Fevered Pitch

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July 18, 2007 at 11:29 pm

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Sara had a slightly eventful night with increased fussiness (actual little crying jags that eerily started the moment she’d awaken) due to the 4-month immunizations she received earlier in the day. Even though she awoke more often than usual and was clearly not feeling wonderful, she quickly went back to sleep with some nursing and a couple minimum doses of infant Tylenol, so I thought this was a repeat of the easy 2-month-immunization results.

Well, around 7 AM or so I woke up to a warm baby so I took her temperature and it was 100.8

degrees Fahrenheit.

and enough that I started mapping out her Tylenol dosing schedule in my head before dosing her and bedding back down with her after nursing. Within 2 hours, I woke up to more break-your-heart cries from out of nowhere and, by now, a burning hot baby that was almost scary to touch she was so hot. Took her temp and it immediately registered 103+ degrees Fahrenheit.

“That can’t be right, it registered too quickly?” I reset the thermometer and tried again, and this time it immediately registered 103.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, I had one of my first real Momma freakout moments, called Justin for moral support and to get the number for our pediatrician (toldja I was freaking out; usually I’m the keeper of all things numerical, except for finances), and called their office immediately.

The nurse gathered the basics and told me to take Sara into a warm shower with me immediately to help equalize her temperature, so since we do baths instead of showers I drew a shallow warm bath, stripped us both down and climbed in… Sara immediately calmed down (she’d been wailing uncontrollably since waking up 15+ minutes ago at this point, which is a super-long time for her… she’s not a crier, and can always be consoled with nursing… except for this literal fevered cry); and even though I was now sweating to death in the bathtub, Sara did start to feel less crazy-hot. Just as I’d carefully climbed out of the tub with the now very slippery wet baby and took her temperature again (it’d already dropped to 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit), the pediatrician called back in literally no more than 5 minutes (… I love this man!) and he gathered more data, told me to double Sara’s dosage of infant Tylenol every 4 hours, and as long as she was continuing to eat fine and developed no rash or cough or other major symptom, that she’d be fine. He allays fears without discounting or minimizing your fears/concerns/issues and offers real things you can do, immediately, to help the situation… and he didn’t make me feel like an idiot even though my voice was cracking as I talked to him, because suddenly for the first time I was alone with my sick/in pain/very unhappy infant and I didn’t know how to make it better. He just rocks… as does his entire staff. Sara’s going to love him as she gets older!

Anyway, thanks to doc’s orders, Sara has been doing much better since that call around 11 AM today. Oh, she’s not the same baby today that is for certain — she still goes from deep sleep to break-your-heart-crying-jags that start almost exactly when her next dose of Tylenol is due, and when you can notice her temperature’s rising precipitously again. She’s continued to eat great today and in addition to nursing I went ahead and gave her three 4 oz. bottles of expressed breastmilk so I could be certain she was getting plenty of nutrients quickly and in a measurable amount just to allay one more concern. Our breastfeeding today was still for nourishment but definitely had a more immediate benefit, that of helping to calm/soothe her (and no, I’m not saying a non-breastfed baby can’t be calmed/soothed, of course… hell, it probably soothes me as much as it does her, in this situation.)

We are back home now and Sara’s konked out in my lap, Justin’s konked out in bed to my left and I will be up most of the night because I’m a.) wired, b.) want to be certain I monitor Sara’s temperature and Tylenol dosing throughout the night, c.) had too much fun spending time with my family AND Justin for once, that sleep doesn’t even really seem necessary. It’s such a blessing having family nearby when you feel your world trying to TILT, even minutely, and it’s especially nice to have loving hands waiting to hold your sad little feverish daughter so you can a.) use the bathroom, b.) get more caffeine, c.) eat a home-cooked meal, and do so slowly even, for once!, e.) realize that you and your little new family are in good hands in a larger, more established and equally loving larger family.

Thanks, Mom, Dad & Thomas. Justin and I are blessed to have you so close to us, literally and figuratively. Thank you for the delicious stuffed cabbage rolls, Mom — you know Justin loved that, as I always do. Love you all. Will keep you updated on “Sprout’s” condition overnight and tomorrow. I feel confident she’s doing much better…. certainly, I don’t think we’ll see another episode of her temperature spiking that high again now that we have her Tylenol dosing increased and are staying on top of that like clockwork every 4 hours.

She is so good to us. Even with all this going on, she has smiled, cooed and talked at times to everyone today and handled the “commotion” as Justin and I had our first family dinner together with my parents and brother since her birth. In fact, I think having all the friendly faces and arms/shoulders around helped her better deal with the discomfort she’s feeling… she’s been really “needy” today, not wanting to be out of sight or touch of anyone for too long, and so it helped to have the clan around and all with ready smiles, arms and voices.

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