We had our first experience with RSV last week and it was not a good one. The babies started with a light cough Sunday evening. And progressively got worse from there. By Wednesday night, Avonlea was in really bad shape so I took her to instacare. Her oxygen level was at 82% when we arrived. They noticed she had a bad ear infection and prescribed antibiotic for that. The doctor said they needed to wait on test results, but she was almost certain it was RSV. They deep suctioned Avonlea and got her to 90%-92% and then sent us home with a prescription to the suction clinic and directions to have her seen the following morning along with Archer.
The next morning (Valentine's Day) the twins saw a pediatrician. Archer's oxygen level was great, 97%. Avonlea's was decent, 93%. I got another suction clinic prescription for Archer and went home. I took Palmer and Brody out that afternoon and Greg called us home because he was concerned that Avonlea wasn't breathing well. He took both babies to the suction clinic. They suctioned them both; Avonlea twice, and could not get Avonlea's oxygen above 90, so they sent her to the emergency room. She was given oxygen there and monitored for a few hours. Then sent to Primary Children's Hospital to be admitted.
I traded places with Greg and rode with Avonlea in the ambulance to Primary Children's Hospital. There we spent four nights and five days with Avonlea on oxygen, being suctioned every 3-4 hours. She seemed to get sicker and sicker. She would do better in the evening, but the early mornings were the worst. Her oxygen always dipped and we would spend the rest of the day weaning her oxygen to where she had been the night before. I wasn't able to get much sleep. During the times in the night when Avonlea was sleeping and doing well, the little girl we shared our hospital room with usually was not. So between the two babies, someone was almost always crying, struggling to breath and/or being suctioned.
There were a few sweet mercies during our stay. The doctors commented on how Avonlea had more flowers in her room than any other patient in infant care. Greg brought Avonlea a bouquet and me a bouquet (a late Valentine's gift) to brighten up our room. I was able to attend a short sacrament meeting at the hospital. I made friends with the mom sharing our room. Greg brought the boys (they were too young to be admitted as visitors) and Aunt Emily to the hospital Saturday night. Aunt Emily stayed with Avonlea and Greg and I took the boys to City Creek for a fun family outing. And of course, Avonlea and I got to have a lot of one on one cuddling time.
On Sunday I started seeing glimpses of Avonlea's real self: smiles, playing, baby babble. By Monday she was feeling so much better. She even made it a few hours at a time without oxygen, but when she fell asleep, she would have to be put back on a minimal amount. She was released and sent home with oxygen Monday night.
During all of this Archer was doing well. He definitely felt sick, but he was still breathing well and acting like his normal happy self. The boys were taken care of by family members most days so that Greg could either come visit us in the hospital or work from home with Archer by his side. All the kids were extremely exhausted by the time I came home and we have been spending the last few days relaxing and getting back on our regular schedule.
Wednesday morning I took Avonlea to the doctor and he gave consent to take her off the oxygen. Yay! She was reading 94-97% in the doctors office without oxygen. She now has both ear infected so we are starting another round of antibiotics. She has not had to be suctioned since we left the hospital, which is amazing. She got so sick so fast, but on the other hand, got better so quickly. She is a bit tramatized from the whole experience and wants nothing to do with people she doesn't know. In fact, she is downright scared of them. I'm certain she will forget her hospital stay with all the doctors and nurses who were constantly poking, prodding, and suctioning her soon and return to the happy, friendly, easy to smile baby that she is.
Greg, Grandma Betty and I also caught the virus and have been a little sick. Yesterday, just one day shy of me no longer being contagious, Palmer started coughing. So we will be quarantined for yet another week until he can no longer spread this nasty bug. Thankfully RSV is only a mild cold in older children and adults, but we will be staying put because I definitely would want another little babe to catch it and have to go through what Avonlea did.