Today was a rough day. We had a big day planned, but it turned out that I spent most of the day at home, much of it on the couch with a sick baby.
May woke up feeling especially happy, and we had a great morning. Guess-what-I’m-Drawing and peek-a-boo in bed, coffee, a bath, and then what I thought was a healthy breakfast of blueberry yogurt, Multi-Grain Cheerios, raspberries and kiwi fruit. She ate like a little starving monster and then asked for her “Baak!” (To the unenlightened, this sounds like she’s imitating a chicken. But to me, it sounds like, “May I have some milk, please, Mommy?”
I got May all dressed up in her Ohio State get-up to head down to the Den for the Browns game. (She doesn’t have a Browns get-up yet.) But just as I got off the freeway and was nearing the restaurant, I heard the whimpering that was shortly followed by a gurgling sound and then…the smell.
Two weeks ago, as I drove downtown, I smelled the same odor — similar to slightly rancid mac-n-cheese. The first time this happened I thought that she had discovered a rogue sippy cup with curdled milk in the back seat and gone to town on it, but I pulled over to discover that she had been sick. Disaster ensued.
So today, when I heard the familiar sounds and smelled the familiar smell, I pulled over immediately and wasn’t even remotely surprised at what I saw, although I was again perplexed as to what the heck was going on. The poor thing was absolutely miserable. My heart lurched, because not only could I not hug her sickness away, but she was strapped in to her own mess, and we were on the side of G Street 20 yards from a homeless camp. I called Ronny to ask what to do and the restaurant was already slammed, but he said to bring her in anyways. But by the time I got there the mess was all over her face, in her hair and covering her sippy cup that she still tried to suck on. It seemed wise to take her home.
I listened to her moan and whimper and gurgle the whole 20 minutes to our apartment, and by the time we got home she had been sick again. I stripped off her little Ohio State cheerleader uniform and got her into the bathtub where she fell limp in my arms and moaned. For a second she revived and looked up at me with a pathetic, helpless smile. Then she flopped down again and whimpered. Then she screamed in what could only be pain, lack of understanding, and fear. I now understand what a ‘blood-curdling scream’ is. It was horrible and made my eyes fill with tears and my heart swell and I felt absolutely nervous, scared and helpless.
I sang the Phonics Song 2 as I patted her face with a cold washrag, and as I wiped her forehead, she pressed into it. Then she was sick again, and couldn’t hold up her own head. She got pale, and floppy, and quiet, and she tried to lie down in the water. I picked her up, wrapped her in her little hooded towel, and rocked my limp, clammy, terrified baby right there on the toilet. She looked up at me, with heavy-lidded eyes, as if she were begging me to help her, mouth open slightly and breathing shallowly and irregularly. That’s when I noticed that her upper lip and around her mouth was starting to look faintly, but absolutely, blue/purple/green.
So, through a sudden panic, I carried her downstairs and called the after-hours nurse dispatch and left a message. I called Nana and Baba and asked them to research kiwi allergies. I rocked and singed and held her head as she was sick again into her new potty. And then she fell asleep on my chest. She NEVER falls asleep in my arms…ever.
(Note: I wouldn’t post such a horrific picture of myself, but it’s the best I could get with my crappy cell phone.)
We sat like this for a while. Long enough to listen to Mom read about kiwi allergies. Long enough to watch Sam the Cooking Guy teach me how to make soup. But I knew the carseat was an oven out on the porch baking puke in the sun, and May needed to be put in her own bed for a while. Her breathing was no longer shallow and irregular, her face was back to its normal, beautiful color, and I think her back was starting to go raw from my constant caressing.
As I carried her up, she seemed to wake a little. She whimpered, and her eyes rolled open to look at me. Her arm that flopped down between us weakly reached up to pat and rub my lovehandle. She groaned, but fell back asleep immediatly into her crib.
I’m not sure it you will be able to tell what this is, but it’s what I saw in the mirror on the way downstairs from her room:
At first glance it may look like I’m just showing you my necklace and a close-up of my apparently blotchy skin. But that there is a print of my little stinker’s ear. I couldn’t help but capture that.
She woke up two hours later, grinning, asking for her Coco bunny, and wanting to play. She was pretty much back to normal, my sweet little baby.
Then, after it was all over, the nurse finally called back. She said sorry, they were really busy today. She said it sounded like an allergic reaction and told me to make an appointment in a week or so. When I told her that she had been vomiting bile, she said “whoa” and that it sounded like her body really needed to get rid of something. Gee, thanks for hurrying to help me in my time of need.