bethcrivello2For a mom with a new baby, there’s nothing better than bringing him home from the hospital and embarking on a life adventure together. And there’s also nothing worse than taking that baby to the ER because he needs immediate medical attention.

Five weeks after my son Ben entered the world, I woke to him screaming with a temperature of 101.7. I immediately called my pediatrician and was told for a baby that young, any temperature over 100.5 was a significant danger. He had to get to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin ER as soon as possible. I was scared and I was praying that my little boy was going to be okay.

The ER staff was amazing. They asked every question possible and quickly determined that he needed a spinal tap to check for meningitis. Now when they said that word, my heart sank. When I was pregnant I had tested positive for Strep B. Although I received treatment, I know it can lead to bacterial meningitis in the baby.

The next few hours went so fast, but so slow. The doctor and nurses were so helpful and thorough, not to mention incredibly kind and patient. They explained everything in a way I could understand and were as gentle as possible with every procedure. While I held Ben as they inserted the needle in his spine, a nurse comforted me, letting me know that we were both doing a great job. And when they told me that he indeed had meningitis, they did it in a way that wasn’t frightening – they said it in context: “We are going to do everything we can now to treat him.”

Over the next 36 hours the nurses and staff took incredible care of both me and Ben. And while I was upset and scared, I knew I was in the best place possible to care for Ben’s every need.

Think about the hundreds of babies and mommies who had been through those doors at Children’s Hospital. We were treated as if we were the only patient there, but I know we were not. It makes me feel like there is much more than medical care happening at Children’s Hospital – there is an emotional investment by every staff member.

So while I hope I NEVER have to bring Ben or my other two kids to Children’s Hospital again, I have incredible peace of mind knowing that it is there – and always will be there – to care for us when we need them.

I know the staff at Children’s Hospital do the great work they do because of financial support – gifts of $10, $20 or $100 – from moms like me.

Help support the Miracle Marathon, coming up May 26-28, on WKLH-FM 96.5. You can start now by visiting to share your story or start your own Miracle Marathon campaign here.

~ Beth Wagner, mother of Ben, guest blogger

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