Motherhood :: Month 9

Motherhood :: Month 9


The past week has been one of the most gray-hair inducing of my life.

We’ve all been coughing and hacking since what feels like January. As soon as one of us feels better, someone else goes down with a cold. So when little man started coughing and hacking again, we initially chalked it up to just another round of spring crud.

However, this sounded different. This was a rattling sort of hacking deep in his chest that was followed by an uncomfortable wheeze.

We made him a doctor’s appointment, and the doctor figured he just had more of the same – spring crud. He gave us baby Tylenol in case he popped a fever and that was that.

But Marcus still didn’t sound right, so we asked the nurse at his daycare to keep an eye on him.

The next day, daycare sent him to the post emergency room to be evaluated because he was belly breathing and wheezing. Sure enough, the docs tested him and he came up positive for RSV. You can read more about what RSV is here.

It’s never fun to get a phone call saying your child is being taken from his daycare to the emergency room by ambulance. Never. Fortunately, his dad made it to post in time to ride over with him, and by the time I arrived, they had already gone through a lot of the necessary checks to rule out pneumonia and other terribly scary things.

At his Friday follow up, he hadn’t made any improvements in his breathing, so the doctors decided to admit him to the hospital. Scott and I grabbed our stuff and bunked in with him as he was hooked up to oxygen and more monitors than you can count.

He had a great night of sleep that night, but things went south after I gave him his first bottle the next morning. Milk tends to contribute to congestion, and it definitely turns Marcus into a snot-monster. That morning was no different.

But with his condition, it was enough for the doctors to decide he needed more care than they were equipped to provide. They made the decision to evacuate us to Walter Reed.


The children’s hospital transport showed up to pick us up, bringing the nicest medics I have ever met and probably the nicest ambulance I have ever ridden in. I rode in front with the driver while Marcus sat on his stretcher in the back, playing with the medics, giggling, and watching Paw Patrol.

That kicked off a six-day stay at Walter Reed where little man was continuously monitored and evaluated. It turned out that he not only had RSV, but adenovirus and rhinovirus {both common cold viruses}. It was scary to find out he was dealing with all three at once, but a little reassuring to know it wasn’t RSV alone that had laid him low.

Each day, we saw him get stronger. Each day, they were able to wean him a little off his oxygen levels. Each day, he wanted to play, to crawl, to stand, more and more.

Each day was still pretty damn long.


The longest day, of course, was the Friday we were waiting to get discharged. They had taken Marcus off his supplemental oxygen the day before and watched how he behaved on room air.

After a good night sleep with only room air, his blood was properly oxygenated, his appetite was fine, his energy levels were up, and the doctors said he was good to go home. But getting released from the hospital takes forever.

But then we were finally home. And minus coughs and mucus all around, we’re a little rough for wear, but we’re back on track.


After all the activity is over, that’s when you always seem to get hit with all the feelings. You don’t have time to think about it when you’re in the middle of things. So the last couple of days, Scott and I have been dealing with that and just how tired we are.

I’m not ready to deal with all the feelings, so they’re going to stay put away for now. It’s not one of my strong points. My coping mechanism is just to keep moving, to keep active, to keep doing all the things that hit the snooze button on the flood of emotions.

What I want to do is spend a quiet weekend cuddling my kid and being grateful that he’s as strong and as healthy and as brave as he is, that he went right through everything this past week and is still able to grin and laugh and giggle and play. I want to have dinner at the table with my family with no monitors beeping and no nasal cannula to avoid while I’m feeding my son. I want to sleep. I want to call my mother and sob my apologies for putting her through this every time she got a call about me getting hurt – which was frequent. And, yeah, I want to sleep.


So I’m going to go do all of that, and let this post be a little bit of catharsis for now. There will be tears later, where my kid can’t see and be upset by them. But for now, we’re going to play, cuddle, chow down on potato wedges, his new favorite thing, and laugh, because we’re home and safe and right now, everything is good.


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