Wow, nothing puts the idea of a third child on hold like the entire family falling ill. We've had runny noses, sore throats, diarrhea, diarrhea with blood, more blood than diarrhea and teething. All of which has meant that neither Anna nor Lucy has been capable of sleeping by themselves for more than an hour at a time in the last few days. I just looked at myself in the mirror and got a mug shot in return. A meth addict mug shot. I look done in.
I'm finally hopeful we're on the mend. Lucy took the brunt, poor thing. She started off with teething - her first top tooth, which meant two days of non stop unexplained mithering. I love her dearly, but the sound of an unhappy baby for days on end can bring you to your knees. It's a cruel fact that when they need you the most, when they're in pain and uncomfortable they are completely useless at communicating their needs. You feel like yelling what? WHAT?, when the Tylenol, the soothing, the back rubs, the bath, everything fails. 48 hours later you feel completely rotten as that tooth appears and their teary face screams "see, see what I was dealing with". Then as if to really rub it in she began sneezing, and shooting out foamy green poop. I really hope you're not eating dinner whilst reading this. Our 'experience' as parents allowed us to take the poop shoot in our stride. That sentence doesn't read right does it? Anyway, we were calm, we increased her fluids, checked her temperature, slapped the butt lotion on and took her to the beach; all the usual things.
All of sudden, what seemed like a run of the mill case of diarrhea (I'll have you know that I've written that word so often lately that for the first time in my life I can write it without having to spell check it first,...) transformed into blood-streaked poop foam and then mostly blood, every ten minutes. Things happen fast with small children, and you don't want to overreact but also you don't want to sleep on the job. We didn't know what to do. We were making dinner, it was cocktail hour.
I decided that unexplained rectal bleeding - try googling that and concluding your child will live - merited an after-hours doctor phone call. He basically said 'there's a lot of it about, slap some cream on her butt and keep her hydrated'. I felt such a fool. To make matters worse, Lucy was fine in between bouts of agonizing foam pooping and I was still reeling from getting 6 out of 10 on this 'when should you take your baby to the doctor quiz'. We concluded she was either:
a) suffering from an irritated bowel/rectum due to fighting a virus
b) had a urinary tract infection
c) had a bowel obstruction and was going to explode in a matter of minutes
d) all of the above
I think it was a). She seems brighter this afternoon. Poop-watch '09 shows a dwindling of foam and less BRIGHT! RED! BLOOD! Plus she's happily chewing on a barbie. This parenting lark is hard work.
I only want to hear comments from people who scored worse than me on the baby to the doctor quiz. Unless you're my childminder of course.