Posted by: amamasblog | June 21, 2007

First ER Visit

As your baby grows, you can’t help but mark events by the “firsts.”  First smile, first tooth, first time they sleep through the night, etc. 

I count myself lucky that in the 3.5 years, since having children, I have not had to have that “First-visit-to-the- emergency-room,”- until last night. 

Cole had a fever all day on Wednesday, and he felt unusually warm.  He was drooling up a storm, and his gums were swollen, so I figured he was teething- maybe getting in a molar.  At 8:30, before bed, I gave him the suggested dose of infant Motrin for his age / weight (1.875 ml).

He went to bed, and I was wondering why he felt so warm- even when he is teething, he never felt that warm before.  I could hear him on the monitor, kind of calling out in his sleep, but he didn’t wake up until 10:30, and when I picked him up to nurse, I was alarmed.  He felt extremely hot.  I took his temperature, and it was 103. 

I remember from once when Ryan had a fever, we called in after hours to the Children’s Hospital, and the nurse said until he had a fever for 72 hours, or it reached 105, there really was no need for him to be seen by a doctor, so I figured I would watch Cole, and just keep monitoring him.  Sometimes it is good to let the fever work itself out on its own- it is the body’s way of building up the immune system, and fighting whatever it is.

I went to bed around midnight, and slept for an hour.  At 1, Cole woke up, moaning, and he was still burning up.  I nursed him again, and placed a cool washcloth on his head (what my mom did for me, when I had a fever, but he didn’t like it) and he drifted back to sleep, but I was wide-awake. 

Something just didn’t seem right.  He was way to hot, to just have a fever from teething.  As I lay there, listening to him moan, and roll around, kind of delirious, I wondered if something could have bitten him.  He has been playing outside a lot lately with Ryan, and maybe a spider could have bitten him.

I hadn’t noticed anything unusual when I gave him a bath, earlier that evening, but I hadn’t been looking either.  I turned on the light, and started checking every inch of his body.  I didn’t see anything.  I woke up Joe, and told him Cole had a fever.  We talked about what it could be, and then I took his temperature again- under the arm- and it had dropped to 102.5. 

I felt better, like it was dropping a bit, and there were no spider bites bulging out on his body, so I went back to sleep.

Cole woke up at 3, wanting to nurse again, and when I picked him up, he felt very hot again.  I nursed him for about 10 minutes, and he started to gag, and then he vomited.  I stood up, to try to get him to the bathroom, and he vomited again, and again.  He was crying, his cheeks were flushed, and his eyes looked glassy.  Poor little guy!

I placed him on the cool bathroom floor, and took off his PJ bottoms, (earlier, I had taken off his top to keep him cool), and took his temperature, rectally.  It was 105.2.  He was shaking too.  I cleaned up the vomit off my arms, and Cole, and then brought him into Joe.  He was crying, and I told Joe, I was going to take him to the ER, since his temperature was so high, and he had vomited.   I quickly got dressed, and put a romper on Cole.

We live less than five minutes from the hospital, and at 4am, there was no traffic, so we got there quickly.  There were no  other patients in the ER, so we didn’t have to wait at all. 

The triage nurse took his temperature again, and it was 104.7, and she said the dose of infant Motrin that I had given to Cole before bed, was hardly any at all.  (funny since that is what the box said to give).  Anyway, they brought him a dose of Motrin and Children’s Tylenol, and said that would help bring the fever down.

Cole was awake, and did NOT like to have the nurse touch him. He screamed the entire time she was checking him.  She took us to a room, and said, the Dr. would be in, shortly.  He calmed down after a few minutes, and everyone left.  Since he had just gotten the medicine, and he had been vomiting, I didn’t want to nurse him in case his tummy was full.

The doctor came in after about fifteen minutes, and asked lots of questions, and checked Cole’s ears, throat, and diaper area. 

He said he probably had a virus or a viral infection.  He said they wanted us to stay until his fever went down a bit, and to see if he could keep some liquids down.  I told him I wanted to nurse him, and surprisingly, he said, “That would be really good for him.”  So the doctor shut the door for us, on his way out, so we had privacy, and Cole nursed for about 5 minutes and then fell asleep, for about an hour, while we waited.

