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6 wk old in hospital with Bronchiolitis- support/shared stories pls!

(51 Posts)
mumofthreeboysS Sat 08-Feb-14 08:54:58

My 6 week old baby has been admitted to hospital with bronchiolitis. He's on oxygen and a drip and is nil by mouth at the moment. I'm so scared and worried. He started getting Ill in Monday and we went to a&e Thurs night as he was grunting whilst breathing. They monitored and discharged him (not thinking it was bronchiolitis) then Friday I thought he wasn't himself- laboured breathing and sleepy and took him to the doc who said he should go to hosp. Doc at hosp diagnosed him and here we are. Doc has told me they have to get over the worst Of it then will start getting better. But what if he doesn't? I can't bring myself to ask the doc this and haven't told my DH about my fears. He's so tiny and I feel so helpless. I can't even feed him (have been bf and am expressing ATM) any similar stories to give me hope or advice?

NotAllItsCrackedUpToBe Sat 08-Feb-14 09:18:33

He's in the best place. My DS was hospitalised with bronchialitis (sp?) albeit when he was 12 mths and got through it fine. He's 3 now and absolutely fine. There was quite a few babies in with it at the same time, hospital was very used to caring for them.

NotAllItsCrackedUpToBe Sat 08-Feb-14 09:23:06

It's an awful thing when they're ill at that age, I remember the helpless feeling. Just knowing you're close by will comfort him - can you put sth that smells of you or home in the cot with him? Sorry if he's too young to have a teddy or snuggly thing but if not the smell of that close to him might give him some comfort. x

BigW Sat 08-Feb-14 09:24:11

My DS had bronchiolitis at 4 weeks. He was never hospitalised, but I was a worrying time none the less. It's the most terrifying feeling in the world, but he's in the best place and he'll be in the mend soon enough. The doctor told me that it was very common in winter babies.

WishUponAStar88 Sat 08-Feb-14 09:32:04

Bronchiolitis is very very common in winter in young babies. The typical 'peak' of illness is usually around day 5-7 - so if he started to become unwell on Monday then hopefully today or tomorrow will be the worst of it. His little lungs will be full of secretions and so he won't be able to absorb as much oxygen as he usually can. He will be NBM so as to decrease his energy requirements so he can use all his energy fir breathing rather than absorbing feed, well done for managing to express. If he doesn't show signs of more comfortable breathing some children do need extra support through a ventilator for a few days until the worst has passed. This isn't overly common in the general population but each winter intensive care units do see a lot of bronch babies. The vast (vast vast!) majority of these make a complete recovery very quickly once the virus is out of the body.

I hope that helps.

Emalushka Sat 08-Feb-14 09:36:58

My now 3 year old had bronchiolitis at 5 weeks old and spent a week in hospital. Honestly, it was the worst time of my life. It was a roller coaster of emotions and worry.

I had my family around to support me which helped - do you have friends and family to help?

BUT, she recovered completely in a week and has been healthy ever since. Lots of winter babies get bronchiolitis in the early days. The hospital was full of them. And I'm sure, nearly all of them get better!! Your baby is in the best place possible and you will get through this. Good luck. Make sure you eat and drink and sleep when you can.

Ladyflip Sat 08-Feb-14 09:38:05

My DD had bronchiolitis at 6 weeks too. It is very frightening and worrying, but he is in the best place. We were in hospital for 4 nights, but she made a swift recovery after that. She is absolutely fine now, with no long term effects (she is 5!). Hang on in there. I know how terrifying it is, but the medical staff see this a lot and are very capable of dealing with it.

Have an unmumsnet hug and thanks

My DD also had bronchiolitis at that age, and we were blue lighted to hospital after a scary hour at home. She was sat in a chair with a tent around her as she wouldn't tolerate the O2 line. It was very distressing but 2 days alter she started to recover. We were in for a week, but only needed O2 for the first 4. Hope your DC recovers soon

PookBob Sat 08-Feb-14 09:45:46

My DD had bronchiolitis at 4mths old. After taking her to a+e she was transferred to intensive care at a different hospital. She was sedated and ventilated for a week, she had a collapsed lung and was very very poorly.

But she bounced back, and the care she received in intensive care was exceptional. After a week she was transferred back to our local hospital for a few days r&r. Then she was home, like nothing had happened.

It was the hardest week of my life, living in the hospital with DD, and having to leave my DS at home with DP, who couldn't even visit. I still have flashbacks even though two years have passed.

I was told that 'bronchi babies' have a higher risk of suffering from asthma later, though I haven't seen any evidence of this in my DD so far.

