Every parent dreads their baby getting sick for the first time. We were lucky enough for Chase to last a whole nine months before his first sniffle. I have never seen more gunk come out of such a small nostril in my life. On top of that, watching him slurp his boogers into his mouth was making me dry-heave. I became the “bad guy” in Chase’s eyes, since I was in charge of the boogie-wiping, spraying the nasal mist and suctioning with the NoseFrida (much more effective than the bulb). In fact, his bob-and-weave moves to avoid the nose wipes elicited comparisons to Floyd “The Money Team” Mayweather, according to my husband. He would have temporary PTSD after each nose encounter, screaming if I came within five feet of him. Ah yes, one of the first of many parental sacrifices for love, for which we are hated by our children in return (or so it feels). The other battle was getting him to sleep without the pacifier in order to allow mouth breathing…I mean, how he not possibly understand the necessity of breathing while sleeping?! So unreasonable. My husband took the “L” a few nights in a row and slept in the glider armchair in the nursery with Chase on his chest, just so that the little one could breathe and sleep. What an amazing father he is.
The real test for me came when my husband left on a trip for the weekend. I was fully prepared to take care of Chase on my own for a whole two and a half days…and then tragedy struck Friday night. I spiked a 102 fever, accompanied by chills and severe body aches. Chase still had a mild cough and runny nose. After I put him down to sleep, I started panicking with a myriad of nightmare situations running through my head. “What if my fever gets to 105 and I need to go to the ER? Would I take Chase with me to the hospital? Would the paramedics take him? Is he allowed to ride in an ambulance without a car seat? What if he needs a bottle while I’m there? What if he wakes up right now? I can barely move. How am I going to take care of him??” Yup, I had gone off the deep end with my imagination. Such is life when grandparents aren’t in the immediate vicinity.
By God’s grace, my fever broke around 2AM, Chase stayed asleep the whole night, my best friend brought me soup the next day and we survived until my husband came back. I’ve learned that it’s one thing for your child to be sick, and another for you to be sick when you don’t have children. But when you, as a mother, are sick… it’s an entirely different story. All I wanted to do was lay on the couch all day sipping DayQuil and watching Friends re-runs. But this tiny human needed to be fed, changed and entertained, no matter how crappy I felt. Bottom line: your responsibilities to your little one trump your own ailments, aches and exhaustion. Always have a back-up plan with a support system!