The weather is great in Manila. It’s cool and it feels like you’re in Tagaytay. Unfortunately these cold days also bring with it COLD days. There’s a virus going around. And it hit our family. Even our newborn, who is only 2 and a half months old.
He started vomiting last week, became more irritable, and coughed occasionally. I was coughing too, so when we went to his routine 2 month old check up, I told the doctor my concerns. I wasn’t sure if he was nasasamid lang or if it was a real cough that he got from me. I was less cautious with him than with my firstborn. With Samie, when I got sick, I would constantly change my clothes and shower and rub alcohol on my hands and arms before carrying her. But now with Ben, I though he wouldn’t catch my cough because apart breastfeeding him, I’ve had a sore throat since New Year and he hadn’t shown any sign of sickness then. He should have already been exposed to my virus, so if he didn’t get sick before, then he shouldn’t get sick now too, right? Wrong.
The doctor said his lungs were clear and everything seemed normal. Shouldn’t worry about the vomiting since he had a good weight gain and if the vomiting was serious he would have lost weight. He was 6.6 lbs when he was born and 14.6 lbs now. She also suggested that the irritability for the past couple of days could be part of the colicky stage that many newborns are going through. So we went back home with an order to just give him frequent smaller feedings and keep him upright longer. This was Monday.
Come Wednesday, Ben started to vomit with phlegm and developed a phlegmy cough. Later that night, he started feeling warm and was more irritable. When I took his temperature, it read 37.7 C. I was concerned, but not losing my mind in panic. I even brought him with me to the office the next day. When he didn’t show any improvement, I started browsing the internet and checking his symptoms. Wrong move. When I saw the symptoms for Pneumonia, I started to worry a little more and after 10 minutes of my consultation with Dr. Internet, I started to kick myself for not bringing him to the Pedia sooner. Symptoms for pneumonia included coughing, fever, and vomiting. Of course there were other symptoms, but all I could think of was all the worst case scenarios that could happen to my precious baby. Oh the mind of a mother!
My husband was home and I said lets go to the doctor right away, but it was too late and the clinic was closed. He spoke with the Pedia and she said there was no need to go to the emergency room. Just monitor his temperature and symptoms and come in for a check-up the next day.
That night, his temperature reached 38.1c. We prayed for him and set-up the room with a humidifier. When he woke up crying, I brought him to the other room without aircon and sang I cast all my cares upon You, I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet, Anytime I don’t know what to do, I will cast all my cares upon You. He would stop crying and sleep. The song really calms me down too because I am reminded that God is here and in control.
We went back to the doctor on Friday afternoon. It’s a little funny that she had a mask and was also sick. She said that a lot of people were sick because of the bug going around, and assured us that Ben was just having a normal upper respiratory infection. No need for medicine because my breastmilk IS medicine and contains antibodies for him. She prescribed saline nasal spray for him to help when his nose gets stuffy. This is perfectly safe for babies and we could use it as often as needed. For his cough, if it worsens and gets incessant, we could nebulize him with Salbutamol. We can also give him Paracetamol for his fever if he gets too cranky. She reminded us to keep her updated with his condition through text and that it could take up to 10 days for the virus to leave.
When I asked her about Pneumonia, and she answered that if Ben had Pneumonia, he would have high fever above 38.6c, cough nonstop and would look really unwell. Which is not the case right now, as he is still generally in a good mood, sleeps and feeds well, aside from his low-grade fever and occasional vomiting of phlegmy milk.
It’s 4:30 am Saturday morning as I write this. Ben’s temp has been around 36.6c since we got home. Yay! No more fever. I changed and showered twice tonight because Ben spit up on me, and after 5 mins Samie vomited too. But Praise God everyone is generally well and happy. And sleeping.