Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Three Years Later...
I should be sleeping. Last night Charlotte went to sleep at 10:30 wearing an oxygen mask because she will not breath through her nose. At midnight Zar woke me up to "snuf" her--i.e. suck all the snot out of her head with a bulb syringe whilst she screams. At 1:14 she had a fever of 102.1 and wouldn't stop sobbing, her toes were blue, the rest was red. She got motrin and a cool bath and bounced in her baby seat like an infant, not a 23 pound toddler. She slept and I checked at 2, then 3, and she was still hot. Tylenol. At four she was crying again, albuterol treatment, honey for her cough. Ella ate at 4:30. At 6:30 Zar called from her room--still hot. 103.1. More motrin. Another bath. Snuffing. At 7 I called the doctor. Appointment at 8:30. Now she is sleeping, amoxicillian on board, Ella is sleeping, and I am typing, like an idiot. GO TO SLEEP. I can't sleep, I have two babies.
Last week I was waiting for Charlotte's school bus, trying to get one more thing done before it came--and the phone rang. I picked it up and ran outside, all apologies for not waiting by the curb. No bus.
"Is this Charlotte's mom?"
"There's been an emergency. Charlotte isn't breathing. I will call you back."
A wave of...calm! I hurry inside and pack a diaper bag. I feed the baby. I changed my shoes even. We are going to the hospital and I must be ready.
The phone rings again--Charlotte is breathing. I can hear her crying. Send her to Primary's, I say, no one else knows what to do with her.
I call Zar. I put Ella in the car and I leave the garage open so the driver can drop off Charlotte's wheelchair later. I rush to the hospital, and when I am within a mile, I hear a siren. Everyone pulls over, and lets my baby's ambulance fly by. I feel entitled to cut off a Taurus and speed behind her to the hospital, where Zar is waiting. Charlotte cries. She is pale, she is snotty, she is upset and naked. Her darling pink and gray sweater has been cut off her body.
But...we go home three hours later.
We haven't spent more than a night in the hospital in almost two years. Incredible. I don't remember how to do it, to suspend myself in time, ponytailed, pajamaed, wandering the halls at night. I have a life again, I have a baby. I have TWO! I don't have time to live in the hospital.
So, today, I let Charlotte sleep. I let the antibiotic work it's miraculous magic. I hope for clear breathing, good saturation, pink lips and toes, my smiley girl back from death's door yet again. I hope we can stay home.