Posts Tagged 'child illness'

Fear and Fevers

I woke up Saturday night to find my baby had been replaced by a fireball.  He was so hot, it almost hurt to touch him.  After a little bit of Tylenol and nursing, slowly he returned to baby temperature and drifted back to sleep. 

I did not return to sleep so easily.  I kept checking him, touching his skin, reassuring myself that he was still baby, not fireball.  He was restless, waking often and whining in his sleep, and I cursed my inability to fix what was bothering him.  I want magic cures, I want instant fixes, I want my happy healthy baby back.

It’s been like this for three days now.  He will play for short periods; mostly he just sits limply, or clings to me.  His eyes are so heavy, but he only sleeps for fifteen minute stretches.  He cries and bites himself and pulls his ears, and I could easily sit down and cry with him.  And there’s the fever that keeps returning, the two am fireball baby, my fear so thick I can taste it.

First thing Monday, I took him in to the doctor.  His fever was down, thanks to the dose of Tylenol I’d given him at 5am, but he didn’t even move when the doctor examined him.  His diaper was still dry after 16 hours.  I wanted to plead with the doctor to make J feel better, but instead simply nodded along when he said that J must have a virus, no ear infection, and keep doing what I’ve been doing.  (But it’s  not enough, I thought.  He’s still sick.)  And then he gave me 24 hours to get J’s fluids up before putting him in the hospital.

At the words “IV” and “hospital,” I think my heart stopped.  My fear reached a whole new level.  It didn’t matter that the doctor also said it probably wouldn’t be necessary, that J was going to be fine, I only heard the danger–the needles the machines the tiny body on a hospital bed.  In that instant, I wished I was still pregnant with him.  Carrying him inside of me, he felt safer, less vulnerable.  Now, I am so  helpless to protect him.  I kept thinking, what if I do everything I can, and it’s not enough?

I went home armed with Pedialyte and determination.  He will get better.  Right now.  I’m his mommy, and that’s what mommies do–we make it better.  Of course, he refused to drink any of the juice (frozen or not), or anything else I put in his cup.  Instead, I nursed him as much as I could.  I wrapped him, comforted him, loved him, and waited. 

After close to 24 hours, we were finally successful.  I have never been so happy to see a wet diaper in my life.  His fever has stayed down, he’s a little more active, and I can breathe a sigh of relief.  He may still feel a little yucky, I still wish I could do more to make him feel better, but at least I know he is going to be okay.

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Speaking of Messes…

Well, I don’t think I need to worry about writing my acceptance speech for the Mommy of the Year award anytime soon.

It started last night, when I couldn’t figure out why J was so awake and restless at 11. Then he got diarrhea, and I clued in that he wasn’t feeling all that great. It was a long night of patting and soothing and having a very wiggly baby wanting to be right on top of me. Still, he slept in and seemed better this morning… Until a major blowout diaper as I was leaving for work, which of course not only meant a change of clothes for the boy and myself but also somehow ended up meaning a total change of bedding was necessary as well (dang, he moves fast). Finally get out the door, officially late for work, and there he goes again.

It’s at this point that a smart mommy would just turn around and call it a day, but he seemed ok (other than the smell), and with it being a short week I really needed to get in at least a couple hours. J didn’t have any more bad diapers, but he was incredibly clingy and spent most of his day sitting on my lap pushing his head into me and yelling “MAMAMAMAMAAAAA!” He didn’t take an afternoon nap, which really improved things, all the way around. It was so frustrating because there wasn’t anything I could really do for him.. When I heard myself whining back at him “PLEEEASE, baby, mommy needs to work,” I finally realized it was pointless and packed it up. Of course, by then it was 4:00 and we were both hot and sticky and more than a little cranky.

Then there was dinner to be figured out and sheets to be washed and then the after dinner clean up and bath and pjs and how am I going to get the bed made before it’s time to get in it? All the while there’s his hot little body pressed against mine while he yells “MAMAMAMAAAA!” (Wasn’t I just wishing for him to be small and cuddly just a couple days ago?)

Get through the bedtime routine, he’s asleep and in bed and I finally can go to the bathroom in peace-oh, but he is crying again, repeat. Up down up down… And I know he isn’t feeling well, I know he just needs his mommy, I know the extra nursing will help with his fluids, but mommy’s hot and tired and sticky and somehow the room still stinks like bad baby poop and right now I’m really regretting this whole attachment parenting/co-sleeping thing. (Even though logic says no matter where he sleeps, he would still be wanting his mommy tonight.)

And it’s times like these when I think, is this really my life? When did my world start revolving around baby poop? Why do I have baby food on the back of my neck? I used to be kind of interesting, I used to go out with other adults. Now I just want to sleep, preferably without anyone touching me (even as I write this, he is half draped across me, something that just started last night and I hope doesn’t stick).

And of course I feel guilty and selfish for having these thoughts when my baby so obviously doesn’t feel well, but there you have it. The Mommy Store has run out of patience.