Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dehydration & Babies

My big concern when Eliza was sick on Saturday was dehydration. It seemed like everything that went in was coming back up and I started to get scared. The fact that it was a weekend and the doctor on call at my pediatrician was not a doctor I know or have even ever met all added up to one thing- PANIC! I am sure that my husband and I panicked a little by bringing Eliza to the ER- but the alternative to panic is always the driving force behind many of my decisions. I didn't want to wait and wait and have it be 2 a.m. with my daughter still throwing up and still have no answers. Dealing with the doctor's answering service is no fun- AT ALL! As new parents we just weren't sure what to do and it was scary. As a mother I wanted to make my baby girl feel better. My inability to do so was killing me.

After this upsetting episode I decided to look into signs and symptoms of dehydration and found the following. At the ER the nurse practitioner showed us how to check her fingers for dehydration. She gently pressed them (she did tips- but I read you can press the nail beds) and took note of how long it took for the capillaries to refill and go from white back to normal. She said any longer than 2 seconds is a sign of dehydration.

Other signs

  • More than six hours without a wet diaper
  • Dark urine with a strong odor
  • Lethargy
  • A dry, parched mouth and lips
  • No tears while crying
  • Sunken eyes
  • Hands and feet that feel cold and look splotchy
  • Excessive sleepiness or fussiness
  • Sunken soft spot
Eliza was drooling and had tears which was a good sign. However her hands were very cold and she was very sleepy and fussy. If I had to do it again I would still bring her in for a check. In my opinion it is better to be safe. When this happens again (and I am sure it will), I will try giving her just a little tiny bit of Pedialyte every fifteen minutes. The doctor on call said to give her 6 oz and that all came back up. That was just bad advice! I know we should have tried giving her smaller amounts more frequently- but like an idiot I listened to the doctor and went against my own better judgement.

Thank goodness that the next time this happens I will be more prepared to handle the situation. As a new parent these things can be very scary. I personally think the best way to handle them is to cry and panic arm yourself with information.

For more information on treating dehydration check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.


Lori said...

as a new mommy everything is ... well new! but you learn and grow with each experience. I think you did the right thing by taking her in after she was sick for so long. just remember 9 out of 10 times your mommy instincts are RIGHT!

Pam said...

I'm with you! If you don't know or if you are not go and do what you need to so you feel better. I took Ashlyn to the doctor just last week and spent the $20 copay for the doctor to tell me she is fine and another is wrong....but I noticed swollen tonsils, they stayed that way for a week and I just needed the reassurance. The alternative to taking them and have it be nothing is to not take them and have it be something. Always better to be safe then sorry. You are a good mommy!

Mommy Brain said...

that's great advice and a good idea to share with everyone. Hope that Eliza is on the road to recovery.

PS - glad you were able to use the diaper bag idea. I have a shower coming up and was really disappointed that the diaper bag was already purchased. So I'm going to fill the baby bathtub instead! Thanks!

Amber said...

I'm so sorry you went through this over the weekend! I'm sure you were in tears, too. Thanks for sharing these signs of dehydrdration with us.

Andrea said...

Yeah...I remember having those very same thoughts and PANIC when Tate first brought up ALL of his milk and wouldn't keep it down. It turned out he had a reaction to my breast milk when I ate eggs - like scrambled eggs or hard boiled eggs. But man, was I scared! Also, about the cloth diapers...I actually can't give you TOO much good advice about them since my mom sewed all mine for me! So I actually have never bought any cloth diapers. Do you read Drea's blog? I can't remember...but she'd probably give you some real good advce about cloth diapers since I know she's tried a ton of different kinds. You can tell her I sent ya if you want. :) Her blog is:
Good luck! I love cloth diapers!

Sheri said...

I can't even tell you the number of times we called the afterhours number to our doctors office which let us talk to a nurse at the hospital. I don't think you panicked at all.

LaskiGal said...

I took J to the ER for the what I felt was dehydration--he was three months old at that point. It was a nightmare. I feel your pain. No matter what, I'm with Lori--ALWAYS follow your mommy instincts--you just never, ever know. I hope she's getting better!!!

I so feel for you.