So remember when I said that there was only a tiny chance that Baby Charlie has Meningitis? Apparently not tiny enough.
He has in fact been diagnosed with Spinal Meningitis. The fact that he was born with a fever and some respiratory problems gave the doctors reason to believe that something was wrong, so when they found a high level of white blood cells in his spinal fluid they deduced that it could only be one thing- Meningitis.
To be honest we have not really allowed ourselves to do our own research on what exactly this means. After all there’s nothing quite like a Google search to drive you insane with worry.
However, according to the doctors, we have no reason to think that he should have any long term issues. The key with Meningitis is the speed at which you are put on antibiotics, which in Charlie’s case was straight away. The precautionary step that the doctors took of putting him on antibiotics minutes after he was born could well have saved his life.
The bad news is that he has to stay in the NICU for at least two more weeks, maybe more, as they need to keep an eye on him while he finishes his course of antibiotics. There were tears.
But as hugely disappointing this was to hear, the news could have been a lot worse. I talked with a mother yesterday whose son was in the NICU because he was born 8 weeks prematurely with Downs Syndrome. She was so amazingly strong and calm as she told me- there is no place like the NICU to make you put things into perspective.
So we have at least two more weeks shuttling between our apartment and the NICU for feeds and visits. The sad thing is that I’m not really getting much time to bond with Charlie during my two week paternity leave. The silver lining is the amount of time I’m spending with Max which means it’s hopefully making his transition from only child to big brother a bit easier. And last night our lovely friend Anna babysat for Max while we got to hang out with Charlie and I got to hold and feed him for a couple of hours.
And it was a amazing. He’s so perfect… well, apart from the whole Spinal Meningitis thing…