As it turns out, Katherine's bronchitis was not, in point of fact, bronchitis. Instead, she has bronchiolitis, probably secondary to RSV (although we didn't do the swab to confirm, since it wouldn't change the treatment). While the fill-in pediatrician we saw didn't feel that she needs to be hospitalized at this point, he did send us home with a nebulizer for albuterol and pulmicort.
I'm giving her breathing treatments every 4 hours or so, which she doesn't like very much at all -- she cries and pushes the mouthpiece away, and outright refuses to wear the mask. She seems a little better after she's had a treatment, I guess, but she sounds just horrible in between times. She threw up all over the place around 11 PM last night, not just spit-up but actual vomiting, and she was bubbling worse than ever. We cleaned her up, and I debated about giving her another treatment -- she sounded so bad, but I thought that maybe that's what had made her nauseated. In the end, I gave her another one, and she slept the rest of the night without incident.
She was bubbling again this morning before her treatment, and I still think she feels under-the-weather. She's been very cranky, and while she's now asleep in her swing, I think it's the I-don't-feel-good kind of sleep. I'm watching her sleep right now and trying to decide whether to go back to the doctor yet again. I don't know that they can do much else for her, except decide whether she needs hospitalization, and we just ruled that out yesterday. On the other hand, she seems worse to me today, so maybe they would decide differently.
I am trying really hard not to be the panicked mother, but I'm not really succeeding very well. I had a friend whose two-month-old got a chest cold thing and died three years ago, and while I never asked her exactly what the autopsy found (how could I?), I can't stop thinking about it and wondering if it was bronchiolitis. I know it's stupid, statistics and freak occurrences blah blah hysterical-cakes, but still it feels like geese walking over my grave, listening to her burble and wheeze, and imagining what could happen.
And oh, there is guilt, too, because I have decided she got it at the gym nursery. Y'know, the one I was just being flip about in Suz's comments yesterday, literally an hour before seeing the doctor. Now, it's true that most of the time, I am legitimately working out the whole time the girls are in the nursery -- I don't do the whirlpool-and-long-shower thing often, only when I'm really just having one of those days. It's even true that at the time she first got sick, I was putting them in the nursery only to go to physical therapy, since I was only a week or so post-surgery. Still, I put my kids in child care, never mind the duration and the reason, and now one of them is pretty sick, so I must be a Bad Mommy.
My real-life former-infertile-and-29-weeker-mom friend Stacey wrote recently about how she's frightened of leaving her boy at the church nursery where he might catch RSV. She and I have talked before about how she doesn't do any of the things I do with the little girls, and I've felt fortunate that my girls (while slightly preterm) were not preemies and didn't need any special precautions. Now, I'm the one whose baby has bronchiolitis, and my carefree attitude about germs has taken a big hit.
I hope she's OK. I hope she's OK. I hope she's OK.