Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our First Time

I relish in the act of using double entendres for my post titles. Maybe because it gets your attention. Maybe it's because I happily suffered through a year of being on Yearbook staff in High School wherein we were forced, under pressure, to come up with catchy headlines for articles.

Nonetheless, this past week was our first time having a sick baby. Now, we had 2 weeks of colic back in the beginning of Gage's life. We also had a week of an upper respiratory cootie that never caused anything but a congested, barely sleeping baby and a couple of puking drainage sessions. The worst part was Gage was so young and could hardly breathe and woke up a lot. But, he never had a fever and he got over it pretty quickly. Besides, everything was so hard still, it didn't make much of an difference.

Sunday afternoon, Gage took a 4 hour nap after church. Well, he was unconcious when we picked him up and he didn't wake up during the trip to the car, in the car, or to his crib. That was the first clue that something was wrong. When he woke up, he felt a little feverish, and of course, the batteries on the thermometer we have are dead, and I didn't go get any right away. As his mom, I could tell that he was warmer than usual. I considered that it could be a sugar fever because we let Gage have a donut for breakfast for the first time. Judge not, folks.

Um, much of the week is a blur after that. He slept fine that night, but around 4am, he woke up and was insistent, so I went and got him, and he was BURNIN' UP. I gave him Tylenol and a cold bottle and put him back to sleep. We ended up taking him to the doctor Monday afternoon, and he had a 101.5 temperature and an ear infection in one ear. We got an antibiotic and were told to keep giving Motrin/Tylenol for the fever and aches. He had a fever early every morning until Thursday. That's when he got a rash. So, of course I took him to the doctor again. No ear infection, no fever, so we stopped the antibiotics in case it was a reaction to them, and the doctor declared it was just the virus reacting to the medicine, and he was fine. I am just glad to hear it's not The Plague. I hear that's making a come back.

My poor baby slept a LOT. He was lethargic. He was cuddly. And, you know how you roll around in bed and just moan because you feel like total crap? Well, he did a lot of that too. It was heartbreaking. People might feel bad, thinking I didn't get much sleep. Actually, he slept more this week than any other time. He woke up every morning sometime between 3 and 4am because his medicine had worn off, and his fever was back up. But, he went back to sleep after 20 minutes or so. He did OK during the middle part of the morning, but was taking 2 hour (or longer) naps in the afternoon.

I tried to explain to Curtis last night that I was mentally exhausted from all the worrying. It was hard to fall asleep at night, and I just sat and cried with Gage a few times because there's not really much more I could do aside from give him medicine and try and figure out what will make him happy. My mind was clouded with this overwhelming tension. I have experienced a new level of love and worry. One morning Curtis was coughing and I was all feeling his head and patting his back and telling him to cuddle with me, like I was on autopilot, taking care and being nurse. I normally wouldn't baby him quite so much.

I admit with a little shame that my level of frustration grew this week as well. It was so painfully frustrating to see Gage not feeling well, and him crying and whining and rolling around and just not being able to help. Helpless. THAT'S a hard thing to feel when it comes to your kids. I would just look at Gage and say "If you could just TELL me what's wrong. What hurts, why you won't drink a bottle..." It's hard to even look back at that and not remember how painful it was to see him suffer. Maybe it sounds dramatic, but I have always had a deep sense of empathy with other people's pain. It made me one serious child and I was often stressed to the point of causing ulcers when I was 11 yrs old. I may not have as much compassion if I can look at someone and say "They have the ability to help themselves, and they're just not doing anything to change their situation". But, when someone is incapable of changing their own situation, my heart breaks.

I'm a pretty "black and white" kind of person. I consider myself a realist, and I can detach myself emotionally if I need to step back and consider and evaluate. That ability goes out the window when it comes to my kid. I admit, I can even step back when I am having a conflict with my husband, and he's pointed out that sometimes I don't seem to care when it gets to a certain level of conflict. The reality is, when I care THAT much, I have to take a step back and be sure I am making a decision based on what makes sense, not based on how upset I am at the time. But, I digress...

Gage being sick was HARD. Not because he was whiney or was up all crazy times at night. But, it was mental torture for me to see him suffer and him not understand WHY. And the worry ate me alive. I have a feeling I will spend a LOT of hours worrying about our child(ren) over the course of this lifetime. That comes with the territory. Trusting the Lord with them is my first feat.

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