Monday, December 31

Our Little Fighter

Our sweet little Penelope had been sick for a couple of days and I noticed she wasn't making any improvements.  I called my mom 24/7 trying to see what we should do (she works for a pediatrician). My mom could hear how bad Penelope sounded through the phone and suggested we take her to the ER.  Tyson and I loaded up our little bundle of joy and made our first trip to the ER.  They had us put her in the smallest hospital gown I had ever seen.  It broke my heart.  The doctor diagnosed her with bronchiolitis.  They gave her a good suction to remove some of her mucous and sent us home with an Albuterol inhaler.  

Christmas Eve came and she was not feeling any better, so we decided to take her to the Instacare.  The doctor gave us an Albuterol treatment, through a nebulizer to take home.  We stayed home that night from all of the Christmas Eve festivities, in hopes that Penelope would start getting better.  That night she wasn't sounding any better.  It was killing me to hear her struggling to breathe and eat.  She looked so miserable.  I called my mom and she was able to get ahold of Dr. Dave, who she works for.  We also talked with our Pediatrician in Fresno and a family friends Pediatrician.  We didn't know if we should take her into the ER again or just wait it out.  It was helpful knowing we had so many doctors who were concerned and cared for our daughter.  They all advised us to stay out of the ER if we could because of all of the sick children.  They told us to watch for a fever and try and get some rest.  I was so grateful they were willing to talk with us on Christmas Eve in the middle of the night.

Christmas day came and she was still struggling.  We had plans to leave to Utah that day but didn't know what we should do.  We decided to pray if it was a good decision to still travel to Utah.  We both felt it was the right thing to do.  The trip to Utah was tough with a sick baby.  I was so worried about her, but knew the sooner we could get to Utah the better.

As soon as we pulled into Heber my mom ran us over to her office to check her SAT's.  She immediately said she needed to be on oxygen.  I was starting to get more worried.  That night she hardly slept and whimpered all night.  We all were heart broken.

The next morning Dr. Dave took a look at her and ordered a Rx for her to get her nose suctioned at the hospital.  He wanted to see how she did throughout the day to see if she needed to be admitted to the hospital or not.  They took a chest X-ray at the hospital and thought she had pneumonia and an ear infection.

Later that day we decided to take her to the hospital to get suctioned because we could hear how congested she was.  Once the RT took a look at her chest, he told us she was really struggling to breathe and it would be a good idea to admit her.  He spoke with Dr. Dave and after talking with us he thought it would be best to take her to Primary Children's Hospital.  He ordered an ambulance and called ahead to get us in.  Tyson and I couldn't believe what was happening to our little girl.  We both were having a really hard time, that is when my brother-in-law Jordan and my sister showed up to the hospital.  Tyson, Jordan and Dr. Dave were able to give Penelope a sweet blessing before she got in the ambulance.  It was such a tender moment.  I have never been more grateful for the priesthood than I was at that moment.

Penelope did great on the ride down the canyon.  I was so happy that I was able to be by her side.  As much as I hated that she was going to the hospital, I knew that Primary Children's Hospital was the best hospital and that she would be in great hands.  The paramedics were so kind.  I wanted to reach out and give each one of them a hug.

We arrived to the hospital and they immediately checked her SAT's.  They gave her an IV and did some blood work.  She came out positive for RSV and after looking at her chest X-ray her pneumonia turned out to be a collapsed lung.  They informed us that she was going to need to be put on a high flow oxygen and admitted into the PICU.  We had no idea she was that bad.  They put her on 6 liters of oxygen and watched her very closely.

Walking through the PICU for the first time was so hard for me, seeing all of those babies struggling for their lives about did me in.  Once we got into the room a swarm of doctors evaluated Penelope.  They were all so kind and made us feel safe.

We luckily only had to spend one night in the PICU because they were able to turn down the high flow oxygen to 5 litters.  She also started to eat again.  We were worried a couple of times that she was going to have to have a feeding tube.  

We were so excited to go to the third floor.

We definitely missed our nurse Chad.  He was amazingly sweet to Penelope.  It did my heart good.

After being in the regular room for a while, she was able to have her IV removed and get a bath.

Each day they have been working on suctioning her less and turning down the high flow of oxygen.  We had many family and friends fast for a quick recovery on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday we were able to see that smile of hers, it had been awhile.  We knew she must have started to feel better.

