Monday, January 09, 2006

War Stories

My worst day as a parent yet. The Saturday after Thanksgiving. Noelle was going to spend the day with her grandparents while Brian & I went to the OU-OSU game in Norman. Fun, right? Well, her grandpa ended up getting sick, so I decided to stay home with her because I didn’t want her to get what he had. I convinced Brian to go without me, we’d be fine, we’d just stay home and play. So off he went and play we did.

Until about 12:30. She got up and wandered into the other room and closed the door like she often does. I went to see what she was getting into and found her lying on her stomach on the floor. Weird. But I thought she was just tired, so I picked her up and took her to her room and told her she’d be more comfy in her bed. I left her there and had time to walk down the hall and sit on the couch before the blood-curdling screams started.

This wasn’t an “I don’t want to go to sleep now!” scream. I thought she had bashed her head open on the side of the crib or something. It was an urgent, painful, scary cry. I went back in there to see what was wrong and she had thrown up all over herself and the crib. She was so freaked out and didn’t know what was going on, then it happened again. She was scared to death and I was trying to figure out how that much liquid came out of such a tiny person. I ripped her shirt off and got her out of the soup and she just kept screaming and screaming. I pulled off all her sheet & blanket and went to throw them in the washing machine, just to get them out of her room. In the meantime she’s wandering around the house screaming. I think she must’ve been looking for Brian, she’s a daddy’s girl.

I ran after her & scooped her up and told her it was ok. She finally calmed down, I got her some clean clothes & we sat down to watch one of her shows. I thought that might help her feel better. It did for about half and hour when she got sick again. And then the screaming started again.

I called Brian I think right after the game started and asked him if he could come home right after the game. Of course that would still be over two hours afterward, probably a lot longer considering the traffic they’d run into getting out of Norman. So pretty much I asked him if he could come right home about six hours from then. My parents were in Texas still for the holiday and Brian’s dad was sick and I figured his mom was taking care of him, so I tried to stick it out by myself with my poor sick baby. I had a stack of towels waiting close by for the next wave of sickness, we’d be fine. I could do this, I’m the mom!

A couple of hours later I called Brian’s parents to see if one of them could come over. She was throwing up twice every half hour and all of the towels were in the washing machine. I couldn’t get the load started because every time I’d get out of the floor it seemed like an immediate signal for her stomach to explode. I hadn’t eaten since early that morning because I just couldn’t get up and leave her. Also…I really had to pee.

I must’ve sounded crazy because they both came over. Even though his dad was sick too. I think they kept me from going completely bonkers. I had been calling my mom all day, “Mom, she threw up again.” That’s all I had to tell her, I guess I just wanted her in on my misery. But with them there now I at least had someone to talk to in between the eruptions. Brian’s mom tried to help and hold her for a while, but Noelle wouldn’t get more than a couple of feet away from me for the rest of the day. Especially right before she got sick. She’d run over to me crying and make it just in time for me to get a towel out. She also started to recognize what getting the towel meant and was a little afraid of them I think.

I had called the doctor earlier and left a message on their service, it being a HOLIDAY WEEKEND and all. (Why do these thing always happen at the worst possible times?) But at 7:00 she was still throwing up every half hour. She couldn’t keep the tiniest sip of water down and I was afraid she was getting dehydrated. She’d gotten rid of the last bits of her lunch a long, long time ago. I called the doctor service back and asked for the doctors to please call me. I love Noelle’s doctors. They are so, so nice. They had the same concern I did about the dehydration and told me to call the Pediatric Urgent Care at St. Francis Hospital and get her in as soon as I could.

I called at 7:30 and we were out the door. Brian’s parents were wonderful and drove us there and stayed the entire time. At 8:00 when we pulled into the parking lot she threw up again. There were only two other kids in the whole place so we got in pretty quickly. They weighed Noelle and we went in to wait for the doctor. This one was just as great as the ones we usually see. He decided she’d need an IV and fluids since she’d been throwing up for so long.

Two nurses came in and wrapped her up in a blanket (burrito style, like when she was just born) to hold her right arm and legs in while they put an IV in her left hand. I held her head & right arm while one nurse held her legs and the other nurse put in the needle. It was horrible. She was so exhausted from being so sick all day, but she used her last bit of strength to scream and squirm all through that awful experience.

They moved us into another room & allowed Brian’s parents to come with us. They hooked her up to the IV (with something extra in it to stop the vomiting) & I sat with her in my lap in the rocking chair in there. I think she went through two bags of fluid and three or four popsicles before she started getting her color back and being Noelle again.

Brian finally got there at about 10:45, shortly before the last bag of fluid emptied. We were all exhausted and starving since we hadn’t had time for dinner. We stopped for McDonald’s & all went back to our house to eat. Noelle had fallen asleep on the way home but I couldn’t stand to have her in those clothes she’d pretty much trashed throughout the day. I laid her in the floor and got her pjs on. She barely even moved. I think it was about 12:30. We laid her in bed and after that I guess we crashed too. That part I don’t remember.

The next day we had to take her back to the urgent care because they thought they’d want to draw more blood. When the doctor checked her out he decided she was a-ok and let us go. We went home and were all still pretty worn out. And for the first time since Noelle could roll/crawl/walk/run away from us, she let us sit and hold her. We laid on the couch all day and watched movies. We all needed to recover, and I was still a little jumpy with the towels, which she didn’t appreciate.

But I felt like I was a good mom. I’d weathered the first real sickness and she was fine. I was there when she needed me and I took care of her. Throughout that entire day I kept thinking “I can’t do this, I can’t do this!” But I did. And I’m sure I’ll think the same thing next time because there is nothing worse than watching your baby be sick.

For a few days after all of this Noelle wouldn’t use her left arm for anything. She had a bruise on her left hand from the needle, and I’m sure it hurt but it was kind of funny. She would hold it up in the air and away from everything. She was like a baby bird with a wounded wing.

I know I didn’t know what all I’d signed up for when we decided to have a baby, and sure, there are things I’d really like to fast forward through. And I’m terrified of what all lies ahead. But it sure makes me proud of us when I think of what all we’ve already been through, if I do say so myself.


At 2:17 PM, Blogger Rude Cactus said...

If any of us knew what we were signing up for, not as many of us would do it. It sounds like you're doing just fine though :-)

At 9:35 AM, Blogger em said...

You are such a good mom!!!!!

I hate this story. I hate that I wasn't there to help. Or at least give you a hug!

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Hopefully there won't be a next scary time, but if there is, give me a ring! :)

I'm a sympathy puker, so I don't know that I would be much help, but I would have at least been able to bring you some are awesome! Just keep thinking of all of those times she reaches for your hand, calls you mommy and smiles!

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Beth Fish said...

Poor baby - and what a day!

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

You guys are sweet. Thank you!


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