‘When Colton was 6 days old, I walked up to him when he was napping and found his top lip was blue and that he wasn’t responding.’

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“Before Colton was born, we had our minds set on absolutely no kisses. But somehow it happened. When Colton was 6 days old, I walked up to him when he was napping and found his top lip was blue and that he wasn’t responding. I picked him up so fast that it startled him, and he thankfully started crying. Dalton and I took him in and after some testing were done, we were told Colton was positive for RSV, that in the morning he needed to go to the Respiratory clinic. I didn’t sleep for a minute that night. I don’t even think I blinked as I stared at him all night praying that he had the strength, while we sat in the bathroom with steam from a hot shower to help him breathe.

The next day we went to Children’s Mercy Respiratory Clinic. There we were told his oxygen saturation was so low they not only couldn’t release him, but we immediately had to sign paper work for our 7-day old to be transported by ambulance on oxygen to be admitted at the other location. Doctors were already prepping him for the incubator before I even could comprehend what was being said. We had to watch our son be hooked to a machine to get the oxygen his little body needed. He was diagnosed with RSV and bronchiolitis.

Baby with RSV and bronchitis lays in PICU swaddled in white blanket
Kelli Beachner

The doctors made it a point to be encouraging through our stay, but at the same time were very clear of the danger of RSV and bronchiolitis especially for his age group. I’m lucky to say that after 7 long days on 100% oxygen and weeks of recovery, he pushed through. But many don’t.

The thing that a lot of people don’t know is that it’s not over when they get the hospital release papers. Colton now is more susceptible to respiratory illnesses and has recently been prescribed a nebulizer to help him breathe due to possible asthma (he’s still too young for a complete diagnosis). He beat RSV, but it’s still very much impacting his life from the strain it put on him so early in his life. Not to mention the side effects it has on parents and the paranoia it brings.

Overall – just don’t be that person. Don’t be the reason a mom and dad have to prepare for the worst. Don’t put your want to see/kiss the baby before the well-being of that precious baby. And don’t guilt trip new parents if they wish to protect their baby a little extra. Being able to visit a newborn is a privilege, not a right. Your love from a distance is still felt, I promise.”

Little boy who had RSV and bronchitis sits at home with oxygen mask on
Kelli Beachner

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kelli Beachner, 25, Missouri. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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