The Things We Won't Remember. Or The Things We Choose To Forget.

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Categories Infants, Medical

Yesterday, we were on our way back from the pediatrician’s office, when Jennifer said to me “You’re in trouble.” “Why?”, I say. “You said that first six months was the hardest, and here we are at seven months and THIS is hard,” she says. “Oh, well, yeah,” I say, “but that didn’t include illnesses.” “Doesn’t it seem like no one ever talks about this part?” she asks. “Well,” I respond “they probably do, but I think these are the parts we forget.”

And let me start off by saying that we have it SO EASY compared to SO MANY others: our kids are relatively healthy, no known underlying issues, there’s two parents who share equally in care and responsibility, we can afford to pay for extra help every now and again, and all that. But if you strip all that down and just think of us as first time parents with no prior parenting experience, unaccustomed to lack of sleep or the sounds of screaming for hours on end, we are in the midst of trying times.

On our way to the pediatrician’s office yesterday, I sent a text message to the kids’ godparents to let them know what was going on. I am walking away with SOMETHING this visit, I wrote, I don’t care if it’s a placebo, stickers, or a lollipop. We had been there last Monday, too. Colds and congestions, yes. But no ear infections or crackly lungs. Which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. Prescription for them last week, then? Tender Loving Care. Got it.

Fast forward six days and my things can change. I took the scream-at-the-top-of-his-lungs-cannot-be-consoled-dead-ringer-for-an-ear-infection shift from 2:30 a.m. – 4:30 a.m. Jennifer took the 4:30 a.m. – 5:30 a.m. shift so I could sleep an hour before getting ready for work. At 5:30, our daughter began screaming, would only sleep on one’s chest, and wouldn’t wake up to eat. RED FLAG. Change of plans – I am not going to work. Not taking a shower. Not going pee. We’re going to the clinic.

Sure enough, Mateo has an ear infection. Make that two. By the way, this is now his FIFTH ear infection in two months. And one of them was bulging and blistered. Harper has one ear infection, and crackly lungs. Prescription: round of antibiotics for both, albuterol treatment for her. No stickers for us. I did mention that Jennifer and I used to indulge in a nice dinner out weekly and that now that seems to be weekly copayments totaling $60 to the clinic. He said something about writing us a pretend gift certificate. He’s cute.

We spent the day at home with the kids. Loving on them. Holding them. Carrying them. Feeding them (or trying to, because Harper wasn’t much for food or drink). Loving on them some more. Constantly changing them out of clothes they’d throw up in. They try SO HARD to play play play and fight through being sick, but most of the time, the pain of ear infections got the best of them. We got some fresh air on a neighborhood walk. We were fortunate that one of their godmothers brought the mom’s lunch and we ate while she fed Mateo and held him for a couple hours while I played mattress to Harper who could not otherwise sleep. And if that’s a run on sentence it’s because yesterday was a run on day. We enjoyed our time as a family even if it meant they twins were not feeling well.

Playing Through An Ear Infection
Trying really hard to play through their ear infections.

I’m seriously considering looking into a live-in (weekdays) nanny. Could be the lack of sleep talking. I LOVE our daycare. It’s clean and professional and the kids truly love it. But they also get sick more often because of it. But it’s close to the office. But they wouldn’t get sick as much at home. But they get more stimulation at school. But they get more individual care at home. But there are more eyes watching over them at school. But but but but but but but but.

In the last couple months, some one of the four of us has had any combination of pink eye, cold, ear infections, colds, allergies. I don’t think we’ve gone more than 7 days at once with a fully healthy household since September.

This morning, I’m at the office (can’t you tell???). I just got a call from Jennifer reporting that neither kiddo has a fever this morning. And Harper ate. And neither have thrown up. Our Saturday nanny was available to be home with them today. And Jennifer and I are both working so we can pay for someone else to care for them. Grrrrr. Hopefully the mend continues. And hopefully we go more than 10 days as a healthy household. Please?

