It was relatively early in the trainee household a couple of Wednesdays ago. We had done an early feed and I was preparing to take Rocky the dog and Ned for a walk. I strapped Ned into the capsule and went to collect Rocky's lead. All of a sudden Ned was spluttering, struggling for breath and screaming like I had never heard before. I unbuckled him, whisked him out of the capsule and tried to soothe him. I reached into his mouth to clear it of saliva and gave him a few puffs of breath. I was in a panic. There seemed to be long pauses between breaths/screams and I freaked out. It wasn't long before I was thinking of dialing those three numbers we never hope to have to call - 000. I ran upstairs with the baby, and then back downstairs and with the most shaking I've ever gone through managed to figure out how to dial the number.
I was a little hesitant, not knowing if I was a genuine caller but continued holding on the line while this newborn baby was screaming at the top of his lungs. The operator who answered was very calm asking for my address and then asking me to repeat it before asking what the issue was. He was a great calming influence even through my crying and shaking. Before I knew it the ambulance van was driving up the driveway and coming in to the house where they checked Ned out. They explained that he wouldn't have stopped breathing (which is probably what I told the operator) if he was crying. A good cry is a good thing they told me. I felt a bit silly when the ambo said we would go up to the hospital to get checked out. Ned's breathing was basically back to normal and he had mostly calmed down. I was strapped on to the stretcher holding the little man who fell asleep by the top of our street. We got to the hospital around 8am and left finally just before 2pm. It was a long day (and my phone rang out of battery) but as they say, better to be safe than sorry.
I so appreciate the work of the call centre operator as well as the lovely ambulance people. They did not make me feel stupid for ringing but did assure me that lots of first time mums have moments like that and it is not uncommon. At least I will know for next time. I must thank Jacqui - an old school friend (and a nurse) for leaving this wonderful comment on my facebook page:
Just remember it is always a good thing (in terms of airways) if they are making noise like coughing or gagging.Babies are born with these reflexes for a reason .
Did you ever have a freak out moment?