A nurse came and took his temperature and it had dropped to 102.  Cole nursed again, and a few minutes later the doctor came back, and said he said he didn’t see anything out of the ordinary and since he didn’t have a lot of secondary symptoms (like coughing, diarrhea, etc.) and since Cole was up-to-date-on his immunizations, he wasn’t going to torture him, and order blood work.  

He said it was good I brought him in, and he said when babies his age get high fevers, they can have seizures.  The nurse also added that if you try to bring down the fever too quickly, a seizure could also occur.  The doctor  said to watch him for the next few days, and if Motrin & Tylenol didn’t control the fever,  or if he starts having any secondary symptoms, to go to our regular doctor for a follow-up.

He asked me if he had nursed him, and I told him yes, and obviously he had kept it down.  Then the doctor stunned me and asked if he had been breastfed since birth.  I told him yes, and he said, “That is great.  That is so good for him, and you should keep doing it as long as you want.  He looks like an extremely healthy baby.” 

I thanked the doctor and nurse for their help, and the nurse went over the doses of medicine to give Cole, and we got to go home.  We got home at 6:30, to Ryan awake, and Joe getting ready for work.

I was stressed out, realizing Joe was going to work, having had virtually NO sleep, and the prospect of the day ahead, which included taking Cole over to Joe’s parents house, while Ryan and I went to his swim lesson.  I also had to clean up the bedding, and Joe said he would clean up the carpet when he got home.  I turned on PBS, and while Ryan ate breakfast and watched Clifford, Cole and I caught a 45-minute nap. 

We got going and made it to Grandma’s and our swimming lesson.  When we were done, we went and got Cole’s medicine, and went back to get Cole.  He had done great, and had taken a nap.  He still felt cool as well.

Later in the afternoon, after his nap, his fever was back, at 103.5. I gave him the Motrin and Tylenol before bed, and he has been sleeping soundly since.  I am so glad he seems like he is doing better. 

It is so scary when something like that happens to your baby, and they can’t talk to you and tell you what is wrong.  I am glad that we did take him in, just to know that there isn’t a bigger problem looming.  It also was wonderful to hear from a doctor (that was around my age) that breastfeeding is good, and to keep doing it.  It kind of gave me hope, that the medical profession is realizing and knows that breastfeeding is so important for a baby.

I hope Cole’s temperature will stay down tonight and he’ll feel better tomorrow.  He is such a sweet little guy- I hate it when he isn’t feeling good. 

So that concludes my story of my first trip to the ER as a mother.  I hope it will be a long time before I have to go again, or better yet- I hope I won’t have to ever go again.  But with two active little boys, I have a feeling I’ll be there again.  🙂 



  1. Oh no!!! Poor little Cole and poor you!!!

    Both of my kids have spiked high fevers in that second year of life (Sy 104.7 and Q 104.5, I think) and it is so scary!

    I’m glad you took him in and got all the baddies eliminated.

    And HOW COOL that doctor was so positive about BFing! That is awesome to hear!

    I just realized something ironic….all the grief I’ve gotten from HCP about BFing has been from women practitioners. Hmmmmmm……

  2. Once again I left a comment this morning and it didn’t go through. Let’s try again 🙂

    Oh dear! Poor Cole, and poor Mommy! I hope he’s feeling better! That sounds so stressful and SCARY! Bot of my kids have run high fevers in their second year (Sy 104.7 and Quinn 104.5, I think). It is so awful when it happens!

    And how awesome that the ER doc was so supportive of BFing!!

  3. oh poor Coley and poor you! I’m so sorry, but I’m glad that he’s feeling a bit better. Bring him to the tea tomorrow, if you need to. That’s no problem. That’s so scary that they can get fevers that badly for seemingly no reason. It’s just a virus???? Maybe give him a cool bath tonight before bed to see if that helps keep it down??? Good luck and we’re thinking of you guys!

  4. Thanks guys…I am happy to report, he had a temp. this morning, but by this afternoon the fever had broke, and he seems MUCH better. He slept really well last night, and I’m hoping for the same tonight.

  5. Poor little guy! It’s sad when they get so sick. I hope he’s feeling better now.

  6. goodness, what a scare that must have been. i’m so glad he’s doing better.
    ER visits are never fun. i am thankful we’ve only had 2 (knock on wood) so far.
    kudos to the doctor for being so pro-bfing!!

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