I noticed on a Monday that the twins were starting to get sick. They had a stuffy nose and congestion and coughs starting. I thought that all our hard work to keep them at home away from all the sickness obviously hadn't paid off cause here they were getting sick. Dang it. Demry's cold that she had had for weeks had gotten worse and I am sure that's where they got it. So I started suctioning their noses really good with saline. I got the humidifier set up in their room and kept them in there as much as I could to help them. A few days went by and it was getting worse. They weren't sleeping very well or eating very well. By Wednesday night it was pretty bad. They felt like they both had fevers and we couldn't really lay them down to sleep. They wouldn't really eat that night either. So I woke up Thursday morning and noticed that both girls looked pretty pale. They were really lethargic, but I thought that they were probably just tired from not sleeping well, and really trying to fight off this cold. I couldn't even really wake Irie up at all to eat or anything. I uncovered her, changed her diaper, and tried to really rouse her, but she wouldn't wake up. I seriously debated if I should call Toby and get them in. I thought it was probably just a cold and that it would have to run it's course, but I just had this nagging feeling to take them in. So I called the office and they could get me in so I packed up the girls real quick and made my way over there. When we got there they both had fever of about 100. Nothing crazy. Irie's O2 sats were in the low 90's I think and nothing too crazy. She still just seemed really tired. We tried several times to get Indie's sats but they kept coming up in the high 70's and we thought there was no way that reading was correct. Once Toby came in he started talking like it was just a virus that would have to run it's course. He said they could check to make sure it wasn't RSV or influenza just so we knew what we were dealing with and how long it would take to get through the sickness. I thought for sure he was just going to send us home, but then he sat there with Indie in his arms and watched her breathing for a few minutes. As soon and she was settled down and just breathing it was really clear that she was breathing really hard and really fast. I could see her chest and belly retracting. Toby said her lung sounds were pretty diminished, and that's when Toby said he didn't feel good sending us home. He wanted us to walk over to the ER which was in the same building as his office. He said most likely they would watch us just for the day to make sure that the girls were breathing ok, and at most maybe they would admit us over night. He was like, "I hate to do this to you..." So I quickly called Jared and told him we were headed over to the ER and text my neighbor to see if she could take Kai after school. She quickly responded and told me she would come get Demry. What a life saver. As we walked over I was thinking to myself that they were going to think I was crazy bringing the babies there because they just didn't seem sick enough. They were sleepy and quite in their car seats. As soon as we got into our room and hooked the girls up to the monitor that's when things got scary. Indie's sats were in the low 80's high 70's so the reading in the office must have been accurate. She was breathing pretty hard and looked really pale, but was doing ok. The nurses began to try and get an IV. Then they hooked Irie up and her sats were in the high 80's. She didn't look that she was working as hard as Indie, but she looked really pale and REALLY tired. As she started to close her eyes like she was going to sleep her monitor started alarming. She had completely stopped breathing and her heart rate dropped dangerously low, like below 80. The nurses started trying to rouse her. Pinching her, smacking her feet and rubbing her chest. She woke up and bit and her sats came back up. Then they started working to get an IV on her and she did it again. This happened a 3rd time and I knew it was seriously. One nurse started throwing things around and pulling out the stuff for a code. I could feel my heart pounding watching her pull out that code cart. I still had Demry with me so I was trying to be calm. At that point Jared got there and I felt so relieved to have him there. My neighbor Lindsay also showed up and took Demry for me. Right after that Irie had a 4th episode where she stopped breathing and her heart rate dropped. At that point they pulled Indie over to a different room and the Dr came rushing in and told us they needed to intubate Irie because she kept stopping breathing. I was in the room with all the chaos and Jared was in the hallway looking in. All I can say is that I have seen probably a million intubations in my life on little ones, and adults, and nothing could have prepared me for seeing my own baby intubated. It was one of the worse things I have ever experienced. I was fighting back tears as I watched her lay there lifeless and not breathing because of how they sedated her as the Dr inserted the tube into her throat. The seconds felt like minutes as I waited for them to get the tube in so they could start helping her breath. It was heart wrenching. Once they had it all in and secured I felt a slight sense of relief. That's when the Dr. told me he was certain the girls had RSV (later they confirmed that with some tests) and they would both need to be transferred downtown to the ICU. Again I was shocked. They had to take the girls separately since Irie was more critical then Indie. The ambulance and paramedics showed up and began to pack her up. Jared decided to stay back with Indie while they tried to get her IV started and waiting for another ambulance to come get her. His dad came and met him there and was able to give her a blessing.
