Why you should always Trust your Mommy Instinct

Being that this is the 1 year anniversary of Trusting your mommy instinct we are reposting it.

The day was as usual with a 2-year-old. Eat, sleep, play. She started to act like she may be constipated but, kept pushing on. No real sign of pain. She ate dinner and right around 8pm she wanted to lay in bed with daddy and watch Mickey. We could tell she wasn’t feeling well. Not 30 minutes later, vomit. Then, every 10-45 minutes….vomit. It went on all night long. I thought she picked up a stomach bug or was getting whatever bug my husband and I were dealing with and it was hitting her in a different way than it was us. This was Saturday night.

All day Sunday, she wanted to lay on the floor or the couch on her belly. Any liquids I was able to get into her little body, she vomited up. Sunday around 5 I took her to the children’s hospital ER down the road. They ordered IV fluids when she vomited nearly on the ER doctor. She was so miserable; she barely flinched when having the IV put in…and the nurses had to try THREE times. I was heartbroken. After a double dose of IV fluids, she seemed like a different child. We were released and sent home with some Zofran to easy any more nausea.

9am rolled around Monday morning. The vomiting started again. I started tiny amounts of fluids every 15 minutes and after 1 hour it was coming back up. I called the pediatrician and made an afternoon appointment. My husband thought I was overreacting to a stomach bug. I assured him I was not, and this was NOT normal for a stomach bug.

Once she was sick a second time, I called back and the nurses told me to bring her in sooner. We headed there, towels and extra clothes for her on hand. She proceeded to lie on the waiting room floor, then on the exam room floor. It had now been 24 hours that she didn’t want to be held, and wanted to lie on the floor on a towel or blanket. The doctor was very concerned (as was I!) that even with Zofran, she was still throwing up, extremely lethargic and just lying on the floor basically refusing to be held. He sent us back to the ER to get fluids started ASAP and another assessment.

The wait was only a few minutes but, felt like forever when I was looking at my baby, once again lying on the floor on a towel because she didn’t want to be held. We arrived at 1pm. They were about to put in an IV to start fluids when the ER doctor said he wanted an ultrasound on her abdomen. Since she had NO symptoms other than vomiting and lethargy, he was concerned that she may have what I recall to be a “telescoped intestine”. It had some fancy name, but that is how he explained it. Basically, that means that the large intestine collapsed and was causing a blockage. That would require air pumped into the exit only area to “inflate” the intestine.

That alone was scary, but apparently slightly common in children and not like having major surgery.  Radiology was ready for us before they could start her IV. That took about 20 minutes, and I could tell in certain areas, her pushing on my baby’s belly it hurt her. We went back to the room to once again begin an IV when the doctor popped in suddenly with a pale face that had a look of not only confusion but also, concern and pity. He literally popped in the door and said “It’s not her intestines, she has a twisted ovary. Some people from surgery are on their way down to talk to you and get things underway”.

I almost died. No warning, I think he was as shocked as I was. Now, the tears, I cried, I was worried. My baby was in more pain that she was voicing and now, needed emergency surgery to correct the issue. Luckily, she was nearly asleep on the bed, and unable to see me upset. Everyone left the room, including the nurses for a minute. I expressed my concerns to my husband and then fought through and pushed the tears away. I knew I had to be strong for my baby.

It seemed as life had stopped in its tracks, all while going in fast forward. People were coming and going. One of the surgeons came in and explained what would be happening, and the “what if’s” that included having to remove the ovary. As soon as she got to that, I started to cry again. I only let a few tears out; I had to be strong, for my baby.

Next think you know we are being whisked off to the surgery floor and into a new room. Nurses, techs, anesthesia, and another surgeon came to see us. We were calm, cool and collected. My daughter basically slept on the bed in front of us, having no idea how many people were in and out of our room, talking, explaining and asking questions. Time to get her into her gown and sign papers for surgery. It was heartbreaking once again, but we held it together.

I put on my coveralls and prepped to go with her for surgery. One of us was allowed to go in with her and stay while she was put to sleep. I got all ready and held her in my lap, trying not to cry. My baby was about to have major surgery to fix a problem seldom seen in a child so young.

All of a sudden, after almost 48 hours, she is asking for a “cheese stick”. All of a sudden she wanted to eat and I had to explain to her why she could not have one. I didn’t lie, but of course, I couldn’t explain the whole situation. I told her she had to go with me and wear a mask to help her go to sleep, and after that, we would find her a cheese stick. After trying a few times, she gave up asking. She gave daddy hugs and then they wheeled us into the surgery room.

The room was full of people and machines. I only glanced around the room, staying focused on my baby. I knew I had to be strong for her. As I sat her on the table, nurses and people all around us, I told her “You have to wear the mask and take deep breaths, it will help you go to sleep”. At first, she didn’t want to. So I said, “You need to breathe in the mask and go to sleep, and I will go tell daddy what a BIG girl you were”. She gave in, sat still and let them hold a mask to her face. Her eyes glossed over and she slowly drifted off to sleep. They laid her down, told me to give her a kiss and whisked me back to my husband. I stayed strong the whole time, keeping that feeling pitted in my stomach.

Now it was time to spread the word to family and friends. Re-telling what was happening made me cry a few times, but only for a minute. I never lost it. I had to be strong for my baby. Time seemed to creep by like Molasses. An hour had passed and we hadn’t seen the doctor yet. Where was he? Why was she still in surgery? Was something wrong? I started to cry again, alone in my chair. I quickly pulled myself together and took a walk around the waiting room.

A few minutes later the doctor came out. Everything is fine, he has untwisted the ovary and despite how it looked, he did not remove it because he saw blood flow and color change after the procedure was done. The procedure was done via laparoscopy, but he also had to make a C-section type incision because of the size of her ovary and because they initially thought it was going to have to be removed. We got copies of some pictures from the laparoscopy, which was creepy but also pretty cool to see.

Waking up after surgery

Now we wait for the nurses to come tell us she is waking up. They will have removed the intubation tube and catheter before we see her. Nothing scary to look at. Our issue? She sleeps like a rock, and now they have piled on anesthesia. Someone finally came out after 20 minutes had passed and said she was still asleep…we had to explain they have to be kind of “rough and loud” to get her to wake up.

She went back and a few minutes later the other nurses came to get us. They had her on the bed in the hall waiting for us. I touched her face and told her we were there. She didn’t budge. Once we got to recovery, I poked at her face and rubbed her head and cheeks until she tried to push my hands away so I would know she was ok. She was just so groggy and tired still.

It took a few hours after surgery for her to wake up completely, but once she did she was a bit scared and in pain, but she was a TROOPER through it all. We slowly got her on oral fluids, moving around and talking. Once we saw the therapy dog come around (I actually knew the owner!! Made it so much better!) She had to get down and walk. I told her “Now that the doggy is here, you need to get down and try to walk”. She shyly agreed and did it right there next to the dog…and asked to go see the playroom. He brought up her spirits…and mine.

Waiting to go home!

The bottom line here and the point I am trying to make while telling my story is that if you are ever in this situation, you need to stay strong and hold it together for your child. The stronger you are, the stronger they will be. Lean on your friends and family for support. And as always, let your motherly or fatherly instincts take the lead. I knew something was wrong with her, but I didn’t know what and I insisted on ER visits. Sometimes overreacting is for good reason.

With Love,

Brandy, The Not-So-Single Mom

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