Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Mostly because I haven’t really wanted to re-live our experience. But driving home from work last week I saw LifeFight land in West Bountiful and I decided that I need to write down my story before I forget the details.
Warning to all, I can already tell this will be a very long post. There are many details that seem totally random, but really you need to know them in order to understand how everything fits together. I think that sometimes writing things down can be therapeutic, and I’m hoping that after this I can continue trying to go back to normal life.
It was a Friday night just like our usual Friday nights. I have loved to watch the Dateline Murder Mysteries for many months now, and Judd has come to accept this is our Friday night TV show. We fixed dinner for the kids, brought Taylie and her highchair into our room so she could be with us. She had hotdogs, cheese, milk, and crackers.
We usually put the kids to bed around 7:30, but on the weekend we let them stay up and watch a movie in Kaden’s room until about 8:30. Taylie had thrown up a very small amount of her bedtime milk in her bed the previous night so I put a clean sheet on her bed and tucked kids in.
For about 2 weeks I had been taking Tylenol PM every night to sleep. This pregnancy has brought on insomnia in the middle of the night that I don’t remember having with the other pregnancies. I had a Huge project that I was Project Manager of in the morning for work, I needed to have sleep. The Tylenol PM totally knocks me out. I don’t wake up for anything until morning. I remember going out to the kitchen to take the Tylenol and then I remember being back in bed again, having forgotten to take it.
Judd and I fell asleep between 10 and 10:30.
At about 11:15 I woke up. I didn’t know why, until I heard one of the kids making noise. Usually my kids do not wake up in the middle of the night. They are great sleepers. I waited for a minute and heard it again. It sounded like Taylie babbling in her bed. I figured she would fall asleep soon and closed my eyes again. Right before I fell asleep I had a thought come to me about the previous night. I remembered that she had thrown up that milk, and by morning the rotten coagulated milk smell is terrible. I got up to go check on her. When I reached the hallway it then sounded like the noise came from Kaden’s room. I waited there for a minute to make sure that I woke up the right kid. I heard it again.
I opened the door but didn’t turn on the light. I walked half-way to her crib and I could smell that she had thrown up. And then I heard the weird noises. It wasn’t babbling. It wasn’t anything that I had heard before. I turned on the light and when I went to her crib, she was awake, and she was lying there, but she wasn’t moving. She just stared up at me making those weird noises and I could see through her pajamas her chest sinking in each time she took a breath.
I picked her up and called for Judd. I sat in her rocking chair to try and figure out what was going on.
Side note: You need to know that my kids have been diagnosed with Asthma. Sometimes it can get pretty bad. There are many times when they make weird sounds that we have to determine what is causing it. Sometimes they get Croup and in a matter of 30 minutes it has triggered their Asthma and they have terrible issues breathing. In Feb we had to take Kaden to the ER to get a Epinephrine shot to make it so he could breathe.
So while I sat there with Taylie, the whole checklist of things was running through my head. I was trying to note everything because I already knew all the questions the doctors would ask me. The only thing was, this wasn’t anything like what we normally hear with any of their breathing problems.
I couldn’t figure it out. I have started to video the kids during any of their episodes with my phone so that the doctor can hear what they sound like (much better than me trying to make the same sounds for the doctor). I told Judd to grab my phone. I recorded her for about 20-30 seconds.
I am not the type of person that wants to rush to the doctor for anything that I don’t have to. Growing up we rarely went to the doctor for anything. Most times when our kids have had their breathing troubles (including the time we rushed Kaden to the ER), I was more calm than Judd. In semi-emergency situations I am usually able to think clearly and logically while he tends to get more frantic. I was trying to rule out everything I could think of.
And then I prayed. “Is this an emergency?”
Right then I had an overwhelming feeling to get her to the ER NOW. At that moment my calm/logical self turned into a not so calm and logical person. I told Judd we’re going to the ER, ran her out to the kitchen and put her in her carseat. Judd followed right behind and was with her while I threw on some clothes, grabbed our insurance card and credit cards, and by the time I got back out to the kitchen Judd was holding her while she sat on the counter and threw up.
The noise she was making was getting worse.
