We had been planning for about a month now to take the kids and go see Jacob play football on October 7th. His first district game was in a town very close to our house so that seemed like the best game to attempt.
I had Addie an adorable black and orange tutu to wear, their school colors, and we were all set. We arrived about 15 mins before the game started and were in time for the run through and welcoming of the boys on the field. Addie was doing great! She was smiling at Maurie and seemed happy to be out of the house.
Raychel got back from standing beside the run through and went to pick up Addie out of her carrier. I was helping to unfasten her straps and stuff and as Raychel was lifting her out of the carrier, Addison started to scream. Raychel tried to walk around with her to calm her and it didn't work, so Melissa tried. Took her far down the side of the field, away from the stands and band and I could see Addie was still fussing. I walked down to see if I could help and she would settle and then scream, settle and then scream. I took Addie out to the car to try to get her away from the noise and try to nurse her. She wouldn't latch. She'd scream and try to nurse and then scream some more. At this point, after trying for what may have been a total of two minutes, I texted Maurie to have Melissa bring all my stuff and the boys. We were heading toward home with the very real possibility of detouring to the Children's Hospital along the way. The town we were in was probably 45 mins to Children's and we had to head towards home to get to the hospital anyway.
Thankfully Melissa decided to come with us and offered to drive. I was able to sit in the backseat with Addie and try to calm her down. I did a no no and got her out of her carseat and held her and rubbed her back and talked to her in a soft voice. I told myself that if she was still crying when we got to the other side of Hutto (where we had to decide home or hospital) that we were heading straight to Dell Children's ER.
About five miles down the road, Addie started to settle. I wish I knew how to describe the way she was screaming. As a mom of three, screaming babies aren't a new thing to me. But the way Addie was screaming was different. It was a scared scream, an in pain scream, a why did you do this to me scream. I was scared that it meant something was wrong with her shunt. As a hydro parent, you can never dismiss the possibility of a neurological issue. I knew her soft spot wasn't bulging, I knew her eyes weren't sunsetting, I knew she wasn't vomitting. All classic signs of a shunt failure. I knew Dr. G (her nsg) told me that shunt failures typically don't go fast like that. They are slow to build. They are gradual and rarely emergent. But I do know they can be emergent. And I was trying to figure out if that was what was going on. I knew the decision would be mine. So I decided that she had until we got toward home to stop screaming.
I was very thankful that she quieted. She snuggled in to me and looked around in the dark. She didn't pass out or fall asleep which was oddly comforting to me as well. She didn't stop screaming out of exhaustion, she stopped because she was comforted,or at least out of pain for the time being. When we got her home, she acted as if nothing had happened. She was alert, cooing, looking around, trying to sit up. All typical Addie behavior.
The best thing I can figure out was it was noise related. The band had just settled into the stands and started playing. The stands were metal and I'm sure there were a ton of vibrations. She started crying right as she was picked up by a "stranger" (sorry Raychel!) and was taking out of the buffer of her carrier seat. I think it was just too much all at once for her.
She did act similarly to this when we were on the Duke campus and the bell tower started chiming. Not to this extent but you could tell the loud noise wasn't pleasing to her ears.
Friday night was just another reminder how quickly things can change in the life of a hydro child. I was very thankful we didn't end up at the ER and I'm very thankful this was the first time it was a real consideration. Realistically I realize we will have to go to the ER at some point in her life. I'm just thankful we haven't had to yet.