Sometime in the last 30 days my sweet baby ingested a spore of botulism bacteria that is found in dust and that bacteria produced a toxin that interfered with his muscles and nerves.  He seemed himself on Monday morning but didn't nap so I thought his sleepy afternoon was him just catching up. He didn't eat super great that evening but we thought his tummy hurt because he'd been constipated. We now know that was the first symptom. On Tuesday morning he woke up with a strange, wimpery cry I'd never heard before. I tried to nurse him several times but he was not interested so I called my pediatrician to get some relief for his tummy. After no success and he was still getting worse we called back and went back in to the doctor. She sent us to the hospital for some fluids since Ridge was getting dehydrated. After several hours of him getting progressively worse the doctor finally came in and immediately things got even scarier. Not only was he severely dehydrated but he was having serious trouble breathing and was basically paralyzed. The next several hours were a whirlwind of putting Ridge on the ventilator, trying to get some fluids in him and being airlifted to Lubbock.

Nobody knows how these spores get in the air from the soil or why one baby is susceptible over another. There are only about 100 cases a year so many physicians have never even seen it. We were very fortunate that the doctor who saw him as soon as we arrived in Lubbock had actually treated several and had this on his radar just from the reports from Midland.  When we arrived Ridge's lines were not where they should have been so he was not getting the sedation he normally would have. Once they saw that he was still paralyzed without sedation they were even more suspicious. I believe this "mistake" was actually God helping us get a quicker diagnosis. After a spinal tap, head CT, multiple blood tests, and an EEG the doctors got in contact with the Center for Infant Botulism in California. They looked at his tests and agreed it was probably what was going on. They sent the antitoxin named BabyBIG and we had it in by 2:00 Thursday afternoon! This drug stopped the botulism toxin from causing any further nerve damage, probably cutting our recovery time in half. Now we are waiting on our little guy to get stronger, for his body to repair all the nerve and muscle damage. He is still on the ventilator to help his breathing and will be for a while longer. After that we will need lots of therapy to help him learn to suck, swallow, and eat again and for his muscles to get stronger.  But we are seeing progress everyday so far. It may be only a little but he's moving in the right direction. 

Not going to lie, yesterday was really hard. My first Mothers Day I couldn't snuggle my baby. He opened his eyes for us, but they didn't have his sparkle in them. He looked sad and sick and it broke my heart that there was nothing I could do to help. I am truly grateful that he will fully recover no matter how long it may take. I'm trying to keep that in perspective and rely on the strength God is putting in me. Thank you everyone for the overwhelming outpour of love and prayers this past week. God is hearing our cries and healing our son. We are fully aware that we almost lost this baby we have longed to have for years and it isn't lost on us that God is the ultimate healer. He is guiding our doctors and nurses with wisdom to care for Ridge in the best way possible.

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