The Difference a Year Can Make

[WARNING: This blog contains graphic images that some may find difficult to view.]

One year ago today, I started taking my baby girl’s sleeper off to change her clothes, and I knew something was wrong. A cyst that we had been ‘keeping an eye on’ wasn’t looking very good and I took her to the ER right away.


No she doesn’t have a fever. Yes she vomited last night. Yes she has been irritable. Yes she is breastfed. Yes my family doctor was aware of the cyst. No she hasn’t seen a paediatrician. Yes we can drive her to Fredericton.



We went to the ER, and then to see a paediatrician, and then she was admitted to hospital. You would think that, being a nurse, I would have been calm and rational. I wasn’t prepared for how non-nurse-y I would be! I just wanted my tiny, six-week-old baby to be okay.


We had lots of family and friends who stopped by with gifts for baby bird, Timmies and food, thank goodness! We don’t know what we would have done without you all! If I didn’t thank you last year, I’m thanking you now.




Finally one of the paediatricians on call for the weekend came to take a peek at her, and after looking at the progression, consulted a paediatric general surgeon at the IWK and sent her photos of baby bird’s abscess. They discussed surgical options, and in the end the surgery was done with local anaesthetic instead of her needing general.




Even with everything happening, all the pain and icky things she had to go through, she would still smile and giggle at her Papa and snuggle right into me.. The nurses kept peeking in to see the ‘cute baby down in rm66’! We were so proud of her. Our tough birdy.



For those who, like me, want to see – below is what the abscess looked like after it was opened and drained.


After she had her first dressing change and managed to keep down a dose of antibiotics by mouth, she was finally discharged home! It was a long drive with her carseat straps going right over her chest, but she calmed down once we got in the house and settled.


Now, a year later, there is just a tiny lump of scar tissue under the nipple itself and you almost can’t tell there was ever anything wrong! We are so thankful that she healed up quickly and that this wasn’t something worse or chronic. I’m so glad to be starting off 2016 with a very healthy and happy little 13-month-old! She’s learning so much each day and, while I know she will never remember any of this, I will never forget it. If you think there is something off, or just not quite right, with your baby – see a HCP! You can’t go wrong making sure everything is okay.

What a difference a year makes.




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