Saturday, February 5, 2011

Trial by Feverish Fire

My mom has been staying with us and helping out since before Kermit was born. She's planning to stay until Kermit is 6 weeks old, since that is when I'll be able to lift LL again. She's been doing a lot of cooking and shopping for us, as well as helping a lot with LL. But she also promised to attend my nephew's birthday party this weekend, so she left on Thursday to go there, with plans to return to our house Sunday night. Thus, S and I would be on our own with both kids for four days, our first time ever.

The idea was for this to be a very light practice run of life with two kids. My mom prepared several meals before she left, another friend was planning to bring us dinner on Friday, and we had a small Super Bowl party planned for Sunday (Go Pack Go!) which would provide some extra hands and entertainment for LL. Still, we were a little nervous about being on our own, since we've gotten used to having my mom around to help.

Mom left Thursday morning, and the rest of Thursday went just fine. We got dinner on the table on time, and got both kids to bed with relative ease. S and I were actually feeling pretty good about ourselves! Until 1am or so, when LL woke up crying. S went to check on him to discover that he was burning up with fever. Great.......

All of Friday and Saturday have been spent trying to soothe a sick sick sick toddler while also trying desperately to keep him and his germs away from not-yet-one-month-old Kermit. For me, this has meant sitting on the couch holding LL and watching movies, then handing him off to S while I scrub myself raw to try to decontaminate myself before feeding Kermit, hoping that my breast milk has enough antibodies in it to help him to fight off the cold, then handing Kermit back to S so that I can go back to snuggling LL until Kermit's next feeding.

Before this illness, LL had seen exactly one movie in his entire life (I was heavily pregnant and exhausted and home alone with him, and it was the only way he would let me lie on the couch for 90 minutes). In the last two days, he has seen eight movies. Er, three movies, repeated several times. (Four viewings of Finding Nemo ("fish movie"), three Kiki's Delivery Service ("train movie"), and one Beauty and the Beast.) He insists on being in physical contact with me the entire time, alternating being in my lap, over my shoulder, and lying with his head on my legs. When I need to get up to feed Kermit, LL lies pathetically on the couch asking me when I'll be coming back to him. I swear I saw heat plumes rising from his feverish little body. (103.5 midday today, and that was after being dosed with Tylenol.) The only food I've gotten him to eat has been a yogurt shake that he sipped throughout the day, along with as much juice and water as I could force into him, because he's getting awfully dehydrated.

Luckily, Kermit seems happy being held all day by S. (If he were old enough to have a parent preference, I don't know what I'd do, because LL has been refusing all comfort from S and insisting on being held by me.) Unsurprisingly, I am now developing a cough and sore throat, which we're hoping will skip both Kermit and S. I'm a little fuzzy on the science, but my being sick means that there will be additional antibodies in my breast milk, which should provide additional protection for Kermit, right?

One particularly sad side effect of all of this is that we've had to cancel our Super Bowl party. The last time my Packers were in the Super Bowl, I watched the game in my dorm room and made all my friends chip in a few bucks for the meager snacks that I bought for the occasion (most of the food had been stolen from the dorm dining hall). In other words, I've been waiting a long, long time to host a real Super Bowl party featuring my Green Bay Packers. Instead, the four of us will be watching it quietly at home. If I can keep the coughing, sneezing, and feverish delirium to a minimum, it will hopefully still be a good time for all. In the mean time, we're all counting down the minutes until my mom gets back to make us a giant pot of matzo ball soup.

Go Pack!


  1. I'm so sorry. Sounds exactly like our first half of the week (minus the newborn and husband but plus one large bump). My daughter had never seen a DVD before, but I sent out a panicked e-mail to all our neighbors and Barney and Elmo were delivered several hours later. And she watched them a lot.

    You mentioned tylenol in your post, have you also done motrin? It was the only thing that helped my daughter (she had adenovirus which is going around NYC) and seemed to work miracles for her. Our pediatrician told us that past age 2 it's fine to use motrin and tylenol at the same time.

    As for the antibodies, my understanding is the same as yours: the sicker you are, the more antibodies in your breastmilk, so at least there's that.

    I really hope that you are all feeling better soon.

  2. Yes, when I was nursing Elizabeth and I got sick, she never did. And I even had strep for two weeks and then the flu.

    I hope everyone feels better.

    Oh, when Elizabeth was just sick, I found Pedialyte (or whatever that stuff is called) popsicles. They are like those tube popsicles that we had when we were kids. They were in the kid's medicine section of the drugstore. (Because they aren't frozen until you take them home.) Elizabeth thought those were the best treat and she would eat them, which at least got some liquid into her.

  3. Sorry about the sickies...that is no fun. I am super impressed at the fact that LL has not watched movies before now. My kids have their favorites and request them way too often - softie mom usually gives in. Not good.

    Looks like the Packs won!


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