Bronchiolitis, I still cant say it properly. I had never heard of it, let alone knowing I had to look out for it, or even what to look out for!
At around 5 months old Harper had had a chesty cough for a couple of weeks. I had done what any mother would do and had taken her to the doctors twice as I wasn’t convinced ‘it was normal’. They did all the checks that you would expect but her chest and back sounded clear when they listened and she was showing no other signs of struggling to breathe etc. On the second visit our Dr advised us to go back if she showed any further symptoms like:
- sucking in her tummy (under her ribs) when inhaling
- struggling to breathe
- rapid breathing and longer lengths of time inbetween breaths
- less wet nappies
- generally unwell / irritable
- vomiting after eating
Well, at the time she did have slightly less wet nappies and rapid breathing but otherwise she seemed okay in herself other than coughing so I felt a little silly really!
That same evening we were getting her changed for bedtime and I noticed her tummy was sucking right in when she breathed. I panicked a little but didn’t want to be ‘that mum’ so I sent a video to my mum and sister for their thoughts – both advised me to call 111.
I called and answered their questions calmly although I was so worried all I wanted to do was call 999 and get an ambulance there!! … They didn’t seem as worried as I was and made an appointment at our local walk in centre about an hour after the call. It was actually really efficient and they really calmed me down.
At the walk in centre the Dr was quite happy with Harper in herself but was slightly concerned as her oxygen levels were a little low. As a precaution he sent us to hospital.
WELL. I was calm, until he said that!!
Harper showed us right up at the hospital. In between power naps (it was around midnight by time we were seen) she was smiling, laughing and blabbering away at the Drs and Nurses, she wanted to read every book and play with every toy… I almost wanted a big sign up over my head saying “we have been referred here by a Dr, I am NOT here for the fun of it”
We were seen and they still weren’t 100% happy with her, so we were shown to a cot on the ward and were told that she would need to be monitored and only allowed home when they were certain that her oxygen levels had gone back up. They were lovely people and really kept us ‘in the know’ as to what was happening.
I hated every second of being there though. As any parent would! Again, we were super lucky that it was only a very mild illness and would soon clear up BUT seeing your child laid in a hospital cot, wires all over the place and monitors surrounding her is just horrible. She was sound asleep most of the night and we just sat there watching her. The Nurses ended up getting a pull out bed for us and laid it next to the cot – how nice!? Not that we slept – at all!
By around 4am they were happy with her levels and said they would double check in a few hours before discharging us! David got picked up at 7am from the hospital and taken straight to work – no rest for the wicked – and Harper and I got discharged shortly afterwards with antibiotics and an inhaler.
Within a few days she seemed absolutely fine. Although did have a persistent cough for months after! We finally managed to see a paediatrician about it, but they confirmed she was okay. Its just one of those things I guess, she’s going to be one of those children that has a constant cough and cold as soon as the cold weather hits!
Moral of my story is; as a mum (especially a first time mum) you probably will overthink things sometimes. You probably will mistake symptoms sometimes and your baby is most probably okay … but … If you are ever unsure about something, ask someone. Call 111 or visit the Dr, that’s what they are there for! Just get a second opinion because, like me, that one time you think “I’m exaggerating as always” may be the time that your actually not!