Each fall at Chick-fil-A we gather as a company in our main building atrium to hear updates from our leaders on what’s taken place throughout the year. The space is billowing with beautiful stone floors and a five story spiral staircase that if you arrive early enough can be the best seat in the house. Inevitably, I never arrive early enough and wear heels like I shouldn’t have, therefore I spend the hour shifting my weight from left to right, cursing my improper choice of footwear, while balancing my phone and a cup of hot tea in hand.
Last fall, while contemplating my poor footwear choices, I listened as a leader I admire dearly shared a line I won’t soon forget, “we get to do this.” He talked about record breaking growth. About Operator frustrations. About all of the challenges and celebrations that come with growing a brand beyond what anyone of us could imagine. What Shane didn’t talk about was feeding an almost three month old in the hospital at 4 am, but it’s the line that sticks with me at this moment. We get to do this.
I expected to spend today putting the final things together to tomorrow waltz across those stone floors in printed, pointy-toed heels (yes, I already have an outfit picked out) and head back to a job I love with B attending daycare on-site with me. Instead, we are here at CHOA watching an almost three month old battle salmonella.
Friday afternoon B started acting off. He was running a low grade fever and I called the nurse who assured me it was likely something I ate but to watch it and give Tylenol if need be. By bedtime his fever had made it above 100.4 and we opted for Tylenol. By midnight his fever had spiked again. After an agonizing 90 minutes back and forth with the nurses line and never getting a call back from a doctor, a nurse suggested bringing him to the ER just to be sure. That nurse (and doctor who never called) were our guardian angels. We checked in around 2 am.
By 6 am our little guy was pooping green with blood, vomiting and still running a 102 fever. We waited for what felt like an eternity to see a doctor and to hold it together while B acted like the world’s happiest guy. When the day shift doctor took over she began a flurry of tests that felt a little overkill to two sleep deprived parents who were 99% sure this was a viral infection and ready to go home.
Rather quickly, we would learn B contracted salmonella. You or I would get the same, have a bad stomach ache and get on with our lives, but to someone so tiny this gig is pretty dangerous. We’ll never know exactly how we contracted the bacteria, but my best guess is somewhere between me making dinner and feeding B earlier this week, which was a test run of sorts for what rushed evenings might look like soon. It only takes a touch to pass the bacteria along and boy am I working through mom guilt over here.
While we’re still pretty shaken and still very nervous, we know we’re in the best hands possible at CHOA. We caught this thing quickly and we’re praying the antibiotics are doing their job and not allowing this bacteria to enter his precious little bloodstream. As I publish this post, they are looking good.
We’re settled into a room complete with a futon, full bath and crib. I’ve joked that it feels like P and I are shacking up in Brumby again (sorry mom and dad), but this time there’s a baby in the room with us instead of Jessica (Jess, you’re much quieter as a roommate).
While I expected to be closing the chapter on these night time feeds very soon, I’ll savor the chance to have them now. I texted with a girlfriend earlier this week on the best way to wean night feeds as B has been sleeping until 3-5 am each night, but the last 24 hours have thrown that and all of our plans to the wind. In fact, I think I’ve written on this predicament of God + Kaitlyn + well placed plans before ?
The next few days most certainly will not look as I expected, but I’m reminded that we get to do this. To snuggle. To be cared for by talented healthcare professionals. To miss work for a few more days and still have our jobs to return to. To fight. To be parents. We get to do this and we don’t plan on giving up anytime soon.
To baby B, oh the prayers we have for you right now my little friend. We pray for your strength, for your healing and for those strong kicking legs to keep knocking those monitors off (after the doctors take their readings, please).