On Tuesday, Violet and Layla turned six months old! I can hardly believe it. I remember when they were just born, wondering what their personalities would be like at six months. And here we are!
Today we visited the pediatrician for their six month well visit. Violet weighed in officially at 14 lbs 12.3 oz, which is in the 25th percentile. She seems so chunky to me–I thought for sure she would be higher up on the scale! Her approximate length was 24.75″, which is in the 15th percentile. The nurse didn’t write down her head circumference this time, so I’m not sure of the exact number, but her doctor remarked that she is very proportionate. So that is good!
Layla weighed in officially at 14 lbs 3 oz, which is in the 16th percentile. She’s only about 9 oz lighter than her sister now! At birth there was nearly 2 lbs difference between them. And over the last few appointments, she has consistently weighed about 1 lb less. She’s definitely catching up now. Her approximate length was 23.25″, which is the 1st percentile. We don’t pull much to straighten out her leg, so she’s likely a little longer than that. But her mom and dad (and our families) were not blessed with height, so we expect her to follow suit. Again, no head circumference recorded, but her growth was nice and steady on the chart.
Unfortunately, Layla spent her six-month birthday in the hospital! She started to get an upper respiratory infection about a week ago. By this past Saturday morning, she sounded pretty awful, so I took her to the pediatrician’s office. A nurse practitioner listened to her lungs, looked in her ears, and looked down her throat. She felt like it was just a normal cold and that it would clear up. By Monday evening, she sounded SO much worse. She was wheezing terribly and looked awful. We had scheduled their six-month well visit for Tuesday afternoon, so we debated about whether to wait until the next day’s appointment or take her immediately to urgent care. If you have read my writing for long, you know we’re “better safe than sorry” type of people. So I packed her up and headed to a pediatric urgent care facility.
Initially, the urgent care facility wanted to send us straight to the hospital. I was very surprised by this, as I thought I was overreacting by even taking her to urgent care. The nursing staff came into the lobby and checked Layla’s oxygen level and pulse, and then they decided to treat her. A doctor came in and showed me how Layla was breathing rapidly and having retractions. She then diagnosed her with bronchiolitis caused by RSV. We decided to stick a catheter tube down her nostrils and suction out some of the mucus. Layla really hated that, and screamed. (I didn’t blame her!) Afterwards they did an eight-minute breathing treatment. Then the doctor came back in and re-examined her. She decided that not enough progress had been made, and she thought Layla should be within arm’s reach of a respiratory therapist “just in case.” That is scary to hear!
We are lucky to have a great children’s hospital in our city, so we left urgent care and I drove her straight there. The respiratory therapist came in minutes after we were admitted to stick the catheter tube down her nose again and suction out more mucus. The gunk was so thick, it kept plugging up the tube! She screamed some more, and I felt so badly for her. What an awful night! She was totally exhausted and fell asleep very quickly after that. It was after midnight, so I was happy she was able to get some rest. They had told me that she may need an oxygen mask while she slept if her oxygen level dipped below 90, but I peeked at it off and on all night and saw levels of 91 or higher. The oxygen was never needed.
On Tuesday, she slept until about 9:30. The suctioning of her nose continued and the wheezing persisted, but I could see that we had started to turn a corner. The on-call pediatrician arrived to say that she was dehydrated and would need a feeding tube if she did not show immediate improvement! I was very shocked to hear that. She had not been demanding bottles, but I was offering them to her, and she was eating at least 2/3 or more of each one. Apparently her body was working overtime and using her fluids. Thankfully, rehydration by tube was never necessary. Throughout the day, she was very hyper–kicking her legs like crazy and squawking, so although the nurses kept telling me that she may need to stay one more night, I figured they would probably let her come home. And around 4pm, we got our get-out-of-jail card.
Since she came home, per the doctor’s instructions, we’ve been shooting saline spray up her nose before each feeding, waiting one full minute, then using the bulb suction to get more mucus out. This approach has been working pretty well, and she has improved each day. Still congested, still coughing up junk, but much better. RSV is some nasty stuff!