Wishing your DS a speedy recovery x

siiiiiiiiigh Sat 08-Feb-14 09:59:26

Another one who's been there and done that. And, yep to it being a rough few days and then, suddenly, they perk up.

The important thing, the USEFUL thing is to listen to the advice saying "look after you".

Baby will be fine, the care is outstanding and it works, you just have to go with it.

But, you need to look after him when he gets back. Therefore, you need to do the following in the short term:

1. sleep. Get earplugs to dull the pinging machines, grab 10 mins where you can. Go home and get someone else to sit with him so you can sleep for an hour.

2. eat. Find the nearest wee shop or supermarket and buy fruit and water to nibble on. Get someone to bring you good, hot food - hospital canteen stuff will not help you. Unless you are a fan of brown stodge (no offense to anyone who prepares hospital food, I know you only have beige stodge to start off with)

Drop not-awfully-subtle hints to family and friends about them making meals for you once you are home. Meals and shopping and housework should be gratefully received. Accept all offers of help.

3. milk - pump, pump and pump some more. Breastfeeding mothers will be fed and watered by the ward, and should have a bed by the baby. Cuddle him as you pump, or, sit by him and stroke his cheek if you can't do that. Your milk flow will go down a bit, but, you'll get it back if you want to.

My 6 weeker was NG fed for a week and getting feeding going again was hard. I landed up doing mixed feeding with him, which actually worked really well.

The hospital will have a breastfeeding guru, ask to see them.

I landed up glugging that revolting brewer's yeast stuff to recover milk supply - it was disgusting, but, it really worked. I went from shrivelled prune boobs to udders overnight. Weird.

4. being clean and sane - ask if there is a parent's shower. Some places have a "chill out" space for families. find it and use it.

5. have a hug <hug>

I can also recommend finding a toilet, locking yourself in there and having a bloody good cry about how sorry you feel for yourself and how crap it all is. Most cathartic.

Oh, and my scrawny, poorly, tiny boy is 8 now. He's the fastest kid in the class.

siiiiiiiiigh Sat 08-Feb-14 10:04:05

There is a correlation between bronchiolitis, RSV and asthma.

It doesn't always follow that baby will have a wheeze, but, if it runs in your family then it's worth keeping it in the back of your mind and seeing GP if there's a cough or any faster breathing when he's got a virus.

Our kidlet was left with pretty dramatic asthma. But, to reassure you, when he's well, he's absolutely fine and very athletic and symptom free. When he's poorly, we're back on the ward (which is why I know how to keep sane). But, he has no lung damage at all - the medication for asthma now is amazing, so, once he's an adult, it'll all be fine.

Siphonophore Sat 08-Feb-14 10:09:06

My youngest was hospitalised with RSV as an 8 month old and made a good recovery. Afterwards he struggled with 'viral wheeze' requiring steroid treatment each time he got a cough/cold virus but he is now 4 and hasn't had a problem for about 6 months despite being bombarded by plenty of chesty bugs.

I hope your little one makes a very swift recovery x

Sirzy Sat 08-Feb-14 10:39:13

There is a correlation between bronchiolitis, RSV and asthma

My understanding is that the link - if any between RSV and asthma isn't know, but the main correlation is only between those having severe (hospitalised level) RSV and a slightly increased risk of asthma later.

DS had bronchi a number of times in the first 12 months and it did hit him hard, but even the time he was in for 10 days and ended up in HDU he bounced back quickly.

Hope your little one is better soon, please don't be afriad to ask the staff questions they are there to help you

mumofthreeboysS Sat 08-Feb-14 10:40:45

Thanks so much for all the replies- I know I could count on you mumsnet ladies to keep me sane and (at least a little bit) calmer.

So reassuring to hear of your little ones recoveries

pookbob that's awful having a collapsed lung- I feel terrified enough now without going through something like that.

sigh thanks so much for all the advice- I'm worried about my supply - ironically out of 3 kids this is the only one I've managed to successfully bf so if it were to stop because of this I'd be so upset. I've been pumping but know my supply will go down- was waiting 4 hours last night did a breast pump that never showed up (DH brought mine in in the end) and was uncomfortably engorged. But I guess the main thing is he gets better whether I can continue bf or not. I'm ok with the idea of mixed feeding if need be. I'll remember that brewers yeast for future ref.

My dd2 was hospitalised with Bronchiolitis at 9 weeks. She was in for a couple of nights. it's so horrible to feel like there's nothing you can do. I hope your baby is on the mend very soon. flowers

(Just to add dd2 is now a sprightly 7 year old with the gift of the gab and and seemingly endless energy. She's also never had any more respiratory problems since the Bronchiolitis).

