When Your Baby is Sick

When your baby is sick, the world stops turning. At least, that’s how it feels to me. That might sound dramatic, but it has happened every time, for me.

Olly has had a rough 10th month of life. First, he had a stomach virus that caused vomiting and diarrhea for days. We somehow managed to push through that and still see our family for Easter, but apart from that, nothing else in my life operated as normal – the dishes didn’t get done, laundry didn’t get done, toys didn’t get cleaned up, I didn’t shower for a week, bills didn’t get paid…  Everything ground to a halt. I spent five days cleaning diaper explosions and struggling to get Olly to eat anything.

After the stomach bug came a cold – small potatoes in comparison. But suddenly my day was filled with wiping snot from a nose that was running like a tap. Hours passed by in what felt like minutes. Text messages and emails went unanswered.

Close on the heels of the cold was the dreaded penis infection (is that even the proper term???). I don’t know how he got it, because, as my mother said to me, I’m religious in my efforts to keep that area of his body clean. But infected it was, mildly. We got him to the doctor the same day we saw symptoms and she told us not to worry, it’s common. We were instructed to use an antibiotic cream and give him 3 sitz baths per day.

THREE sitz baths? Per day? Nothing got that done that week, either! And then, of course, he got a fever and I couldn’t focus on anything other than giving him Baby Tylenol and checking his temperature every hour. Photoshoots went unedited (I’m so thankful for patient and understanding clients).
That infection cleared up nice and fast, and that brings us to today, one week later – Olly has a cough and a runny nose and a fever that just won’t quit. And I can’t even think about eating until I see a number lower than 37 degrees on that thermometer.

Speaking of thermometers… I hadn’t been happy with ours for a while – inaccurate readings were making times of illness frustrating. The day after he had kicked his last fever, I saw a nifty one at Shoppers that allows you to use different attachments for different reading areas (oral, underarm and rectal) and, though I wanted to buy it at the time, I figured we wouldn’t need it for a while. But a couple days ago, something kept urging me to go back and purchase it. Thank goodness.

I’m currently lying in bed with Olly on my chest – he’s finally asleep after a struggle to get him to take the bottle. He drank some, but not enough, in my opinion. I’m cringing at every sleepy whimper, and wishing I could take his pain away. I’m counting the minutes until I can give him the next dose of Baby Tylenol, and hoping this dose will be the one to break the fever.

Am I being ridiculous? Paranoid? Is this new-mom syndrome? Does anybody else feel like the gears of their life just stop working when their baby is sick?

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