The Sick House

The whole time Christopher was gone, people kept asking me with concern, “How are you holding up?” And I would say, “Oh, it’s no big deal. My dad’s in the military, and my mom taught me how to be independent. We’re just fine.” And I knew we would be just fine, as long as we stayed healthy.

Thursday we dropped Ben off at preschool and Logan and I went shopping. He had woken up early and was crabby the whole trip, and even fell asleep in the car on the way to pick Ben up, which hasn’t happened in a good six months. Luckily, he went back to sleep in his crib after we got home. Ben took a nap, too, and I lay down. When Logan woke up at three, we came downstairs and got a snack. I started to feel off. Queasy. By the time Megan walked in the door at four, I was in agony. I sent Gavin to a friend’s house, Ben to play computer, and I had Megan walk Logan over to Janae’s house.

Between four and eight I was sprawled on the bathroom floor, throwing up violently every twenty minutes and then falling back on the floor, shivering under a towel. Thankfully, my friends just stepped up and the kids were fine. Megan came home and walked Ben over to the Owens, where Gavin was, and they ate dinner there. Janae came over, along with my babysitter Zoe, to get Logan to bed. Katie Owens walked the big kids back over, with school lunches packed and muffins for breakfast. Shay came over with Zofran and threatened the rebelling middle boys, who were refusing to go to bed, like only a blood relative can.

After two Zofran, one at eight and one at nine, I didn’t throw up anymore. I figured the worst was over and got in my bed. Janae texted, “Do you need anything?” “I think I’m all right,” I texted back. “I’m coming to spend the night,” she replied. I didn’t argue.

She brought me a cup of ice and a ginger ale. I ate the entire cup of ice and sipped the ginger ale, but instead of getting better, I kept getting worse. I was sweating, cramping, and tingling all over. I thought I could rehydrate myself, and by midnight I knew it wasn’t working. Finally, around one, I broke down and started calling around to see who wanted to take me to urgent care for a bag of fluids. My home teachers and neighbor didn’t answer their cells (it seems that no one has land lines anymore), so I ended up calling Shay. We went to the nice 24-hour urgent care down the hill. Fifteen bucks and an hour later, I had a bag of fluids (my BP went from 90/50 to 120/60) and a shot of Phenergan. Shay tucked me into bed at three.

At seven, Janae had to leave to get her kids ready for school, but Megan stepped up. She got her brothers breakfast and got ready for school. Gavin, who had stayed up reading until 10:30 the night before, took advantage of the situation again and refused to go to school. Because he was “sick”. I was too weak to make him go, and although he spent most of the day playing video games, he was just enough helpful with the little boys that I wasn’t too mad. Logan took a long morning nap. In the afternoon my friend Kaitlyn took Ben and Shay took Logan. While I was conked out, Shay walked back into my bedroom. “Megan started throwing up at school. I brought her home and tucked her in.” I still need to get the full story on that from Shay, but apparently when Megan got sick she told them to call Shay first because, “My mom is in no condition to pick me up.” Love that girl.

Shay brought soup and my friend Darrin brought over a lasagna. Shay brought Logan back fed and ready for bed, so I just had to plop him in his crib, and Ben was exhausted from no nap and went to bed easily. The big kids fended for themselves, and did fine. Megan threw up a few times after she got home, but seemed no worse for the wear. By bedtime she was reading happily and felt fine.

I fell asleep at 9 and thankfully no one woke me up until 4. Gavin was throwing up now. Poor kid; he had been awake since midnight, in pain, and had let me sleep until he started throwing up. Of course, from 4 to 7 he whined almost constantly and I patted his little head and said, “Sorry, dude, I wish I could help you.” At 6:30 I was up with Ben and 7:30 with Logan. Around that time Gavin fell sound asleep, woke up at 8:30 and declared himself fully recovered.

Saturday we just chilled. The little boys took good naps. Megan and Gavin played computer all day. We ate whatever we felt like whenever we felt like it. No schedule whatsoever. Janae took Ben for a few hours in the late afternoon, so that was nice. He has gotten major cabin fever.

Sunday was almost a repeat of Saturday. More movies and just lounging and playing. Christopher finally arrived home around 3 p.m., although after a 24-hour flight, and battling a respiratory infection himself, he couldn’t do much other than lay around with us.

I am still feeling yucky and hope this passes quickly. Heaven knows I need to be back in the saddle. This whole house needs to be de-germed. But, like all small trials, this whole stomach bug thing has made me more grateful than ever. Loving friends. Gatorade. TV. Phenergan. And after Christopher’s trip to India reminded me of what poverty most of the world lives in, I’m more grateful for the things I usually take for granted. Running water. Nutritious food.

The bittersweet silver lining of the weekend? Baby Logan is weaned and sleep-trained. My normally copious milk supply dried right up, and instead of encouraging it to come back, I’m just going to be done. I am sad. I absolutely love breastfeeding my babies. My babies were all so wiggly and hated cuddling, and nursing them was the only time they ever let me snuggle them. But I’m excited to start exercising and strength training again, getting more uninterrupted sleep, and having those breastfeeding hormones work their way out of my system. I can vaguely remember how good I felt when I wasn’t pregnant or nursing. Energy. Libido.

But, barring an act of God, Logan is my last baby. I would give anything for another whiff of those newborn heads, but these kids of mine are going to need all my energy and attention. Not to mention I’d like to start spending some time on myself, developing my talents. Reading, writing, taking pictures. Giving service. Traveling.

I’m going to need to borrow some newborns to sniff.

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6 thoughts on “The Sick House

  1. Man, I'm so sorry Lauren! Thank goodness for good friends is right. You took the words right out of my mouth on the last baby thing. I held someones newborn the entire enrichment night (3 hours) just to get my fix πŸ™‚ I hope you're all better soon.

  2. Oh my heavens, you were flat out in a situation. Bless your sweet heart. Bill is about to be gone for 10(ish) weeks (should be able to come home most weekends. hopefully.) in the spring, and I'm like you – I can totally rock this (as long as we stay healthy.) Mama being sick throws the whole thing off the tracks. So thankful you have such great friends and family. Truly blessed, indeed!

  3. Weening is so sad for me too. Sam's getting close, but I hang on as long as possible. I'm so sorry you were so sick. When we live on the same cul-de-sac we can help each other out more easily. πŸ™‚

  4. You amaze me that you can handle so much on your own. I know I sure can't!And I am so glad that you have people that you can rely on. So sorry you felt so sick. And so grateful that Megan can be such a big help.

  5. I'm so sorry, Lauren. The pukes are the absolute, #1 worst. And I'm not going to be all noble and say, "oh, I would so much rather be sick myself than have the kids be sick." Nope, I'd so much rather the kids get it. I hope you feel on top of things soon. That's how I stopped breastfeeding Harper too. A good stomach bug will do that to you.

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