Elibean Sat 08-Feb-14 11:44:47

dd2 had bronchiolitis at 4 weeks. She had a narrow airway (floppy larynx) so it was extra rough, and she spent a week in HDU which felt like forever.

She is now a bouncing 7 year old who has never had a chest infection in her life, doesn't cough, gets over colds in days, and rarely misses school smile

I remember (it was Xmas) HDU and the main ward being packed with babies with bronch, the only ones who didn't have it were in isolation to protect them - rather than the other way around. Its very, very common and it is absolutely horrible when they are that tiny and you can't do anything other than express milk/be there with them.

Around day 5-7 you will see: your ds's immune system will get on top of the virus and he'll get better in leaps and bounds. Till then, it is like watching paint dry only infinitely more upsetting! Take care of yourself, keep posting, talk to other parents in the ward and please accept a huge ((((hug))))) flowers

DD2 had this at 6wks, much like other stories she was in for a week, just a drip and pressurized ventilator at worst.

She is a bouncing 4mo now! She went back to breastfeeding no problem, and the hospital pumps were fine for keeping supply up.

The drs are brilliant, babies with bronchiolitis are very common in winter.

mumofthreeboysS Sat 08-Feb-14 13:44:11

So good to hear of positive stories from those of you with babies of the same age- tewi what stage was she brought in? I'm trying to work out if LO is at his worst is if we have worse to come- his illness started on Monday so in theory it should be peaking now- doc said that blood gas results looked good this morning (heel prick- blood collected in tube?) and if they were worse then next course of action would be ventilator so I'm praying he's getting very slowly better rather than anything worse to come. It's such an awful waiting game, feel so down and helpless.

yolothankgod Sat 08-Feb-14 13:58:40

Get some trashy mags to read or hopefully you have a WiFi signal so you can read off a tablet , it will help pass the long hours while your Ds is getting better brew

My Ds now 5 has had Bronchitis & Bronchul Pneumonia 14 times since he was 2 weeks old & is now severely asthmatic - Despite this he is the size of a seven year old because of all the steroids he has had and his Asthma is none existent thanks to all the Doctors & Nurses .
It is scary as hell but the treatments these days are nothing short of a miracle , hope you manage to get some rest flowers

PseudoBadger Sat 08-Feb-14 14:00:44

You poor thing sad DD is 4 months now and she was in hospital with it just before Christmas (8 weeks old). It's a very scary time xx

Cakesnbeer Sat 08-Feb-14 14:18:22


Been there at five weeks and it's horrid but something babies recover from quite quickly. Great that you are bfing as the bm helps recovery, my FIL spent his life studying the RSV which causes most cases of bronchiolitis and is a bit grumpy that they never found anything to make a difference other than bm, only makes a little difference-babies recover well from this virus.

Keep expressing, your supply will be well established by now so will cope better than if this was earlier. Actually if your baby has the nose tube for oxygen it is worth asking if you can ray direct feeds. You can end up doing a feed an hour as all are little with your baby mainly feeding off your let down but you can watch their sats during a feed and it doesn't usually cause a dip. Different staff will gave different opinions on feeding. I was told unequivocally that my girl couldn't bf and would need a tube, I knew she could and we just did direct bfs though were in for 8 days. Every morning we had the same conversation about how babies this ill couldn't feed so it was like Groundhog Day.

Hope you are at the worst point already, it's horrid but you will soon be home and back to normal.

redcaryellowcar Sat 08-Feb-14 14:29:25

although not for broncholitis ds was admitted at 4 weeks for what initially looked like menengitis/ septacemia, very scary as you say because they are so tiny. my 'best' advice would be to keep expressing frequently, freeze milk if necessary, as once ds started to get better he was super hungry and my milk production had slowed down so we had some sleepless nights feeding all night..
i also found that once discharged ds was super cuddlyand just wanted to be held all day, i found this lovely but wished i hadn't stuck with prior engagement of friends coming round, even though they brought lunch.
sure he'll be better before you know it!

She was a bit coldy, then had a fever on the Sunday, Tuesday evening/Wednesday were her worst days. So days 3/4/5. We were out of hospital by Saturday.