Rachel’s personal blog can be found at RaJenCreation.

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10 thoughts on “The Things We Won't Remember. Or The Things We Choose To Forget.”

  1. I think I commented last week on your person blog but it bears repeating. I have no idea how we survived that first year in group day care with twins. Someone was almost always sick. Pink eye. Ear infections. Vomiting viruses. Colds so bad they thought it was RSV. Mystery fevers. No sleep. (Some nights, literally none.)

    Every time we had the “nanny talk” they would miraculously get better and we’d have a great week. Slowly they built up immunities and came home with less colds, less fevers, and the ear tubes stopped the ear infections.

    In hindsight, I am surprised we did not go crazy. But now I do feel that we have experienced some benefits. They always catch colds and it NEVER disturbs their sleep now. They seem to fight off things other kids new to day care catch. They don’t get the weird stuff (hand foot mouth, croup) bc they either had it or they’re immune from being exposed.

    And I LOVE the benefits they get from being in group care. They’ve always been willing to go to anyone. They make new friends quickly. They are social with all kids, not just with each other. It is a good fit for our family.

    But that first year was HORRIBLY HARD.

  2. So sorry your little ones are sick. Sick babies are so, so hard, especially when they are itty bitty like yours.

    Just so you know, I’m a SAHM and my guys had their first ear infections at 5 months. Abigail had 3 more, plus pneumonia, plus the stomach flu for both of them, before their first birthday. I think you get LESS stuff, but still, winter is awful.

  3. The good news is you do soon forget it. The illnesses pass and you are grateful that your child has an ear infection and not something more serious. Our twins are five and we’ve spent one afternoon a week for the past two months at the pediatrician’s office. Nothing serious, but still annoying.

  4. My take on it- twins demand all energy time and attention when healthy, and when they’re sick you enter a new dimension that defies description. Our guys had ear infections and were sick all weekend w/ fevers & congestion. They get the germs that my first grader brings home from school with him.
    Regarding the group day care, I cannot imagine those challenges with illnesses they may pickup during year one. But the upside is they may build the tough immunity to see them through toddler hood and preschool much better. Good luck to you!

  5. Ok…you have managed to scare me. My b/g twins are six months old (btw…I also live in Houston…well Katy). They have been pretty healthy since leaving the hospital two week after they were born. We have had some reflux and colds but nothing to serious and yet I already feel like I am pushed to my limit on most days. My kids are home with me so they don’t get exposed to much….I guess I will get hit with it all when they start preschool.

  6. You might try an EarCheck (www.earcheck.com) next time you suspect an infection. I used it on my daughter and it works. It confirmed that she had an infection so I gave her some Tylenol so she could sleep and then went to the doc in the morning and he confirmed it. It is great peace of mind and can help you monitor your kids ears.

  7. Daycare means illness, that first year or two. At one point during our girls’ second winter, in the lead-up to an RSV diagnosis, I went to my supervisor to ask whether I should just switch to part-time work. My plan was that I’d still aim for 40 hours a week, but the part-time-ness would cover all the time that I was out caring for contagious babies. My husband was in Iraq, our families elsewhere, and we couldn’t afford additional help, particularly if my income was about to decrease! My supervisor was wonderful, let me work overtime (ie after the girls were asleep, when they were healthy) to make up my sick leave, and suggested against the part-time thing.

    The girls are now two and a half, haven’t been sick (apart from asthma and constipation) in months, and I’ll be cashing in some vacation time in a few weeks. It DOES get better.

  8. And one more comment- regarding “the first six months being the hardest”… ummm as the mother of two 17 month old whirlwinds who look for trouble and find it every few minutes, I am finding the toddler stage to be quite demanding in a completely different way! I look back at the early months and they don’t seem so hard in comparison to the olympic event we compete in daily, just keeping the boys safe, fed, out of harms way, out of trouble, and reasonably entertained.

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