By the time my second daughter was born, I felt like the panic of fevers had significantly decreased. However, my newborn got a fever that took us on quite the ride! Let’s talk about an infant with fever and when to worry.
How it Started
It happened to be the day of our newborn photos. My daughter, Logan, was around 2 weeks old. She was an absolute angel while we photographed her. She even slept through his toddler sister’s weeping and tantrums during the session. Seriously, an angel. Later that evening, around 7:00 PM, Logan began to get pretty fussy. It was winter time, and my husband and I were in the living room with a fire going and taking turns trying to soothe her. NOTHING, I mean NOTHING would calm the child down. I was on the brink of exhaustion already, and the ear piercing cries were about to send me off a ledge. Over the next two hours, she would slightly calm down for about 15 minutes at a time before the hysterical crying would start back again.
As another last ditch effort, my husband decided to take her and change her again to see if that would help, and within a minute he was calling me to come back to him. The words “does she feel hot” came out of his mouth and I instantly touched her forehead. Her whole body was burning up. I don’t think either of us noticed it as much in the living room because the fire was keeping us all warm. We went ahead and took a rectal temperature ( linking the thermometer here… we still use it) and the number just kept rising. It finally stopped at around 103 degrees. I already knew that when I called the pediatrician, they were going to tell us to go to the emergency room because she was and infant with a fever. I was right, and this is where things got crazy!
Luckily enough, we have friends close by that were at our house within ten minutes to stay with our oldest daughter. I pretty much threw a couple bottles of breast milk and some diapers in our bag to last us for the next few hours. As we were driving to the children’s hospital in downtown Atlanta, I told my husband to expect a long night. It was already 10:00 PM, so we assumed we wouldn’t be getting home until the early morning.
When we got to the hospital, the woman at the front desk was extremely nice and made sure we were taken care of immediately. Because Logan was not vaccinated yet, they had to keep her quarantined in her own room right off the bat. I would say, within minutes, the first nurse arrived. They started checking vitals and confirmed she was an infant with a ever. They then explained that because she was not vaccinated they were going to have to test her for EVERYTHING. That included doing a spinal tap to check for meningitis. I was slowly falling apart inside. They were going to take my itty bitty perfect little baby and poke her spine with a needle. They also had to draw blood and start an IV for fluids. Again, I can’t speak highly enough about the staff at that hospital because they kept us so calm and did everything incredibly fast.
Once the labs were drawn, it was probably around midnight. We had Logan back in our arms and we were just waiting on the doctor to bring us results. Like any other appointment, we expected to get a diagnosis, get some medicine, and go home. THIS is where we were mistaken.
The doctor came in shortly and gave us the spiel on infants and how their lack of vaccines make them susceptible to pretty much everything there is. She also took time to criticize my decision to pump vs breastfeeding (another story for another day). Then, she nonchalantly says, “We are getting your room ready to admit you for the next three days.” It took me a second to process what she had said. Three days??? From there we found out that it takes three days to get back the lab work for one of the possible diseases she was tested for. Therefore, they were unable to send us home until ALL the results came back. At that point, all we knew is that we were possibly being admitted for a common cold or something much worse.
So, my husband and I wearily start processing what this means. Who’s going to watch Evelyn, how do I pump, what about a change of clothes??
They got us to a room quite fast and the hospital was equipped with almost everything we would need, including a hospital grade breast pump. They even provided all my meals because I was pumping mom. At this point, Logan’s fever also started going down and she was sleeping so much better. However, nothing ever preps you to see your baby covered in wires in a hospital room. I ended up spending most of the time alone with her because my husband was having to be with our other daughter. That mom’s strength pretty much took over, because lord knows I wasn’t getting any real sleep over those days.
Luckily, our story ended with a very positive outcome. Three days later, Logan tested clear for everything. We were very lucky that it was not something worse!
- An infant with fever probably means you will be going to the emergency room.
- If your baby is under 8 weeks old and has not received vaccines, it is very standard to go through all the same steps we went through. Go in mentally preparing for that.
- If you have time to pack a quick overnight back, do it before you leave. Obviously, don’t waste time getting to the hospital. Just try throwing a few necessities in a bag for yourself. The hospital will have everything you need for your baby!
- Don’t beat yourself up. I kept wondering if we could have done anything different. However, we had a toddler who attended daycare at home, and no matter how many times we washed our hands, germs were bound to spread.
Parenting throws your for some loops, and that was definitely one of our crazier ones!