Mom vs. The Stomach Bug {With Lots of Help from Dad}

I always assumed that once I became a mom, I would get some crazy superpowers that would allow me to be immune to gross stuff like the stomach bug. These magic superpowers would let me handle all the things that come along with having children.

Update :: I’m still waiting on those superpowers to kick in.

Luckily, besides the occasional spit-up early on in our baby girl’s life, and of course the daily dirty diapers, we haven’t had to deal with much that I just can’t handle. Until the last couple of weeks…

Making the Rounds 

First, my niece had it. Then, the nanny that watches all the cousins together had it. And, though we did abide by the 24-hour rule, that nasty little stomach bug made it’s way around to my girl, E.

Early in the afternoon one day while I was at work, I got a text from my sister-in-law {who was watching the kids while our shared nanny recovered from the bug} asking if it was normal for E to poop four times in one day. Honestly, it’s maybe a little more than usual, but not incredibly out of the norm for her, especially when she’s teething. So, I just attributed it to teeth and brushed it off. But then at home she had two more dirty diapers. Still, she was going about playing and eating just as usual, so I ignored the alarm sounding in my mind. We put her to bed and followed suit soon after.

1:30 AM, a wailing cry came screaming through the monitor. Now, it’s not unusual for E to cry in the middle of the night, but as most moms can attest, you can detect distinctions between different types of cries–that’s one superpower I did get! This particular cry was drenched in fear and distress. So, I jumped out of bed and groggily stumbled to her bedroom door, expecting her to be standing behind it waiting to be scooped up and snuggled. But the door opened wide.

My eyes were slowly becoming useful again after being rolled into the back of my head, but I could see that she was kneeling at her bed crying loudly. I noticed that there was something in her bed, and as I approached the smell hit me :: vomit. Oh, God, not a sick kid! I stood completely incapacitated in the middle of her bedroom, gagging as the smell kept wafting toward me and did the only thing I could think to do in that moment. “JUSTIN!!!” I yelled for my husband, who shot out of bed like a soldier ready for action. He swept into her bedroom with comforting words and then delegated to me what needed to be done until the laundry was in the wash, E was out of the bath and in new jammies, she was thoroughly evaluated. We also had to make secondary sleeping arrangements.

Then it happened again, and he whisked her away into the bathroom and instructed her to stand over the toilet, cleaned her up again, and chose to sleep on the floor with her the rest of the night to make sure he was right there to help if she needed to get sick again. Thankfully, that was it. Yet, we all slept terribly the rest of the night. 

Daddy Saves the Day

I couldn’t believe how amazing my husband had been! And also how useless I was. I vowed to myself, “Next time, though I pray it is many years from now, I will do better.” 

A week later, I got it. Bed ridden, I stayed home from work and it was an all-day affair of wishing that I could just throw up everything in my stomach all at once so at least I wouldn’t keep tasting yesterday’s lunch. My sister-in-law offered to keep E that night so I could rest, and we were grateful. I went back to work the next day, not entirely ready, but knowing I had only two days to push through and then it was the weekend.

A few weeks before, we’d offered to watch our niece and nephew for a couple of days while their parents went on a trip to California. It just so happened that that very Thursday night was when the party started. Still run-down and nauseated, I picked up all three kiddos from the nanny and met my husband at home–who made sure to be there early for me because he knew I felt bad already. We played, ate pizza, brushed teeth, put on jammies, and got the two littler ones to bed {E, and her “twin” cousin, Charlotte}. We promised our 3-year-old nephew that he could stay up a little later to watch Shrek and eat popcorn with us. 

As I tucked my girl, E, into bed I heard some crying and commotion in the living room. I popped my head out and asked what was going on. “He threw up,” I heard my husband say back to me in his keeping-it-together voice. I felt cold. I felt the nausea come on again. I wanted to run away.

Again, my husband went into action getting things cleaned up as I tried to not to throw up on my nephew while giving him a bath. We gave him some medicine and got him comfortable on the couch where he continued watching Shrek. At that point, I excused myself to the bathroom for a quick moment to attempt to regain some serenity. In those brief 60 seconds, I heard another cry. Upon exiting the bathroom, I was informed by my knight in shining armor/Mr. Clean himself, that our niece had thrown up in her bed. My actual first reaction to this was a word I will not share with you. Then I stood in the hallway and started crying, while my husband whirled around the house doing what he had been doing all night :: taking care of things. At least I struggled a little less with trying not to throw up when I gave my niece a bath. I’m getting better at this song and dance! …that I never, ever, ever want to hear or do again.

Still Waiting on My Superpowers

We prayed fervently for healing over our household and pleasedearGod for no one else to throw up that night. Our prayers were answered, though we still barely slept. 

The next day, our nanny graciously agreed to keep our sick niece and nephew, and my mom offered to watch E while we disinfected every last toy and surface of our home {and hopefully could squeeze in a nap}. By the end of the day, I’m pretty sure our house hasn’t been this clean since the original owners moved in back in 1979. 

So, as it turns out, my husband got the superpowers. And I have never been more in love with that man than I am today. 

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