The last week has been a hot mess of runny noses, wet coughs, fevers and body aches for my family. We live in the Midwest where the flu has evidently hit hard! It all started the morning after Christmas; our son woke up with 101.5 temperature and nose running enough to fill a bathtub, which for any first time mom can be very scary. AJ had never been sick before this and I hardly knew what to do besides give him a bath to bring the fever down. My husband was so worried that he stayed home from work so we could freak out together. We got through the first day, unable to keep our baby’s temp down with baths and Tylenol for more than an hour or so. We’d decided to take him to the prompt care the next morning because he wasn’t eating much and wouldn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. I wound up calling the doctor’s office at around one in the morning because we couldn’t get him to sleep so that we could get some sleep.
Finally, the next day came and my sister in law drove us to the prompt care since my husband had to work. We waited about three hours before he was seen and his temp was 103.6. I broke down into tears of defeat as soon as the nurse left the room to get him some Motrin. How could I let my baby get so sick? What had I done wrong? What could I have done better?
All these questions were racing through my head and I almost forgot that I was sleep deprived and still new at being a mom. How could you possibly know how to do something that you’ve never done?
The doctor tested my sick little baby for the flu and wouldn’t you know, he was positive for type A. My poor baby had the flu at just ten and a half months old. I remember when the doctor left the room to write out a prescription for Tamiflu, I hugged my little boy close to my chest and gently rocked from side to side until he fell asleep. In a strange way, I felt as though we were bonding all over again– sharing something that only a parent can share with their child– and just like that, I was no longer the clueless first-time-mom anymore. I felt like I was in control again.
The nurse came back in, gave me the prescription and told me how to use Tylenol and Motrin to keep his fever down. Then she looked at me with a smile and said, “You’re his mother, you have that motherly instinct. Just listen to it. I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear that.
Five days later, AJ is on his last day of antibiotics and now my husband and I are sick, but despite our coughs and stuffed up noses, the only thing that matters to us is that AJ is back to his normal, playful self. I wanted to write this because I know what it’s like to have your baby sick for the first time and feel so helpless and scared. And if just one mom reads this and it helps her know that she’s not alone and that everything will be okay, then me sharing our experience with a sick baby will have been worth it. Another good thing to keep in mind that I’ve come to understand is that because he got sick now, he’s built up some anti-bodies! Which will help him in the long run.
So if you find yourself in the position I was in five days ago, don’t worry mommy. You know your baby. Listen to your mommy voice and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your doctor’s office has nurses that you can call twenty four seven and they really do help.