"John, I didn't over react last night, did I? He really looked like he was struggling with his breathing, right?"
This was our conversation this morning before John left for work as we watched Maximo gleefully play with his toys. Last night was a different story. We got home from work and Gloria told us that Maximo had been doing something funny since their morning trip to the park - like he was gasping; he was struggling to pull in his breath a bit. She didn't call us at work because Maximo had good color and seemed happy and normal, even eating all his lunch. I noticed it was a strange sound but he had no sign of illness - no cough, stuffy nose, nothing. Not twenty minutes after she left the house, Maximo started screaming and it didn't stop and his breathing sounded more labored.
My thoughts: He swallowed something and it's partially blocking his windpipe; he's having an allergic reaction to something; he has epiglotitis (my sister had this as a child); or he has something congenital defect which is rearing its ugly head now that Maximo is bigger - maybe something didn't develop properly because he came out so early.
I called Dr. Z's office and he said to bring him right in. Luckily he was at the office near us yesterday, so we arrived within 15 minutes of making the phone call. Even though his waiting room was full, we walked in just as an appointment was finishing, so they ushered us right in. Maximo calmed down in the car, but his breathing was still funny. As soon as I got his clothes off in the exam room, he started wailing again which made it really hard for Dr. Z to hear through his stethoscope. So, we went to another room to calm him down and play and Dr. Z came back in and stealthily checked him out.
"His lungs and airway are clear, but I do hear that he's struggling for breath. His color is good, though, he's getting enough oxygen. Take him home, but keep a close eye on him. Take his temperature every 3 hours to make sure he doesn't have an infection. If it gets worse, go to the ER and call me on the way." (Okay maybe I shouldn't have put that in quotes, it's not too exact)
So, we head back home, worried, but trusting Dr. Zegarra. Maximo ate okay, took a bath, read books, sucked down a bottle, then fell asleep. He slept the whole night. Even through the door creaking every few hours when John and I checked on him. He woke up this morning after the first full night of sleep for a week, happy as a clam.
I hope it was nothing, but it was very strange how it appeared, seemed so serious, then disappeared. On our way to the clinic to see the doctor, all I could think was that I was going back to the NICU with my baby, and that I was going to be stuck in the sweatpants I had thrown on after work because there was no way I was going to leave Max's side.
I called in to work last night, because I really thought we were going to have to return to the hospital, and I couldn't deal with lesson plans and calling school at 6 am. In the end, I probably didn't need to, but it was good to see Maximo in the morning and to see that he seemed to be doing fine and his "gasping" was over. I returned to school midday, so I could attend the last of my parent conferences. Let's hope this is the end of our baby drama for a while. I thought we had paid our dues.