So hopefully you can avoid the ventilator, but if he does need it, it's a brilliant bit of kit. DD2s oxygen kept dipping when she went into a deep sleep Or fed, lots of alarms going off, so it was obvious she needed that break and the ventilator to help her through.

mumofthreeboysS Sun 09-Feb-14 03:04:07

Well they've taken the drip out (mainly because the Canula wasn't working) doc thought it was too Early and they'd hacd to put it back in but it looks like he's tolerating small hourly feeds (EBM by tube). cakesnbeer I admire your confidence in saying you wanted to bf your baby- I'm afraid I'm a bit less sure so going with what the doc recommends which is tube feeding- hopefully we'll get back to bf soon. The sleep deprivation is torture but at least I know I can go home tomorrow- well today, and have a sleep whilst DH watches him. Felt awful doing it yesterday as I didn't want to leave him but got a much needed couple of hours sleep and a shower. And took someone's advice and bought a magazine and DH bought the laptop in tho I haven't been relaxed enough to watch a film on it yet...

PookBob Sun 09-Feb-14 07:30:12

I hope your little one starts to improve today, it's good that he's tolerating feeds.

Make sure you get some rest, and wishing you all the best.

That's really great that he's managing the feeds, on the way to getting better!

Cakesnbeer Sun 09-Feb-14 15:46:11

Great that he is on the mend. You will be back home soonsmile

How has been doing today mumof3boyS?

Elibean Sun 09-Feb-14 19:27:13

Sounds to me as though he's turned a corner smile

Hope its leaps and bounds now. You'll both need sleep to catch up!

2kidsintow Sun 09-Feb-14 19:31:46

My DD (now 9) was hospitalised with bronchiolitis and RSV at 8 weeks old. She was in for 6 days and it was a nightmare. She didn't understand why she couldn't be given a full feed, yet they'd told me to limit her milk as a full stomach decreases lung capacity.
She wasn't put on nil by mouth though. No medication given, just oxygen.
It was a matter of keeping fingers crossed until her sats improved enough for her to go home.

mumofthreeboysS Mon 10-Feb-14 01:00:18

They've upped his feeds to two hourly now which is good- but he won't settle and I'm at the end of my tether. Day 3 of sleep deprivation- I don't think i can do any more. I'm so tired and now getting so irritated that he won't settle and I just want one flipping hour of sleep.

I can't do this night after night...

Have you tried a dummy between feeds? Dd2 never wanted one normally (and doesn't have it now) but loved it when she couldn't feed as much as she wanted.

It is very tiring. Are you still using bottles and expressed milk? One of the nurses could do a feed for you while you sleep?

CelticPromise Mon 10-Feb-14 07:54:57

He will want to suck. Ask if there's a bf supporter in the hospital that can come to see you. I've had a baby in hospital and I really feel for you. The sucking action of feeding can settle them. I fed my DS when he was on CPAP and oxygen, sounds like your baby might be ready for direct feeds again.

mumofthreeboysS Mon 10-Feb-14 08:15:11

well they think that bf would still be too tiring for him hence him having a tube. Its now just gone 8 and I got less than an hours sleep, he hasn't ha much more and they also gave him ibrufen and paracetamol and got me to bf him for 5 mins (the max allowed time!) which only settled him whilst he was bf!

he's got a dummy that he's been using almost constantly but it hasn't helped settle him. At my wits end. DH is going to have to do tonight even if I can't express enough milk. Thing is, there were only 2 nurses on duty last night- half the time i couldn't find anyone when I needed help and neither of them offered to settle him so I could sleep. I was irrational and grumpy and crying half the time and they just ignored me like I was some crazy woman! talk about no suppport for the mum. If I'm this exhausted my supply will take a hit and I won't produce enough milk so surely looking after mum is important??

Sirzy Mon 10-Feb-14 08:21:02

Are there no hcas working? When DS is ill they are great for stepping in and helping with settling and things especially at night

CelticPromise Mon 10-Feb-14 09:25:39

Could you try holding him skin to skin for a while while you both rest? Poor you, sounds so stressful. If there are any nurses you particularly like or trust you could ask about trying a longer feed while they monitor him? And take a break if you need one. Go home and have a sleep. You must be wrung out.

mumofthreeboysS Mon 10-Feb-14 11:07:28

celtic skin to skin would be fab and probably very calming for him but he's hooked up to too many machines and has to stay on his bed- most I can do is cuddle him standing up sad sirzy sorry what are hcas? The nurses did try and settle him a bit but it still didn't help me get any sleep unfortunately

Sirzy Mon 10-Feb-14 11:24:10

Health care assistants.

They should be able to jiggle machines so you can sit down and give him a cuddle. I couldn't cuddle DS when he was on CPAP as he couldn't be moved but I have a photo of the 'first' hug (after 5 days on cpap) and he is on oxygen, feeding tube, sats machine and heart monitor but they managed to move things so we could have a brief cuddle sat down.

