Last night about 10:00 Isabelle woke up making a weird sound. I heard her on the monitor and we both went in to get her back to sleep.
Except she wasn’t crying, she wasn’t upset, she simply couldn’t breathe. Her breath was short and raspy and she was literally barking like a dog with every breath. I scooped her out of her crib and onto my lap, thinking maybe her throat was dry, sent Jazz to get a drink for her. When she refused a drink I knew something was wrong. She looked so panicked and scared, her little eyes looking at me begging me to fix it.
I didn’t know what else to do but immediately call my dad. Jazz called. Told him Iz wasn’t breathing well and could he please come over. He listened to her breathing via speakerphone and mom told me to sit in the bathroom with the shower on to create steam until they got here.
Izzie and I sat on the toilet with the shower water running, and she clung to me with Olivia squished right in between and waited, I patted her back and tried to rock her back to sleep. She had a hard time getting comfortable on me since I have this giant baby in my uterus taking up all the real estate. And she couldn’t breathe.
My parents arrived, my dad with his medical bag in tow. He carefully listened to her breathing while she layed in my arms. Croup, he said. Isabelle has a case of the croup. I have no idea where she picked this up, but I was shocked how quickly it went from zero to omg.
We spent the next couple of hours alternating time in the steamy hot bathroom and sitting on the freezing cold patio. Dad assured me that it was a mild case and that she wouldn’t stop breathing but to keep a close eye on her in case it got worse or she started drooling or became unresponsive. To me it sounded like “womp womp womp this is really bad womp womp womp.”
The croup is a respiratory infection type thing that happens in the airway. Makes the throat swell, which makes breathing hard, and causes that horrible barking sound. I’m not kidding, she sounds like a seal at pier 39. After switching between the hot and cold temperatures, she calmed down and seemed really asleep. We laid her in her bed, and she seemed wheezy but fine. She slept pretty good, waking only a couple times until 6 AM when she started the barking again. I was actually really surprised she slept that long.
I got up with her and did the patio/bathroom song and dance for a few hours until Jazz was awake. Despite that, her breathing seemed more labored. Even when she couldn’t breathe she still looked super cute. We watched sesame street outside on the porch so she wouldn’t run around and get worked up and then not be able to breathe and then freak out. She thought it was the greatest day ever.
Later this morning, her wheezing (called stridor, thanks dr. sumsion) got really bad and she sounded horrible to me. In and out, in and out, struggling. And then she barfed. I was told it would get better during the day, worse at night, so when it got worse during the day I assumed it not getting better on its own.
I’m not one to overreact about health issues, and I’m not the worrier of the family. (Rhymes with Flazz.) But I can honestly say I have never been so worried about Isabelle ever in her life. I had visions of her coughing so hard that she couldn’t catch her breath, or that she would literally stop breathing. I’ve never dealt with a breathing problem like this so I honestly have no experience in the matter. And from what little I know about life, breathing tends to be high on the list of important things to do.
Once she started drooling this morning, I really started to worry more. A few calls to dad later, he came over and listened to her again. Because he is awesome. Can I just say, I don’t know what we would ever do without having someone so close to call and ask for medical advice. Like, what do normal people do, go to the ER? I guess that’s what we would have done last night at ten pm. I’m so thankful we didn’t have to sit at the hospital to wait for Isabelle to be seen. Everybody needs a father that makes house calls, I’m just lucky to have mine so close. And that he is such a good physician.
At about noon today we got some steroids in her to help the inflammation. She immediately fell asleep and slept for almost two hours, she was so tired. Tonight she seems much better. She is still wheezing with every in and out of her breath, and occasionally we get a barking attack, but nothing like this morning. We’ve spent the day gently playing and having a Pixar marathon, drinking pedialyte and eating miniature popsicles.