Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baptism, birthday and stomach virus...Oh my

Multitasking is my middle name so the idea of cramming a birthday party and a baptism into one jam-packed weekend didn’t faze me.  Of course, best laid plans!

I hosted my daughter’s birthday party on Saturday and later than evening my family and I dined out at a local pizza place.  We were enjoying pizza when my son Logan (11 months old) vomited all over his highchair.  Mortified, my husband and I quickly covered the vomit up with napkins and tended to sick Logan.  I sat with Logan on my lap, who was noticeably feverish and wondered what was wrong with him. Looking back I started to see some signs of illness earlier but still I wasn’t linking everything together. He was very sleepy earlier in the day, he spit up one of his bottles the night before, and he’d had a major diaper blowout.  Worried, we raced home and bathed Logan and put him to bed. The next day was his baptism and to say I was nervous would have been an understatement.

My sweet boy was dressed in white from head to toe and with his recent happenings of throw up and blowouts I was worried.  I literally prayed through the entire service that we made it through the baptism without any bad bodily functions.  Covered in sweat, I breathed a deep sigh of relief when the ceremony was over.  On the way home from church my husband commented that his stomach was upset and that he wasn’t feeling well.  I blew it off as bad pizza from the night before but honestly, I didn’t have time to worry about him. As bad as that sounds I had a house full of people waiting to celebrate Logan’s baptism and Lily’s birthday at our family party.

The party was in full swing, but my husband was MIA. Several times I had to wrangle him from the bedroom to witness blowing out candles, family pictures, and gift openings. He sat in a chair off to himself and his face was literally green. As they say, timing is everything and as soon as the last guest left, my husband started vomiting.  That’s when it hit me; we have a stomach virus going around.  I quarantined my husband to our bedroom and put my son down for a nap. I encouraged my daughter to rest with a movie on since it was her birthday when she suddenly told me she wasn’t feeling well.  As I stood up to assist her to the bathroom she threw up all over me.  She and I both stood there stunned and then we both cried. I assured her it would be okay but I was lying. I had no idea what to do next and was worried sick because I knew my time would come.  My daughter and I got in the shower fully clothed and washed up. I panicked as I changed clothes, cleaned vomit off the floor, rug and couch at the same time tending to my poor birthday girl who was now quarantined to the guest bathroom.

In between times of tending to sick Lily I disinfected every hard surface I encountered with disinfectant wipes. I washed about 10 loads of laundry. I also prayed that my son would take an extra long nap to help Mommy out.  I posted a SOS on Facebook and a wonderful neighbor responded to my call by making a trip to the store for Gatorade and Pedialite.  Somehow I made it through the evening and was so thankful when my son was down for the night.  I focused on my daughter until about 2 a.m. when the bug hit me.

I will say that having a stomach bug hit my family all at once was one of worst parenting experiences thus far.  It took us all about three days to completely recoup. It turns out Logan had it first (it hit his whole class) and he spread it to us. It literally wiped out entire families in our daycare.

Lessons learned:  The next time I see illness I will pay attention and react!

Mindy Seals works in the information technology division at Texas Health Resources and is balancing work, married life and raising two kids.

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