Breathless
by Karla ° Friday, September 12, 2008
The sun was just beginning to set behind a rusty terracotta sky as I nervously paced the sterile white-walled hospital halls of a bustling Emergency Room. There was one person in line in front of me, a woman, anxiously answering the questions of a seemingly impatient nurse before standard procedure dictated she was to be sent to wait an undetermined amount of time for medical help in an already overcrowded waiting room.

I could overhear their conversation; she was seven months pregnant and hadn’t felt her baby move since early that morning. My heart, already full of worry, shattered into a million tiny pieces for her. This was the same hospital where a cold-hearted x-ray technician stepped all over my already bruised and grieving heart one week after Ava died, and it’s also where, one year later, I waited six hours to be seen before finding out that I was, in fact, having a miscarriage. I silently hoped that woman would be seen quickly and that her baby was ok.

I wasn’t at my hospital of choice, but the tiny human draped in my arms could not fill his lungs with air and I didn’t have any other options. My only saving grace from not having to wait an unforeseeable able amount of time for medical care was a hastily scribbled piece of paper carefully tucked in my purse from a Pediatrician saying that Nate needed to be seen immediately.



Earlier that afternoon I received a call from Nate’s daycare provider. “He’s not feeling very well.” I could hear the concern, deep and genuine, in her voice. “He’s got a fever, and he needs his Mommy.” “I’ll be right there,” I said as I grabbed my car keys and headed out the door.



As I was strapping Nate into his car seat I could hear his sharp intakes of breath, but I knew he had a cold and figured his nose was just stuffy. But on the car ride home, while listening to his tiny body breathe, I realized something wasn’t right.



I took Nate to a nearby walk-in clinic staffed by Pediatricians. Asking me to raise his shirt, the doctor observed quietly for a moment and then showed me how, whenever Nate breathed, his little chest struggled as it tugged in deeply, creating a concave hollow just below his rib cage. Nate needed oxygen and needed to go to the hospital right away.

My body immediately started shaking and I felt like I was going to throw up. Glancing down at Nate, a tear softly rolled off my cheek and I watched as it landed on his forehead. Sensing it, Nate lifted his head and focused his ocean-blue eyes inquisitively on mine. Feeling helpless, I forced a smile, kissed his forehead and whispered a promise that everything was going to be OK.



I don’t think I’ve ever seen Nate so scared. He needed to wear an oxygen mask and required several treatments of ventolin to help him breathe. My poor child could do nothing but watch with confused horror as a flurry of people hovered around him, held down his hands and forced a vaporous mist against his face. Between treatments he sat defeated and lifeless, giving up on even trying to pump his tiny fists in protest, and just kept saying “car, “ and “home.” And as my heart shattered into a million tiny shards of worry and concern, all I could do was place his hand in mine, gently stroke his furrowed brow and tell him that we couldn’t go just home yet.





The past few days have been mentally and physically draining. My eyes are heavy, my stomach is still queasy and I feel like I’ve been smacked in the chest with a cosmic 2x4. I think, for now, I need to stop here.

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Comments:


I have been reading you for over two years but have never managed to de-lurk until now. I SO hope that Nate is recovering and that you have "recovered" from such a scare. Thanks for making me think, laugh and cry. You are both wonderful parents!
Posted by Anonymous kate w. :  September 12, 2008
 

holding you deep in my heart
Posted by Anonymous uumomma :  September 12, 2008
 

Hope all is well with the little one. I know all too well how frightening this can be and how helpless you may be feeling.
Posted by Blogger Dorene :  September 12, 2008
 

Thoughts are with you. I hope that Nate is doing better. I hope you are all doing ok.
 

oh my!! well I'm thinking of u guys keep us posted!!!
Posted by Blogger rachael :  September 12, 2008
 

Oh, Karla, I'm so sorry for you and for Nate. We have spent a lot of time in hospitals in the past few months and I know what it's like to cry with a child in my lap, while trying to be brave. When I read this post and saw the picture, my heart just ached for you. Ugh, need Kleenex now.

Sending lots of healing energy your way...
Posted by Anonymous Fawn :  September 12, 2008
 

I feel sick. I can only hope the next post has good news. Please let everything be alright. You guys are in my thoughts, and I look VERY forward to hearing from you again.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  September 12, 2008
 

omg Karla! What was wrong? Is he okay? Please update or shoot me an email because I'm freaking out right. I'm thinking of you and praying for you and I love you and ......
 

I can't imagine how scare this has been for you. I hope Nate is okay.... poor little guy. :( I will pray for healing and rest for everyone.
Posted by Blogger Beth :  September 13, 2008
 

Poor sweet wonderful baby... I am so sorry he is not feeling well. Best wishes for his speedy recovery!
 

Jesus Karla. My heart is in my throat. Hope everything is OK, please take care of all of you.
Posted by Blogger Better :  September 13, 2008
 

Karla, I am thinking of you all and wishing the best.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  September 13, 2008
 

Karla ~ I hope that Nate is much better now and back home with you.
Sending you all much love and a big hug. XXXX
Posted by Blogger Tabitha :  September 13, 2008
 

Sending my thoughts and hugs to you all. I hope Nate is recovering well.
l,
Amanda x
Posted by Blogger Amanda :  September 13, 2008
 

Lo siento mucho Carla. Llevó casi 3 años leyendo a diario tu blog desde España y hoy me he sentido muy triste, y mi corazón se ha quedado encogido al ver la foto de Nate. Espero que todo vaya mejor a partir de ahora. Un abrazo sincero. Susana
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  September 13, 2008
 

Oh, Karla. I can only imagine the scariness on your heart. I am thinking about you and little Nate, and hoping that the fact that you are blogging means he is ok.
Posted by Blogger Bunny :  September 13, 2008
 

So scary. I hope everything's okay. I'll be thinking of you.
 

