Evil Neighbor Child

I already did that which I swore I wouldn’t do- I skipped a day. Yesterday was a mess. Hula Girl and Jonathan were majorly sick, and I was doing my best to care for them. But we were all really sleep deprived, too, so that added to the fun.

Hula Girl was exposed to a baby who had an upper respiratory infection on Monday. His mom brought him over to our house to visit, and I let him have a few of Hula Girl’s toys to play with (he’s not a sitter or a crawler yet, so he just got some rattles and mirrors and proceeded to slobber all over them). Hula Girl was really interested in the other baby and she kept petting him and wanted to be next to him constantly. It was pretty cute. However, his mom didn’t tell me he was sick until they were actually leaving. I hoped, I wished, I prayed that Hula Girl wouldn’t get sick.

Friday morning, Hula Girl woke up sneezing and slightly coughing. I called the other baby’s mom to find out what his first symptoms were, and sure enough- they matched. Great. Throughout the day, Hula Girl’s symptoms got worse and more varied. Her nose was runny, she was sneezing, and the mucus was making her cough every now and then. But she still took naps just fine and we put her to bed a little bit early because she seemed really tired. About 20 minutes later, she started screaming. And she screamed the rest of the night.

We tried everything- nursing her again, rocking her to sleep, walking with her, leaving her in her crib, laying on the floor of the nursery, driving in the car, putting her in the swing-everything. Nothing worked. As soon as she would fall asleep, she’d jerk back awake because she couldn’t breathe through her nose. And then she would cry. And the cycle got worse and worse as the night wore on because the crying made her nose runnier and she couldn’t breathe even more. Plus, for those of you who don’t know, an overtired baby is really hard to put to sleep. It’s chemistry- when your body gets overtired, it releases a wave of adrenaline to help fight sleep (fight or flight ring a bell?). It basically acts like there’s a reason you didn’t fall asleep in the first place, so now it’s going to make sure you’re extra-awake to deal with whatever it was that kept you from falling asleep.  As adults, we can sometimes tell our brains to go to sleep anyway, but we often lie awake at night and can’t fall asleep. Imagine a baby doing this- getting more and more tired, but getting more and more adrenaline. Hyperactivity is the result. And hyper sensitivity. And hyper-sonic screeching.

Anyway, after doing everything we could think of, and realizing that Hula Girl had a fever of 102°, we took her to the ER at 4:30 Saturday morning. They sent us away with a dose of Motrin for her fever and told us she has a cold. As if we didn’t know. Uh, thanks, ER doctors! At least they did do a strep test, since both Jonathan and I have super sore throats, and we want to make sure she doesn’t also have strep.

She napped off and on all day yesterday, bringing her to a grand total of 3 hours of sleep in a 29-hour period. Wow. When we put her down for bed last night, she immediately started crying. We waited and waited, but she kept crying. I finally went in, wiped her nose, and laid her back down. She finally fell asleep last night at 7:45- what a relief. We were able to go to bed at 8:30, and she woke once at 9:45 (she pooped) but then she was asleep until 6:40 this morning. A nice night’s rest. She then graced us with a 2 hour 10 minute first nap, and she’s just about to go down for her second nap today.

All in all, this was only our second time having a sick child, and the experience is exhausting- emotionally, mentally, and physically. Especially since we’re sick too!

Here’s to another good night’s sleep and to a fast recovery. Colds last 5-7 days, and the symptoms usually peak on the 3rd day. So, today might just be the worst of it for Hula Girl. I’m looking forward to a week’s worth of catching up on sleep. That means I am going to have to be really cautious with her awake time and nap times.

Do any of you have a story about baby/child sickness that you’d like to share?

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