09 November 2012


As Wednesday wore on, my sick, clingy baby grew worse and worse. By 2:30pm, she was curled up in my arms, a pillow tucked around my waist in a make-shift boppy pillow from the days of infanthood. I pulled out all of Abigail's plush baby blankets and made us a cloud-soft resting place where we watched Blues Clues until she fell asleep and I read my book in silence. She begrudgingly woke up when Matt got home from work, and refused to fall back asleep. She woke up every few hours all. night. long. It was just like Monday. At some point, I just took her to bed with us so that I wouldn't have to stumble down the hallway every hour. It was somewhere between 11pm and 1am that I decided we were going to find a pediatrician first thing in the morning. A few of the nurses hassled me about our lack of insurance, explaining impatiently to me that no kid goes uninsured in Illinois. If only things worked in real life like they do in the political speeches. By the time I left the doctor's office on Thursday, I'd had four days of fussiness, crying, and lack of sleep. My husband and I were short on everything but snarky remarks. It's kind of a miracle, and a testament to how much work we put into our marriage, that we never once got into a fight the entire week.

Apparently Abigail has some we-see-this-all-the-time-nothing-you-can-do-fluids-and-rest virus. Since it's been going on since Monday, the doctor thinks we're probably at the tail end of things.

Famous last words.

New words? Inconsolable crying. Off and on. For 6 hours. This mama was ready to jump off a freaking cliff. My husband was excellent at home: heating up leftovers and delivering them to me in bed, where I was trying to keep Abigail happy; picking up Chinese on his way home from work when leftovers ran out; going in to work late so he could keep her occupied while I showered; encouraging me to go to bed at 9pm (which was good since I was up two hours later with a sobbing baby). But last night was so unbearable that I called the after hours emergency physician. She recommended that we go to the ER. I was so exhausted from lack of sleep and so tired of the crying that I was ready to go. This is where the whole team-work thing comes in to play. My husband was livid. First of all, he ranted, I had just gone to the doctor about 12 hours ago. Why wasn't this possibility addressed? Secondly, we don't have insurance and ERs are expensive. The logical discussions got me thinking. My mommy instinct wasn't going off. I wasn't convinced my child was dehydrated. She didn't need emergency medical intervention. She was tired and pissed. And pissed that she was tired and not sleeping. And probably hungry because she hadn't eaten much of anything for three days. Matt trusted my mommy instinct.

So we worked together to get her calm, Matt rocked her to sleep. And today? Today when he looked at me and asked, "Do you want me to stay home today?" And I said, "Yes." He didn't bat an eye. He sent off an email to his boss letting him know he'd be working from home. It was easy to keep the atmosphere light - I was grateful for him being home and he was appreciative of how hard it is to be a stay-at-home-mom. Our mutual respect for one another's sacrifices made the day so. much. easier. We took turns rocking her down for a nap, he took her so that I could exercise and shower, I took her so he could get some work done. It was good. And Abigail is doing much better. She ate normally today, had distinct play and tired episodes, and even smiled a few times. The reduced stress on me made it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan. It was good - we were good. I can't imagine doing this alone. I am so thankful for him and that he works hard enough that we can afford to go to the doctor even without insurance.


Liz said...

That sounds terrible. Poor baby (and poor baby's parents). Glad she's feeling a little bit better and Matt could stay home because I can relate to the there-is-no-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel panic. It's one of the things about motherhood I could live without.

Jacqueline said...

Me too. I feel so inadequate when this happens!