On June 23rd 2014, our son Nolan came into our lives and all was well. Easy delivery, painless recovery and a healthy baby. I was so thankful. I was managing two children like it was nothing different than one. Little did we know, in our seemingly perfect now family of four, the next year would be the most challenging one we had ever experienced in our lives.
At around 7 days old Nolan began crying more than 16 hours a day, not feeding well and generally pushing me to my limits. His pediatrician appointments went as expected and of course were the only times he decided not to cry inconsolably. Colic? Maybe that’s it. I could usually get him to stop with bouncing and dancing around the house with him. Unfortunately my simple theory of colic quickly came crashing down.
It was a Sunday morning, we were scheduled for photos with the most amazing photographer. And I was all but photo ready. As I held Nolan after one of his terrible five minutes nursing sessions, something seemed different. The irritated cry I had been hearing now seemed to be one of excruciating pain. And it didn’t stop. My husband placed him in the bath as I suggested to see if that would help calm him. And then I saw it, his lips were blue, something was wrong. We called my mother to watch Knox and rushed him to the hospital.
Nothing was making sense as I clutched to him in my arms in the backseat. In theory, an ambulance would have been a good idea. But after nights of being up and the fear of his current condition, clear thoughts were not running through our heads. We figured we could make the fifteen minute drive in ten, and we did.
When we arrived Nolan’s hearts rate was 320 and he was in supraventricular tachycardia. Cue my immediate mental break down. Multiple attempts at an IV were unsuccessful and they were not able to administer the life saving medication to break the arrhythmia for some time ( probably only 30 minutes but for me it felt like an eternity). When they had IV access they whisked his tiny, fragile body away from us into a resuscitation room. At that moment I felt so many powerful emotions. Self doubt. Why didn’t I know? I am a Nurse Practitioner after all. Worry. What will this mean for the rest of his life? Fear. What if he doesn’t live? How could God take away something that he just gave to us? Brought to our knees in the hallway of an ER, my husband and I cried, and we prayed.
We spent 7 days in the hospital and Nolan’s heart was converted too many times to count with adenosine before they would fine the correct oral medications to normalize his little wild heart. He went home on three different medications to control him. He was the most difficult baby, and with every cry I questioned, is he in an arrhythmia or is he just being a baby, is it teeth, reflux, gas? Even a simple car trip left me so anxious and when he cried, I cried. Which was a lot.
The doctors reassured me at his follow ups, that his type of arrhythmia was something he would likely grow out of, and he did. We weaned medications per protocol and when Nolan turned one he was off all the medications. We were so very thankful.
Today, he is a wild, intelligent, almost four year old little fire ball. He excels at whatever he puts his mind to. He is a tornado..literally. I am so excited to see what the future holds for Nolan. So for the mothers and fathers out there that are going through something with your child, I feel you. I know the pain, the uncertainly, the fear. But when you’re through your storm, I pray you can look back with peace on everything that happened. And I pray that your babies are healed and continue to grow into beautiful little people.