17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Holidays...I think...

Our ragtag family of 4 traveled from the Bay Area to SLC for Christmas with dh extended family. We were full of anticipation for the holidays. Our kids were now old enough to "get" the whole Santa/presents/Jesus's birthday a little bit (almost 3 and 15 months) so we were eager to view the season through their eyes. Presents were wrapped, Santa was visited, tales were told of sleighs and reindeer - Christmas 2005 held great promise.

Until everyone got sick.

Like, gross, yucky, neverending sick.

On Christmas Eve dh Sam finally gave up and went to a doctor after 3 days of a "cold" - he ended up with bronchitis and lots of drugs. About 36 hours later we noticed both of our kids were running a little "slow" (for those of you who know my kids they are NOT mellow people, so its odd to see them sitting quietly - running slow). Then Simon (almost 3) began throwing up. Not once or 6 times or 10 times. 17 times in 6 hours. He would scream in pain, contort, cry, vomit, scream some more and then collapse in our arms. It began at midnight and died down around 6 AM. His lips were white and he couldn't keep down anything we gave him, including ice chips (that's pretty pitiful, if you ask me). He referred to his sickness as a water fountain, as in "NO, I no want to do water fountain again!". His fever would spike and sweat off, then repeat. It was like being in a strange nightmare. We ended up doing 20 loads of laundry (comforters, towels, sheets - good grief, vomit was flung everywhere), went through 2 containers of disinfectant wipes and a large bottle of antibacterial hand lotion.

Then we received phone calls from other family members that our extended family was sick as well - there was a flu outbreak in Utah and we happened to catch it. Lovely.

While Sam was recovering from bronchitis he too was felled by this stomach flu and was thowing up, dealing with fevers. I got a touch of regular flu but I just kept eating Vitamin C and praying -I couldn't get sick now. We gave our 15 month old to Grandma and asked her to please keep her away from the 3 of us.

Over the next 10 days Sam recovered from the flu and bronchitis only to catch a bad cold - right back in bed again. I recovered from the flu and got a bad cold. Simon recovered from the flu and got a slight cold. And Sophie sailed through it all only to fall ill to the croup - poor hacking baby. Into the steam, out in the cold, medicate, bottle, sleep - repeat.

The day after all 4 of us were decently healthy, we cut our trip short and returned to CA.

Our disastrous vacation taught me a few things. I realized how strong my little boy is. He was such a trooper and genuinely grateful to me and my husband for taking care of him. I was laying in bed holding him (before he threw up on me, I might add) and whispered "I love you Simon". He opened his eyes and said "I love you too, mommy. Thank you so much for help water fountain". Kids have remarkable fortitude and such a capacity for love and gratitude, even in the face of illness.

I realized in the middle of the vomit and crying and croup coughing that there was nowhere else on earth I'd rather be than caring for my sick child. Nothing could have dragged me away. I was surprised by that...and grateful to discover my heart in the correct place.

I realized how heartwrenching it must be to have a child who is truly sick. Not just the flu, which goes away, but hospital sick. What strong women these mothers are. I don't know how they do it and hope I never learn.

Finally, I decided in 2006 we will ALL receive flu shots. And maybe we won't go to Utah for awhile. Just kidding...I think...


  • Your poor little boy, 17 times? That is just too much.I can't believe that there was anything left after 10.
    We too traversed from the Bay Area to Utah, and caught the bronchitis bug. It was nasty. You're right about sick little people melting your heart. It realy reminds me how sweet it is to be a mother.
    posted by Blogger Abby at 1/09/2006 03:11:00 PM  

  • You're in the bay area? Whereabouts? We're in Fairfield (near Napa)
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/09/2006 03:34:00 PM  

  • There is nothing like being covered in vomit that makes you feel like a real mom. I mean, who else would do such a thing?

    Hope your family has recovered!
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 1/09/2006 03:41:00 PM  

  • I don't vote for the flu shot, DO vote for avoiding UT (sorry). And I know about the whole terminal illness in a kid thing. I thought I would be strong enough to handle that, turns out TOTALLY NOT strong enough. My 3 year-old was diagnosed with mono and strep throat one afternoon when I was totally not expecting it. She was WAY braver then me...with her doorknob-size lymphnodes and distended spleen. Even got her blood taken without a complaint. Kids....they teach us so much. Who know the real name for stomach flu was waterfountain?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/09/2006 05:54:00 PM  

  • who KNEW....I meant who KNEW
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/09/2006 05:55:00 PM  

  • Sorry Kage, I forgot about your shot thing. I've always pooh-pooed (is that a word?)flu shots until this stuff happened. So glad that me and Sophs got them because they really took the "edge" off.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/09/2006 07:55:00 PM  

  • I am against flu shots as well, but after hearing you story, I might reconsider next year!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 1/10/2006 09:44:00 AM  

  • Carrie and Kage, Just curious--What do you have against flu shots?

    Chloe--are you feeling back to full speed and settled into your normal routine? sorry you had such a yucky trip.
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 1/10/2006 09:55:00 AM  

  • The only time I got the flu shot, I got mono and hepititis(sp) and I think it was b/c my immune system was compromised from fighting the flu shot. I have a weak immune system anyway. My girls don't seem to have that problem, and I have given my babies the flu shot. I don't think Carrie has though.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 1/10/2006 10:09:00 AM  

  • Honestly, I think it is just part of the brainwashing that happens when you marry into a family of Chiropractors (my FIL and BIL). My dh would rather me not immunize the kids at all (which will never happen and is a whole other can of worms). So I figure I will at least take the chance on not giving them the voluntary flu shot. Not great logic, but it's all I got right now.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 1/10/2006 10:20:00 AM  

  • Yes, Mimi, we're settling back in and enjoying relatively good health - thanks for asking!

    As for the flu shots, I grew up in a family completely the opposite of the one Carrie is talking about - doctors were gods and medicine was ALL over the place. Got a problem - go to the doctor, take a pill. Kind of scary extreme.

    I have noticed, however, that the years I don't get a flu shot I ALWAYS get the flu. As a parent, being out of commission for even a few hours let alone days is just not an option, so I'm willing to take my chances and protect myself at the outset.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/10/2006 01:53:00 PM  

  • We live in Sunnyvale. When you returned from Utah was your house floating away?
    posted by Blogger Abby at 1/10/2006 02:55:00 PM  

  • Abby-

    OK, I know where Sunnyvale is - my husband spends a lot of time in the Palo Alto area. Do you like Sunnyvale?

    Our house wasn't floating away (luckily) but some of our neighbors had problems and one whole section of Fairfield was under several feet of water and the fire dept. had to help people out of their houses. Crazy.

    I was pretty indifferent to the whole flooding problem because I was dealing with vomit - I figured I'd resolve what was in front of me before I worried about my house!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/10/2006 03:32:00 PM  

  • (Sorry to all you non-bay area readers who thought this was supposed to be about vomit and children.)


    We love the South Bay! Come on down! We are about 15-20 min from Palo Alto, but cheaper. I feel like everything is at my finger tips; the city, the beach, the mountains. Are you guys thinking of moving?
    posted by Blogger Abby at 1/10/2006 10:17:00 PM  

  • Abby-

    Maybe we should trade emails so that I don't monopolize this post! Yes, we are planning on moving sometime in the next year.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 1/11/2006 05:31:00 PM  

  • Chloe-
    Sorry I never checked back until now. You can email me at abby.shadeclothing@gmail.com
    I can give you the low down about the south bay!
    posted by Blogger Abby at 1/18/2006 09:36:00 PM  

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