Bad Mom,  Bug,  illos,  Tis the Season

Poor Sick Bug

Baby Bug got really sick last night. Her cold turned into a 103.4 degree fever. It was so scary. I held her little body close to me and she was burning up. I’ve never felt like she was so fragile before. Everybody says she’s skinny and little and all that… but to me she’s big because she’s so full of life. She’s loud and boisterous and jam packed full of action. When she’s in the room, she takes up the room. You forget how little and breakable she really is.

I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t think straight with her constant crying that could not be comforted. I couldn’t read the label on the tylenol bottle to see how much of a dose I should give her. I couldn’t do the math to figure out how much a 16 pound baby should take. I didn’t know if I should undress her or wrap her up. I just couldn’t think straight. And then when I did finally peel off her polar fleece pajamas, I felt horrid because they were making her sweat. It was obvious that she was burning up. What was I thinking? The poor little thing.

I tried to put the thermometer in her ear but she thrashed about as if I was trying to hurt her. It was impossible to get a good reading. If the thermometer said 103.4, maybe it was really 104 but a few degrees off because she moved so much… What to do, what to do? Should I take her to the emergency room? That place is a nightmare all by itself. I was beside myself with worry. Why didn’t I bone up on this stuff before she was born when I actually had time to read books and learn things? I was so mad at myself.

Thankfully, Toby is a bit more rational than I am in the middle of the night and he helped me hold her down so we could take a good temperature reading. He knows a few things about fevers and he assured me that she was going to be okay. I swabbed her forehead with a cold wash cloth and held her close. She didn’t really like the wash cloth but she did seem to cool down a little bit. Slowly the crying turned into sniffing and then she fell asleep on my chest. All night long she was restless and wouldn’t sleep unless she was right next to me. It was a long night. I love my little baby so much. I couldn’t go on living with out her.

All day long today she just wanted to be held. She wasn’t herself. It was so sad. She’d try to play or eat and she’s get halfway into it and then start crying because you could tell she just felt so awful. Mostly I think she was just too congested to do her normal things. Of course she has to have a pacifier in her mouth at all times (even though we are trying to break her of that habit) and that made breathing impossible. The only thing that seemed to make her feel better was to hold her and walk around the house distracting her by pointing at different things. She even let me sit and hold her. Usually she struggles to get away from cuddling. Not today. She was my baby today. She couldn’t get enough mommy time.

I had no choice, I had to take her to the doctor. The scary place where they give shots…

It turns out she has an ear infection. It’s nothing too serious. I feel bad now for all the times I stuck the thermometer in her sore ear. The doctor says it’s very common, and I know he’s right. I had ear infections so much when I was a baby, they had to put tubes in my ears. He gave me a prescription for some antibiotics and some instruction for tylenol and motrin dosage. I packed her in the baby carrier and off we went to the store for the prescriptions.

At the store she started feeling better. I hadn’t even given her any medicine yet but some battle going on inside her must have taken a turn for the better. You could tell she was feeling like her old self because she started straining to get out of the carrier and she wanted to grab at things again. When we got home, I fed her dinner and she drank plenty of juice. Then she played with her toys by the Christmas tree and things started to feel normal again. I almost was tempted to skip the antibiotics but I’m hoping they will stop the bad germs before they get to her lungs. I have nightmares about babies getting deep chest colds and croup. I know it’s going to happen someday but I just wish I could stay in my dream world where Baby Bug never gets sick.

Toby got to be the official medicine administrator tonight. Phew. That was fun. She hated the medicine. It was like pulling teeth just to get the right amount down her throat and not all over the place. I’m so thankful she’s not vomiting. It’s scary enough just with a crazy fever. She’s asleep now and her head still feels really hot but I think she’s going to be okay. I’m just not sure I am. This is just a little illness, how am I ever going to handle a big illness?


  • jailgy

    Uncle Da must have gotten that cold, too. If you want to get sick, conference is the place to go. I think it was worth it, in spite of all the germs, don’t you?

