Asher was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Primary Children's and they had a crib and team waiting for her. She had the same two nurses there the entire time (during the day shifts) and they were so fantastic. They hooked her up to all of her monitors and their bi-pap and the doctors went over things with me while I filled out paperwork. Once they had been informed of her situation and had run a bunch of tests they concluded that she had RSV and bronchiolitis. Because babies can't blow their noses or cough up mucous like older kids can, all of the liquid had just been collecting in her lungs, filling up their capacity and making it more and more difficult to breath. By the time I had taken her into the doctor the second time her body had been working so hard for so long that she would have tired out soon and shut down. The doctor said that if I had put her to bed that night at home, she probably would not have woken up again. Her lungs were too full and she was too tired.
We spent 5 days in the hospital. It was terrifying, exhausting, and really really wonderful. I had never seen life as fragile before that experience and it made me that much grateful for the health of my family that I had taken for granted. Our ward members, family members, neighbors, and friends were so amazing and supportive. Texts and calls started pouring almost from the second we arrived at the hospital from people expressing love and support and offering service. Jack was the true rockstar, being at the hospital with me most of the time then driving back and forth from the hospital to home when needed so I could stay up there all week, taking care of the girls (when they weren't with his awesome mom and sister), he got a hotel room right next to the hospital and would sit up late with Asher so I could go to the room and sleep after being in the hospital all day, he cleaned our whole house spotless while I was gone, and was so supportive and calm. Everyone who has had a child at Primary Children's knows how wonderful they are there. Asher's team just loved her so much and were so capable and considerate. We had a chance to attend a service at the hospital that our church gives and several parents stood up and told about their children who have various illnesses and how they had been living there for months or off and on for years. One mother told about her two-year-old son who had brain cancer and probably wouldn't make it another month. It was so heartbreaking and humbling.
RSV is a virus, which means it can't be treated with antibiotics. Basically, the doctors and nurses just had to keep Asher alive and breathing long enough for her body to fight it off and clear out her lungs. She was almost comatose for three days in the hospital, but then slowly she began to wake up and respond. She started coughing more and more, which was great because it helped loosen and get rid of the mucous and liquid in her lungs. The whole time she had a feeding tube in, and I was able to pump there and put breastmilk into her feeding tube, which was a blessing because then she could get the antibodies I could provide to her as well as the nutrition. We knew she was out of the woods when, on the fourth day, she was fighting to get her bi-pap mask off. They put her on a c-pap and her oxygen levels held enough that they knew she was fine with less help breathing. When they put her just on oxygen (in a nasal cannula) she dropped a bit again so they kept her on the c-pap longer, but were able to get her to oxygen by that evening and then we were able to be transferred up to our own room where she wouldn't need so much assistance. I slept the night on the futon up in that room with her while the nurses checked her every 4 hours and the next day she started eating solids again. We came home on that sixth night with instructions to keep her home for the next couple of days and to follow up with her pediatrician. Driving home with her was a wonderful feeling. She held her balloons that friends had sent and I could tell she was so happy to be able to go out. Jack had the whole house spotless and he and the girls had more balloons for Asher waiting at home. The next few nights I'd wake up in the night just to go check on her. I'd check her respiratory rate and put my hand on her back and feel the air go in and out of her lungs. It was a beautiful sound. Every day I am more grateful for her, Olivia, and Berlin. My prayers of thanks have numbered in the hundreds since that day. I'm so thankful for promptings, for priesthood blessings, for prayer, for an amazing husband, and for our friends and family.