We woke up Sunday morning to the doctors and nurses saying how amazing she sounded and how great her scores were.  She had made drastic improvements.  It was such a special day for us at Primary's.  We were able to attend a branch that was here in the hospital.  It was the most spiritual sacrament meeting I have ever been to.  The spirit was so strong in that room.  It was so hard to look around and see sick children and wonder what each parents child was in the hospital for.  I had an overwhelming feeling that this is what the atonement is for.  I knew that our Savior loved each of his children insurmountably.  The music touched my heart deeply and strengthened my testimony even more.

Many prayers went out in behalf of Penelope and we felt them being answered.  Each day Penelope has continued to make improvements.   

We have adored each doctor and nurse.  Penelope's nurse Tammy was great.  She called Penelope her little butter ball.

Many of our family and friends came to visit.  I was so happy they got to meet Penelope.  It wasn't in the circumstances I had hoped for, but that was alright with me. 

We were originally supposed to bless Penelope last Sunday, so Tyson's parents were actually in Salt Lake.  It ended up being a huge blessing.  We have appreciated their visits so much.  They have allowed us to go eat and get a break from the hospital.

My mom has also been so good to us.  She has packed us snacks and brought us a clean pair of clothes almost every day.

I woke up this morning and noticed they had changed Penelope from the high flow oxygen to the regular flow in the middle of the night.  I was so happy.  They told us that she might even be able to go home tonight, depending on how many times she has to be suctioned.  

We have definitely had many tender mercies as we have been here at the hospital.  My heart has become more tender and has such a deeper appreciation for doctors and nurses who give of their time to help so many.  I look around and realize our stay here has been so minimal compared to others.  My heart goes out to those families.  Primary Children's is such a special place.  The spirit is so strong and you just know the Savior is in your midst.

Our trip to Utah was different than we had planned.  I am learning more and more every day, that that is just how life goes and it is up to us to smile anyways.  We must find joy even when things don't turn out as we planned.  The lord sees the whole picture and blesses us along the way.  

People even strangers have been so kind to check on our baby.  We truly appreciate every prayer that has been offered.  It makes me want to be a better person and be there for others when they are going through the hard times.

I am grateful for my sweet baby girl and the lessons she continues to teach me!


  1. Oh I feel for you. Those pictures at primary children's bring back terrible memories for me! I'm glad the babe is doing better..good luck, I hope you can go home tonight!

  2. You are beyond strong my dear!!!!! I have no idea how you maintained your level headed through this, I couldn't even make it through the first paragraph without busting into tears. Little Penelope is one tuff cookie, and sooooo sweet! I'm so glad shes improving exponentially!

  3. You are beyond strong my dear!!!!! I have no idea how you maintained your level headed through this, I couldn't even make it through the first paragraph without busting into tears. Little Penelope is one tuff cookie, and sooooo sweet! I'm so glad shes improving exponentially!

  4. It broke my heart to see your little sweetie in the hospital, but she is so resilient with her big smiles! I can't imagine how hard that must have been for you, but your outlook is amazing. It was tender to read about the Spirit in Primary Childrens... I've been praying for Penelope and you and Tyson. xo

  5. Oh haha I just saw my comment went as Landon--this is Alyse Essig :)

  6. I know all too well how amazing Primary Children's is. Dillon was there for 7 weeks after he was born and at times we weren't sure if he was going to make it. The blessings he received while he was there was the only thing that gave me comfort. It's amazing how The Lord comforts you when you need it most. I look back and think how did I ever get through that time with having an almost 2 year old at home and trying not to neglect him while trying to visit the hospital twice a day. I can honestly say that it was The Lord that got me through and me not even realizing it until later. You will think back to this time and realize so many things that The Lord had his hand in. What an amazing mother you are! Sick kids are the hardest. Hang in there cutie! Love ya!

  7. This sweet post brought me to tears, I remember those same exact feelings all to well!!! i love that hospital with all my heart, they truly have the best doctors and nurses there. Some weeks i feel like that is my second home, but for some reason when I'm there, I am always at peace. Penelope is a fighter just like all the kids there... i will always have special memories of that place, I'm so glad she is doing better!!! She is adorable:)