So a week ago today I had my scariest moment as a parent. I’ve had the pat them on the back till they barf from choking every where on more than one occasion, but that was nothing compared to this.
My 14 month old was fussy all day and was refusing to nap, which really wasn’t anything new but what happened next no parent should have to see.
Little Delta started having a seizure…. I was home alone, just me and the girls, called 911 and I was the panicking mom yelling they aren’t coming fast enough. We are rural so the emts are volunteer, but they were amazing! They arrived in a few long minutes and they were great with my 2 year old. We met and picked up a paramedic in route to the hospital.
I was a mess and so was Adella. After arriving at the hospital and few more seizures we were told Delta would be life lined to a hospital 45 minutes away. My heart sank again and by then Luke finally made from work and I was just a wreck.
Adella was being so amazing and my family was helping take care of her. When it came time to leave everyone was offering to take Adella so Luke and I could just go, but I couldn’t imagine not having her there with us. We already didn’t have one of our girls.
Once we arrived at the other hospital we watched the helicopter land and Adella said “look sissy is here” she was so excited and Luke and I were in tears. At this point we had no idea what was going on with our poor baby and all we wanted was our spunky crazy girl back!
Our families trip to the PICU
So we obviously knew that we would be spending a few nights in the hospital and we had heard they had guest housing here at the hospital. We weren’t sure how much sleep we would be getting but for Adella to have a bed to get some naps in was a life saver.
I know that it may so crazy to have to deal with a two year old while worrying about your other child but she was so good (much more well behaved then home) and she was so worried about her sister. I couldn’t imagine her being else where still worrying about her sister, and wanting mom and dad.
Sleeping in the Hospital
The first night we were up till 1am before finally heading to our room to get some rest. Delta was stable and her CT was normal. She would remain sedated and so we decided that we would take the night to try and get at least 5 hours of sleep.
Adella was out like a light after nursing and snuggling, and after eating something Luke and I were right behind her. The bed was uncomfortable but it was $20 and right in the hospital. The PICU at Mercy offered a breakfast basket so we didn’t have to worry about buying that. Adella ate a muffin and we played in the waiting room.
Went did a nap in the guest house too because Adella only got a little sleep, but one of the days she napped in the family room.
The first night that Delta was awake Luke stayed with her. I honestly couldn’t, and I feel like the worst mom for that. Ever twitch made my heart sink and my belly hurt. I instantly went back to being home alone holding her in my arms with Adella crying for me to stop crying.
But our last night there Luke tried to get Delta to sleep and she just cried and cried so I cam back down and snuggled her and Luke took Adella… Well tried anyways she was a crying mess wanting mommy and sissy. So Luke went and got some sleep and I had both girls nursing in the chair with me. All night long they nursed and snuggled. I won’t lie I was exhausted and uncomfortable but it was so nice to have that to complain about.
Letting our toddler see her sister
So I’m sure some family, friends, and some of you readers will disagree with us, but we let Adella see Delta on the vent. Adella didn’t want to touch her which was fine, but she was excited to see her. She asked when sissy could play, and you could tell she was sad. She of course said she wasn’t but after a few short minutes she was ready to leave the room and look on her face said it all.
Just about every hour she would ask to see her sister, she still didn’t want to touch her but wanted to check up on her. She is just the most amazing big sister. I wholeheartedly believe this experience has changed her. Certainly not in a bad way, but she has more love and compassion. She doesn’t fully understand the gravity of what went on, but she knows it was sad and scary. She now likes doctors more because they fixed sissy so that is a huge win!
Sisterly bond or coincidence
So around lunch Delta was going to be taken off sedation and put under anesthesia for an MRI. We decided after she went down that all the family (my mom, grandma, sister, and niece and nephew) would go and eat lunch to distract us and get some food in our tummies.
We had been down there for almost an hour and knew that was about how long it would take so we were getting ready to head up when Adella comes running over saying “Sissy is awake” in the most excited voice and just jumping around. I asked Luke what she was talking about and he had no idea. We just brushed it off that her cousin and her were talking about when Delta wakes up.
Sissy is awake!
So we head up stairs and I go to use the rest room when Luke calls and says “Hey, Delta is awake and angry and they want a parent to hold her. You’re up” So in tears I go running back to see her drowsy and snuggling a nurse. I hold her and rock her and just cry.
Then they start to tell me how when they brought her up she was waking and fighting them, so they decided to take her off the vent and not sedate her again. I then started thinking wait this happened what 15 to 20 minutes ago… right about the time Adella yelled “sissy is awake”. Did she know something we didn’t? Was it just a coincidence?
I can’t even write this without tearing up.
How to keep your toddler busy while in the hospital
So the family rooms here had some amazing game council on the wall that Adella just loved to play with… for the first day! Then it was boring because she was a little young to really understand how to play any of the games!
The child care specialist team was amazing and they brought in paper, crayons, markers and stickers so we could color and decorate Delta’s room! Not only did it distract the little ones but it was so sweet to see them hung up in her room. We are going to have to figure out something to do with them now that we are home.
I’d like to hope you have read my recent posts on our book project series, but if not that’s okay. We have been doing a book a week with projects, but of course we didn’t do one last week and we haven’t done one this week either, but Adella has been in to reading since we started this series 2 months ago so we did a lot of reading during those days in the hospital. They had different books then we have so that was fun!
We took a few minutes each day and went outside! Fresh air is so relaxing for everyone and it helped burned off some of her energy. We smelled flowers and ate Oreos under a tree! Sounds like a great time right!?
I wish we had a few more things with us too burn up some time like play doh or our favorite Water Wow coloring book, but we did the best with what we had.
Eating at the hospital
As I stated earlier the PICU offered free breakfast items and because I was a pumping breastfeeding mom I received free meals. They said “you feed the baby we feed you”! Pretty amazing especially since she isn’t a baby any more but I did advantage of that and got some sides I knew Adella would eat.
Adella has been so picky and when we aren’t home it’s even worse. She did eat broccoli two nights in a row, and probably drank her weight in chocolate milk but honestly that was the least of our worries.
Luke on the other hand went to the cafeteria and ate a salad or something healthy! A few times I sent him out to get food so Adella could get out and so we could eat something a little different. We did get lucky and the hospital had decent food so eating at the hospital wasn’t the biggest bummer.
I wish no family has to go through a hospital stay, but unfortunately they are bound to happen. I hope our experience can help your family get through a hard time with a little less stress.
Oh, and Delta is doing great! She is back to being a handful!