Saturday, November 15, 2014

The helpless mommy

You know what sucks?  

Being sick while pregnant.  You can't really take anything to relieve your symptoms, so you have to suffer in misery while your body tries to fight whatever bug you have.  I got my typical winter cold during my 5th month of pregnancy.  My typical remedies of Theraflu teas and Mucinex were out of the question.  I didn't even want to take some of the stuff I was allowed to take because I didn't want to harm the baby.  So I toughed it out.  And my cough became worse...and worse...and worse...until one night I woke up, struggling to breathe with a feeling of something jabbing into my lung.  I had to lie in a particular position on the couch in order to not feel the stabbing sensation, and deep breaths were beyond agonizing.  I was afraid I'd have to go to the ER that night, but after a few miserable minutes, the pain went away.  Turns out I bruised a rib from all the coughing.  Fun!

And then I got sick with the same type of cold a few weeks ago, while I was home all day with a 5 month old baby...who is teething.  That might suck worse than being pregnant and sick.  There are more options for medications you can take while you're breastfeeding, but you still have to be careful because this ingredient can affect your milk supply and that ingredient can cause an irritable baby and this other ingredient requires you to keep an eye out for a drowsy baby.  All I wanted to do was take a nap, but that wasn't on Max's agenda.  I had to nurse, play, sing, rock, read, puree, duties still needed to be addressed.  
I'm on the mend now, still with a lingering cough.  But I think that was worse than the lung-jabbing pregnancy sickness.

And then Max got sick.  And I am convinced this is the absolute WORST.  He's not even that sick.  He's coughing and has lots of boogers.  But the coughing makes him vomit.  And every morning for the past 4 days, he's thrown up his entire "breakfast."  Typically that's what it takes to get all the phlegm up and out, and then he's fine for the rest of the day.  But it's still awful to witness.  Aside from getting soaked by my own regurgitated breastmilk (how's that for a visual?), I am completely at a loss as to how to make it better.  There's no predicting when he's going to cough himself to the point of barfing.  Yesterday, I took him into the bathroom every time he started to cough, and he didn't throw up.  So then the one time I didn't take him into the bathroom, upchuck city.  His humidifier runs all night long in his room.  This morning I tried using "The Snotsucker" to suck some of the gunk out before nursing him, but all I got was spit.  The good stuff is deep down.  I'm worried that he's not going to get enough to eat with all this barfing, or worse, he's going to become dehydrated.

Your kid being sick is by far the worst thing EVER.  All I want to do is take it away.  I say to him, "Give it to me, Max.  Give me your sickies.  I'll be sick.  You get better."  I feel so helpless.  I remember when Max was about a month old and was having terrible gas, to the point that he was so fussy every evening that we thought he had colic.  I was sitting on the floor with him, rocking him, crying along with him, muttering, "Max, I don't know how to make you feel better.  I'm sorry, baby."  He had jaundice when he was first born and had to get his heel pricked and squeezed 3 different times in one week to check his bilirubin levels.  I was about to throw my foot up on the exam table and have them check mine instead.  Poor baby screamed his lungs out.  Seeing him get shots isn't as traumatizing for me now because the heel pricks were terrifying.

I know this is only the beginning of me being unable to make my kid's problems disappear.  I know I'm in for a lifetime of feeling helpless when there's only so much I can do to make things better for my son.  And I hate it.

Being a parent is the greatest gift, but it definitely comes with its share of heartache.

At least he doesn't look sick.  Except for the rash on his chest.  That's from drool.  So much drool.

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