My parents offered to take both children overnight Saturday night. My dad picked the children up early and took them swimming. My parents were going to keep the children all day Saturday, overnight, and most of the day Sunday. It was the first child-free time my husband and I had in over two, very stressful months.
Needless to say, my husband and I were very excited. 36 hours of freedom for parents of young children is no small thing. We went to lunch at a restaurant by ourselves. We did a little shopping by ourselves. Then we headed home for the main event. The plan was to get back in touch with our pre-parenthood selves by playing a game. My husband bought Skyrim (big fantasy adventure game) and we planned to stay up until the wee hours of the night playing. Then sleep in and play again the next day until the children came home. I get that many of you might choose another way to celebrate freedom, but we were pretty excited about our plan.
We were about two hours into playing (which is the tip of a very large iceberg) when the phone rang. My mom wanted to let me know that Ava woke up from her afternoon nap with a croupy cough. (Internal dialog: Oh no!!! Please don't let this ruin our night off!) I told her we would bring by a humidifier and some ibuprofen for the night. She told me to just leave them on the porch so that Ava wouldn't see us and ask to come home.
An hour and a half later we stopped playing and gathered the requested items. I called my mom to let her know we were on our way. In a concerned tone, she told me we'd better come in and listen to her ourselves. I knew this was a bad sign. When we walked in to my parents living room I could hear the stridor in Ava's breathing. It was clearly audible with every inhalation even though all she was doing was calmly watching television. You could see her upper chest suck inwards with effort (retraction) at every breath.
It was clear that we would probably need to go to the ER. Again. I wanted to call our pediatrician's office though and see if there was any possible way to avoid the trip. Perhaps we could try an oral steroid first? We gave Ava an ibuprofen and left her at my parents. The stridor always gets worse when she gets upset and making her leave would have upset her. It took me an hour and a half to finally get someone on the phone and talk them into calling in a prescription.
We picked up Ava from my parents house and drove her to the 24 hour pharmacy with us leaving the windows cracked (cool air helps soothe stridor). I got the medicine in her at 8pm and we drove around for two more hours before going home. She was calm in the car and we wanted to give the medicine a chance to kick in before trying to put her to bed. She was in bed at 10:30 and back up at 11:30 panicking during a coughing fit. I calmed her as quickly as possible to minimize the stridor fallout and didn't manage to leave her room until after midnight. She was back up again at 1am and 2:30am. Then, finally, she stayed down until morning.
The next day she still had audible stridor about 50% of the time, but there was no retraction and her mood and energy level were mostly appropriate so we were mostly out of the woods. We avoided the ER trip by the narrowest margin.
Not anywhere close to the 36 hours of child-free time we had been anticipating, but one health crisis narrowly averted so still a win. Is it terrible that I'm wondering if I can convince my parents to give us a make-up weekend?