Mother Knows Best

Today I want to talk about the importance of really knowing your newborn and educating yourself about CPR and what to do in an emergency situation. My third daughter, Elsa (now three), came down with RSV when she was only three weeks old. I saved her life on January 5, 2013. If it wasn't for the attention I gave her, my motherly instincts, and my fast reactions, it's very possible she woudn't be here with us today.

Elsa had been sick for a few days and our pediatrician said she had a chest cold and to keep an eye on things. Friday we went about our day as normal but after lunch she was a very grayish-blue color and it was scaring me. Her color and breathing made me nervous and I didn't take my eye off her for a second. I made an appointment to see the pediatrician again that afternoon but we never made it. Around 2:30pm she stopped breathing on me and I called 911 immediately. I had previously taken the infant CPR class at our local hospital when my other girls were born. My instinct made me put her over my shoulder and hit her back and sure enough she coughed up some flem and took a gaping breath. Alas, she turned pink again.

The ambulance took us to the hospital and later to Children's Hospital of Milwaukee. She was admitted to the PICU and after some tests and cultures it was confirmed she had RSV, which can be extremely bad in newborns because they can just stop breathing. The virus attacks their respiratory system.

newborn baby has RSV at children's hospital

We ended up staying in the hospital for 11 days and I only left her side when my own mother came to take my place. With two kids under four at home, it was a really hard time. It was moments like this that made me thankful for the education classes I took and thankful for the right amount of parent paranoia.

I really believe that mothers and babies have a special bond. Sometimes I think what would have happened if I didn't know what to do in an emergency. Or what if I had put her in her crib to nap in stead of holding her in my arms. My instincts told me that something was really wrong and I listened.

"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." - Sophia Loren