Monday, June 21, 2010
Loving your Sick Baby
The dreaded word. I knew he had one as soon as I looked at him sitting on the ground on Saturday morning with slightly swollen eyes, slowly crawling to the futon to pull up just to make his whines more pronounced to his Mommy and Daddy. He wanted to say, "I'm sick."
So, with a 100.4 fever and some ear pulling, we took him to the doctor to be sure he did not have an ear infection.
No ear infection. Just a fever. And a mean case of the grouchies. We sort of let the fever ride to do its job until it hit 101, and then we offered him generic acetaminophen infant drops. But I did give him some after it had gotten a little lower, too, because he was just so uncomfortable. Nobody is happy when their body is aching and hurting, and I could tell my little one was in pain from somewhere.
I would have thought the pain and even the fever was just teething, but then he wouldn't eat his dinner. He nursed until the cows came home, but he had no interest in even his most favorite of favorites-- pears.
Stomach bug? It seems so, especially now that diarrhea is here. I'll spare the details, but let me just say cloth + diarrhea = scary. I called the doctor again to just check in re: that development and some things I saw that alarmed me, and Pedialyte was recommended. (Sidenote: I must sound like a concerned, worried, first-time baby Mama on the phone because every nurse I spoke to said, "Aww, it is so hard having a sick infant, I know." I really didn't mean to let onto the fact that I was stressed-- not a holy moly I'm going to explode kind of stress, but an I wish I could make this go away for you, sweetie kind.)
Now, I know many breastfeeding advocates are sort of against the use of Pedialyte for sick baby because Mommy's milk has pretty much anything a baby would need, but because of the diarrhea that alarmed me, I was fine with giving Gabe a little bit of it tonight between nursing sessions (He had maybe 4 oz. of it this evening in total). It didn't affect his appetite for milk, and hopefully it just was a boost beyond water to help replenish his little system. His is not dehydrated by any means-- or at least his wet diaper count is saying he is not-- but I was offering him water to help with hydration over the past few days, so with diarrhea hitting, it just followed to add in the electrolyte elixir.
So now, the little sick boy is sleeping after howling himself to sleep. Literally, he was sort of howling and moaning, not crying, as he cuddled into me to nurse, then his Daddy to wind down, then my arms to finally relax.
I stared down at him as I rocked him, sleeping in the dark silence of our bedroom, on the edge of our bed, and my eyes welled with tears. "I love you," I whispered down to him, and I kissed his little hot head. Then, I slowly rose from sitting, and tiptoed with my baby filling my torso so snuggled into my body we may as well been one. Gently, I placed him into his crib, lightly stroking his head as I prepared myself to leave the room.
I was reminded tonight that it can be hard to be a Mommy simply because you love your baby so, so much. And when you are the thing that offers your baby the solace and comfort to sleep despite the pain and aches, you feel overwhelmed with that duty of being a Mommy. Overwhelmed, with love.