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Eli Robert Morrison was born on September 5, 2017 at 3:05PM and a healthy 6 lbs and 20 inches. Eli was born a little premature, I was 36 weeks and 6 days when I spontaneously went into labor. During the course of my pregnancy, I was healthy, active and working full time as a teacher at a private Montessori school. My husband Tim and I also have a 15 month old, Conner, and a 16 year old, Junior, at home. So you can imagine I was very busy and always on the move. I was in labor for a little over 8 painful hours, but when Eli was finally born, Tim and I fell instantly in love. He looked so much like Conner and was so sweet and loving. We spent two days in the hospital and then we were on our way home to go learn our new "norm" with a newborn, toddler and teenager!
It wasn't until a little over a day and a half being home that we experienced Eli's first health complication. Tim and I were laying in bed after Conner had gone to sleep when we heard Eli suddenly make a strange sound and then heard his breathing become irregular. We instantly went to his side and picked him up where we also noticed his color becoming very pale. When I handed him to Tim, Eli went limp and we think he stopped breathing for a second. I rushed to the phone and called 911 to call the police and paramedics. They arrived quickly and by the time they got to our home they were able to quickly find a pulse and heartbeat for Eli. Tim had spent the entire time holding Eli, bouncing him in his arms, and making sure he was still alive. I spent the entire time on the phone with the dispatcher, crying and terrified that my son was going to die. We ended up rushing him to the ER where we sat with him on monitors from 10PM until 5AM the next morning. He ended up being admitted to the NICU because his blood saturation kept dropping dangerously low. After a handful of tests, Eli's diagnosis was "premature breathing pattern" and "general infection/sepsis". He was on antibiotics, respiratory therapy, had a feeding tube, and antibiotics for 5 days to allow his lungs and heart to mature more and his body to heal. After that he spent 3 additional days in the NICU for monitoring. After the 8 days total, Eli was finally better and could come home - again!
We love how gentle, happy, content, and sweet Eli is. He enjoys just hanging out and being with the family. The only thing he doesn't like is if you wipe his bottom or take too long to make a bottle. We were also loving seeing our family come together and get on a pattern and schedule, sometimes the kids would throw everything off track - but for the most part we were all doing okay.
Earlier this week, Conner got sick with his first stomach bug which terrified both Tim and myself, because we knew it was likely that Eli would also get sick. 4 days later, I took Eli to the doctor just to make sure he had a clean bill of health. He ended up having a fever of 100.4 in clinic however his blood work came back fine. The doctor advised us to just monitor Eli closely, and if anything changes to bring him straight to the ER. That night, Eli and I ended up in the ER at Children's Hospital with his fever skyrocketed to 101.5. The doctors immediately rushed poor 5 week old Eli into a room and started bombarding him with medication and tests. Medication to bring his fever down, IV line to keep his fluids up, blood work, urine analysis, and unfortunately, a lumbar puncture/spinal tap. About 15 minutes after his tests had been run, the doctor came back into our room looking concerned. She sat down next to me and said, "Well, I'm glad we did the spinal tap. Eli's white blood cell count is high in his spine, he has meningitis". I just remember my heart sinking - a feeling of complete terror washed over me. My poor young baby had a brain and spinal chord infection. She assured me that newborns are very susceptible to these kind of infections because their immune systems are so immature and that they will culture the spinal fluid to see if it was bacterial or viral. Regardless, they immediately started broad spectrum antibiotics and called the level 3 trauma NICU for Eli to be admitted. We are currently waiting the results of the cultures but Eli seems to be doing okay. He is on pain medication and antibiotics to keep him comfortable and help him get better. We are hopeful that it is viral meningitis because although Eli is sick, he is still able to be very alert, responsive and has his normal periods of contentedness. He is still eating well, pooping, peeing and sleeping fine. But for now, we are still waiting for a definitive result to find out his length of stay. We are also hopeful that we caught his infection early enough that there will be no long term damage to him. Eli never truly acted ill, he was still behaving normally at home and the only indication that something was wrong was the fever. So hopefully, if there is any brain damage, it will be VERY small - almost unnoticeable. The doctor described it like this, "Maybe Eli might not be as good at math as the next kid, but how do you know that's from the meningitis? Maybe that's just who Eli is, or was always meant to be".
We are anxiously awaiting for him to get better and to bring him home, for the third, and hopefully final time - the third time's the charm, right? We know he is in good hands and being well taken care of at the hospital - all of the staff in the ER and in his unit have come to us to congratulate us on the birth of our second son, tell us how handsome our boy is, and compliment us on how sweet in nature he is. Thank you to friends and family who have given us their well wishes and support.
Please feel free to visit our GoFundMe page to help donate to our family. We are currently facing quite a large number of medical expenses, from birth, two ER visists, two inpatient hospital stays, and a large handful of imaging expenses, tests and medications. Although we have insurance, our expenses are still quite large. https://www.gofundme.com/elimorrison2
Thank you again - please check back to this page for additional updates on Eli's health and progress, I will update this as we find out more and I have time.
- The Morrison's
Samantha, Tim, Junior, Conner and Eli