying for your mom all morning. We will continue to pray for her throughout this weekend and we will be waiting with baited breath the report from her visit. I really feel like this whole town is praying!! I really wish we lived closer to y’all so Pace could come over and play with the girls. I’m glad that Mary Aplin is in good hands and I’ll be praying for her kidney test. I hope that you have a bed there with her? Are you still nursing her? I know this all must be so stressful for you… Praise God for Mrs. Ohs!! It’s so nice to have sisters in Christ that we can trust to leave our children with… do you think she’d be willing to move in permenantly (I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to convince her during those brutal Montana winters!)… at least until Jeremiah finishes his residency!? How nice would that be… you could go to Publix by yourself more often! Anyway, I love you my dear friend and I’m praying for you, your fam, and your sweet mom! A great big hug for you!!
Hey Abby! I am in a Sunday School class, in Dothan, that is praying for your mom. Received a thread to your blog site through them. I have a daughter, now a teen, who had the same type problems as an infant. I remember how frightening it was to be sent to Children’s when I thought she only had a fever due to a cold. They even did a CAT scan because they thought it might be due to infection in her brain. SCARY!! She was diagnosed with UTI and given antibiotics. Afterwards she had to be checked for UTI every time she ran a fever. She has outgrown the problem. They never found a specific cause, other than “some baby girls have this problem”. Anyway, I just wanted you to know of another little girl who had “that problem” , and has been fine. I will be praying for you and Mary Aplin, as well as your Mom. May God cover you with His peace.
Praying for you all! Much love!
Hey Abby, my mom sent me the link for your blog and I just wanted to let you know that Olivia and I have been thinking of you and your mom (as well as your entire family). The faith of you and your family continues to be an inspiration to me and my family. Thank you!