Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sick Little Girl (Not That Sick)

Calliope's been sick for four days now. I took her to the pediatrician after 36 hours of fever because I figured that's what you are supposed to do with a febrile infant?

I don't know. It was pretty clear to me that it wasn't anything serious, but it's hard to see her feeling pretty miserable, and so I wanted someone else to take responsibility for her, too.

She got weighed at the doctor's and she was 17 pounds, 4 ounces, which is four ounces less than she was at her nine month well baby visit, six weeks ago. She hadn't been sick long at that point yesterday, so I think she was still down from the last time she was sick, earlier this month.

I think the fever may finally be gone, but she's just so damn fragile right now. Even when she's playing happily enough, the smallest hiccup can set her off again. Poor baby. She just can't handle any little frustration, including me wiping her nose, lying her down to change her diaper, a toy that she pushes up on tipping over, or most especially, someone other than me picking her up. God forbid.

If any of the above occur, she breaks down into nearly silent sobs, because her little voice is so hoarse. But huge tears immediately roll down her pale little face. It's all very tragic.

Even the beloved bathtub elicited tears when she went in, and again after about 15 minutes of playing. Everything just seems to wear her out.

She barely ate any solids on Thursday, and hasn't eaten any at all the last three days. She's nursing more often, including at least three times last night. Ugh! I just don't know what else to do for her when she wakes up miserable, but I really don't want to re-start a night feeding habit.

She's happiest when I'm sitting on the floor with her (or even better, lying down with a breast exposed -- she just discovered this awesome one tonight... I was lying there idly, hadn't tucked things away and she was playing and suddenly, there she was, latched on and sucking away... again...) and there's no one else here. No one to interfere with her plans, no one to pick her up (besides me), no one to overstimulate her. Attempts to go out are met with more tears.

Meanwhile, selfish Mommy is feeling a bit claustrophobic. I had friends crashing with me this weekend so they could attend a wedding in Manhattan. I was so grateful for their company! We went out for dinner on Friday night and out for early breakfasts on both Saturday and Sunday (today). While it was probably hard for Calliope to be out, it was great for me.

It's only the second day of my summer vacation and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. A sick baby plus really hot weather plus not much in the way of plans, since I had originally hoped to be traveling right now... Of course, things would be so much worse if we were traveling. And plans might well make things worse right now. It's just that staying home with her is hard. And I did go out for breakfast yesterday, and to breakfast and to a one year old's birthday party today (Calliope was the only other baby there), so I can't even say that I haven't been out. But still. All the nursing is a little wearing also. For the first time, I'm understanding that feeling new moms express about feeling "touched out."

This actually all reminds me of new motherhood quite a lot -- the frequent nursing, the constant need to be touch or be held, the unpredictable moods. Minus the offers of help that I had when Calliope was brand new. And plus the identity, this time as a full time mom (again)... or rather, a mom who is home full time. We are all full time moms!

Still, I'm feeling very, very aware of my single mother status right now. I rarely feel this way, but today I'm really wishing there was someone else I could pass her to. Usually I love being her favorite, but today it's overwhelming.


  1. Sorry to hear that Calliope is sick. BB has been sick too recently and I have been feeling exactly the same way... parenting a healthy child is so much easier! As well as just dealing with the sick child you also miss having someone to discuss things with, am I over reacting or is this serious. It's hard. I am sure you did the right thing for you both at the time... putting your mind at ease is important.

    BB also lost a bit of weight around the 8-9 month mark. I think it's just because he became active and worked off some of his baby fat that he built up when he just lay there. I am guessing Calliope is the same. When we weighed last Tuesday BB was back up to the weight he was in February!

    You are not alone - there are lots of us here!

  2. Sorry Calliope is under the weather. Hopefully she'll perk back up soon!!

  3. Aw poor little kiddo, hope she's feeling better soon & you can get out for some fun.