I called my mom, and told her to come stay with Kaden. We think Taylie is choking on something and we are on our way to the ER. I don’t remember what else I said. It takes my mom about 15 minutes to reach our house, but I knew we had to leave immediately.
Judd and I were running frantically through the house grabbing what we needed. I took her carseat and sat in the back of my car between the two carseats so I could be by her. Each time she threw up it made it worse so I wanted to be there if I needed to pull her out. She was just barely getting enough oxygen each time she took a breath.
By now it was about 11:30pm, so not many cars around. Good thing because Judd was speeding to Davis Hospital faster than I’d ever driven.
As we got out of our neighborhood my dad called. He said my mom was on her way. I said I left the garage open but we had to leave. He said my mom would be there soon.
As we got on the overpass towards the onramp of the freeway I had a thought come to me. “Call911”
I of course thought to myself “that is the dumbest thing ever, what are they going to do, have the ambulance chase us to the ER?”
And then another thought came to me “Call 911 so the doctors are ready when you get there.”
And so I did.
Up until this point I don’t think I had cried yet. I’m not really that type of person. But as the 911 operator answered the phone I lost it. I realized that there is something wrong with my baby, and there was nothing I could do. This was an emergency, and I didn’t know if we would make it to the hospital in time. I had to repeat to the operator a couple times because I was sobbing and she couldn’t understand.
Me: “I have a 1 year old baby that is choking. She is still breathing, but just barely. We are driving to Davis hospital, can you call them so that they are ready when we get there?”
Her: “can you pull over so we can have someone help you?”
Me: “No, we are on the freeway 2 exits away”
So she said to make sure and not to hit her on the back, that it would make things worse and she would call the ER. She came back on the line as we reached the freeway exit for the hospital. She said they were ready and that two nurses were standing outside the ER ambulance entrance to take our baby when we pull up.
As we were reaching the road of the Hospital Taylie’s lips were turning blue..
I told Judd to hurry. I think we drove through the ER parking lot at 40 MPH. When we parked in the Ambulance entrance the two nurses ran to Taylie’s door as I unbuckled her and handed her to them. They ran with her into the ER while I tried to get out of the car. I told the 911 operator that we were there and hung up.
I went to open my side door but forgot that it is child-proofed. I told Judd that I was locked in, so he kept pushing his unlock button because he couldn’t understand me when I said it was the safety lock. Finally I was able to tell him to come around and open my door. I ran into the ER while Judd parked the car...
I sat in the chair on the far side of the wall and answered all the questions as the Doctors/nurses shouted them out.
Even though she was being hooked up to everything my anxiety started to reduce because we were here.
They will fix her.
As I was explaining the events that led up to this moment, Judd ran in.
we watched as her oxygen levels on the monitor dropped from 60
In my head I had been thinking the whole car ride “Just get her to the ER, they’ll pull something out that she was choking on, we’ll go home, she’ll be ok”.
Her knees fell
Her body went limp
They put on those things on their chest for when they have to use the defibrillator
I started to panic.
A nurse pushed the code button on the wall ..
They pulled out the crash cart
More doctors ran in
I walked out
I remember my prayer because it was simple. I didn’t know what else to say.
I paced the hall for a couple minutes a nurse came out to see if I was ok. She gave me a hug, said they are doing everything they can, and that the doctors are working on her. I thought about how weird this all was.
I got a couple stares from the other people in the different ER rooms.
Another nurse came by and gave me a hug.
Then someone came out and told me that they were able to intubate her and someone was now pumping a bag so she can receive oxygen. They are trying to get her stable, but she will need to be LifeFlighted to Primary Childrens.
I walked back in to be with Judd. They pulled the Xray machine in and I had to walk out again since I’m pregnant.
I text my mom “I think they are going to take her to Primary’s”
I went back in. They said that one of her lungs was almost completely white on the xray (meaning almost collapsed.)
As her oxygen levels rose, they started to ask me questions again.
A kind nurse found this to be the best time to lecture me “maybe you shouldn’t give your baby hotdogs, grapes, or peanuts anymore”. Which of course made me feel great, even though they hadn’t determined that she even choked on a piece of hotdog.
The doctor said that he didn’t see anything in her throat when he did the intubation, and that they didn’t see anything big on the xray indicating that she had choked on a piece of hotdog.
