Yesterday afternoon we had been back at Rick and Karen's for just shy of 24 hours. We housesat my parents' place for a week and returned home this last Sunday afternoon. Nate worked at Peet's Coffee on bids during the morning on Monday and then he came home when Hazel went down for her nap around 1:15p.m.
Piper woke up from her morning nap at about the time Hazel went down for hers. Piper has been dealing with some sicky stuff for about a month now, but she showed some signs of her old personality coming back when we returned home on Sunday afternoon and I showed her her bed. She got super squirmy and smiley and giggly when it was bedtime. On Monday morning, after her first bottle, she was talking and laughing up a storm, army crawling everywhere. I could tell she was overjoyed to be home again.
Because of the two fevers Piper had during the last month (the last one hitting 104.7 this past Wednesday evening), we haven't been feeding her anything beyond her bottles. She's been on a very liquid diet to help her cope with her fever and general feeling of ick.
She was behaving so much better yesterday that I decided to feed her a bottle in the morning and then some oatmeal with half a bottle (4oz.) for lunch. She ate and then played for about two hours before heading down for her afternoon nap at 3:30p.m.
I worked on dishes for a few minutes around 5p.m., so I was heading down the stairs to the basement with two arms full of precariously balanced dishes when I caught Nate heading into Piper's bathroom, where she naps. I whispered, "She's asleep." He nodded, gave me an odd look, and walked into the bathroom anyway. One second later he shouted, "ROBIN." I fell down the last couple steps and threw aside what I was holding when he came out of the bathroom, holding Piper in front of him, and I saw the look in her eyes. She had gone super pale (and we all know how white she is to begin with). Her lips where white. Her eyes were open but practically lifeless. She wasn't breathing and she had vomit from her forehead to her knees.
Nate got down on his knees and threw her on her stomach over his forearm. We started beating the crap out of her back, trying to open up her airway. She didn't make much sound. We paused for a moment and Nate tried to gauge if she was breathing. She wasn't. We began pounding again. I raced for the phone and called 911. Nate got her going a little, but her lips were still white. Her eyes were moving and she was looking at us a little so he took her into the kitchen and sat her on the counter. She looked horrible. I got the 911 dispatcher on the phone and she told me to lay Piper down on her left side. We did. She began gagging and then stopped breathing. Again.
The 911 dispatcher asked a bunch of questions and then told us what to do for Piper as the ambulance was on it's way. Nate put her back over his forearm and kept hitting her between the shoulder blades. She got some junk up but it was clear and there wasn't much of it. It felt like forever but the ambulance finally showed up, after the dispatcher freaked me out by double-checking with me our address followed by an, "Ohhhh..." because her computer showed the had arrived (which they hadn't). It took another minute but they finally showed up, along with a firehouse paramedic.
They followed me inside to Piper. They took her blood pressure and observed her and said that we could either take her to the hospital, or they could, or we could just watch her at home for awhile after they left. And then she stopped breathing again. They looked at us and said, "Let's get in the ambulance and go to Emmanuel. Can you grab a change of clothes for her?"
It took me four trips up and down the stairs but finally I had what I needed and she and I got in the ambulance. Meanwhile, Rick kept sleeping through all of our shouting and screaming and the sirens. Hazel heard everything but I didn't have time to check on her before I left with Piper. Nate stayed behind to get her up and going so that he could follow us to the hospital.
She choked two more times in the ambulance. They suctioned her throat and mouth as we were driving. If Nate and I had decided to save the cost of the ambulance and take her ourselves, I don't know what we would have done on the freeway as she was choking. I just don't know.
When we checked in at the hospital, the staff was waiting for us. They got us into a peds ER room quickly and took a look at her. They checked all the general, normal stuff and then ordered some x-rays of her throat down to her belly. She looked clear. We sat in another room for awhile with her, having her drink some pedialyte and formula, watching for any further signs of vomiting and choking.
In the end, they told us she has very likely had a sensitive belly from being sick (or something new) and the oatmeal was a bit much a bit too soon. She probably woke up from her nap and threw up with such force she couldn't catch her breath. She tried to take in some air and instead inhaled her vomit. She then choked on it. Nate heard her choke on the baby monitor and didn't know what it was. He heard the noise followed by nothing - it was the nothing that really got is attention. I didn't have the monitor upstairs.
If Nate hadn't been home at that time, I can only imagine what could have happened. A dear friend told me last night that I'm not the only one watching out for Piper Sue - God has a close eye on her. He ordained everything about yesterday, especially the fact that Nate was home working, and the fact that he was sensitive to Piper's sounds and her needs, and he was also sensitive to the small voice in his head that said, "Not okay." Nate saved Piper's life.
Piper slept with Nate and I last night, which was so special in so many ways. She's such a snuggler. When she had her high fever last week, I'd snuggle her for awhile and she'd suck her thumb and stroke my arm or my hair or my face or my hand...She did the same last night as she slept. I woke up this morning to her crawling all over me and laughing. What a nice thing to wake up to!
Pray for our girl if you could, please. She needs to get over whatever these things are that are colliding right now and making her not feel well. My Pumpkin Pie needs some special protection right now.