As soon as we got settle into the ICU the Dr came in and told me that they were going to take good care of Irie and that she would probably be intubated for 3 to 4 days and to plan on being in the hospital for 7 to 10 days. Sigh...I was not prepared for this at all. Soon after that Jared arrived with Indie and they got them all settled in. Travis came later that night and helped give Irie a blessing finally. At some point that night Jared left to go help take care of kids and then came back so I could run home and shower and grab some things that I would need. Thankfully, Jared parents had been there that day (and all my neighbors) to help with the kids. That night Indie did not do very well at all. When she arrived she was really alert and feisty and as the night went on it was like she was giving up. She was not breathing well and they had to deep suction her several times. The nurses told me to prepare myself that she would probably end up intubated by the next day. Irie also had a really rough night and had several "episodes" through the night where she would de-sat and brady down. The nurses would rush in and bag her manually and have to get her back to where she needed to be. It was stressful and I don't think I slept more than 20 minutes that night. The next day (Friday) Jared got the kids off to school and we arranged everything for our other kids and he came down to the hospital. They did chest xrays on both girls and Indie's looked pretty good, Irie's still looked pretty crappy on one side. By that afternoon Irie was still about the same. She looked so swollen and puffy. Indie had actually began to improve. There was hope that maybe she wouldn't end up intubated. They gave her several breathing treatments/deep suction through out the day. She was still on high oxygen but was maintaining her vitals. Jared left Friday night for a while and took the boys to a basketball game while Demry was out with Becky. When they were done Jared dropped the boys off with Travis and September for the weekend and came back to the hospital so I could go home and sleep. That night was the best I had slept in MONTHS. My head hit the pillow and I woke up the next morning in the exact same position. I got up that morning and headed right to the hospital. That day was pretty much maintenance with both girls. They were slowly beginning to wean Indie from her oxygen. She was doing great. She also ended up pulling her IV for the 3rd time. The nurses were calling her mini Hercules because she was getting feisty again. The doctor decided that day to try and wean Irie from her sedation and the vent support. It was a fine balance because if she was too awake she would really freak out and fight the vent and then her breathing and sats would drop, but if she was too sedated they couldn't extubate her. By late late Saturday night the were able to extubate her. I was shocked at her progress. Jared left that night to go sleep at home. Both girls did good through the night. Jared came back to the hospital on Sunday and they were talking about weaning Irie from her oxygen and fully discharging Indie. Indie was totally off of oxygen by that time and we were able to remove her IV and start bottle feeding her. She really had made huge improvements. Sunday they continued to deep suction Irie and give her breathing treatments. They also had us start to try and bottle feed her as well. It seemed like she was doing really great. By that night they discharged Indie and transferred Irie to the pediatric unit. We kept Indie in the hospital though just to be safe. I left that night to go get the kids and sleep and home while Jared stayed the night in the new unit with the girls. I woke up Monday morning super excited thinking we were going to be able to take the girls home that day. Everyone had made it sound like Irie was doing good enough when they transferred her that she would probably get to leave on Monday. I got the kids off to school and rushed to the hospital excited. Once I was there I quickly realized that we weren't going anywhere. Jared had had a horrible night with the girls Irie had stopped eating well and began vomiting anything she took by bottle. She was fussy and running a fever again. Dang it. We began trying to feed her that day and she wouldn't take anything at all. She wouldn't really sleep either. It was very clear that something else was going on. Her breathing was really rapid and labored. They decided they needed to put an NG tube in to get food or fluids into her system so she didn't become dehydrated. That way we could offer her the bottle, but if she didn't eat then they could tube feed her. Once the tube was in I tried offering her the bottle and she still wouldn't eat. They fed her through the tube and then she vomited every where and the tube came out. I think it was pretty clear that she had some sort of stomach bug or something. So they decided we needed to hold off on eating and hook her back up to iv fluids. That night Jared went home and Becky came to see us. Once she was there she couldn't bare to leave me