Judd and I called our parents. I told them LifeFight would be here, and they’ll let them take her as soon as she is stable. Then they’ll head to Primary Children’s.
I don’t know all of the communication that happened with everyone else in between the doctors talking to us, giving us driving directions, signing more forms to allow them to do whatever they needed on the helicopter if she crashed again.
I must have looked pathetic because I kept getting hugs from random nurses, male and female. I hate hugs.
There were two nurses that were very kind that we had seen before. One of them gave Kaden the Epi shot when we were there just a couple weeks ago. She said “weren’t you guys here recently with your son?”.
We tried to make small talk.
They said we could stand by Taylie, and touch her feet.
They had given her a sedative to knock her out so she wouldn’t pull out the tube in her throat. She now had tubes, and wires all over. She had an IV, and about 5 red marks on her arm where they had either drawn blood, or injected something. She looked very pale. She didn’t look like herself. Her skin was almost plastic looking. You could see all of the veins through her skin.
I watched as the nurse would squeeze the bag to pump air into her. There was one time that she had to reach down and untangle a cord that she didn’t pump in rhythm and the buzzer went off again. I started to get anxious because hello, please pay attention as you are breathing for my daughter.
More Xrays, back out in the hall
Lung was still almost completely white. This means that it wasn’t just a piece of something that got stuck, there was actually a lot of stuff in her lung.
I know that most people would find it weird that at a moment like this, I would take a picture. But at that time I honestly just needed to convince myself that she would be ok. That this would be a memory soon. To convince myself more of this, I took pictures. It gave me something to focus on for a few minutes, rather than worrying about everything that was going on.
They had to decide if she would go to the ER at Primary Children’s, or to the NICU.
This all depended on how critical she was.
They did more evaluations with the Lifeflight team. They talked to the ER doctors at Primary, and determined she would be going to the ER.
I called my mom. She said my dad was already on his way there, that Katie my cousin was going to pick my sister Madison up from my parents, then drive to my house and get Kaden so that my mom could go to the hospital.
More things happened that are now a blur.
They said that we could walk out with them as they put her on the helicopter, but that there wasn’t any room for us to ride. They had 3 paramedics and the pilot. I started to cry again because that meant she had to ride to the hospital by herself. And then I started thinking stupid things like the chances of a helicopter crashing, and then the NieNie plane crash story popped in my head.We walked her out. They loaded her up and said it would take about 26 minutes for them to get to the Hospital and they would call me when they arrived.
As we walked down the halls and out the ER I felt empty.
After the surgery they removed the intubation tube to see if she would be ok breathing on her own. She didn't sound good.
If a baby her age is resting and comfortable then their heartrate is around 125 or lower. There were many times that her heartrate would go to 207-215.
All this time they wouldn't let her eat. Finally at 6:00am Sunday morning she got to have a bottle. She was too exhausted to open her eyes, but she was so happy for food.
I broke down crying every time driving to and from the hospital. How sad it would have been if Kaden didn't have a sister anymore.
She developed a huge fear of nurses. In the ICU they would poke her fingers or toes for blood gases every 2 hours. She had many poke marks from the blood they had to get. Every time someone in a yellow coat would walk in she would start to cry.
I'm thankful to the many people that visited/texted during those days.
The day before we left she was feeling good enough to play with some toys.
The weekend after it happened was hard.
I couldn't deal with feeling crazy anymore. I didn't want to be scared of her sleeping every night. I just wanted things to go back to normal.
This experience helped me to be reminded again of what is important.
Friday, March 18, 2011
We did the "trunk-or-treat" with our ward, then went to visit all the Grandparents
In the middle of
On December 18th we had our family Santa party. Taylie is probably the most serious baby ever. She wasn't even scared of Santa.
On December 24th we had our annual Christmas Eve Family party. This was the first year we had it at a church. At first everyone grumbled about it, but it turned out to be fun. We were able to play basketball and have a pinata for the kids.
January 8th Judd wanted to take Kaden sledding. He loved it. It scared him but he sure is a fan.
My kids are getting so big.
I really really wanted to have my kids close in age because I thought they would be good friends. There have been times that I think this decision was a crazy one... but when they start to play with each other I know I did something right :)