Last night at about 11, Luke woke up shrieking at the top of his lungs like he has never screamed before. He didn't even want to be awake, his eyes were mostly closed, but he was screaming and writhing like he was in pain.
I tried to calm him down for a few minutes unsuccessfully, then panicked and woke up Joe. My immediate thought was he had managed to swallow something bad, somewhere/somehow and now it was stuck.
Called our pediatrician's exchange which goes to a nurse at Children's Hospital, tried to answer her questions while examining our screaming baby. (By this point he had been screaming at the top of his lungs for about 20 minutes. One of the questions was "is his abdomen swollen?" And Joe freaking said yes, I really couldn't tell, but I went with what he said.) At that point she said, "Ok, you need to go into the hospital tonight."
Since I volunteer at the closest hospital to us, I know that they don't have a children's unit, everything is mostly adult sized and they are not really used to working with very many kids- especially babies. Since I was worried he would god forbid need surgery or at least an xray, we decided to drive the half hour to the nearest hospital (where both babies were born) which does have a pediatric ER and a children's hospital.
OF COURSE, 5 minutes into our car ride there, Luke stopped crying and started dozing to sleep. We started doubting bringing him in (though of course my mommy instincts were screaming to bring him in), but then he's act like he was still in pain and start crying and screaming again every few minutes, then calm down, then scream.
By the time we got to the ER and signed in (the nurse called ahead so they were expecting us), Luke was done crying. He looked around and chatted. He tried to squirm off my lap so he could crawl around. They luckily took us back into a room and got his vitals pretty quickly. He was really really amused by this cord thing they put around his toe (maybe a heart or blood pressure thing? not really sure), there was a spinny thing on the wall so after trying to keep him corralled on a not-baby-proofed-bed where he could have easily slipped through the rails, I let him stand on the chair and spin the toy while I sat behind him. He laughed and chatted and basically just had a good time playing.
The doctor came in and checked him over (barely). Made him scream and cry when she made me hold him down to look in his ears. (I'm not sure why she made it necessary to hold him down to look in his ears. Our pedi has never had any trouble looking in his ears with him sitting up.) His ears are fine, of course. She barely glanced at his stomach/abdomen. And then sent us home. She was nice enough. Thinks it was heartburn. We were pretty sure we were wasting our $250 copay by the time we got there and he started acting normal again, but I didn't feel like he even got a very thorough lookover. It's not like we do this all the time for fun- I've never even called the exchange line. I tried asking her that if he had eaten something, what symptoms should I look for? And she never really answered that at all.
Luke chatted to himself and then fell asleep on the way home. (By now it was 2 am.) I hadn't even been to bed yet (have a quiz today so I was up studying when he woke up.) Luke of course woke up when we took him from the car and wanted to play. Joe was nice (and knew he was calling in today) and took Luke and let me go to bed. Luke wasn't thrilled with that but settled down for Joe quickly. Then we all slept till 8 am today minus a couple of feedings. He is acting fine today though I am pretty sure he was constipated or ate something he was having trouble digesting, judging from his diapers today.
So that will be a fun $250 copay. I am glad it isn't/wasn't serious so we'll chalk it up to a lesson learned.
Not all that different from about a year ago, when I was 31 weeks pregnant and Luke *failed* his nonstress test. Not only was he not active enough, the test strip was downright ugly with a lot of sharp decelerations. It was bad enough that the nurse faxed it to my doctor immediately and sent us for a biophysical profile, which he also did not pass since he didn't feel like practicing breathing and he wasn't especially active either. So they sent us to the hospital, and as soon as I was on their monitors, he was perfect, they watched him for over an hour and he had no decelerations and was very active. Then they did another biophysical profile and he practiced breathing not once but twice in just a few minutes. So they deemed him fine and sent us home. (And obviously it was fine.) Apparently, our baby boy likes to keep things a little exciting with false alarms. I'd rather they be false alarms than real issues, although it would be a lot better if these adventures didn't cost several hundred dollars in medical bills, not to mention taking a few years off my life from the stress!