If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Dayre, you would know that Meimei was hospitalised recently for acute bronchiolitis caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). N (aka Patient Zero) came down with it just after he recovered from his stomach flu *sigh* and Didi started coughing shortly after that.
I brought both of them to see our new PD, and she sent Didi’s mucus (which she sucked out of his nose) for testing, so that we would know what virus he had. It was very tough trying to keep N away from the babies, and poor Didi was coughing (and crying) so much that he lost his voice. We hoped that Meimei wouldn’t catch the bug from her brothers, but a few days later, she started coughing as well. I checked with the PD if we should give her the same antibiotics and meds as Didi, and she said to go ahead, since it was the same virus.
A few days later, we brought all three kids to see the PD, and to our dismay, she said Meimei was way sicker than Didi, and had to be admitted. She performed suction on Meimei, before giving her some oxygen, then sent us over to Mt Elizabeth Orchard. We honestly didn’t expect it, as Meimei wasn’t coughing as badly as Didi was, and we hadn’t been able to suck as much mucus out of her nose as we had from Didi’s. Apparently, Meimei’s mucus had gone to her lungs, which is why we couldn’t get it out of her nose.
There wasn’t a single-bedded room available at the Children’s Ward, so we were put into a double-bedder instead. I kept asking for a single-bedder, because I didn’t want to run the risk of Meimei catching another bug from the other sick kid. Thankfully, they didn’t put anyone else in our room, and converted our room to a single-bedder on the third day.
Shortly after we got to the room, they came to take an x-ray of Meimei’s chest, then whisked her away to start an IV line on her left hand. I could hear her wailing loudly, and felt so sorry for her. The poor girl was only 37 days old!
All cried out after getting her IV line
Meimei hadn’t been feeding well that day, so she needed a drip to keep her hydrated. They also gave her oxygen via a plastic hose placed next to her face, and monitored her oxygen levels via a tiny sensor stuck to her foot. Her bed had to be slightly inclined, so that she could sleep more comfortably, and the nurses fashioned a smaller bed out of blankets to make her feel more secure.
Meimei had to use the nebuliser regularly, and although she struggled initially, I think the meds helped her to feel better, and she was generally calm whenever the nurses nebulised her. She liked the taste of her antibiotics and probiotics, smacking her lips loudly when they fed her the meds, but she disliked the Ridwind, and would spit it out. Meimei had plenty of thick mucus, so the nurses had to perform suction quite frequently during the first two days. She cried very loudly each time, and I don’t blame her, because it’s really quite traumatising!
Using the nebuliser
On the third day, the PD switched Meimei to a nasal cannula to improve her oxygen levels, and the poor girl kept crying as the nurses put it on for her. It was heart-wrenching to see her with the nasal cannula taped to her face, but it was definitely more effective, and her oxygen levels became more stable quite quickly.
With the nasal cannula
Thankfully, C was in Singapore throughout Meimei’s hospital stay, and brought Didi and N daily to visit us. N thought it was a hotel, and asked where the pool was. *rolls eyes* I got to nurse Didi once or twice a day, and had to pump out my milk for Meimei as she couldn’t drink well directly from my boobs. The nurses were very kind, and helped me to sterilise all my equipment and milk bottles, and stored my packets of breast milk in the fridge too. I think I would have been even more stressed if I had to do the sterilising on my own! Meimei cried quite a bit at night, and when I was exhausted, the nurses helped me to change her diapers and even to bottle feed her, so that I could get some rest.
C and I took short walks to Paragon daily, while my mum and the confinement lady stayed in the hospital room with the babies. It was good for me to get out of the hospital room for a short while, and to spend a little time with N, who said he missed me, and kept asking when I would be able to go home with them.
Didi napping with Meimei on her hospital bed
N checking on Meimei
When are you coming home, Meimei?
Before Meimei was hospitalised, I was just telling the confinement lady that I haven’t gotten a chance to pump and store my milk, because I don’t even have enough to feed both babies throughout the day, and they get one or two formula feeds a day. Then, because Meimei had to be hospitalised, I got to use the Pigeon breast milk storage bags, and the Pigeon breast milk cooler bag, because I needed to send some packets of breast milk home for Didi. Luckily, both babies have been using the Pigeon Peristaltic PLUS (PPSU) Bottles since the first week, so I didn’t have to worry that they couldn’t or wouldn’t drink from a bottle. (Yes, I remembered to take photos of the Pigeon products used at the hospital even though I was exhausted. *hardworkingmumblogger*)
Pigeon Breast Milk Storage Bag and Peristaltic PLUS Rising Star Bottle
Pigeon Breast Milk Storage Bag, Cooler Bag, and Peristaltic PLUS Bottle
The PD checked on Meimei twice a day, and kindly examined both Didi and N too, when she came by at night. It gave us peace of mind knowing that she was keeping such a close eye on Meimei and the two boys, especially since the twins are so young. The PD picked up a heart murmur during her initial examination of Meimei, so she arranged for a cardiologist to see her on Monday, before she was discharged. He found a small hole in her heart, and said it should close up on its own after a few months.
So why did Meimei get so sick, when she had the exact same virus as N and Didi? We’ve learnt that each child’s body is different, and therefore, even though they are twins, they react differently to the virus and bacteria. Didi responded well to the antibiotics prescribed, but Meimei happened to be resistant to it, and even to the second type of antibiotics that she got. The tiny hole in her heart was also a contributing factor, and I don’t really understand all the medical terms and reasons, but I think the gist of it was that she was sort of drowning? The PD told us that Meimei shouldn’t go swimming, ie submerge her head underwater, until she is at least five years old, so we will have to watch her closely when we go to the pool.
It was a really trying few days for us, and we are very grateful for all of your prayers and well wishes. C left for JKT the day after we got home from the hospital, but my confinement lady has been wonderful, and helps me to keep track of the babies’ many meds. Meimei still has to be nebulised thrice a day, while Didi and N are on Ventolin and Flixotide. My milk supply has dipped quite a bit, most likely due to the stress and lack of direct latching, but hopefully, I’ll be able to get it up again soon. I’m just glad that we’re home, and that all three kids are slowly recovering!
Didi is happy that Meimei is home at last!
Getting nebulised (and smiling)
KorKor the supervisor
Fell asleep together while they were supposed to be having tummy time
This is a post that I never thought I would have to write, and I pray that I will never have to write another post like this again!