Is that the motto of every mother?
This week Bean went through her first real sickness when all 3 of us came down with the flu the day after Easter (it got 7 family members in total!).
I was sincerely hoping it was food poisoning when hubby and I both started feeling very bad, very quickly on Monday night. I didn’t want her to have to go through what we were experiencing!
But around 2AM, after not having woken up to eat as usual at 11, she started vomiting in her sleep. It was just a small amount and looked like spit-up, but I was immediately terrified. 8 months is way too young to have the flu!
She did it again a few times through that miserable night in which I got no sleep between my own illness and hers; a few hours in I called Telehealth Ontario to talk to a registered nurse about whether I should call an ambulance because hubby and I were totally not up to driving to the hospital…I had horrors in my head of dehydration and other terrible things happening to her if I let this go on any further.
The nurse asked all kinds of questions (probably thought I was a total dork) and then advised me to give her pedialyte the next day and call again if it got worse.
We were all fairly miserable the next day…hubby braved the store to get the pedialyte while I wondered if I should have gotten us all the flu shot just to save us from all this (though I’m fairly certain the other 4 family members with the same illness were totally up to date on their shots, so I sincerely doubt it would have made a difference).
I didn’t really want to give her pedialyte either (its ingredient list doesn’t include anything I would normally give her to eat in real life), but I didn’t want her to be dehydrated. For the most part, she wasn’t having it anyway…she wanted her milk and that was about it. The trouble was getting her to take it in small sips at a time!
We actually had a doctor come out to the house Monday night just to lay my fears to rest (it’s free in Toronto – sorry Americans…I’m sure you hate me right now!). He came in, talked to us and looked at her for about 10 minutes, said, “Yep, it’s the stomach flu. Keep her hydrated.” And he was gone.
Pretty much what I expected, but I wanted to make sure. I’m a new mom, OK? (and sometimes paranoid, in case you can’t tell).
Up until Tuesday afternoon I was kind of hoping she had gotten off easy…Dave and I were already feeling better and she hadn’t seemed as bad as we were. But then she got to the point where she just couldn’t keep anything down, and she was so hungry! It was seriously tragic…I was trying to spoon feed her or dip milk into her mouth off my finger, and all she wanted was the bottle but she couldn’t slow herself down, so she kept throwing it back up.
Mainly, we were miserable until she finally got to sleep and slept through most of the night.
Today she’s been better – just a LOT of diarrhea, but she is very obviously much more hydrated – even back to drooling again!
I went and dug up an old college textbook called Where There is No Doctor, which has a recipe for a homemade re-hydration solution that I’ll be trying next time around (it’s really ridiculous that baby medicine has so much crap in it – is it that necessary?). And what’s even more frustrating is that it’s there for a time we’re most desperate – I like to say I would never use that type of thing but when the fear is greatest I still run to it. Though it does show me I need to work harder at being more prepared for next time…
I also got some help from a few more experienced mamas on Facebook about what to give her to settle down her tummy – so very grateful for that community! (Just in case you’re wondering, I got recommendations of coconut water, banana, rice cereal, dry toast, apple sauce, yogurt, white grape juice). I had 3 of those things in the house and she didn’t really want any of it, but we’ll try again tomorrow.
In the meantime, daddy’s upstairs with her now while she sleeps, and I get to wonder about the fact that this has really only been 3 days.
I know the reality is that I got off easy – she didn’t for a moment get too dehydrated and she’s already on the mend. It’s just terrible to think of her experiencing pain or sickness!
In the end, I always have to remind myself that this too shall pass, and be grateful – that she is almost always healthy…that we are all on the mend…that I have a wonderful community of support to turn to for help…that I live in a place with good health care and an array of options available to me…that she is here and I can be with her no matter what she’s going through.
And too soon this will be all too fleeting, rather than seemingly forever.
What was your experience the first time baby was sick? Does it get easier as you go along?