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And This Too Shall Pass…

sleeping baby Leo

Image by storyvillegirl via Flickr

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 gratefulthat 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?

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9 Responses to “And This Too Shall Pass…”

  • We had a similar experience the first time our boys got sick. They were about 7 months old, and we all got what we finally termed the "Martian Death Flu", because it was so bad. I actually thought my milk was going to dry up because I was so dehydrated and the boys hadn't been nursing because they were so sick. On top of the fact that they were preemies and we were told that if they got sick they could DIE from it. But I have to say that once we calmed down and were able to see that they weren't excessively dehydrated and seemed to be weathering it okay, it was actually pretty freeing. We realized that they were strong enough to get sick and recover from it.

    And I hear you about the pedialyte; in my head I know that breastmilk works just as well, probably even better. But it's really tempting to reach out for something that's endorsed by your doctor, that's all prepped and ready to go, and that you are certain will help. I love that you are getting a homemade version ready!

    So glad you're all feeling better!
    Garden Variety Mama recently posted..a grain-free sample menu

  • Michelle says:

    Sorry to hear you were all sick! Awful! I'm glad you're all doing better!

    By the way – the flu shot wouldn't have helped with this – it's for influenza which is respiratory, not digestive. Rotateq is an oral vax that can protect against some of the strains of rotavirus, which is the stomach flu. I don't know why we call it "the flu". :)
    Michelle recently posted..Hello- Cupcake!

    • Dave Seow says:

      RotaTeq has also only been used for 5 years, does not have any long term studies conducted on it and has allegedly caused several cases of intussusception.

      As a parent, I'd rather deal with diarrhea and vomiting than depend on a new vaccine who's risks we do not fully understand.

  • Ima glad you are all feeling better. There is nothing harder than that feeling of helplessness when your kids are sick or injured. It's terrifying and nothing makes it better until they are well.

    I remember it was even scarier with my first and he was a baby. I wasn't as confident as a parent. It's so nice to have the advice line available, as well as the internet for reassurance.

  • Oh, having your children sick is never a pleasant experience. I was very lucky with my first son and once he was born didn't have too many issues beyond the typical cold as he grew.

    My second son came down with some sort of virus just shy of his two week birthday, on Easter. We were sent straight to the Children's Hospital because of his fever and refusal to nurse. He was dehydrated, had to go through a spinal tap, and nearly had to spend the night in the hospital, but after some iv fluids started nursing and they let me take him home where he was fine, sick with a virus at way too young an age, but fine.

    My daughter began vomiting blood when she was about two months old. That was a scary day. We discovered a milk protein allergy. I was off all dairy and soy while nursing her.

    She also had a sever vomiting experience after having nutritional yeast. Twice. Now I am terrified to ever give it to her again. ;)

    You are right, this too shall pass, but it is so hard when you are right in the thick of it. Lots of love and hugs to your little one for quick healing.
    Brenna @ Almost All recently posted..Thursday Top Ten- fantasy books to encourage reading…

  • Gina says:

    *smiling* My children are all grown up now- my eldest has three birdlings of her own. I remember sitting up all night beside them, giving little spoonfuls of crushed peppermint tea ice cubes, and for the babies, crushed breast milk ice cubes. It seemed easier for them to keep down.

    I'm very glad you all are feeling better. And your title says it all; This too shall pass.

  • Alicia C. says:

    Oh, my little one just went through a few days of 103 degree temps and diarrhea. It was not fun, but I'm glad I had some experience with my oldest. HE used to get temps that would go from normal to off-the-scale in minutes. Every time he started to feel warm, we were off to the ER "just in case." At the time, I had a neighbor whose daughter had gotten a fever so high that she ended up with brain damage. I was SO FREAKED OUT about it happening with my kid. So, I figured the ER waiting room was the best place to be – this kid didn't respond to any Tylenol or Motrin and those fevers would jump up to 104.5 in minutes! I am so glad it's over and that my little guy doesn't do the same.

    Yes, 'this, too, shall pass', but it sure is scary BEFORE it passes! You did a good job keeping your cool! Glad she's nearly all better ;)
    Alicia C. recently posted..Re-Post- Where Has All of the Nature Gone Natural parenting Blog Party

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