11 January 2010

Vera is Hospitalised

Some days in your life you'll remember forever. Today is one of them.

You see, it happens to be my birthday. And what an eventful one I must say.

Today, my instincts told me that we had to bring Vera to the hospital. We were into the 5th day of a fever that refused to subside on antibiotics.

At 4am last night, I told Ian "I have a feeling we should bring her in," Her breathing was increasingly laboured and chesty. She was increasingly inconsolable. Her usually pink lips were becoming pale and purplish. Also, she kept arching to be laid down when carried.

It was a good thing that my mom was here for the day. Just before lunch, we packed up and headed to the National University Hospital (NUH) Children's Emergency.

I was cool and calm on the way, not expecting much to happen. We'd been to the Children's Emergency at KKH before when Vera fell from her bed. They'd take your baby's particulars. You'll answer some questions. You'll wait in the next room for someone to attend to your baby.

We knew Vera would be assessed, and probably have a blood test and X-ray ordered. I'd settle her in, and Ian could come visit after work. Little was I prepared for the drama that was about to sweep me off my feet.

The minute I wheeled a sleeping Vera into the ER, a nurse came and took her oxygen levels. This was what it showed: Desaturation to 58%.


"This baby needs isol!" The nurse called out.

I could hear from the tone of her voice that something was amiss. What was isol? Anything you don't understand sounds scary, especially in a medical environment.

"What is isol?" I asked quizzically. "Isolation," she said.

Just as I took out a summary of Vera's case history, she had already swiped it from my hands and together with two other nurses, were running with Vera in pram, leaving pregnant me to waddle after them.

Why is Vera being whisked away in such a panicked manner? Why does it seem as if I was watching a scene from ER?

My heart started to beat faster and faster. I was totally caught off-guard by the drama that was unfolding.

They disappeared behind a swinging door. I hurried after them and found myself staring at Vera in an ER situation. She was already on the bed (what in seconds?) A team of 6-8 medical staff were huddled around her. Wires were flying all over. Machines were beeping. They were speaking at breakneck speed to one another. Two or three of them were already setting a plug on her right foot.

One of the doctors addressed me. "Don't mind ah, Mommy, we'll have to speak as we do this," Above the bustle, they asked me question after question about Vera. I tried to answer them as fast and as accurately as they were posed.

Then suddenly my body just couldn't cope with what was happening. I started to panic, and felt a tightening in my belly. Baby started moving aggressively. I started to break down. That's when I knew I couldn't handle it alone and called Ian. "Please come," was all I could manage before I hung up. Because if I had said anymore to him over the phone, I was afraid my emotions would have gotten the upper hand and cause more of the contracting feeling.

"I need to sit down," I told a nurse. I immediate whisked out my MP3 player. It was the fastest way to calm myself down. I listened to the Hypnobirthing track and b-r-e-a-t-h-e-d. It worked. I calmed myself enough to go back and answer more questions.

By then Vera was given an oxygen mask, and her saturation was back to 100%. She was now awake (and trying to remove the mask, ha.)

By then my mom and Ian were there. Everything felt much better. I knew Vera was in good hands. A doctor came to assure us that she was stable. And would be transferred to the ICU for monitoring for the rest of the day.

The latest update is that Vera has Pneumonia, or a lung infection. She will be in hospital for probably another 2 days. Given her low immunity, she catches a virus from others so easily. She's currently isolated because they can't put her at risk of H1N1 in the normal ward. To minimise her risk of worsening, she will not be receiving any visitors until she's back home. With Vera, we just have to take the extra precautions. Thank you all for your concern and we hope to get this little girl back home soon.

Will update you all here.

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