The beginning of February was a doozy for us. We aren’t 100% certain where we got Covid seeing that we aren’t out of the house much, but we have our theories. It all started with what we thought was a simple ear infection.
Wednesday: That evening, our two-year-old, Eloise, had a low grade fever and almost threw up. I knew she had an ear infection because she was showing the same symptoms as the previous time. Our three-month-old daughter, Audrey, was starting to have a rough night and, as it went on, I ended up sleeping on the couch holding her. It was a long night for everyone.
Thursday: I took Eloise to the doctor and she did indeed have an ear infection. We had no reason to test her for anything else because she wasn’t showing any other symptoms, and as far as we knew, hadn’t been exposed. As the day went on however, Audrey would not nap without being held and her congestion was getting worse. She and her twin have been congested since birth because their noses are too small to get anything out or use a suction bulb on. This congestion was much worse, but we were actually able to remove mucus this time, which was as thick and green as could be. However, Audrey’s nose would fill right back up and she would not sleep again that evening without being held.
Friday: Audrey was worse, she had a fever between 99-101F, and was having a hard time regulating her breathing. William, her twin brother, started sounding worse that evening too, acting clingy, but never had a fever. I took Audrey to urgent care where they said her lungs sounded clear and she tested negative for RSV and the flu. We went home to another identical evening as the ones prior, but William wouldn’t sleep without being held either. It was a long day filled with worry and uncertainty.
Saturday: After another negative RSV test, congestion, and clear sounding lungs at the pediatrician’s office, we tested for Covid. Why did we test for Covid? Because the pediatrician said that most babies (not all) who get Covid are simply congested and have a fever. To be honest, part of me was hoping they would test positive because then we’d know what we were dealing with (for the most part). Plus, we would be over and done with it and not have to worry as much about taking them out of the house. To say we were all exhausted is an understatement. My in-laws came over that day to watch the kids so we could nap.
On Sunday evening, my husband Wade and I started showing symptoms that were similar to those of a sinus cold/infection. I took an Ibuprofen and sweated out my body chills that night. On Monday, we received confirmation that Audrey and William had Covid and we knew we had it too. We got tested on Tuesday and all came back positive except for me, but because I had symptoms, the Health Department considered me a positive case.
We moved the twins from their bassinet to the rock n’ plays to keep them as upright as possible. Friends and family dropped off tons of food, suction bulbs, Zarbee’s chest rub, saline spray and things for Eloise. Our days were spent sucking mucus, rubbing their feet and chests with salve, holding them in order to sleep, and holding them in a steamy bathroom sometimes several times a day. Our house was filled with babies who couldn’t breathe while drinking their bottles and screams from sucking noses at all hours of the day and night. It seemed like there was no end in sight and that nothing we were doing helped. We were exhausted! William’s eating went from 6 ounces a bottle to 2-2.5 ounces a bottle at more frequent intervals. As the week went on, the twins started to smile and interact more during the day; they seemed to be getting back to normal but were still really congested. One day it would seem like they were better and the next would be bad again — it was like a constant two steps forward, one step back. Eloise didn’t show any other symptoms; in fact, we thought she was feeling fine. But one day, she pooped in her diaper and didn’t freak out. We knew then that she wasn’t feeling well because she hadn’t pooped in her diaper in at least five months (other than that, you wouldn’t have known she was sick).
The Rollercoaster of Emotions
When the pediatrician’s office called and told me the results, I cried. I couldn’t help it; the tears just came. I was relieved we had a diagnosis, but I was also worried because we didn’t know what to expect. The pediatrician would call and check on us often, which we were thankful for, but there were times I wanted to yell at them and tell them to stop calling if they didn’t have anything to tell us other than “Keep doing what you’re doing.” I told Wade I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take the babies’ screams or if I could keep holding them in the steamy bathroom with little results. I went through days feeling success and defeat at the same time. Success in removing so much mucus and defeat in being right back to where we were. I cried happy tears seeing our fridge full of food and not having to worry about that part of our day because, even from a distance, people were caring for us.
The twins are on the mend with some lingering symptoms. William is still dealing with a little congestion and Audrey has some inflammation in her lungs. Both can take a while to clear up and we are praying that Audrey’s lungs are not affected long-term. I’m just glad to have my nights back without having to hear my babies screaming and having to hold them in a steamy bathroom. Wade and I are also on the mend; most of our symptoms are gone and our sense of smell and taste are slowly returning, mine faster than his.