Monday, September 20, 2010

Change of Plans

Here is how this past weekend was supposed to be:

Saturday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, which includes fasting for 25 hours (though I'm exempt from fasting because of the pregnancy. Kids don't fast, either). My parents had arrived earlier in the week from out of town, and we were going to spend a quiet morning at home, followed by services at our synagogue. S's parents were due to arrive that afternoon, then we were all going out to dinner to break the fast. (S's parents aren't Jewish, so no fasting for them either.) After a nice dinner out, everyone would return to their respective homes (us) and hotels (everyone else) before returning to our house for LL's party on Sunday morning. Yes, Sunday was LL's second birthday! We were expecting nearly 30 people at a birthday party for him on Sunday morning. Lots of friends, lots of family, lots of cute antics from LL. After the party, we would all nap and then quietly open presents with just the grandparents (and eat leftover cake -- I baked a big one!). I was looking forward to the whole weekend.

Here is a brief list of what went wrong:

1. Saturday afternoon, shortly after S's parents arrived, LL started acting strange. Even though he had already napped and it wasn't yet bedtime, he was very sleepy and lethargic. We took his temperature and discovered that he had a fever of 104.4.

2. I frantically tried to bring down his fever while simultaneously canceling his birthday party.

3. I suddenly realized that it was after sundown, my family hadn't eaten anything since the previous night, we had no food in the house, and we could no longer go out for dinner. I quickly ordered the fastest take-out food I could think of, then sent someone to go pick it up for me.

4. As everyone else sat down to eat dinner and I comforted a feverish LL, S's mom suddenly turned pale and said that she didn't feel well. Five seconds later, she completely lost consciousness and collapsed. And we weren't able to wake her.

5. I dialed 911, then carried LL outside with me to wait for the paramedics, so that he wouldn't have to watch his grandmother lying on the couch mumbling incoherently. For the record, standing in the cool night air watching the flashing lights on four emergency vehicles parked outside your house does a fairly good job of both cooling down a feverish toddler and distracting him from his own mystery illness.

6. The paramedics managed to rouse S's mom, but when she tried to stand up, she nearly collapsed again, so into the ambulance and off to the hospital she went. S's dad went with her, in a complete panic. S and I promised to follow them there, a few minutes behind.

7. The combination of worrying about LL, worrying about his mother, and not eating for 26 hours and counting was too much for S. I made him sit down while I packed up some things to bring to the hospital (S's mom's purse and wallet; a container of food for S; some snacks and water for me and S's dad; my address book so that we could call S's sister). I also gave quick instructions to my parents on how to care for LL while he's sick (where we keep the medicine; how much he can have and when; how best to comfort him at bedtime; emergency pediatric numbers in case he gets worse; to call my cell phone if his condition changes at all). There's nothing quite like handing a scared, feverish, sobbing toddler over to someone else before rushing out the door to an even bigger emergency. (I called the house five minutes later to see how he was doing. He apparently cried for 10 seconds after the door closed, then asked my dad to play trains with him. When I called, he was jumping up and down on the couch, despite the 104 degree fever.)

8. By 11:00pm, the ER doctors were convinced that S's mom was fine (thank goodness!). We may never know what caused her to lose consciousness, though she's under orders not to drive a car until she has been cleared by a cardiologist back home. Discharge orders and paperwork kept her at the hospital until 1:00am.

9. After getting home, sending my parents back to their hotel, and crawling into bed, I got a rejuvenating three hours of sleep before LL woke up and wanted to be held by his mommy until morning. His temperature remained at 103. When he was finally comfortable enough to fall back asleep in our bed at 7:30am, I was too wired to go back to sleep myself.

10. All the grandparents, including S's mom, returned to our house late morning on Sunday, where we all tried our best to be festive for LL's birthday. I blew up a few balloons, LL opened presents, we all ate cake. Then everyone went home early to try to get some sleep.

Last night, LL slept normally, and he woke up this morning with his temperature back to normal. His mystery illness lasted exactly 36 hours, just long enough to spoil his birthday. And S's mom has been joking that she only passed out because she didn't like seeing LL get all the attention. The weekend is over, everyone is fine, all is well. And I'm still jittery as hell. Everything is fine, but I can't seem to get my heart to stop racing. Pregnant women really aren't meant to endure this much drama.


  1. Oh heavens. That is kind of ridiculous. I cannot believe all that happened at once. And I am so glad that everyone is fine!

  2. So sorry you had such a scary second birthday. Hope you guys get to have a calmer birthday party with friends soon.

  3. I am so happy everything turned out alright. I can only imagine how hard it was. get some rest for yourself

  4. Holy crap!!! Glad everybody's okay! I guess that was a birthday that you will never forget ;)

  5. That sucks :( I'm glad everything ended well, but I'm sorry you didn't get the weekend you had hoped for.

  6. Oh no!! That would have been so horrible in the moment. I'm glad everyone is okay.


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