Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Holy pukefest!

Everyone in my family was ravaged by the stomach flu this week, and it was not pretty. Penny started at 2am on Monday morning. She vomited about every hour from 2am until 9am. It was just breastmilk at first, and then dry-heaving. She slept in between, and then bounced back to her chipper, curious, loquacious self by late-morning. But, man, there is nothing like seeing your kid suffer. After her last vomit spell, she was laying on her blanket on her tummy with her head to the side, clutching Sophie in one hand with the sleep sheep playing whale sounds next to her, and I was rubbing her back. She never lays still like that, so it just broke my heart. But, I have to say, watching her hold Sophie was really cute–she's not really into lovies and isn't attached to many things, but she definitely loves her Sophie. All day, she kept asking for milk, water, and pretzels (using signs). That was all she would consume. I was so glad to still be breastfeeding, both to provide the nourishment and immune benefits, but also for the comfort and soothing qualities. I can think of at least 3 moms I know who've had sick babies just over a year and were thankful that they were still breastfeeding. Just something to think about for mamas thinking of weaning at a year.

The nurse at Penny's doctor's office said we could resume activities after 24 hours of no vomiting or fever, but I'm glad we decided to go the more conservative 48 hours because at 3pm on Tuesday, she vomited again. I think it was sort of a fluke–maybe the result of me trying to get her to eat more before she was ready because she seemed fine after that.

And then at 3:45 I started in. Oh, and did I mention that my husband was out of town for work? It was horrible, and let's just say it will be a long time before I eat chili again. Leaving it at that. Penny and I were camped out in my room. I was lethargic and puking into a bucket, and she was running around my room. She kept trying to open the dresser drawers. I was afraid they were going to fall on top of her, so I pulled the drawers out and laid them on the floor. She looked at me like "Seriously? I get to tear through all this?!" She is always trying to explore the drawers, and I never let her, so she felt like she hit the jackpot. I also opened the blinds, and she had fun looking outside and pounding on the window. We have a really pretty view, and the window is at a great height for her. She also found it intriguing to watch me upchuck, so, needless to say, she found ways to stay busy. Still, I was seriously wishing I had family nearby. My father-in-law was 5 hours away in Missouri, and he left around 5:30 to come help. At 5:45, I talked to my dad, and he told me to call my doctor. Apparently, there is a medication that can be prescribed for this. Who knew? I'm not normally all gung-ho to take meds, but when you're alone with a 1-year old puking your guts out, it's time to call in the big guns. My neighbor picked up the prescription for me, and I finally called the spouse of Josh's coworker to come by around 6:30 because I felt terribly dehydrated and was afraid I might pass out. I could just picture Penny running wild with mom passed out on the floor. I tried to sip water, but it made me puke every time. She and the meds showed up at about the same time, and the worst was over. I probably should have called for help sooner, but it's so hard to ask for help, ya know? Anyway, I got Penny to bed, and I got to bed. I sipped water all night, and when Penny woke up at 4:30, I brought her to bed with me. She nursed, then vomited again, then slept until 6:30. It's so weird how she can vomit and then act totally normal.

Mommy & Me puke buckets

My FIL arrived around 11pm, and he took the morning shift with Penny so that I could rest. Penny is often kind of difficult with visitors, especially male ones, but she warmed up to Papa right away, and they are having a blast together. I could hear them playing and laughing downstairs while I was resting, and it's so heart-warming. I think it's a combo of being more easygoing since she turned one, getting better at remembering people, and probably that mom has been so not fun the last day that she's happy to have someone with energy to play and interact with her.

When I talked to Josh this morning, I found out that he vomited all night in his hotel room in Chicago. Now he's in meetings all day, so he's probably infecting everyone he works with. I called his hotel and told them to bleach the crap out of his room and warn the housekeeper to wear a mask. Guys don't think of this stuff, but we definitely don't need that kind of karma hanging over us. I don't wish this illness on anyone.

I think (and hope) that we are all on the upswing. I am so grateful to Papa for dropping everything to come take care of us, to Vicki for coming by yesterday, for my dad for telling me to get meds, for my neighbor for picking them up for me, for my IBCLC Susan who looked to make sure that the meds are BFing safe. Where would any of us be without loving support of friends and family? Be well, all!

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