  • Bethany

    Poor Bug, Poor SAJ. Middle-of-the-night fevers are certainly scary, aren’t they? I am so glad Toby was there to calm and help you both, and that it didn’t necessitate a trip to the emergency room. Hope the meds help quickly and that everyone’s recovered soon! (And don’t worry too much about chest colds and croup. They aren’t fun, but a few minutes in a shower-steamy bathroom helps so much it’s almost magic.)

    I hope you are able to celebrate the New Year in a happier way than Christmas Day!

  • Gramma

    When our babies are sick…we are too. When they hurt…we do too. They are pretty resilliant and do snap out of it quickly. Try to remember temperatures in infants read much higher than do adults. The best thing to do for a fever to bring it under control is to put her into a warm bath…not hot…but tepid. That will relieve her and you. Hold her tightly with your arm under her back and grasping her upper arm so she doesn’t slip. That way she will feel secure while you splash some comforting water over her tummy. When I had earaches as a child, my dad would blow smoke into my ear canal. I doubt if that really did any good, but it was comforting to have him close to me and to smell the familiar tobacco smoke..

  • Heather

    Ahhh, you poor things. I hope you both feel better soon. It’s amazing how fast babies bounce back. I bet Baby Bug is already back to her old self.

  • Lauren

    breastmilk up the nose helps break drown congestion, it will even clear up goopy eyes.

    jack got really congested a few times and i slept with him up on me so his head was raised and had cool water vaporizer aimed at us.

    he slept like a baby … i was a little damp and cramped though.

    ps .. i am SO glad we ended up not getting together … i would have thought my kids got your baby sick.

  • BeachMama

    You did a great job. I remember J’s first fever, he was much younger than Baby Bug and I was terrified the whole night long. We got through it pretty much the same way you did, cuddling and walking around. You want to bundle them up, but it makes them hotter, you want to cuddle them but they sweat like crazy. I hope it clears up quickly for you. The first one is the worst, next time you will know exactly what to do.

  • Steph

    Poor baby bug!!!! Sorry she’s was so sick through the night. Ear infections during the night are the worst….enjoy the cuddle time and hope she feels better soon!!!

  • gretchen

    Ear infections hurt A LOT and are very scary because they are always worse in the middle of the night! (Truly, because when the baby lays down it makes the pain worse.) Both my sons had lots of ear infections, and the oldest, who is now 7, just had one again last month. He was shivering and shaking and his fever just kept going up and up. I was terrified all over again.

    The good thing is that the medicine makes them start feeling better right away.

    I’m glad Baby Bug is back to her old self. You are a great mom!

  • anna

    I hate, hate, hate it when my kids are so sick their personalities just disappear. There is something deeply, primally disturbing about it. Gramma gave good advice about putting her in a tepid tub next time – I used to get in with the babies if they were really unhappy. J If you use water that is too cold, the body thinks it needs to heat up and so the fever increases and if you use water that is hot, the body just gets hotter and the fever increases. ust don’t let water splash in the infected ear. Glad she is on the mend…

  • Ninotchka

    Aww, I hope she feels better! Anna Sofia has been sick quite a bit these past few months. She’s on her 3rd ear infection and even though she’s my third and I should be a pro, I still HATE it. :( Hang in there!

  • Angella

    Nothing worse than when your baby is sick. My boys had their first ear infections this spring, and they were awful. They didn’t like the medicine either, and my pharmacist said to mix it with chocolate syrup to cut the bitterness. It helped :)

    Hope she’s better soon!

  • justJENN

    Yeah, I went through the same thing last week with my second child. A ‘high fever’ is anything over 103 – and they should definitely go to the doctor at that point. Sick baby equals sad baby & sad mommy.

  • Jennifer

    This makes me so sad to read about BB being so sick. My younger babe has the bad luck of having an older sis who brings home all sorts of awful illnesses from preschool so I’ve had more than my share of sick baby. Even though it’s happened many times, each illness tears me apart. I don’t think it is something that you get used to. I really related with how you felt about BB being so helpless when sick. On a healthy day it feels like my girls could take anything on, but the minute they show signs of being ill I start to worry about the worst that could happen.

    I read your next post and I’m happy to hear that you are both doing much better. I hope that the runny noses pass soon. My baby girl has had the same runny nose and on/off cough for what feels like months.