As Tom mentioned last night, we had our third bout of stomach woes this season.
Abby woke about an hour earlier than usual with an urgent, despairing cry that sent Tom running up the stairs to her fairly quickly. Though she mentioned having thrown up, all Tom could see in the crib was a spot of mucousy wetness, and the wet hair behind her ear where she said she'd spread it didn't really have a smell to it.
So, when he got her downstairs, he settled her in her booster seat, and came back to our bedroom to report to me what she'd said, and his assessment that she'd probably just coughed something up and gotten it on herself. A few minutes later, though, I heard some suspicious coughing, and the movement of chairs along the floor, and I got a bad feeling.
I emerged from the bedroom to find out that Abby had just thrown up a bit on the table, though there wasn't much to it because her stomach was still empty. Clearly, she was sick, but I was unsure how to proceed. I figured I should offer her some food, and she'd either want it or not. Surprisingly, she ate most of the half-banana, and a few bites of toast, though I was pretty sure that she wasn't going to keep any of it down. She refused to drink anything.
A couple of minutes after eating, I heard her began to hiccup from across the table, and generally look uncomfortable. I knew what would inevitably follow, and I had a bowl ready, but I was busy feeding Michael and was not within easy reach of Abigail. When the moment came, I wasn't fast enough for the first wave (the table, Abby's leg, and the floor took care of that), but Tom caught the second.
I couldn't help myself from indulging in a bit of hysterics, then, and I immediately felt awful about it, because I'm sure I wasn't helping Abby any. She didn't cry until the third wave, though, when most of the food was exhausted, and she was dealing with primarily stomach acid again. I was able to coax her into drinking a bit of melted Pedialyte popsicle mixed with water at that point (we had no actual Pedialyte, and she wouldn't eat straight from the popsicle). Once again, I wondered at whether I was pushing too much, too soon, but I started to worry about dehydration, and wanted to help her cleanse what must have been a pretty awful taste from her mouth.
She took a couple of sips of the Pedialyte solution, but couldn't keep that down either. For the next two hours, she was puking every 15 to 20 minutes, and crying in anguish each time. It absolutely killed me to witness. I know that the level of acid was the problem, especially since she kept arching her back with every episode, much like she did as a baby with reflux, making it difficult for Tom to keep her head above the bowl. However, I didn't want to offer more food that she would just have to bring back up (though the two food-heavy bouts were the only ones she didn't cry through), but I couldn't just not offer fluids. Especially given the frequency with which she was vomiting, I began to be very concerned about dehydration.
Though it killed me to leave Abby or Tom in the middle of such desperation, I had an OB appointment to get to. I took Michael with me, though, so that Tom could focus completely on Abby, and I could keep the kids somewhat separated. Abby was starting to look a little more comfortable as I walked out the door, though she ended up spending her whole morning like this:
Sadly, the worst was not over at that point, but Tom discovered Dora the Explorer on Netflix Streaming, which helped Abby pass the time. Though she's not really big into any kids' TV shows yet, she took an instant liking to Dora, and watched several episodes before falling asleep on her father's lap.
That's how I found her when I came back home with Michael. He had fallen asleep in the car, and I hoped against hope I could get him down in the crib to finish his nap, but it was not to be. Though he was plenty sleepy in my arms, he flipped out once I laid him down, and no amount of back rubbing would settle him. I tried twice to let him cry for five minutes or so before giving up entirely and bringing him downstairs with me, sans morning nap.
Abby threw up one last time when she woke up, and then finally began to keep down the Apple Pedialyte that I brought home with me from the Kaiser Pharmacy.
However, we continued our mornings in parallel, so determined was I to keep germs contained. Abby and Tom resumed their snuggles upstairs, and I tried to keep up with Michael in the basement. I was already pretty exhausted after making several trips up and down the stairs to try to get him napping, and then I had to contend with a couple of diaper changes and interventions/redirections. Before I knew it, it was lunchtime, and back up the stairs I went, 23-pound baby in hand. I got him fed and cleaned, and then had to head back down, but at that point I was about at my physical limit, so I urged Tom to put Abby in her crib for a real nap, so that he could shower and get Michael to finally take one.
By this point, Abby had been vomit-free for over an hour, so I prayed that she'd be okay in the crib alone for a little while.
She was, and soon enough Tom was all cleaned up and able to take Michael off of my hands. All I wanted to do at that point was curl up in bed, but I was wired, and anxious, so Tom and I ended up just spending some time together on the loveseat in the playroom, trying to de-stress together.
While the kids slept, a surprise package arrived from Aunt Irene. It contained two belated birthday presents for Michael, and a gift for Abby as well. I was delighted at the timing, thinking that a present would be just the thing to cheer up my poor, sick little monkey.
It was. Though she woke up with much improved mood and color, there was no denying that she'd had a rough morning, and deserved a little fun.
Since she was still vomit-free, I crossed my fingers and hoped I wasn't tempting fate by bringing her down into the playroom with Michael. I'd washed her hands twice already, and changed her outfit more times than that, so I figured as long as she didn't vomit again, and I was very, very careful with diaper changes, we could probably keep the germ spread to a minimum at that point.
Once Michael took an interest in Abby's gift, I figured it would be a good time to introduce him to his own.
Though he doesn't look too excited through the unwrapping process (he still doesn't really get it, and probably wanted to get back to Abby's new toy), I assure you that he took quite an interest once his toy was free of paper and plastic layers.
The adorable outfits, though? Well, those are more Mommy's thing, anyway.
And blessed, peaceful, side-by-side play ensued. The kids even switched toys at some point.
And then switched back again.
Eventually, they were just all over each others' stuff, as usual.
Sadly, by the time dinner was through, Abby had begun to fall apart, emotionally, as had I. I couldn't really blame her, after the morning she'd had, but I didn't have much energy left to deal with it, either.
Once she was tucked comfortably in bed, and Michael was upstairs with Tom getting prepped to do the same, I crawled under the covers in an attempt to unwind from the insanity of the day. After replaying my recurring fear that the illness was bound to strike someone else at any moment (and that, God forbid, it would be Tom, right at the moment I needed him beside me in labor), fatigue won out, and I began to doze on-and-off while Tom kept himself amused online beside me.
At some point, it occurred to me that I had never blogged, but I couldn't make myself move from the spot I was in, so Tom took pity on me. Once he'd assured me he was able to fill in with a quick blurb, I let sleep take me for (most of) the night.
Today's happy surprise? Abby is back to 100% (though we're easing her back into a normal diet again), and no one else has gotten sick. Yet, anyway.
Let's hope we can keep that up. Supposedly, we've got a new baby joining us any day now.