knowing how bad Irie was doing and that I had Indie there to take care of as well. She had no clothes and had to work the next morning but she didn't care. I am so grateful she stayed because that night we didn't sleep a wink. Irie was so uncomfortable and fussy the whole night. Between trying to comfort her and take care of Indie there was no way I could have done it on my own. She called Brent the next morning and had him go take care of Jack for her and she stayed the day with me. That day (Tuesday) was really hard with Irie. She seemed like she was in so much pain. She was fussy and breathing in the 80's and still retracting, but the Dr really couldn't figure out what was going on. He decided to first give her some morphine to see if pain was the real issue and to see if she got some relief if she would sleep. As soon as she had that she slept for 5 hours straight. She had obviously been in pain. When she woke up later that day she still wouldn't eat. So the Dr decided to run some tests. He gave her a suppository to make sure she wasn't backed up and he also wanted to check for c-diff. That night Becky decided to stay with me again and basically convinced Brent to cover for her so she could stay with me as long as I needed. Irie began screaming at one point and we couldn't figure out what was going on. They realized her IV was infiltrated and probably really hurting her leg. They took the IV out and then tried 5 times to get a new one, but couldn't. We were up till 2 am just trying to get the IV. It was exhausting. They Dr decided to leave the IV out hoping that maybe we could try feeding again and that she would feel hungry enough with out the IV fluids. By 5 am she ate just a little from a bottle and kept it down! I was super hopeful that we were at a turning point, but then as the morning progress she wouldn't really take the bottle again. The c-diff results came back negative (Wednesday morning) and her blood results came back really good. Her chest xray looked like she had some atelectasis (probably pneumonia) so the dr continued her antibiotics that she was still on since she was admitted to the icu. The goal this day was to get her eating. Jared came with Brent and gave Irie another blessing. We gave her a bath and throughout the day she began to eat, but not much and she still was acting really fussy like something was bugging her stomach. The dr. decided to discontinue her antibiotics thinking that might be upsetting her stomach. That night the nurse set a plan with the dr to deep suction Irie every 3/4 hours to see if that would help her breathing. They hadn't really been doing it consistently since she was transferred. The next day (Thursday) we continued to try to feed her. Her breathing still wasn't very good though, but the day nurse told us if we wanted to take her home we could suction her at all. I thought it was weird because we had just decided to deep suction her on a schedule, but I didn't say anything. The dr. thought if we could get more fluids in her that her breathing would improve. He said that when they become dehydrated it makes it really hard to move those secretions. He told us if she would eat a certain amount that day they would let us take her home. At this point I was going on 3 days in the same clothes, no shower, and no sleep. I was feeling disgusting and exhausted. We kept thinking we were going to get discharged, but then something would happen that would keep us from being able to leave so I never had Jared bring me any other stuff. So stupid. Becky was in the same boat. haha. Thursday night rolled around and we had literally force fed Irie all day. She really had improved and wasn't acting fussy. It seemed like she had FINALLY turned a corner. I was so anxious about going home, but as soon as the night nurse came on she told me she didn't really feel good about sending her home because her breathing was still way to rapid! I was ticked at this point and so was the nurse. The day nurse should have continued the deep suction like we had planned!! It was like there was no progression with Irie's care because people were dropping the ball and not following through with what she needed. If they would have just continued to deep suction her and wean her slowly from the oxygen we could have avoided the issue with her still having so much trouble breathing. Ugh! I wanted to cry. We all agreed (including some of the icu nurses that took care of her) that Irie had been transferred too quickly out of the icu and that she should have stayed there another day. Hindsight is always 20/20. We made it through the night and we finally got to go home Friday morning. 8 LONG DAYS. I was so grateful that I had Becky there with me those 5 days and that my mom had made it back to Boise to help hold down things at home. She got up everyday and went to the house to watch Demry and Kai and do laundry and things. I couldn't have survived this time without her either. I also had numerous friends and ward members offer to come see me and help out. I have never felt so humbled by all the love and support we have in our life. Now that we are home we have to quarantine the girls for another 4-6 weeks. They said their lungs would be like magnets for sickness and they are more susceptible to getting sick again. Right now I feel all outta sorts trying to get back into a routine, but I am grateful to be home and that the girls are on the mend. This will all soon be just a bad dream.