Karla, Must've been so scary but am thinking everything must be ok since you've managed to write and post photos. Do update us all, though. Thoughts are with you.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  September 13, 2008
 

Poor baby, hope he is o.k. Its so hard having a sick kid and not being able to do anything to help them and trusting the Dr's. I hope to hear a good update soon.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  September 13, 2008
 

Oh! No! Poor baby! Thinking of you and your family.
Posted by Anonymous Susan :  September 13, 2008
 

My heart is with you. Hope he's on the mend. Big hugs.
Posted by Anonymous Mandi :  September 13, 2008
 

I hope everything is ok! My heart and my thoughts go out to you...what a brave little boy!
Posted by Blogger Cee :  September 13, 2008
 

I practice medicine in bush Alaska, Carla and I'm so sorry you were treated the way you were. I've had to scream at ER docs in town and actually ask "JUST HOW LONG THEY WANT THIS BABY TO BE IN RESPIRATORY DISTRESS" when they went back and forth about medevacing them. I'm so glad to hear Nate got the help he needs and you're all in my thoughts and prayers. Your feelings are very much valid and important and if you're not getting the response you need out of medical professionals. Kick and scream until you do. Hang in there.
Posted by Anonymous Chrissy :  September 13, 2008
 

:( Poor little guy
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  September 13, 2008
 

Well, I know that must have really, really sucked for you guys, Karla. I hope Nate is feeling better. Poor little guy. By the sound of your recount, you did an amazing job. Hoping for Nate's good health, Alison
Posted by Blogger Alison :  September 13, 2008
 

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this. You deserve nothing but happiness, and I'll be thinking happy thoughts for you.
Posted by Blogger Georgia :  September 13, 2008
 

Hope everyone is healing...
Posted by Blogger Carly :  September 13, 2008
 

I'm so sorry that your little guy has to go through this. I've been through similar bouts of pneumonia with my twins through the years. Unfortunately, it's never easy to watch, nor do you ever stop being afraid. But I am praying for you and your little blue-eyed boy! My prayers for(((hugs))) and {{{Healing}}} coming your way!
God Bless you, Nate!
Posted by Blogger Marybeth :  September 13, 2008
 

Nate will be okay. I hope you are home soon with your sweet baby.
Posted by Anonymous Connie :  September 13, 2008
 

All my love and prayers for sweet Nate right now, and for you and Mark, strength and peace beyond understanding. Keep us posted.

Love, Nicki
 

Oh Karla I am so sorry. I hope Nate is feeling better. Poor baby and poor mama!
Posted by Blogger TBG :  September 13, 2008
 

oh man, you poor thing. Your poor son. My heart is with you.
Posted by Anonymous Cindy :  September 13, 2008
 

Oh Karla, I do hope with all my heart that Nate is feeling much better now and is back home. I can only imagine how helpless you feel but hang in there. I'll be thinking of you and keeping your family in my prayers. ((HUGS))
Posted by Blogger Shelliza :  September 13, 2008
 

I hope your rockstar is doing better. My little man was on oxygen for a couple months, it gets easier. Hugs and best wishes.
Posted by Anonymous canadiantania :  September 13, 2008
 

I'm shocked. Is he OK now? Poor Nate and his beautiful eyes. I so hope everything is alright. I hope you're ok and I wish I could be there to hug you.
Posted by Blogger Julia :  September 14, 2008
 

That would be traumatizing for all. Hope the little guy is okay. Hope all of you are okay.
 

I your little one get better soon. What a scary situation for such a little guy and such loving parents. Know that there is one blog lurker over here in California thinking and praying for you all.
Posted by Blogger Trish :  September 14, 2008
 

No words - just sending you and your beautiful, precious Nate, and Mark lots of love xxx
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  September 14, 2008
 

Oh, Karla. I cannot fathom what you guys are feeling.

Sending love and hugs your way.
Posted by Blogger Angella :  September 14, 2008
 

Take care. We're all sending good vibes your way . . .
 

Oh dear. Sure hope he's alright.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  September 14, 2008
 

I've been silently lurking for years now, but wanted to pop in to tell you that my heart is with you and your family.
Posted by Anonymous Missy :  September 15, 2008
 

Poor sweet baby Nate. I hope he gets feeling better very soon. Nothing is scarier than having your little one so sick.
 

Oh Karla! It's been days. Please update us soon.
Posted by Anonymous Susan :  September 15, 2008
 

Oh sweetheart, I hope Nate is feeling better. Sending you positive thoughts and saying prayers
Posted by Blogger Duchess :  September 15, 2008
 

Dear Karla,
I am praying that everything is OK with Nate. Please give him a big hug for me.
 

I've gone through this a few times in the past few months with my youngest son. It's scary. I am so sorry. I hope you are all okay.
 

I am sending prayers and thoughts your way. Nothing worse than watching your baby go through that, no matter how old they are. I know you were thinking you could take his place and go through everything, so he would feel no discomfort. You are a good mommy...
Posted by Anonymous Ali :  September 15, 2008
 


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