June 3, 2009

Do I?... Don't I?... One scary night

The girls have been sick for three weeks now. It started off as a cold, then turned into ear infections and they have been on antibiotics for 7 days now. I feel like I have healthy kids, comparatively I know I have healthy kids, but looking back they are sick a lot. I know this comes from being around other kids so much. In fact, I am sure that this cold that has reeked havoc on us for the last few weeks was a gift brought by one of Grace's birthday party guests... ahh, the joys of parenting. That said, after two years of motherhood, I feel reasonably equip to handle illness. I know more often than not when the doctor needs to be involved and when something just needs to run it's course. I have been a fairly laid back, don't panic at every little bump and cough type of mother. To be honest this has been a source of pride for me. While Grace has been in the ER three times in her two years of life, the first time was a double ear infection, the second time was a virus that caused a high, high fever that would not come down and the last was for hand, foot and mouth while on vacation, so the ER was our only option. But last night I spent a frightening evening paralyzed not knowing what to do.

Yesterday Lily spiked a fever. 101. 7, low grade, I know she's teething, not worried. Off to the pool, sure the cool water would do her good. She seemed fine. After our swim she took a nap, but a fitful nap, so I offered her Tylenol. She was fussy and still running a temp. She slept again a little better, but not much. After Grace's nap and an early supper I though we should go for another swim, it was only 5 o'clock and the girls and I were both restless. Lily still felt warm and I was sure that again the cool water would be a good thing. Lily floated in her boat, subdued and not her usual happy, splashing self. But it was closing in on the end of the day, I had given her Tylenol and I was not too concerned. Grace swam like a fish, constantly underwater and happy that Lily was allowing such undivided attention from mom. While we dried off Grace got to play on the playground and Lily just sort of whimpered.

Once home I took Lily's temp again. If she still had a fever and it felt like she did, she would need more Tylenol. 103.1! What??? What is wrong with her?? No wonder she's whimpering, she must feel horrible. More Tylenol, a pinch over the recommended dosage, and I know how dangerous that can be to the liver, but this fever is high! Straight into a cool bath, this time, head wet and a cool cloth on her armpits and groin. After 15 minutes she is shivering, but she feels better and I take her out. Dry, dress, no lotion, I know how gross your skin feels when you have a fever, lotion just did not sound soothing and she was shivering already. Then a bottle and recheck her temp. 102.5... Okay, it's coming down, not a lot, but coming down. Lily relaxes a bit and lays on the floor watching her big sister play. Neither of the girls wanted to go to bed and I did not feel like fighting, so we played on the floor until 9 o'clock. Milk for Grace, another bottle for Lily and she was asleep. Tucked both girls in and.... breath... Poor Lily, hopefully she'll get a good nights sleep and feel better.

1 o'clock in the morning, crying...
Not the usual baby chatter that lets me know she's awake and would like something to eat, full-fledged-crying. Sprint to her room to get her before she wakes her big sister, and I touch fire!
She is burning my hands right through the onesie she is sleeping in. So quick to the bathroom, strip her down and check her temperature. 103. 3!!! Oh my God! Okay, focus...Tylenol, luke warm bath, cool her down and sooth her. We both get into the tub and the poor girls is just whimpering. After about 15 minutes the water is too cool and she is shivering again, so we get out of the tub and I fill the sink with cold water and a few wash clothes. I try to cool her down more with cool cloths on her head, under her arms and on her neck.

Almost 2 o'clock, she still feels so hot...
Pack her up, get Grace in the car and drive to the Pediatric Urgent Care??? Are they going to tell me it's just a virus and to keep her on Tylenol? Will I have dragged both girls out in the middle of the night for nothing? ...Stay?... Go?... Wait?... I wait...
Let's try a bottle and the rocking chair. No clothes, just a diaper. Let's try skin to skin...

Almost 3 o'clock in the morning...
She's not sleeping, not eating and still feels so hot.... What do I do? What do I do? Check her temperature again, see if there has been any change, then decide.... 102.1... Check again, just to be sure the thermometer is working properly.... 102.2.... Hmm??? I know it's only a tenth of a degree, but it was different, try again. Poor thing, she's not feeling well and I am taking her rectal temp over and over and over, that cannot be fun.... 102.2.... Okay, so it's down more than a degree. Something must be working, let's keep rocking a bit longer and see.

3:30am... she's asleep.
Lay her in bed next to me and that way I am right here if anything changes. She sleeps until almost 4:30am. She still feels so hot, but not worse than before. Fix another bottle, fluids right? With a body temp so hot I should be pushing fluids... right?? Back to the rocking chair, another bottle. Should we go? It's 7:30am on the east coast, should I call one of the grandparents and ask them what to do? And... she's asleep again. Okay, lay her back in my bed and see what happens.

5:40am I am drenched...why is it so wet? Lily is sweating all over me, she's soaked and she's soaking me. Sweat, that's a good thing? You don't sweat when you have a fever, you sweat when it breaks... right?? Okay get her out of the puddle she's creating and dry her off a bit. She's still sound asleep. Poor thing must be exhausted. Into the pack 'n play and close my eyes for a few minutes before Grace is up. We made it!

8 o'clock, Lily is up and feels a bit less like fire. Her temperature is 101.7. Okay, that's progress. More Tylenol and see if she'll take a bottle. Crap!! Grace has a swim lesson... Go?... Don't go?.... Wow! This is the theme of the last 24 hours isn't it? I can admit this, fully aware that I will be judged; hell I'd be judging any other mother who told me a story like the one I just did and then said this... We went to swim lessons. I know, maybe not the best decision I've ever made, but we've been couped up in this house for so long, we need to take every opportunity out we can get, especially since Lily's night last night is not going to allow for a swim or the playground today.

The girls are napping, Lily is almost fever free and that was one of the most stressful nights I have spent as a parent. I know it's the first of many, but boy was that hard!

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