Cakesnbeer Mon 10-Feb-14 14:40:46

Honestly be a pain, if he can bf for five mins he can probably be bf... The sats don't drop much whilst bf if at all. Get them to jiggle stuff, get it so you are both comfy and feeling happier. I really feel for you, poor support makes it so much harder.

mumofthreeboysS Mon 10-Feb-14 21:10:51

Well date a really shitty night the doc today said his oxygen tube could come off and I could bf him! Annoyingly I'm sure he was ready for this last night- hence him being really upset and unsettled, but oh well at least it's better now. What a relief he's on the mend. Thanks so much to everyone for your support and comments- you truly have got me through one of the scariest times of my life. Hopefully he'll be home the next few days- with a terrible cough but at least he'll be able to feed and be at home.

mumofthreeboysS Mon 10-Feb-14 21:11:31

'After' not 'date'

siiiiiiiiigh Mon 10-Feb-14 21:16:35

Woop! Great news.

Get some rest, you'll probably not sleep much when you get home, you'll be up and down to him all night to make sure he's ok. Naturally, he'll be sleeping like a, erm, baby.

Penano Mon 10-Feb-14 21:20:10

Hi - this was my DD just before Christmas. She was just under 5 weeks when admitted & we were in for nearly 2 weeks in total. It is terrifying, so I feel for you so much & sending get well wishes and hugs for you. I bf too and found keeping my supply up very difficult. DD was tube fed for just over a week but easily picked up bf again once she was strong enough. We basically went back to being on 2 hourly bf for no more than 3mins just to keep her hydrated. Ironically I got some rest because DD was admitted to ICU and we couldn't stay with her. I was so worn out that I did get some sleep at home for the nights she was there. DD started picking up on day 7 of the virus. Is your DS on oxygen or Vapotherm or CPAP?
We were warned that some babies get a cold after the RSV virus and can wheeze / cough for months. DD is still struggling with a cold which sends me into a panic most days - but she is ok. I really really hope that your DS is on the mend & back home with you soon.

Penano Mon 10-Feb-14 21:23:09

It takes me so long to write any posts that since starting my last post I see good news! Really hope the bf picks up well again - but the main thing is that you can get a cuddle with your DS!

mumofthreeboysS Wed 12-Feb-14 09:50:33

penano poor you, it's such an awful worrying thing to go through! Well he got discharged yesterday so we're at home now-woohoo! Only problem we have now is that he was put in his tummy in hospital as it was better for his lungs- now he prefers it so he's difficult to settle! But I guess it'll take time for him to get back to normality - just so glad he's recovering and we're all home!

Penano Wed 12-Feb-14 13:15:38

Delighted you are home! We had the same thing following discharge with swaddling! Really hope your DS continues his recovery swiftly and that you get to start your recovery too thanks

NightCircus Wed 12-Feb-14 13:19:33

My baby had it at 1 day (bizarrely must have picked up a virus as soon as he was born).
We were in 9 nights and he was fine.
I met a work acquaintance on the ward, her 15 month old had been in for 3 weeks but was going to be going home with oxygen, (she wasn't worried by this).
The staff said it is very very common at this time of year.
Good luck x

PookBob Wed 12-Feb-14 20:28:35

I am so glad to hear you are home, that's wonderful news smile

I'm glad you're home! Dd was unsettled for a couple of nights then got back to normal. I'm sure it must be very strange for them.

Just to warn you dd continued to wheeze and have chest recession for several months afterwards. We have been frequent fliers at the gp! However she is fine, was feeding okay etc, just took a little while to 100% recover. GPs were also very happy for us to bring her in whenever we were concerned.

deakymom Sat 15-Feb-14 23:56:25

my son went in at a few months old he was in a headbox with a tube up his nose for nearly a week i felt great because i was shut in a room full of oxygen 24/7 grin he is fine now but he does still wheeze and apparently he might do for some time it does make them prone to this a bit but he hasn't be hospitalised since and he is 13 months now the other thing is he might be phlegmy for awhile which means prone to vomit we had to prop the cot up for weeks after he got out and cut his feeds right down he is in the best place to help him

Elibean Sun 16-Feb-14 10:17:06

Glad you're home flowers

dd was also nursed on her tummy in hospital, and for her - she had a floppy larynx - it was also much, much more comfortable ongoingly. I struggled a while but within weeks she was able to turn herself and so I gave up. She still sleeps on her tummy aged 7, like a little frog smile

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