The post-birthday/pre-Valentine’s Day/first-night-away-from-Owen celebration was a huge success! Despite some bumps along the way (read on…), it was easier than I expected. Here’s how it all went down.
Last Thursday morning Owen’s daycare called shortly after I dropped him off to let me know that his temp was slightly elevated, his cough was a little gunky and he wasn’t really acting like himself. They weren’t saying he needed to go home, but they were giving me a heads up that they were going to keep a close eye on him. I knew he was not feeling 100%, but he was in great spirits and it was mostly the nagging runny nose and cough bothering him, both of which were really not a big deal. So I dropped him off letting the teachers know I was working from home that day and could definitely come get him if anything changed. Once I got their call in the morning, I worked double time to clear my schedule for the afternoon and wrap things up. Happy birthday to me!
They never called back, and when I picked him up a little early at the end of the day, they said he had a great afternoon and seemed to perk up after a long nap. Phew! Crisis averted.
Friday morning the cough was a bit thicker and Owen seemed out of sorts when he woke up in the morning. We had a low-key morning at home. I worked out during naptime, which, these days, is usually a pretty sure bet. Owen’s naps are very regular and reliable recently — 2 to 2.5 hours. So I usually have time to work out, shower, check email/blog, and maybe even prep dinner ingredients while he sleeps. But on Friday after only 1 hour he woke up SCREAMING. Wailing in a way that I have rarely, if ever, heard him wail. I bolted up the stairs and held him against my sweaty chest. No visible issues. No fever. Some snot, but nothing out of the ordinary. Except he would. not. stop. crying.
This is entirely out of character for Owen. Heck, even when the kid was hospitalized with pneumonia and barely able to breathe he was laughing and climbing around. When he acts sick, I get scared. His eyelids were drooping and he was seemingly falling asleep while looking into my eyes. He was limp and fragile. He whimpered and wailed and nothing soothed him. After a few (agonizingly long) minutes of this I called the doctor and they gave me an appointment in 15 minutes. We live 15 minutes away, and I was thankful to be able to be seen so quickly, so I grabbed an extra set of clothing for Owen (as any mother of a kid who gets easily car sick would do) and my purse and ran out the door. I had a blanket wrapped around Owen but no coat for myself… and I was still wearing my sweat-covered workout clothes. One track mind, people.
On the way to the doctor’s office I called my sister, who is a doctor and mother of 2. Her house was recently hit by the awful stomach bug that seems to be going around. Six out of Owen’s class of 10 kids were out with the bug this week, so I was constantly knocking on wood that this weekend (this SPECIAL weekend) wouldn’t be the first time we would have to deal with that. Side note: I can’t believe we have been lucky enough to avoid it until now. After I listed off Owen’s symptoms and the fact that he had diarrhea that morning, etc., she said, “Uh oh. Sounds like the beginning of the stomach bug to me. You should probably cancel your plans and expect to be in the bathroom for the rest of the weekend yourself.”
BUT, as soon as the doctor looked in his ear, everything made sense. A nasty ear infection, close to rupturing. Owen’s good spirits made me miss all of the telltale ear infection signs (he wasn’t eating well and had woken up throughout the week, but I blamed it on his other symptoms like the cough and boogers and an “I don’t want to eat in my high chair” stage). I was so thankful that it was something treatable, and not something more serious. Another crisis averted.
Long story short (ha, brevity is not my strong suit!), it wasn’t the stomach bug. It was JUST the nasty ear infection that got him down. And thankfully that is not contagious. But my sister’s warning made me panic a bit and I spent the afternoon wondering and wondering if we should cancel all of our plans, or if I was going to be spending my night at the Ritz clinging to the toilet and wishing I was home to rock my sick baby.
I decided to be optimistic and continue as planned. If on Saturday morning Owen seemed like he needed me, I would cancel then.
Ah! Speaking of reliable naptimes… sleeping beauty awakes. Apparently this story necessitates 2 parts and I didn’t quite type fast enough. Part II to come tomorrow!
P.S. Oh, so far this story doesn’t sound “easy as pie” to you? Me either, as I write it out. But things looked up starting Saturday morning.