Charlie woke up quite a lot during the night. We could settle him though and popping his dummy in soon sent him back to sleep. He kept waking up but again that’s not unusual for Charlie. Chris got up for work around 5.30am and walked round with him a bit to soothe him. Charlie sleeps in bed with me so he was in my arms thoughout with the exception of when Chris got up. So Chris took him out of the room so I could get some sleep. Charlie cried constantly for around an hour but when Chris brought him back to me so he could go to work I fed him and he fell straight asleep. He slept until around 8am and woke up for another feed. Little did I know that that was the last breastfeed he would ever have.We went downstairs and made breakfast. Charlie was very grizzly and soon became upset again. I wore him in the wrap to settle in and he slept on and off. He was upset when he woke up so i tried to feed him but his mouth wouldn’t latch on. This was a big warning sign because Charlie loves his milk and gets really excited when he’s about to feed. He would never turn down a chance. I also tried his dummy and my finger for him to suck on but he refused them too. I squirted some calpol into his mouth but he didn’t swallow it very well. At that point I rang Chris in tears. I’d already taken him to the doctors twice that week and been told it was virus. Chris rang the doctors and got him another appointment for 2.40pm but said we could come earlier if we were worried. Chris’ mum offered to give us a lift and came round immediately. We set off but the traffic was bad and Charlie had started making a moaning noise so we turned round and went straight to A&E.
When we got to A&E we were seen almost immediately. They poked and prodded him, did blood tests and put him on an antibiotics. Their first thought was that he had some blockage, possibly in his bowel as he was pulling his legs up. He was sent for an u/s scan which came back clear. By this time the blood tests had come back and showed signs of an infection. They couldn’t see where the infection was, he had no sign of anything. He was alert and looking round. A decision was made to do a CT scan. Once that was done we were transferred to the High Dependency Room while we waited for the results.
The doctor came to see us and said that they hadn’t found anything related to the infection on the CT scan but they had seen some extra fluid on his brain. She said his head had grown significantly since the last time it was measured (his 7 week checkup) and it was something that would have been picked up at his health visitor checks. It could be something or nothing.
The next step was to do a lumbar puncture. They still didn’t know where the infection was but they wanted to see if it was anything serious. They got set up while we waited outside in the corridor. Charlie was sedated so after it was done we sat with him for a bit and then Chris decided to go home. They made me up a bed in quiet room on the sofa. Around 10pm i decided i would try and get some sleep. I was expressing every couple of hours to keep my supply up so i thought i’d sleep while i could.
At 11pm there was a knock on the door and the nurse told me the doctor needed to talk to me. Confused and very scared i got dressed and headed to Charlie’s room. The doctor said she’d had the preliminary results back from the LP and it wasn’t good news. He had meningitis. It was the first of two worst moments of my life. I struggled to take in what she was telling me and i went off to ring Chris and then my mum and dad. Chris made it back in record time and we tried to process what was going on.
Chris finally got some sleep on the sofabed, i couldn’t sleep so i stayed up expressing like a crazy woman and talking to the nurses. Trying to understand what would happen next but nobody knew.