After bringing our son home from the neo-natal unit at just 11 days old, our son became much more alert and was continuously gaining a healthy amount of weight.
After just a few weeks, he started becoming very uncomfortable during and after his feeds. He developed a rash on his neck and was extremely constipated. I spoke to the GP about this, and they suggested to try Infacol as it is most likely colic. We tried Infacol for a couple of weeks but his feeding gradually just got worse. He started to vomit after all his feeds and began losing weight. He developed a persistent cough and his breathing became rapid which was beginning to have an effect on his sleep. He became restless and extremely irritable.
We decided to take him to children’s A&E. We wanted to ask the doctor for their advice about this, as he was now becoming very reluctant to taking any feeds. The doctor sent us away and told us to try some warm water between each feed, which we tried for 5 days, making no difference at all.
A few days later, we noticed that he started to struggle breathing. He seemed to be having to put a lot of effort into each breathe. We knew something was not right. Due to this, we went back to the hospital to find out what exactly is going on.
As the evening went on, his breathing became extremely wheezy and heavy. The paediatric nurse was useless, she carried out very few observations and told us that it is probably just a cold due to the change in weather. We waited hours after hours in an empty children’s ward. He was still only weighing just over 4 pounds at this point as he was born with low birth weight, temperature and sugars.
We waited 3 and a half hours in total for the A&E doctor to come. The doctor claimed that our son was 100% fine and he suggested that because he was born 3 weeks early, he must just have immature lungs and bowels. The doctor even had the cheek to say that we are being paranoid ‘young’ parents. He assured us that we could go home and not have any worries. We were sent home at 3am in the strong winds early hours of the morning. We were very sceptical as we just felt that something wasn’t quite right but again we trusted the doctor because what else can you do.
Our son did not get better when we were home, his breathing just got progressively heavier and heavier. We were driving ourselves mad over this but again decided to take our son back for another opinion the next day. The doctor was brilliant and within 5 minutes after carrying out all her observations, she knew our son needed immediate attention. Our son was diagnosed with bronchiolitis.
Bronchiolitis is a lung infection among infants. It can cause coughing, wheezing, and a hard time with breathing. In severe cases if left untreated, Bronchiolitis can cause death.
Our son was emitted onto the children’s ward and placed onto a CPAP machine to help him breathe. During this time, we were not able to touch or hold him. It was absolutely devastating.
Every time I saw how fragile he looked just broke my heart. I find it difficult even looking back at photographs as this was such a difficult time for our family. But, we felt so relieved that he finally got the help we knew he needed.
He had to learn how to feed again. It just felt like one step forward and three steps back. But, of course our litter fighter did it. In fact, he made a full recovery and was able to come home with us a week later. The doctor also picked up that our son was lactose intolerant which explains the vomiting and unusual rashes- he now drinks prescribed Nutramigen milk.
It was a shame that these symptoms were not picked up sooner considering our son showed almost every symptom of bronchiolitis.
Unfortunately our son now has a very weak chest and lungs due to the bronchiolitis and has recently been diagnosed with asthma (aged 2) but otherwise doing incredibly well. But things could have been very different.