Age: 7 weeks
It's 5:00 am on a very chilly January morning. HRH begins to stir in his cradle beside my side of the bed. I reach over and attempt to plug him to catch another few moments of precious sleep. He makes a strange noise. Instantly awake, I flip on the light to find HRH struggling to breathe. I scream Andy awake. He jumps out of bed, into HRH's room across the hall, grabs the snot sucker off the changing table and suctions him, pulling out a nice little booger nugget. HRH begins sucking in air again like a pearl diver returning to the surface.
We bundle up our little prince in at least three layers of fleece over his 'jamas to ward off the pre-dawn chill and drive off to the emergency room. With the dome light on and me in the back seat, monitoring his every breath.
We arrive at the hospital and wait...and wait...and wait. (Have I ever mentioned that the effing emergency room is named after my father in law, who had been chief of emergency surgery until his death?) Eventually the baby is evaluated. Or, rather, we are evaluated.
ER Doc: So you say your son's nose was stuffy.
Us: Yep! And he wasn't breathing!
ER Doc: Do you have the heat on?
Us: Yes, it's set to 9,000. Can't have our precious getting all chilled.
ER Doc: And his cradle? Is it near the heat source?
Us: Yes indeedy! Right next to the radiator. But don't worry. We made sure our newborn baby couldn't reach out and grab it. We're cautious.
ER Doc: And this house that you just moved into six weeks before his birth? Does it have carpeting?
Us: Yep. Nice older (dusty) carpteting. We were going to pull it up but thought we'd leave it til spring to keep the room warmer. Besides, it goes well with the peeling wallpaper.
Baby's Diagnosis: Your child is "stuffy." I'll give you a minute to digest this complicated bit of medical information. Then go buy a humidifier.
Parents Diagnosis: Morons of the overreatcting variety.
ER Doc: Blank stare. Did anyone ever mention to you that newborns only breathe through their noses?
Us: Blank stare.
ER Doc: Yeah, they don't learn how to breathe through their mouths until later.
Us (later, to each other, not the doctor): Good fucking tip, don't you think!?
Still take HRH to see his pediatrician that afternoon. Just to be sure. Same diagnosis; parental mania/moronic-ness.
Buy a humidifier the size of a refrigerator (wallpaper is steamed off in a matter of weeks).
Alert every new/expecting parent we ever meet about the mouth-breathing thing.