Thursday, July 06, 2006

Firecracker, Firecracker BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!

Well, our first 4th of July with Emma was certainly, uh, explosive. But not in the firecracker way... more like in the never-ending dirty diaper kind of way. 'Member that fever I casually mentioned in my last post? Well, that was the start of a week-long battle with the stomach flu. And need I tell you how much fun that has been??

Well, okay, if you insist:

The first indication something was up was the fever last Wednesday and Thursday. I was hoping it was just that fourth tooth coming in (FINALLY!), but there was no drooling or runny nose, so I was a bit suspicious. Then there was that fountain of peas and pears Emma's stomach decided to give back to us after dinner on Thursday. Friday was better, but she was gagging when eating and had VERY smelly diapers that I won't describe (just in case you're eating, thinking about eating, or will be eating sometime today...). She was also very exhausted, which meant some lovely, long naps during the day, but constant night waking in the wee hours. I took her to the doctor on Friday and he confirmed the stomach flu. He said to keep her on a liquid diet and to just watch her closely.

Saturday seemed like she was on the verge of recovery, so Sunday we went to church and then made a stop to Gram and Gramps after her afternoon nap. It was there we got the lovely gift of regurgitated peas again. (Note to self: DO NOT feed peas to a tummy that might be even a bit sour. Yes, this seems obvious, but she has a limited diet and had been eating sweet potatoes and squash for days... Excuses aside, lesson learned.)

That's when the explosions began...and never stopped. Day, night, you name it, there was always a present waiting for me in that little covered butt. And trust me, the smell was enough to let the neighbors know that Emma's diaper needed to be changed. When I wasn't changing diapers, I was throwing Pedialyte down her throat. It felt a little like when she was first born -- feed, change, feed, change, feed, change, nap and so on.

And then came Tuesday. The day when the impossible happened... Emma slept in until 9am. This child has NEVER in her entire life slept past 7am, and most of the time is up at the crack of dawn, so what should have made me the happiest mother on the planet totally freaked me out. Finally, we woke her up (yes, you read that correctly), and she was so limp it was scary. Thinking she was just exhausted from the virus, we brought her in our bed for cuddling, which to our surprise, she actually cuddled. This also NEVER happens. Not good. She was so weak that when Jeff lifted up her arm, it fell straight down with a thump. Uh, let's get this kid some fluid NOW!!!!!!

So we did formula and she seemed better, but was back to limp noodle in 45 minutes. Then we did Pedialyte and the same thing happened -- so we called the doctor. He told us she sounded dehydrated and to get her into the emergency room. "If we start IVs now, we probably won't have to admit her." I'm sorry, you say that like that's GOOD news! Needless to say, I was a complete basket case on the way to the hospital. Total melt down. Poor Jeff -- I was NO help at all. I just felt so responsible...

Anyway, we gave her some more Pedialyte on the way there and she zonked out until we went to Triage. Here, Emma decided that she did not want to have her rectal temp taken, so instead decided to pee all over the nurse while screaming and thrashing for the whole hospital to hear. Not that I blame her, the poor baby had the worst diaper rash in the world. It was so very sore, I could hardly look at it. The only good news was that the pee meant she was probably better than we thought. And it was a good thing she did it because it was the ONLY thing keeping me from killing someone since we didn't see a doctor until TWO HOURS after we got there. Yes, it was a holiday, but it was 11am and empty when we arrived. Um, we're here because our daughter might be dehydrated and you have a sit around for hours while she could be at home DRINKING FLUIDS?! Don't get me started.

By the time we saw a doctor, Emma was flashing her famous grin and was getting back to her wiggly self. Still tired, but definitely active enough to make us look like we were crazy for bringing her in. But trust me, I was glad they sent us back home. I was not looking forward to seeing IV tubes coming out of my baby. Basically, she was probably on the verge of dehydration, but that last bottle of pedialyte on the way to the hospital may have pushed her back to normal. We also gave her more in the hospital and by the time we got home, she was fine. Still tired, but the diarrhea stopped, which was good, but that also brought on 2 days of constipation that had Emma screaming last night from 11:30pm until 3am. That was NOT fun. Emma certainly is vocal and will complain, but she's never been a big crier and has never been inconsolable. I guess there's a first time for everything!

Today, all functions seem to be back to normal and the spunk is back in her step. In fact, in the midst of all this, she has managed to advance her walking skills (she can now walk clear across the room) and she got that fourth tooth. I think she also added a few words to her vocabulary -- she's been able to say "more" for a while now, but I swear she is saying "baby" and "bottle," and I am telling you this girl says "nye, nye" at nap time. She is also starting to follow directions. Today she was looking at a baby doll at Grams house, and I told her to give it a kiss, and she picked it up and kissed it. She amazes me.

She also frustrates me. Yes, today I was arguing with my 10-month-old, who was CLEARLY telling me that she wanted to feed herself. And so it begins...

Well, that should about do it for now. This past week has certainly been a long one for this mama, but I get a reprieve this weekend. I'm going to a Christian women's conference with my mom, my mom-in-law and two sister-in-laws, so I'll be getting plenty of "me time." Jeff's on 72-hour daddy duty, so it should be interesting. I can't wait to hear how THAT goes! I know he'll do great, but I will be interested to see how he likes the 24-hour shift. :o)

In closing, I'll leave you with some photos of our little firecracker -- right before the explosions began. Hope you all had a happy, safe and HEALTHY 4th!


Adventures In Babywearing said...

Yes, quite the little firecracker you have there!!! Her outfit is so cute!

Mama C-ta said...

Oh Les that sounds like a nightmare for you all. I had no idea you had to go to the ER! So, so glad to hear she's back to her fiesty self :) I can't believe she managed to keep working on her milestones through all that. That Emma IS amazing, enjoy your weekend!

Aunt Jenni said...

OMGosh!!!!! She is soooo adorable!!! Love the outfit!!! Our little Aunt Jemima! Ha! j/k Well I already knew most of the details, but I'm really glad to hear she is pretty much back to normal! I'm also very proud of her that she is walking AND talking!!! But....not surprised (c'mon, we all know how I feel about this kid...she will be, I mean IS gifted in every way!). Good Job Lis (& Jeff, if he reads this) for making it thru AND for giving birth to such an interesting (ha!) and amazing little girl! Love You all!

Amy said...

I can relate girl. We are in the midst of bowel issues as I type. And of course my hubby is OOT this weekend. Your baby is beautiful! Amy