Part four: As the world turns

Part four of a multi-part post.  Click for parts one, two, and three.  More to follow, because we are still here in the hospital.

            After looking at the x-ray, the doctor began bandying about the word “hospital.”  This was not, however, the moment when I started to worry.  The worry started when she summoned the ambulance to drive us the ten minutes to the hospital.  When I realized she did not think it was safe for the baby to spend 15 minutes off of the oxygen, I had to ask the question.

            “This is curable, right?”

            “Completely curable,” she replied, as the nurse showed up to get a booger sample from the baby’s nose to send to the lab.  That’s a job I think I would pass up – Snot Analysis.

            By now it was noon, and I had called the school to tell them that, yes, the other mothers would need to take my boys home.  I was also very, very hungry and unsure where in this scenario I was supposed to get lunch.  Selfish though this sounds, remember that I have breast milk to make.  I asked the nurse whether there was anywhere in the building to get food.  A few minutes later, as the firemen and firewoman arrived, the nurse handed me a baggie filled with cookies. Butter cookies.

            Let me reiterate: if you ever have any reason to interact with the staff at UCLA Brentwood, do not fuck with them or I will have to find you.   These are the ladies who packed me butter cookies for my ride to the hospital with my sick baby.

            The firefighters and I awaited the paramedics who were to escort us in the ambulance, which would arrive shortly alongside the fire engine already parked outside the doctors’ office.  “Oh, my,” I told them, “my sons are going to be so jealous.” 

We realized that we had a problem.  Someone had to hold Lilah in the ambulance, but I also had to move my car, which, you may recall, had been valet parked.  I could not leave it in the building overnight, and I was pretty sure the parking attendants were not going to deliver it all the way to UCLA-Santa Monica.

            Fortunately, there was a woman doing a ride-along in the ambulance.  (I feel like at this point my narrative has the cadence of a Curious George story and this is the point at which I should say, “George was curious.”)  The plan was that she would hold the baby while I would follow in my car, a plan of which the head paramedic clearly did not approve.  But, I am a pragmatic kind of person, and I knew full well that Lilah would not be any better off with me strapped to a bed holding her than with someone else strapped to a bed holding her.  So, the woman seated herself on the bed.

            At which point all pragmatism flew straight out the window and smacked into the tables outside Café Luxe across the street.  There was no fucking way I was letting a stranger hold my baby with the oxygen mask as she rode to the hospital.  The valet could keep my stinkin’ car as far as I was concerned. 

            And then the very nice fire fighters offered to drive my car over for me.  Which is how I rode in an ambulance with the siren on, followed by a fire department car.  I can only assume the fire engine went back to the station to await an actual fire.  As we drove, cars moved out of the way.  I watched through the back window as I held the baby with one hand and ate butter cookies with the other.

            It was all very dramatic.  

31 responses to “Part four: As the world turns

  1. I agree – the boys were probably totally jealous. But enormous mummy sympathy over the sick tiny one. Doesn’t matter that you know there are people there who can care for her. Doesn’t matter that she is going to be given all the meds and oxygen that her little body needs. She’s ill – really ill, hospital ill, and that breaks your heart.

  2. I’m on the edge of my seat here! And butter cookies? This story has everything!

  3. oh my. wretched RSV.

  4. I am stunned by your composure.

  5. Agree with Jen – drama, butter cookies, firemen. This is a kick-ass story. Love those UCLA receptionists. Will be holding thumbs for your little one.

  6. Any time you get an ambulance with sirens going with your little one inside has just got to make your heart and stomach heart immensely.

  7. “hurt” meant “hurt” immensely.

  8. I was right to be worried. I hate when I’m right sometimes. Still sending you positive thoughts and healthy wishes.

  9. Oh, Emily. I am so sorry you are going through all this.

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about poor Lilah’s hospitalization, Emily, and hope to hear the good news very soon that she’s home and recovering.

    You sound very calm, but I have absolutely no doubt that your heart is hurting badly with the weight of your worry for your babe. Please know that we’re all out here for you, if you need a friendly place to rant about the complete unfairness of the universe.

  11. All very dramatic, and nice to have reminders in the time of a crisis that people can be kind and helpful.

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  13. I don’t know how I’ve missed all of this! My Reader must have had ADD for a few days or something. I’ve caught up on all 4 posts now.

    I’m so sorry to hear about Lilah! My Shark had RSV (is that what she’s got?) but didn’t require hospitalization. We did breathing treatments at home with a tiny little oxygen mask. Scary though.

    I’m anxious to hear — update soon!

  14. I’m requiring butter cookies now. And I’m so pleased that the staff was so helpful in such a stressful situation. That’s wonderful news.

  15. I’m a friend of Coco’s popping by – offering my prayers and good thoughts for Lilah. My nephew had RSV twice between birth and 18 months old, each time requiring hospitalization. So nervewracking.

    Hoping that by the time you read this comment, Lilah is doing much better and that your hospital stay isn’t long. Take care and if it isn’t too weird from a total stranger, here’s a ((hug)) too.

  16. Oh Emily, I hope you guys are doing okay and Lilah gets better ASAP.

    I’ve been through this a few times (Bailey and I both are asthmatics) and I know how sucky it can be. Hugs to you.

  17. Oh my dear — so much drama and worry!

    I’m hoping things are improving and am thinking of you all, hope the boys are managing okay without you. You are right that the UCLA staff are wonderful (although I go to UCLA West LA peds — but hey, my hubby is UCLA staff, so of course I think they all rock). If there is anything I can do, please email me as I can easily drop by UCLA Santa Monica hosp. (((hugs)))

  18. Yikes!
    I’m hoping things are going well now.

  19. Oh Em, I hope all’s well. You do know how to tell a story.

  20. Wow. What a story this is shaping up to be!

    I will throw in, however, that I had pneumonia when I was quite young, and all was fine. Your wee one is obviously getting excellent treatment and will be just fine.

  21. Oh, I would have been just like you. All pragmatic until I saw MY very sick baby in someone else’s arms. Screw the car and hand me my baby already.

  22. Still wishing baby good health & mama some peace and time to herself.

    I do just have to say that I love the image of the firefighter stepping up to drive your car so you could ride with your baby in the ambulance. You know, I have a soft spot for firefighters and it’s not the whole uniform, hero thing. I swear all firefighters we’ve ever encountered while out with my boys are always exceptionally nice to my children. I am glad one was so nice to you too, Emily.

  23. oh wow, Em. I’m just catching up. good lord. am thinking of you all.

  24. holy cow. I am proud of your composure. You do what you need to do. (In times of great stress, I often feel like that person in the damn Footprints poem, where that Godly Son is carrying the man..)
    Mothers are incredible people, for sure.

  25. Oh, goodness, Emily.
    Sending Lilah (and you! and the rest of your family!) healing and love. I am so sorry you had to cope with all of this.

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  27. Good grief! Poor Lilah.

  28. I hope everything turns out ok! Support heading your way!

  29. Sending all good thoughts and positive energy from the other side of the planet …

  30. The butter cookies in one hand and the sick baby with oxygen in the other is a brilliantly funny combination. I know it’s not a funny situation, but one has to see the humour.

    I haven’t read ahead but hope Lilah and you are okay.

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