I Had ‘New Baby’ Ache Until Both My Kids Got Sick At The Same Time

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Having dealt with many ear infections in his life, I knew that this required a trip to the doctor and antibiotics pronto. But, I couldn’t take my snotty, feverish and no napping daughter to the school, and my parents, who always help me whenever I need it, were on a Caribbean cruise. My husband had to leave work early. I felt guilty for asking him to come home when I’m the one who’s home for this reason, but I had no choice. Oh well, not a good day, but it would be fine, I thought.

My husband and my son arrived home, armed with antibiotics, but my daughter’s fever was still hanging around, and her normally sunny disposition had gone to hell. My son went to bed, and so did my daughter. For an hour. And I went to her. She went back to sleep. For another hour. And I went to her. This continued on for a few more hours until I gave up and got into bed with her. Neither of us slept.

The next morning, exhausted and cranky, I sent my son back to school, feeling quite confident that he’d be fine. My daughter still had a fever, though, and having not slept well the night before, all she wanted to do was lie in my lap and say, “Juice.” All day. I elevated her crib, turned on the humidifier and held her in a steamed up bathroom. I was sure that it would all be better by that evening.

Ring, ring. School? Again? Yup. The earache was better, but could I come and pick up my son because he had just puked all over his clothes, shoes and classmates. Seriously?! I called my poor husband again. This time, he had to come home and take care of our daughter so I could run my son back to the doctor to make sure that it was the stomach flu and not the meds that had just made him vomit all over his classroom.

On the way to the doctor, he puked all over the street. And then he decorated our front hall when we got home. And my daughter still had a fever. A bucket in front of my son, and Tylenol for my daughter, the kids were finally in bed. Ah, I thought. An hour later, my daughter woke up. Again, I trudged up the stairs, got into bed with her and lay there wide awake. Now, this might not be so bad if she didn’t like to sleep draped across me. So, with her legs cutting off my air supply and her upper body smothering my face, I was over my baby ache. My kids still need me so much, and they are my babies. Neither new nor tiny, my kids are enough.

I will go without sleep, a shower, sex and food for my kids. I will hold my daughter all night and cuddle my son while he throws up, but I’m also happy to be me. I love building a business I’m proud of, having drinks and dinner with good friends, and I have the two most hilarious and loving kids. And when they’re sick, they become babies who need me. All of me. And I have nothing left to give anyone else. Now that they are finally better – and I am sleeping, going out and working again – my husband worries that the baby ache will be back. I know it won’t. I am truly done.

Instead, maybe I’ll dye my hair red.

(Photo: iStockphoto)

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